Idiopathic pulmonary hilar fibrosis is a condition related to mediastinal fibrosis, characterized by localization of the fibrosing process to one or both pulmonary hila. This results in pulmonary hypertension and bronchial narrowing. Three patients suffering from this disease, in whom the diagnosis has been confirmed by thoracotomy, are reported. The clinical and pathological features are described and previously reported cases are reviewed. The syndrome is classified into two types, according to whether the obstruction affects mainly the pulmonary artery or veins. The disease is a self-limiting one but may lead to organic changes in the lungs causing severe disability.
Clenbuterol (Cl), a β2 agonist, is associated with enhanced myocardial recovery during left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support, and exerts beneficial remodelling effects during mechanical unloading (MU) in rodent heart failure (HF). However, the specific effects of combined Cl+β1 blockade during MU are unknown.
Methods and Results
We studied the chronic effects (4 weeks) of β2-adrenoceptor (AR) stimulation via Cl (2 mg/kg/day) alone, and in combination with β1-AR blockade using metoprolol ((Met), 250 mg/kg/day), on whole heart/cell structure, function and excitation-contraction (EC) coupling in failing (induced by left coronary artery (LCA) ligation), and unloaded (induced by heterotopic abdominal heart transplantation (HATx)) failing rat hearts. Combined Cl+Met therapy displayed favourable effects in HF: Met enhanced Cl's improvement in ejection fraction (EF) whilst preventing Cl-induced hypertrophy and tachycardia. During MU combined therapy was less beneficial than either mono-therapy. Met, not Cl, prevented MU-induced myocardial atrophy, with increased atrophy occurring during combined therapy. MU-induced recovery of Ca2+ transient amplitude, speed of Ca2+ release and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ content was enhanced equally by Cl or Met mono-therapy, but these benefits, together with Cl's enhancement of sarcomeric contraction speed, and MU-induced recovery of Ca2+ spark frequency, disappeared during combined therapy.
Combined Cl+Met therapy shows superior functional effects to mono-therapy in rodent HF, but appears inferior to either mono-therapy in enhancing MU-induced recovery of EC coupling. These results suggest that combined β2-AR simulation +β1-AR blockade therapy is likely to be a safe and beneficial therapeutic HF strategy, but is not as effective as mono-therapy in enhancing myocardial recovery during LVAD support.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of chronic treatment with the beta 2 adrenergic receptor agonist clenbuterol on endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) in a well-characterized model of heart failure, the muscle LIM protein knockout (MLP−/−) mouse. MLP−/−mice were treated daily with clenbuterol (2 mg/kg) or saline subcutaneously for 6 weeks. Clenbuterol led to a 30% increase in CD31+ cells in the bone marrow of MLP−/− heart failure mice (p<0.004). Clenbuterol did not improve ejection fraction. Clenbuterol treatment in MLP−/− mice was associated with significant changes in the following circulating factors: tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-type 1, leukemia inhibitory factor 1, C-reactive protein, apolipoprotein A1, fibroblast growth factor 2, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, macrophage-derived chemokine, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-3. Clen-buterol treatment in the MLP−/− model of heart failure did not rescue heart function, yet did increase CD31+ cells in the bone marrow. This is the first evidence that a beta 2 agonist increases EPC proliferation in the bone marrow in a preclinical model of heart failure.
Clenbuterol; Heart Failure; Muscle LIM Protein; Beta 2 Adrenergic Receptor; Endothelial Progenitor Cell
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare but debilitating disease, which if left untreated rapidly progresses to right ventricular failure and eventually death. In the quest to understand the pathogenesis of this disease differences in the profile, expression and action of vasoactive substances released by the endothelium have been identified in patients with PAH. Of these, endothelin-1 (ET-1) is of particular interest since it is known to be an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor and also involved in vascular remodelling. Identification of ET-1 as a target for pharmacological intervention has lead to the discovery of a number of compounds that can block the receptors via which ET-1 mediates its effects. This review sets out the evidence in support of a role for ET-1 in the onset and progression of the disease and reviews the data from the various clinical trials of ET-1 receptor antagonists for the treatment of PAH.
The aortic valve lies in a unique hemodynamic environment, one characterized by a range of stresses (shear stress, bending forces, loading forces and strain) that vary in intensity and direction throughout the cardiac cycle. Yet, despite its changing environment, the aortic valve opens and closes over 100,000 times a day and, in the majority of human beings, will function normally over a lifespan of 70–90 years. Until relatively recently heart valves were considered passive structures that play no active role in the functioning of a valve, or in the maintenance of its integrity and durability. However, through clinical experience and basic research the aortic valve can now be characterized as a living, dynamic organ with the capacity to adapt to its complex mechanical and biomechanical environment through active and passive communication between its constituent parts. The clinical relevance of a living valve substitute in patients requiring aortic valve replacement has been confirmed. This highlights the importance of using tissue engineering to develop heart valve substitutes containing living cells which have the ability to assume the complex functioning of the native valve.
Cells; endothelium; nerves; developmental biology; mechanobiology; nanostructure aortic stenosis; calcification
The transverse (t)-tubule system plays an essential role in healthy and diseased heart muscle, particularly in Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR), and its structural disruption is an early event in heart failure. Both mechanical overload and unloading alter t-tubule structure, but the mechanisms mediating the normally tight regulation of the t-tubules in response to load variation are poorly understood. Telethonin (Tcap) is a stretch-sensitive Z-disc protein that binds to proteins in the t-tubule membrane. To assess its role in regulating t-tubule structure and function, we used Tcap knockout (KO) mice and investigated cardiomyocyte t-tubule and cell structure and CICR over time and following mechanical overload.
In cardiomyocytes from 3-month-old KO (3mKO), there were isolated t-tubule defects and Ca2+ transient dysynchrony without whole heart and cellular dysfunction. Ca2+ spark frequency more than doubled in 3mKO. At 8 months of age (8mKO), cardiomyocytes showed progressive loss of t-tubules and remodelling of the cell surface, with prolonged and dysynchronous Ca2+ transients. Ca2+ spark frequency was elevated and the L-type Ca2+ channel was depressed at 8 months only.
After mechanical overload obtained by aortic banding constriction, the Ca2+ transient was prolonged in both wild type and KO. Mechanical overload increased the Ca2+ spark frequency in KO alone, where there was also significantly more t-tubule loss, with a greater deterioration in t-tubule regularity. In conjunction, Tcap KO showed severe loss of cell surface ultrastructure. These data suggest that Tcap is a critical, load-sensitive regulator of t-tubule structure and function.
The recent ability to create detailed 3D models of the atrial and ventricular chambers using CT, MRI and rapid prototyping offers unique opportunities to study the size and shape of the different cardiac chambers both before and following operation for complex cardiac anomalies. We here describe the techniques for creating detailed 3D models of the heart and demonstrate the utility of these techniques in a patient studied after the Mustard operation. This can give important insights into the changes in size and shape of the different chambers and the patterns of blood flow from the pulmonary and systemic veins to the ‘appropriate’ ventricle. This information in turn could be extremely helpful in understanding and optimizing the overall hemodynamic function after the Mustard operation.
The symposium “The Unstable Plaque: From Molecules to the Community” was sponsored by The Aswan Heart Centre in El Gouna, Egypt, on February 1–3, 2013, as the third installment of the Centre's Science and Practice series. This 3-day symposium delved into the pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment of acute coronary syndromes, bringing together leading international experts who bridged the spectrum of epidemiology, molecular mechanisms, clinical trials, and clinical practice.
Abstract: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a progressive inherited heart disease characterized by ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death especially in the young. ARVC has been traditionally associated with the Mediterranean basin, as many seminal studies on the disease have originated from research groups of this region. Today, however, numerous ARVC registries from all over the world emphasize that the disease does not have a specific racial or geographical predilection. This work provides a review on the global perspective of ARVC.
Objectives: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) represents a generalized myopathic process affecting both ventricular and atrial myocardium. We assessed the global and regional left atrial (LA) function and its relation to left ventricular (LV) mechanics and clinical status in patients with HCM using Vector Velocity Imaging (VVI). Methods: VVI of the LA and LV was acquired from apical four- and two-chamber views of 108 HCM patients (age 40 ± 19years, 56.5% men) and 33 healthy subjects, all had normal LV systolic function. The LA subendocardium was traced to obtain atrial volumes, ejection fraction, velocities, and strain (ϵ)/strain rate (SR) measurements. Results: Left atrial reservoir (ϵsys,SRsys) and conduit (early diastolic SRe) function were significantly reduced in HCM compared to controls (P < .0001). Left atrial deformation directly correlated to LVϵsys, SRsys and negatively correlated to age, NYHA class, left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) gradient, left ventricular mass index (LVMI), LA volume index and severity of mitral regurge (P < 0.001). Receiver operating characterist was constructed to explore the cutoff value of LA deformation in differentiation of LA dysfunction; ϵsys < 40% was 75% sensitive, 50% specific, SRsys < 1.7s− 1 was 70% sensitive, 61% specific, SRe> − 1.8s− 1 was 81% sensitive and 30% specific, SRa> − 1.5s− 1 was 73% sensitive and 40% specific. By multivariate analysis global LVϵsys and LV septal thickness are independent predictors for LAϵsys, while end systolic diameter is the only independent predictor for SRsys, P < .001. Conclusion: Left atrial reservoir and conduit function as measured by VVI were significantly impaired while contractile function was preserved among HCM patients. Left atrial deformation was greatly influenced by LV mechanics and correlated to severity of phenotype.
left atrial deformation; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; vector velocity imaging
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) with prolapse of the right coronary cusp and aortic regurgitation can be managed surgically with the anatomical correction technique. However when the VSD is located underneath the non coronary cusp surgical management differs due to anatomical constraints and secondary pathological changes seen in the non coronary cusp. It is therefore important that the location of the VSD and the morphology of prolapsing cusp be characterised preoperatively in order to plan appropriate surgical repair. We present a case study in which we discuss the salient differences in the surgical management of the prolapsing right and the prolapsing non coronary cusps.
aortic regurgitation; ventricular septal defect; aortic cusp prolapse; sinus of valsalva
Designing of biologically active scaffolds with optimal characteristics is one of the key factors for successful tissue engineering. Recently, hydrogels have received a considerable interest as leading candidates for engineered tissue scaffolds due to their unique compositional and structural similarities to the natural extracellular matrix, in addition to their desirable framework for cellular proliferation and survival. More recently, the ability to control the shape, porosity, surface morphology, and size of hydrogel scaffolds has created new opportunities to overcome various challenges in tissue engineering such as vascularization, tissue architecture and simultaneous seeding of multiple cells. This review provides an overview of the different types of hydrogels, the approaches that can be used to fabricate hydrogel matrices with specific features and the recent applications of hydrogels in tissue engineering. Special attention was given to the various design considerations for an efficient hydrogel scaffold in tissue engineering. Also, the challenges associated with the use of hydrogel scaffolds were described.
hydrogels; scaffolds; biodegradability; bioadhesion; biocompatibility, tissue engineering
In this paper, the development of a fully implantable wireless sensor able to provide continuous real-time accurate pressure measurements is presented. Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology was used to deposit resonators on crystalline quartz wafers; the wafers were then assembled to produce a pressure sensitive device. Excitation and reading via a miniature antenna attached to the pressure sensor enables continuous external interrogation. The main advantages of such a configuration are the long term stability of quartz and the low power necessary for the interrogation, which allows 24/7 interrogation by means of a hand-held, battery powered device. Such data are of vital importance to clinicians monitoring and treating the effects of hypertension and heart failure. A prototype was designed and tested using both a bio-phantom test rig and an animal model. The pressure traces for both compare very well with a commercially available catheter tip pressure transducer. The work presented in this paper is the first known wireless pressure data from the left ventricle of the heart of a living swine.
SAW; Pressure sensor; Implantable; Patient monitoring; Telemetry; Telemedicine; Heart; Wireless
Cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) is a multi-domain (C0–C10) protein that regulates heart muscle contraction through interaction with myosin, actin and other sarcomeric proteins. Several mutations of this protein cause familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Domain C1 of cMyBP-C plays a central role in protein interactions with actin and myosin. Here, we studied structure-function relationship of three disease causing mutations, Arg177His, Ala216Thr and Glu258Lys of the domain C1 using computational biology techniques with its available X-ray crystal structure. The results suggest that each mutation could affect structural properties of the domain C1, and hence it’s structural integrity through modifying intra-molecular arrangements in a distinct mode. The mutations also change surface charge distributions, which could impact the binding of C1 with other sarcomeric proteins thereby affecting contractile function. These structural consequences of the C1 mutants could be valuable to understand the molecular mechanisms for the disease.
As waiting lists for lung transplantation are ever increasing, the number of organ donors is not able to keep pace with it. Living donor lobar lung transplantation is a source of organs which could be lifesaving in end-stage lung disease patients who cannot wait for cadaveric organs due to deteriorating lung function and clinical condition. Two young women with end stage cystic fibrosis received lobes from their relatives and an altruistic friend. They are surviving for more than 12 and 14 years with good lung functions.
Live related donor lobar lung transplantation; Live donor lobar lung transplantation; Lung transplantation
Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CM) have been widely proposed as in vitro models of myocardial physiology and disease. A significant obstacle, however, is their immature phenotype. We hypothesised that Ca2+ cycling of iPSC-CM is influenced by culture conditions and can be manipulated to obtain a more mature cellular behaviour. To test this hypothesis we seeded iPSC-CM onto fibronectin coated microgrooved polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) scaffolds fabricated using photolithography, or onto unstructured PDMS membrane. After two weeks in culture, the structure and function of iPSC-CM were studied. PDMS microgrooved culture substrates brought about cellular alignment (p < 0.0001) and more organised sarcomere. The Ca2+ cycling properties of iPSC-CM cultured on these substrates were significantly altered with a shorter time to peak amplitude (p = 0.0002 at 1 Hz), and more organised sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release in response to caffeine (p < 0.0001), suggesting improved SR Ca2+ cycling. These changes were not associated with modifications in gene expression. Whilst structured tissue culture may make iPSC-CM more representative of adult myocardium, further construct development and characterisation is required to optimise iPSC-CM as a model of adult myocardium.
Calcium cycling; Cardiac tissue engineering; Electrophysiology; Micropatterning; Polydimethylsiloxane; Stem cells
The present study comprised sarcomeric genotyping of the three most commonly involved sarcomeric genes: MYBPC3, MYH7, and TNNT2 in 192 unrelated Egyptian hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) index patients. Mutations were detected in 40 % of cases. Presence of positive family history was significantly (p = 0.002) associated with a higher genetic positive yield (49/78, 62.8 %). The majority of the detected mutations in the three sarcomeric genes were novel (40/62, 65 %) and mostly private (47/62, 77 %). Single nucleotide substitution was the most frequently detected mutation type (51/62, 82 %). Over three quarters of these substitutions (21/27, 78 %) involved CpG dinucleotide sites and resulted from C > T or G > A transition in the three analyzed genes, highlighting the significance of CpG high mutability within the sarcomeric genes examined. This study could aid in global comparative studies in different ethnic populations and constitutes an important step in the evolution of the integrated clinical, translational, and basic science HCM program.
Sarcomeric genotyping; HCM genetics; Egypt
Valve interstitial cells populate aortic valve cusps and have been implicated in aortic valve calcification. Here we investigate a common in vitro model for aortic valve calcification by characterizing nodule formation in porcine aortic valve interstitial cells (PAVICs) cultured in osteogenic (OST) medium supplemented with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1). Using a combination of materials science and biological techniques, we investigate the relevance of PAVICs nodules in modeling the mineralised material produced in calcified aortic valve disease. PAVICs were grown in OST medium supplemented with TGF-β1 (OST+TGF-β1) or basal (CTL) medium for up to 21 days. Murine calvarial osteoblasts (MOBs) were grown in OST medium for 28 days as a known mineralizing model for comparison. PAVICs grown in OST+TGF-β1 produced nodular structures staining positive for calcium content; however, micro-Raman spectroscopy allowed live, noninvasive imaging that showed an absence of mineralized material, which was readily identified in nodules formed by MOBs and has been identified in human valves. Gene expression analysis, immunostaining, and transmission electron microscopy imaging revealed that PAVICs grown in OST+TGF-β1 medium produced abundant extracellular matrix via the upregulation of the gene for Type I Collagen. PAVICs, nevertheless, did not appear to further transdifferentiate to osteoblasts. Our results demonstrate that ‘calcified’ nodules formed from PAVICs grown in OST+TGF-β1 medium do not mineralize after 21 days in culture, but rather they express a myofibroblast-like phenotype and produce a collagen-rich extracellular matrix. This study clarifies further the role of PAVICs as a model of calcification of the human aortic valve.