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1.  Small Dense Low Density Lipoprotein Particles Are Associated with Poor Outcome after Angioplasty in Peripheral Artery Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108813.
Purpose
In patients suffering from symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD), percutaneous revascularization is the treatment of choice. However, restenosis may occur in 10 to 60% in the first year depending on a variety of factors. Small dense low density lipoprotein (sdLDL) particles are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events, but their role in the process of restenosis is not known. We conducted a prospective study to analyze the association of sdLDL particles with the outcome of balloon angioplasty in PAD. The composite primary endpoint was defined as improved walking distance and absence of restenosis.
Methods
Patients with angiographically documented PAD of the lower extremities who were scheduled for lower limb revascularization were consecutively recruited for the study. At baseline and at three month follow-up triglyceride, total cholesterol, LDL size and subclasses and HDL cholesterol and ankle-brachial index (ABI) were measured. Three months after the intervention duplex sonography was performed to detect restenosis.
Results
Sixty-four patients (53% male) with a mean age of 68.6±9.9 years were included. The proportion of small- dense LDL particles (class III and IV) was significantly lower (33.1±11.0% vs. 39.4±12.1%, p = 0.038) in patients who reached the primary end-point compared with those who did not. Patients with improved walking distance and without restenosis had a significantly higher LDL size at baseline (26.6±1.1 nm vs. 26.1±1.1 nm, p = 0.046) and at follow-up (26.7±1.1 nm vs. 26.2±0.9 nm, p = 0.044) than patients without improvement.
Conclusions
Small-dense LDL particles are associated with worse early outcome in patients undergoing percutaneous revascularization for symptomatic PAD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108813
PMCID: PMC4181875  PMID: 25265512
2.  The Adherence to Initial Processes of Care in Elderly Patients with Acute Venous Thromboembolism 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100164.
Background
We aimed to assess whether elderly patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) receive recommended initial processes of care and to identify predictors of process adherence.
Methods
We prospectively studied in- and outpatients aged ≥65 years with acute symptomatic VTE in a multicenter cohort study from nine Swiss university- and non-university hospitals between September 2009 and March 2011.
We systematically assessed whether initial processes of care, which are recommended by the 2008 American College of Chest Physicians guidelines, were performed in each patient. We used multivariable logistic models to identify patient factors independently associated with process adherence.
Results
Our cohort comprised 950 patients (mean age 76 years). Of these, 86% (645/750) received parenteral anticoagulation for ≥5 days, 54% (405/750) had oral anticoagulation started on the first treatment day, and 37% (274/750) had an international normalized ratio (INR) ≥2 for ≥24 hours before parenteral anticoagulation was discontinued. Overall, 35% (53/153) of patients with cancer received low-molecular-weight heparin monotherapy and 72% (304/423) of patients with symptomatic deep vein thrombosis were prescribed compression stockings. In multivariate analyses, symptomatic pulmonary embolism, hospital-acquired VTE, and concomitant antiplatelet therapy were associated with a significantly lower anticoagulation-related process adherence.
Conclusions
Adherence to several recommended processes of care was suboptimal in elderly patients with VTE. Quality of care interventions should particularly focus on processes with low adherence, such as the prescription of continued low-molecular-weight heparin therapy in patients with cancer and the achievement of an INR ≥2 for ≥24 hours before parenteral anticoagulants are stopped.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100164
PMCID: PMC4077699  PMID: 24983634
3.  Predictors of in-hospital mortality in elderly patients with acute venous thrombo-embolism: the SWIss Venous ThromboEmbolism Registry (SWIVTER) 
European Heart Journal  2011;33(7):921-926.
Aims
Although acute venous thrombo-embolism (VTE) often afflicts patients with advanced age, the predictors of in-hospital mortality for elderly VTE patients are unknown.
Methods and results
Among 1247 consecutive patients with acute VTE from the prospective SWIss Venous ThromboEmbolism Registry (SWIVTER), 644 (52%) were elderly (≥65 years of age). In comparison to younger patients, the elderly more often had pulmonary embolism (PE) (60 vs. 42%; P< 0.001), cancer (30 vs. 20%; P< 0.001), chronic lung disease (14 vs. 8%; P= 0.001), and congestive heart failure (12 vs. 2%; P< 0.001). Elderly VTE patients were more often hospitalized (75 vs. 52%; P< 0.001), and there was no difference in the use of thrombolysis, catheter intervention, or surgical embolectomy between the elderly and younger PE patients (5 vs. 6%; P= 0.54), despite a trend towards a higher rate of massive PE in the elderly (8 vs. 4%; P= 0.07). The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 6.6% in the elderly vs. 3.2% in the younger VTE patients (P= 0.033). Cancer was associated with in-hospital death both in the elderly [hazard ratio (HR) 4.91, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.32–10.38; P< 0.001] and in the younger patients (HR 4.90, 95% CI 1.37–17.59; P= 0.015); massive PE was a predictor of in-hospital death in the elderly only (HR 3.77, 95% CI 1.63–8.74; P= 0.002).
Conclusion
Elderly patients had more serious VTE than younger patients, and massive PE was particularly life-threatening in the elderly.
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehr392
PMCID: PMC3345553  PMID: 22036872
Age; Deep vein thrombosis; Mortality; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thrombo-embolism
4.  Antibody Phage Display Assisted Identification of Junction Plakoglobin as a Potential Biomarker for Atherosclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47985.
To date, no plaque-derived blood biomarker is available to allow diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases. In this study, specimens of thrombendarterectomy material from carotid and iliac arteries were incubated in protein-free medium to obtain plaque and control secretomes for subsequent subtractive phage display. The selection of nine plaque secretome-specific antibodies and the analysis of their immunopurified antigens by mass spectrometry led to the identification of 22 proteins. One of them, junction plakoglobin (JUP-81) and its smaller isoforms (referred to as JUP-63, JUP-55 and JUP-30 by molecular weight) were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting with independent antibodies to be present in atherosclerotic plaques and their secretomes, coronary thrombi of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and macrophages differentiated from peripheral blood monocytes as well as macrophage-like cells differentiated from THP1 cells. Plasma of patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 15) and ACS (n = 11) contained JUP-81 at more than 2- and 14-fold higher median concentrations, respectively, than plasma of CAD-free individuals (n = 13). In conclusion, this proof of principle study identified and verified JUP isoforms as potential plasma biomarkers for atherosclerosis. Clinical validation studies are needed to determine its diagnostic efficacy and clinical utility as a biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047985
PMCID: PMC3480477  PMID: 23110151
5.  Correction: Carotid Artery Stenting: A Single Center “Real World” Experience 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):10.1371/annotation/42028902-fdcd-4e2c-9ec0-62f01edc30fa.
doi:10.1371/annotation/42028902-fdcd-4e2c-9ec0-62f01edc30fa
PMCID: PMC3437795
6.  Carotid Artery Stenting: A Single Center “Real World” Experience 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35300.
Background
Percutaneous carotid artery stenting (CAS) became a widely used procedure in patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. However its role compared to carotid endarterectomy (CAD) remains questioned. We analysed the safety of carotid artery stenting program of a prospective CAS register program of a tertiary teaching hospital.
Method
Between July 2003 and December 2010, 208 patients underwent CAS procedure. Baseline, procedural and follow-up data were prospectively collected. Primary peri-interventional outcome was defined as 30-day major adverse events (MAE), including death, stroke or myocardial infarction, and mid- to long-term follow-up outcome included ipsilateral stroke, myocardial infarction or death. Secondary outcome was restenosis rate ≥50% per lesion.
Results
Unilateral carotid artery interventions were performed in 186 patients. In 22 patients CAS was performed bilaterally as stages procedures. The 30-day MAE rate was 1.9% consisting of two contralateral strokes and two ipsilateral stroke. Mean clinically follow-up was 22 months. Mid- to long-term MAE was 8.1% with 6.3% (n = 13) deaths, 1.9% (n = 4) myocardial infarctions and 0.9% (n = 2) ipsilateral stroke. The restenosis rate ≥50% per lesion was 4.3% at a mean follow-up of 22 months. Target lesion revascularization was performed in one patient, because of restenosis at 9 months follow-up after first CAS.
Conclusion
Implementation of a carotid artery stenting program at a tertiary, teaching hospital is a safe method for treatment of carotid artery stenosis. The adverse event rate during mid-to-long-term follow-up suggests an appropriate patient selection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035300
PMCID: PMC3340379  PMID: 22558138
7.  Plasma Homocysteine is Not Related to the Severity of Microangiopathy in Secondary Raynaud Phenomenon 
Introduction:
The role of elevated homocysteine in primary and secondary Raynaud phenomenon (RP) and in patients with atherosclerosis has been reported controversially. In secondary RP due to connective tissue disease specific alterations of nailfold capillaries might be present. An association between these microvascular changes and homocysteine has been suggested.
Aim:
The aim of this study was to determine whether homocysteine level differs between patients with primary and secondary RP and to test the hypothesis that homocysteine or other cardiovascular risk factors are associated with specific features of microangiopathy in secondary RP.
Patients and Methods
Eighty-one consecutive patients with RP referred for vascular assessment were studied by nailfold capillaroscopy. Homocysteine, C-reactive protein and cholesterol were measured and other cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities assessed.
Results:
Homocysteine, C-reactive-protein and cholesterol levels did not differ between patients with primary (n=60) and secondary RP (n=21). Likewise, no differences in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities were found. In secondary RP no correlation was found between microvascular involvement and homocysteine or C-reactive protein.
Conclusion:
Plasma homocysteine is not different in patients with either primary or secondary RP and is therefore not a marker for the distinction of these diseases. The extent of microvascular involvement in secondary RP does not correlate with plasma homocysteine.
doi:10.2174/1874312901105010064
PMCID: PMC3245410  PMID: 22216066
Raynaud phenomenon; homocysteine; nailfold capillaroscopy; microangiopathy.

Results 1-7 (7)