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1.  Continuous Heliox Breathing and the Extent of Anatomic Zone of Noreflow and Necrosis Following Ischemia/Reperfusion in the Rabbit Heart 
Nitrogen may contribute to reperfusion injury. Some studies have shown that helium as a replacement for nitrogen in breathing gas (heliox) reduces cell necrosis after ischemia/reperfusion when used in a preconditioning fashion (intermittent heliox exposure). Our aim was to test whether heliox, breathed continuously throughout the ischemic and reperfusion periods, reduced necrosis and a marker of reperfusion injury, the no-reflow phenomenon.
Methods and Results:
Anesthetized, open-chest rabbits received 30 min coronary artery occlusion/3 hrs reperfusion. Before CAO rabbits were randomized to heliox (30% oxygen + 70% helium, n=8) or air supplemented with oxygen to achieve blood gas values within physiologic range (n = 8). Rabbits received the appropriate mix during ischemic and reperfusion periods. Infarct size (% risk zone) and no-reflow defect were measured at the end of the reperfusion period. The ischemic risk zone was similar in both groups (28% of left ventricle in heliox and 29% in control). Heliox breathing did not reduce necrosis; infarct size, expressed as a percentage of the risk region was 44±4% in the heliox group and 49±5% in controls, p = 0.68. The extent of the no-reflow defect was not altered by heliox, either expressed as a percent of the risk region (29±4% in heliox and 28±3% in control) or as a percent of the necrotic zone (65±5% in heliox and 59±8% in control).Heliox treatment had no effect on hemodynamic parameters or arterial blood gas values.
Continuous heliox breathing does not appear to be cardioprotective in the setting of acute myocardial infarction in the rabbit model. Heliox respiration administered during 30 minutes of ischemia and 180 minutes of reperfusion did not alter infarct size or the extent of no-reflow.
PMCID: PMC3937439  PMID: 24587834
heliox; no-reflow phenomenon; infarct size; rabbit
2.  Clinical Implication of the Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone Blockers in Chronic Kidney Disease Undergoing Hemodialysis 
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blockers have been widely used in chronic kidney disease patients undergoing hemodialysis; however, whether RAAS blockers have beneficial effects for cardiovascular disease in those patients has not been fully defined. This review focuses on the effects of RAAS blockers in chronic kidney disease undergoing hemodialysis for cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3944431  PMID: 24611082
Hemodialysis; clinical study; renin; angiotensin I; angiotensin II; aldosterone; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor; angiotensin receptor blockers; direct renin inhibitor; cardiovascular disease.
3.  Impact of CYP3A5 Gene Polymorphism on Efficacy of Simvastatin 
Background: One of the promises of human genetics is individualized therapy. Therefore, we evaluated the impact of CYP3A5 gene polymorphism on the effectiveness of simvastatin (a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor). Methods: Patients (n = 191) with hypercholesterolemia were treated with simvastatin for at least 6 months and were genotyped for the CYP3A5 polymorphism. Results: The frequency of CYP3A5 polymorphism was 0.5% for WT (wild-type), 15.6% for HT (heterozygous, expressors) and 83.9% for HM (homozygous, non-expressors). Differences in lipid profile before and after dose-response of simvastatin treatment were described as % difference {[(variable after-variable before)/variable before]*100}. There was a trend towards the decrease of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in HT individuals who had a -35.2% reduction with a dose of 20 mg simvastatin and HM individuals who had a slightly higher decrease (-37.5%) despite the lower dose of simvastatin (10 mg, p = 0.07). Furthermore, HT genotype individuals had significantly higher than expected (6-8%) LDL-C % difference between 20 and 40 mg of simvastatin (-35.2 vs -49.2%, p = 0.037). In individuals with HM genotype a significant LDL-C % difference was found between 10 and 40 mg of simvastatin (-37.5 vs -48.4%, p = 0.023). Conclusion: The individuals with HM polymorphism display a trend towards higher LDL-C reductions compared with HT polymorphism. Within the same genotype, differences between doses were also observed. These findings need to be confirmed in larger studies.
PMCID: PMC3959175  PMID: 24653785
Simvastatin; CYP3A5 gene polymorphism; low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
4.  The Effect of Concomitant Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy on Quality of Life in Patients with Heart Failure Undergoing Cardiac Surgery 
To evaluate the effect of concomitant cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) on health related quality of life (QoL) in patients with heart failure (HF) and ventricular dyssynchrony undergoing cardiac surgery.
Twenty-eight patients received permanent epicardial CRT in connection to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and/or aortic valve replacement (AVR) (CRT group). Thirty-seven HF patients without concomitant CRT served as a comparison group (non-CRT group). SF-36 was used to assess QoL in the two groups and was also compared with the general Swedish population.
The median follow-up time was 28 months after surgery (range 8 to 44 months). No difference in QoL could be shown between the CRT group and the comparison group. Several subscales of QoL in the CRT group were in range with the general Swedish population.
Concomitant CRT for patients with HF and ventricular dyssynchrony undergoing CABG and/or AVR did not result in a higher estimated QoL compared to HF patients without CRT.
PMCID: PMC3963133  PMID: 24665351
Aortic valve replacemen; cardiac resynchronization therapy; coronary artery bypass grafting; heart failure; ven-tricular dyssynchrony; quality of life.
5.  Type F Congenital Quadricuspid Aortic Valve: A Very Rare Case Diagnosed by 3-dimenional Transoesophageal Echocardiography 
Congenital quadricuspid aortic valve (QAV) is a rare cardiac anomaly. Several different anatomical variations of a quadricuspid aortic valve have been described. Aortic regurgitation is the predominant valvular dysfunction associated with QAV and patients tend to present in their 5th or 6th decade of life. This anomaly is rarely picked up by transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE). A comprehensive transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) study is more likely to diagnose it. We describe a very rare type of QAV – Type F in a 52-year-old lady who presented with symptoms of shortness of breath and pre-syncope. We include TOE images and intra-operative valve images.
PMCID: PMC3975634  PMID: 24707324
3D; Aortic Regurgitation; Congenital Heart Disease; Transoesophageal Echocardiography; Type F; Quadricuspid Aortic Valve.
6.  Ex-vivo Assessment of Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis by Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Correlation with Histopathology 
Introduction: In recent years, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as a very promising technique for studying atherosclerotic disease in humans. Aim: In the present study we sought to determine whether MRI allowed for the morphological characterization of the coronary vessel wall and atherosclerotic plaques using histopathological assessment as the reference standard. Methods: The study population consisted of 13 patients who died of acute myocardial infarction and underwent autopsy. The proximal portions of the coronary arteries were excised and were evaluated both by MRI and by histopathology. For each arterial segment, the following parameters were calculated through manual planimetry: 1. total vessel area (TVA); 2. luminal area (LA) and 3. plaque area (PA). Results: A total of 207 coronary artery cross-sections were found to be suitable for analysis by both MRI and histopathology and were included in the final analyses. Both methods demonstrated moderate to good agreement for the quantification of TVA (mean difference = 2.4±2.4 mm2, 95‰ limits of agreement from -2.4 to +7.2 mm2; CCC = 0.69, 95‰ CI from 0.63 to 0.75), LA (mean difference = 0.0±1.7 mm2, 95‰ limits of agreement from -3.3 to + 3.3 mm2; CCC = 0.84, 95‰ CI from 0.80 to 0.88) and PA (mean difference = 2.4±2.4 mm2, 95‰ limits of agreement from -2.3 to + 7.1 mm2; CCC = 0.64, 95‰ CI from 0.58 to 0.71). Conclusion: In this ex vivo experimental model we demonstrated good agreement between coronary artery morphometrical measurements obtained by high-resolution MRI and by histopathology.
PMCID: PMC4021207  PMID: 24847387
Atherosclerosis; coronary artery disease; coronary vessels; histopathology; magnetic resonance imaging.
7.  New Insights into the Management of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk with Angiotensin Receptor Blockers: Observational Studies Help Us? 
Post-marketing observational studies are valuable for establishing the real-world effectiveness of treatment regimens in routine clinical practice as they typically monitor a diverse population of patients over many months. This article reviews recent observational studies of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) for the management of hypertension: the 6-month eprosartan POWER study (n~29,400), the 3-month valsartan translational research programme (n~19,500), the 9-month irbesartan Treat to Target study (n=14,200), the 6-month irbesartan DO-IT survey (n~3300) and the 12-week candesartan CHILI survey programme (n=4600). Reduction in blood pressure with ARBs reported across these studies appears to be comparable for the different agents, although direct comparisons between studies cannot be made owing to different treatment durations and baseline patient demographics. Of these studies, the eprosartan POWER study, 2 of the 7 studies in the valsartan translational research programme, and the candesartan CHILI Triple T study measured total cardiovascular risk, as recommended in the 2013 European Society of Cardiology-European Society of Hypertension guidelines. The POWER study confirmed the value of the Systemic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) to accurately assess total cardiovascular risk.
With the advent of new healthcare practices, such as the use of electronic health records (EHRs), observational studies in larger patient populations will become possible. In the future, algorithms embedded in EHR systems could evolve as decision support tools to inform on patient care.
PMCID: PMC4021208  PMID: 24847388
Angiotensin receptor blockers; blood pressure; candesartan; eprosartan; irbesartan; observational studies; Systemic Coronary Risk Evaluation; valsartan.
8.  Quality of Diabetes Care in Primary Health Centres in North Al-Batinah of Oman 
To assess the quality of diabetic care provided in primary health care settings in Oman.
This was a cross-sectional study of randomly selected 500 patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) attending 6 primary care diabetic clinics in the north Al-Batinah region of Oman from January to December 2010. Nine standards on the quality of diabetes care were audited.
The mean age of the sample was 51±13 years, ranging from 15 to 87 years; the majority (61%) were females. The mean duration of DM was 4±3 years, ranging from 1 to 18 years. Seventy-seven percent of the patients attended diabetic clinics at least 4 times per year. Of the 9 assessed diabetic standards, HbA1c was documented in 33% of the patients, body mass index in 12%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in 40%, urinary albumin:creatinine ratio in 28%, creatinine in 63% and blood pressure (BP) in 96%. Optimal control among the documented indicators was noted in 32, 21, 25, 85, 95 and 19%, respectively. Twenty percent of the patients had their ECGs done while only 39% of the patients had foot examination. No patient had attained control in all of HbA1c., BP and LDL-C.
There is a gap between the recommended DM care guidelines and current practice with consequent poor quality of care in these patients.
PMCID: PMC4093660  PMID: 25024774
Arab; diabetes mellitus; diabetic standards; Oman; quality of care.
9.  Hypertensive Emergency and Type 2 Myocardial Infarction Resulting From Pheochromocytoma and Concurrent Capnocytophaga Canimorsus Infection 
A diagnosis of myocardial infarction is made using a combination of clinical presentation, electrocardiogram and cardiac biomarkers. However, myocardial infarction can be caused by factors other than coronary artery plaque rupture and thrombosis. We describe an interesting case presenting with hypertensive emergency and type 2 myocardial infarction resulting from Pheochromocytoma associated with Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection from a dog bite. We also review current literature on the management of hypertensive emergency and Pheochromocytoma.
PMCID: PMC4093661  PMID: 25024773
Capnocytophaga Canimorsus; Myocardial Infarction; Pheochromocytoma; Systemic Hypertension; Sepsis,.
10.  Comparative Effect of Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin on 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D Levels in Non-diabetic Patients with Dyslipidaemia: A Prospective Randomized Open-label Pilot Study 
Low 25-hydroxy-vitamin D [25(ΟΗ)D] levels have been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Conflicting data exist regarding the effect of statins on [25(OH)D] levels. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of atorvastatin and rosuvastatin on 25(OH)D levels in non-diabetic patients with dyslipidaemia.
This was a prospective randomized open-label study. Patients were assigned to atorvastatin 20 mg⁄day (n=28, age: 56.1±2.2 years, 22 females) or rosuvastatin 10 mg⁄day (n=24, age: 57.4±1.9 years, 20 females). Total cholesterol (TC), low- (LDL-C) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), fasting plasma glucose, insulin, glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels were measured, and homeostatic model of assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated at baseline and 12 weeks post-treatment.
There were no within or between group significant differences in 25(OH)D levels (atorvastatin: 21.7±1.9 ng/ml at baseline and 23.5±2.3 ng/ml at week 12; rosuvastatin: 25.3±1.8 and 27.0±2.4 ng/ml, respectively; p=0.172 and p=0.306 for between groups, respectively). Both statins significantly reduced TC, TG and LDL-C levels, with a greater LDL-C reduction being observed by rosuvastatin.
Atorvastatin and rosuvastatin did not significantly affect 25(OH)D levels in this study.
PMCID: PMC4126186  PMID: 25110531
25(OH)D; atorvastatin; glucose homeostasis; rosuvastatin; systemic inflammation; vitamin D.
11.  Evaluating the Role of Perceived Stress on the Likelihood of Having a Non - Fatal Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Case-Control Study 
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the independent role of perceived stress, measured by the PSS-14, on the likelihood of having acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
This is a case-control study with individual matching by age and sex. During 2010-2012, 250 consecutive patients (60±11 years, 78% men) with a first ACS and 250 population-based, control subjects (60±8.6 years, 77.6% men), were enrolled. Perceived stress levels were evaluated with the PSS-14 scale, depression status was assessed with the Zung Depression Rating Scale, anxiety status with the STAI scale and adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed by the MedDietScore.
Higher perceived stress was associated with increased likelihood of having an ACS, after adjusting for various factors (OR=1.15, %CI 1.11, 1.18). STAI and ZUNG scale were positively associated with the likelihood of having an ACS (OR: 1.27 %CI 1.20-1.34, p<0.001 and OR: 1.49 %CI 1.36-1.63, p<0.001 respectively). Stratified analysis by sex showed a greater impact of perceived stress in men, compared with women (Wald test value 45.65 vs 18.56, respectively). When stratifying by depression levels, the effect of perceived stress on ACS was not significant among depressed individuals. When stratifying by level of anxiety, higher odds of having an ACS was found in the low anxiety group (OR: 1.129, %CI 1.047-1.218).
Perceived stress appears as an independent ACS risk factor, although no causal relationship can be extracted due to the nature of the study. Early recognition and treatment of perceived stress may lead to ACS risk reduction.
PMCID: PMC4141169  PMID: 25152778
Acute coronary syndrome; anxiety; depression; Mediterranean diet; perceived stress; psychosocial.
12.  Acute Coronary Syndrome in the Young: Clinical Characteristics, Risk Factors and Prognosis 
To describe the characteristics of patients ≤40 years of age hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome, analyze the risk factors and identify the variables associated with prognosis.
Case series of patients admitted between 2003 and 2012 inclusive in a tertiary hospital (123 consecutive cases admitted between 2003 and 2012), and case-control study (369 controls selected from the general population matched for sex and age with cases, at a ratio of 3:1). Outcome variables: Mortality, likelihood of survival without readmission for heart-related problems, extent of coronary disease as determined by coronary angiography and cardiovascular risk factors.
Mean age was 35.4±4.8 years and 83.7% of the participants were men. Myocardial infarction with abnormal Q wave (48%) and single-vessel involvement (44.7%) predominated. Intrahospital mortality was 1.6%. For the 108 patients eventually included in the follow-up, likelihood of readmission-free survival after 60 months was 69.3±4.8%. In the case group 36% of the patients admitted to using cocaine. Compared to controls, the prevalence in patients was higher for smoking (74.8 vs 33.1%, p<0001), diabetes (14.6% vs 5.1%, p=0.001), low HDL-cholesterol (82.9 vs 34.1%, p<0.001) and obesity (30.0 vs 20.3%, p=0.029). Decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (odds ratio=2.2, p=0.033) and smoking (odds ratio=7.8, p=0.045) were associated with readmission for coronary syndrome.
Acute coronary syndrome in people younger than 40 years is associated with diabetes and unhealthy lifestyle: smoking, sedentary behavior (low HDL-cholesterol), cocaine use and obesity. The readmission rate is high, and readmission is associated with smoking and decreased ejection fraction.
PMCID: PMC4141177  PMID: 25152777
Acute coronary syndrome; prognosis; risk factors; young age.
13.  Beta-blockers Associated with a Mortality Benefit in Patients with Systolic Dysfunction and Elevated Serum Bilirubin 
Hyperbilirubinemia is associated with increased mortality in heart failure (HF) patients. We evaluated the impact of evidence-based medical therapy, in particular beta-blocker on the survival of patients with HF and hyperbilirubinemia.
Methods and Results:
We reviewed the charts of all patients followed at our tertiary care heart failure clinic. Hyperbilirubinemia was defined as total bilirubin >30 µmol/L (1.5 times the upper limit of our laboratory value). The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. The secondary endpoint was a composite of death, cardiac transplant or ventricular assistance device implantation (VAD). Of 1035 HF patients, 121 patients (11.7%) had hyperbilirubinemia. Median follow-up was 556 days. Hyperbilirubinemia was associated with an eight-fold increase in all-cause mortality, hazard ratio (HR): 8.78[95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 5.89-13.06]. Beta-blocker use was associated with approximately 60% reduction in all-cause mortality (HR: 0.38, 95% CI:0.15-0.94) and 70% reduction in the composite secondary endpoint (HR:0.31, 95% CI:0.13-0.71) in patients with hyperbilirubinemia.
HF patients with hyperbilirubinemia have increased early mortality, need for cardiac transplantation or VAD. Beta-blocker use was associated with early survival benefit in these patients. Bilirubin levels should be monitored in patients with HF and early initiation of beta-blockers in patients with hyperbilirubinemia should be considered.
PMCID: PMC4168649  PMID: 25246987
Beta-blockers; bilirubin; heart Failure; prognosis
14.  Impact of 3 Common ABCA1 Gene Polymorphisms on Optimal vs Non-Optimal Lipid Profile in Greek Young Nurses 
This study is in line with two previous ones from our group. They evaluated the influence of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) gene polymorphisms [such as rs2230806 (R219K), rs2230808 (R1587K) and rs4149313 (I883M)] on the human lipid profile (defined as Optimal and Non-Optimal).
The present study included 447 unrelated young women and men self-reported as being healthy and that attended the University of Nursing of Technological and Educational Institution. All subjects were genotyped and the ABCA1 polymorphisms (R219K, R1587K and I883M) were recorded. According to lipid profile [total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)] the subjects were separated into those with optimal lipid profile (Optimal Group, n=209) and Non-Optimal Group (n=238).
No statistical differences were observed in the distribution of R219K, R1587K and I883M polymorphisms according to the lipid profile (p>0.05 in all cases). No statistical differences were observed in the distribution of R219K, R1587K and I883M polymorphisms according to sex (p>0.05 in all cases). However, Logistic Regression revealed that subjects with RK (R1587K polymorphism) genotype had 69% increased risk on average of having LDL-C above normal limits as compared with those with RR genotype. Similarly, subjects with K allele (R1587K polymorphism) had 59% increased risk on average of having LDL-C above normal limits compared with those with R allele.
These findings suggest that R1587K polymorphism of ABCA1 gene may influence the lipid profile. However, this needs to be confirmed by larger studies.
PMCID: PMC4181169  PMID: 25279016
ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 gene; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; lipid profile; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; polymorphisms; triglycerides.
15.  Design and Rationale of Gulf locals with Acute Coronary Syndrome Events (Gulf Coast) Registry 
To describe the risk profile, management and one-year outcomes of patients hospitalized with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the Gulf region of the Middle East.
Subjects and Methods:
The Gulf locals with acute coronary syndrome events (Gulf COAST) registry is a prospective, multinational, longitudinal, observational, cohort-based registry of consecutive citizens, from the Gulf region of the Middle East, admitted from January 2012 to January 2013 to 29 hospitals with a diagnosis of ACS. Data entered online included patient demographics, cardiovascular risk profiles, past medical history, physical findings on admission, in-hospital diagnostic tests and therapeutic management, as well as one year outcomes.
3188 patients were recruited. The mean age was 60.4 ± 12.6years (range: 22-112), 2104 (66%) were males and 1084 (34%) females. The discharge diagnosis was ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in 741 (23.2%), new-onset left bundle branch block myocardial infarction (LBBBMI) in 30 (0.9%), non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) in 1486 (46.6%) and unstable angina in 931 (29.2%). At hospital presentation, 2105 (66%), 1779 (55.8%), 1703 (53.4%) and 740 (23.2%) had history of hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus and active smoking, respectively.
Patients with ACS in our region are young with very high risk profile. The Gulf COAST registry is an example of successful regional collaboration and will provide information on contemporary management of ACS in the region.
PMCID: PMC4197526  PMID: 25328551
Acute coronary syndromes; Gulf; Middle East; registries.
16.  Gaps in Medical and Device Therapy for Patients with Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction: The EchoGap Study 
To assess gaps between guidelines and medicine prescription/dosing and referral for defibrillator therapy in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD).
Outpatient echocardiography reports at an academic hospital centre were screened and outpatients with LVEF<40% were included. A questionnaire was mailed to the patients’ physician, querying prescription/dosing of ACE-inhibitors (ACEi), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) and beta-blockers (BB). Patients with LVEF<30% had additional questions on implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) referral.
Mean age was 69.6+/-12.2 years and mean LVEF was 29.7+/-6.5%. ACEi and/or ARB prescription rate was 260/309(84.1%) versus 256/308(83.1%) for BB (p=NS for comparison). Of patients on ACEi, 77/183(42.1%) were on target dose, compared to 7/45(15.5%) for ARB and 9/254(3.5%) for BB (p<0.01). Of 171/309 patients (55.3%) with LVEF<30%, 72/171(42.1%) had an ICD and 16/171(9.4%) were referred for one.
Prescription rates of evidence-based HF medicines are relatively high in outpatients with LVSD referred for echocardiography at this Canadian academic medical centre; however, the proportion of patients at target doses was modest for ACEi and low for ARB and BB. Approximately half of patients who qualify for ICD by EF alone have one or were referred. Important reasons for patients with LVSD not on evidence-based therapy were identified.
PMCID: PMC4205776  PMID: 25343000
Echocardiography; Evidence-based Medicine; Left Ventricular Dysfunction; Heart Failure; Knowledge Translation; Treatment Gaps.
17.  Tumor Encasement of the Right Coronary Artery: Role of Anatomic and Functional Imaging in Diagnosis and Therapeutic Management 
We presented two rare cases of mediastinal tumor encasing the right coronary artery (RCA), one with recurrent metastatic thymoma and another with primary poorly differentiated neoplasm. Different degrees and locations of RCA involvement were noted. The treatment approach varied from conservative to surgical. Coronary artery involvement by mediastinal tumors is important to be investigated with imaging as it may guide the surgical planning.
PMCID: PMC4241555  PMID: 25422676
Computed Tomography; Right Coronary Artery; Tumor; Vascular Encasement.
18.  Intraobserver and Interobserver Reproducibility for Radial, Circumferential and Longitudinal Strain Echocardiography 
Strain echocardiography (StE) promises to be a new tool for quantitative assessment of cardiac function. Analysis of intra- and interobserver reliability is an important aspect in the process of developing these novel techniques from theory to the implementation into daily routine diagnostics.The purpose of the study was to estimate reliability of the segmental StE.
Left ventricular strain analysis for radial strain (RS), circumferential strain (CS) and longitudinal strain (LS) was performed in 21 healthy volunteers. RS and CS values were obtained in the parasternal short axis at the level of the papillary muscles. LS values were determined in the apical 2-, 3- and 4-chamber views. Cine-loops were recorded and quantitative analyses were conducted on an off-line workstation.
Intraobserver reproducibility was highest using LS in the 4-chamber view (9 ± 13.6 % mean deviation, rho = 0.624, p = 0.003), followed by CS (13.3 ± 8.3 %, rho = 0.406, p = 0.068) and lowest in RS (26.3 ± 30.1 %, rho = 0.391, p = 0.080). Interobserver analyses of LS derived from 3-chamber view showed lowest deviation (11.9 ± 9.5 %, rho = 0.513, p = 0.017), followed by CS (15.2 ± 12.0 %, 0.263, p = 0.249) and the least consistent measurements in RS (35.9 ± 46.3 %, rho 0.382, p = 0.088).
This study shows that the clinical utility of StE depends on the regional differences of LV wall motion and image quality. LS-values showed promising intra- and interobserver reproducibility values. For quantitative follow-up studies LS should be preferred.
PMCID: PMC4211138  PMID: 25356089
Interobserver-varability; intraobserver-variability; reproducibility; strain.
19.  Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation Following Temporary or Permanent Endocardial Lead Insertion, and the Impact of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy 
While some studies indicate that permanent pacemaker implantation is associated with development of tricuspid regurgitation (TR), other studies indicate no association.Little is known about the impact of temporary lead insertion during ablation procedures, or whether therapy (CRT) prevents TR post-device implantation.
We hypothesized that permanent, but nottemporary endocardial leads, are associated with development of TR, and that CRT would prevent (physiologic) TR.
We performed a retrospective study of consecutive patients who underwent first device or radiofrequency catheter ablation over a 12-month period at a single, tertiary academic center who underwent pre- and post-procedure echocardiography.
In the 89 patients in the device group, the degree of TR significantly increased ≥ 1 grade post-permanent lead implantation: 9 had less TR, 46 were unchanged, and 34 had more TR(p=0.005). TR increased in the 62 patients who underwent device implantation without CRT (p=0.005), but did not increase in the 27 patients with CRT (p=0.47). In the 66 patients in the ablation group, there was no significant change in TR post-ablation: 8 had less TR, 48 were unchanged, and 10 had more TR (p=0.31).
Permanent endocardial lead implantation was associated with an increase in TR; however, patients who underwent device implantation with CRT did not have an increase in TR.Temporary lead insertion during ablation was not associated with changes in the degree of TR. A large, prospective study is needed to accurately define the incidence and exact mechanisms of permanent endocardial lead-related TR.
PMCID: PMC4321203
Cardiac resynchronization; echocardiography; implantable cardiac defibrillators; pacemakers; tricuspid regurgitation.
20.  HEALS Hypertension Control Program: Training Church Members as Program Leaders 
Health disparities related to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) including stroke have remained higher in the African-Americans (AAs) than in other populations. HEALS is a faith-based hypertension (HTN) control program modified according to AA community needs, and delivered by the church-lay members called church health advisors (CHAs). This study examined the feasibility and acceptability of training CHAs as HEALS program leaders.
Four CHAs completed a 10-hour HEALS program training workshop at the Church, conducted by the nutrition experts. Workshop was evaluated by CHAs on their level of satisfaction, clarity of contents covered and comfort in delivery the program to the church congregation.
The overall six main HEALS curriculum components were completed. Workshop was highly evaluated by CHAs on length of training, balance between content and skills development, and level of satisfaction with program delivery.
Church-based culturally modified health promotion interventions conducted by the community lay members may be a way to reduce health disparities in ethnic minorities.
PMCID: PMC4323768
African-american; blood pressure; church-based; hypertension.
21.  Increasing Physical Activity of High Intensity to Reduce the Prevalence of Chronic Diseases and Improve Public Health 
High incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases, increasing obesity and inactivity as well as rising health expenditure represent a set of developments that cannot be considered sustainable, and will have dire long-term consequences given the increasing proportion of elderly people in our society. Based on a review of the experiences from previous large scale population-based prevention programs and the documented effects of increased physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness on chronic diseases and its risk factors, we argue that increased physical activity, especially vigorous physical activity, is a major way to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases and improve public health. We conclude that a coordinated population-based intervention program for improved health through increased physical activity in the entire population, with a special focus on high intensity exercise, urgently needs to be implemented nationally and internationally.
PMCID: PMC3582015  PMID: 23459225
Inactivity; physical activity; public health; overweight; intervention; prevention programmes; cardiorespiratory fitness; high intensity.
22.  Braile Vena Cava Filter and Greenfield Filter in Terms of Centralization 
The aim of this study was to evaluate complications experienced during implantation of the Braile Vena Cava filter (VCF) and the efficacy of the centralization mechanism of the filter.
This retrospective cohort study evaluated all Braile Biomédica VCFs implanted from 2004 to 2009 in Hospital de Base Medicine School in São José do Rio Preto, Brazil. Of particular concern was the filter’s symmetry during implantation and complications experienced during the procedure. All the angiographic examinations performed during the implantation of the filters were analyzed in respect to the following parameters: migration of the filter, non-opening or difficulties in the implantation and centralization of the filter.
A total of 112 Braile CVFs were implanted and there were no reports of filter opening difficulties or in respect to migration. Asymmetry was observed in 1/112 (0.9%) cases. A statistically significant difference was seen on comparing historical data on decentralization of the Greenfield filter with the data of this study.
The Braile Biomédico filter is an evolution of the Greenfield filter providing improved embolus capture and better implantation symmetry.
PMCID: PMC3582014  PMID: 23459189
Vena cava filter; Deep venous thrombosis; Pulmonar embolism; Prevention.
23.  Rosuvastatin was Effective in Acute Heart Failure and Slow Coronary Flow: A Hypothesis-generating Case Report 
Slow coronary flow phenomenon (SCFP) is characterized by angiographically normal coronary arteries with delayed run-off of contrast medium across the vasculature. Its etiology and clinical significance are still not completely known; however, acute congestive heart failure (CHF) is rare in this context. A 71 year-old woman with SCFP presented with acute CHF complicated by ventricular tachycardia. Treated with rosuvastatin (20 mg/day for 6 days) and inotropic drug infusion she had a complete recovery of left ventricular function and normalization of serum levels of the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), which were increased (3.6 mg/L) during the acute phase. This case illustrates that the anti-inflammatory properties of rosuvastatin may deserve specific clinical tests not only during the chronic phase but also in the acute phase of CHF patients.
PMCID: PMC3584290  PMID: 23459636
Rosuvastatin; acute heart failure; slow coronary flow.
24.  Retroperitoneal Hemorrhage as a Complication of Percutaneous Intervention: Report of 2 Cases and Review of the Literature 
Retroperitoneal hemorrhage (RPH) is an infrequent but serious complication of transfemoral percutaneous procedures. We present 2 cases and review the literature regarding the incidence, risk factors, clinical features and complications of RPH. We propose a management strategy for this problem emphasizing an anatomical based interventional approach if the patient does not stabilize with volume resuscitation.
PMCID: PMC3617546  PMID: 23569466
Femoral artery access complications; Retroperitoneal hemorrhage.
25.  Characteristics of Heart Rate Reduction with Resumption of Supine Position in the Postural Tachycardia Syndrome: Factors Influencing Recovery 
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a heart rate (HR) rise with upright positioning, is dependent on autonomic influences. HR recovery (HR decrease after exercise cessation) is a measure of autonomic function. Characteristics of HR reduction during supine Recovery after head-up Tilt in POTS patients have not been elucidated.
113 subjects (mean age 41.7 years, 86 female), diagnosed with POTS on head-up Tilt were analyzed. HR’s were recorded during baseline supine position, 70-degree Tilt, and 20 sec, 1 min and 2 min of supine Recovery. Percent HR reduction during Recovery was calculated.
Baseline HR was 68.7±13.4 bpm. Maximum HR during Tilt was 109±16.9 bpm. Mean HR was 84.2±20 bpm at 20 sec, 78.5±18.9 bpm at 1-min, and 77.1±18.3 bpm at 2 min of Recovery. Younger age and slower baseline HR were associated with greater HR reductions at 20 sec (p=0.006, p=0.000, respectively). Younger age, slower baseline HR and less time to achieve POTS were associated with greater HR reductions at 1 min (p=0.025, p=0.000, p=0.000, respectively) and at 2 min (p=0.004, p=0.000, p=0.000, respectively). Gender and baseline blood pressures were not significant.
In POTS patients, HR quickly decreases upon resuming supine position. Younger age, slower baseline HR and less time to achieve POTS were associated with greater HR reductions during supine Recovery. Further study is needed to determine mechanisms, as well as analyze differences in symptoms or prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3680982  PMID: 23802020
Heart Rate Recovery; Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome; Tilt Table Test; Syncope.

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