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1.  Additive Effect of Anemia and Renal Impairment on Long-Term Outcome after Percutaneous Coronary Intervention 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114846.
Anemia and renal impairment are important co-morbidities among patients with coronary artery disease undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). Disease progression to eventual death can be understood as the combined effect of baseline characteristics and intermediate outcomes.
Using data from a prospective cohort study, we investigated clinical pathways reflecting the transitions from PCI through intermediate ischemic or hemorrhagic events to all-cause mortality in a multi-state analysis as a function of anemia (hemoglobin concentration <120 g/l and <130 g/l, for women and men, respectively) and renal impairment (creatinine clearance <60 ml/min) at baseline.
Among 6029 patients undergoing PCI, anemia and renal impairment were observed isolated or in combination in 990 (16.4%), 384 (6.4%), and 309 (5.1%) patients, respectively. The most frequent transition was from PCI to death (6.7%, 95% CI 6.1–7.3), followed by ischemic events (4.8%, 95 CI 4.3–5.4) and bleeding (3.4%, 95% CI 3.0–3.9). Among patients with both anemia and renal impairment, the risk of death was increased 4-fold as compared to the reference group (HR 3.9, 95% CI 2.9–5.4) and roughly doubled as compared to patients with either anemia (HR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3–2.2) or renal impairment (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.5–2.9) alone. Hazard ratios indicated an increased risk of bleeding in all three groups compared to patients with neither anemia nor renal impairment.
Applying a multi-state model we found evidence for a gradient of risk for the composite of bleeding, ischemic events, or death as a function of hemoglobin value and estimated glomerular filtration rate at baseline.
PMCID: PMC4260949  PMID: 25489846
2.  The Impact of Renal Impairment on Long-Term Safety and Effectiveness of Drug-Eluting Stents 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106450.
Renal impairment (RI) is associated with impaired prognosis in patients with coronary artery disease. Clinical and angiographic outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with the use of drug-eluting stents (DES) in this patient population are not well established.
We pooled individual data for 5,011 patients from 3 trials with the exclusive and unrestricted use of DES (SIRTAX - N = 1,012, LEADERS - N = 1,707, RESOLUTE AC - N = 2,292). Angiographic follow-up was available for 1,544 lesions. Outcomes through 2 years were stratified according to glomerular filtration rate (normal renal function: GFR≥90 ml/min; mild RI: 90
Patients with moderate/severe RI had an increased risk of cardiac death or myocardial infarction ([MI], OR 2.14, 95%CI 1.36–3.36), cardiac death (OR 2.21, 95%CI 1.10–4.46), and MI (OR 2.02, 95%CI 1.19–3.43) compared with patients with normal renal function at 2 years follow-up. There was no difference in cardiac death or MI between patients with mild RI compared to those with normal renal function (OR 1.10, 95%CI 0.75–1.61). The risk of target-lesion revascularization was similar for patients with moderate/severe RI (OR 1.17, 95%CI 0.70–1.95) and mild RI (OR 1.16, 95%CI 0.81–1.64) compared with patients with normal renal function. In-stent late loss and in-segment restenosis were not different for patients with moderate/severe RI, mild RI, and normal renal function.
Renal function does not affect clinical and angiographic effectiveness of DES. However, prognosis remains impaired among patients with moderate/severe RI.
PMCID: PMC4153613  PMID: 25184244
Open Heart  2014;1(1):e000014.
Concurrent cardiac diseases are frequent among elderly patients and invite simultaneous treatment to ensure an overall favourable patient outcome.
To investigate the feasibility of combined single-session percutaneous cardiac interventions in the era of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
This prospective, case–control study included 10 consecutive patients treated with TAVI, left atrial appendage occlusion and percutaneous coronary interventions. Some in addition had patent foramen ovale or atrial septal defect closure in the same session. The patients were matched in a 1:10 manner with TAVI-only cases treated within the same time period at the same institution regarding their baseline factors. The outcome was validated according to the Valve Academic Research Consortium (VARC) criteria.
Procedural time (126±42 vs 83±40 min, p=0.0016), radiation time (34±8 vs 22±12 min, p=0.0001) and contrast dye (397±89 vs 250±105 mL, p<0.0001) were higher in the combined intervention group than in the TAVI-only group. Despite these drawbacks, no difference in the VARC endpoints was evident during the in-hospital period and after 30 days (VARC combined safety endpoint 32% for TAVI only and 20% for combined intervention, p=1.0).
Transcatheter treatment of combined cardiac diseases is feasible even in a single session in a high-volume centre with experienced operators.
PMCID: PMC4195934  PMID: 25332781
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001616.
To evaluate a protocol for a population-based programme targeting the prevention of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) progression by early echocardiographic diagnosis of valvular lesions and timely implementation of secondary prevention.
Observational survey with a subsequent prospective cohort study.
Private boarding school in the urban area of the Sunsari district situated on the foothills of the Lower Himalayan Range in Eastern Nepal.
Fifty-four unselected school-going children 5–15 years of age, 24 girls and 30 boys.
Primary outcome measure
Logistic feasibility of a large-scale population-based screening study using the echocardiographic criteria formulated by the World Heart Federation, with longitudinal follow-up of children with definite or borderline RHD in a prospective cohort study.
Standardised interview, physical examination and screening echocardiography were performed in a three-staged process and took approximately 6 min per child. Socio-economic status was assessed using surrogate markers such as the occupation of the primary caregiver, numbers of rooms at home, car, television, cell phone and internet connection. Physical examination was focused on cardiac auscultation and signs of acute rheumatic fever and targeted echocardiography was performed by an independent examiner without knowledge of the clinical findings. Two children with evidence of borderline RHD were re-examined at B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences and the indication for secondary antibiotic prevention was discussed with the parents and the children. At 6 months of follow-up, echocardiographic findings were stable in both children. Implementation of secondary antibiotic prevention was challenged by impaired awareness of subclinical RHD among parents and inadequate cooperation with family physicians.
This pilot study shows that the methods outlined in the protocol can be translated into a large-scale population-based study. We learned that education and collaboration with teachers, parents and family physicians/paediatricians will be of key importance in order to establish a sustainable programme.
PMCID: PMC3488717  PMID: 23087010
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001320.
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) remains a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in developing countries. The reported prevalence rates of RHD are highly variable and mainly attributable to differences in the sensitivity of either clinical screening to detect advanced heart disease or echocardiographic evaluation where disease is diagnosed earlier across a continuous spectrum. The clinical significance of diagnosis of subclinical RHD by echocardiographic screening and early implementation of secondary prevention has not been clearly established.
Methods and analysis
The authors designed a cross-sectional survey to determine the prevalence of RHD in children from private and public schools between the age of 5 and 15 years in urban and rural areas of Eastern Nepal using both cardiac auscultation and echocardiographic evaluation. Children with RHD will be treated with secondary prevention and enrolled in a prospective cohort study. The authors will compare the prevalence rates by cardiac auscultation and echocardiography, determine risk factors associated with diagnosis and progression of RHD, investigate social and economic barriers for receiving adequate cardiac care and assess clinical outcomes with regular medical surveillance as a function of stage of disease at the time of diagnosis. Prospective clinical studies investigating the impact of secondary prevention for subclinical RHD on long-term clinical outcome will be of central relevance for future health resource utilisation in developing countries.
Ethics and dissemination
The study was considered ethically uncritical and was given an exempt status by the ethics committee at University of Bern, Switzerland. The study has been submitted to the National Nepal Health Research Council and was registered with (NCT01550068). The study findings will be reported in peer-reviewed publications. Identifier
Article summary
Article focus
Study protocol of a population-based evaluation of the prevalence rate of RHD among schoolchildren in Eastern Nepal, with a subsequent prospective longitudinal cohort study assessing long-term clinical outcome of children undergoing secondary prevention for borderline and definite RHD according to the World Heart Federation criteria.
Key messages
RHD remains a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in developing countries.
Echocardiographic screening allows diagnosis of RHD at an earlier stage across a continuous spectrum as compared with cardiac auscultation.
The clinical significance of diagnosis of subclinical RHD by echocardiographic screening and early implementation of secondary prevention has not been clearly established.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The protocol describes a comprehensive approach to implement echocardiographic screening in a high prevalence region as recommended by the WHO and outlines a robust analysis plan to investigate clinical outcome with secondary prevention for subclinical RHD.
Since access to education is a marker of socioeconomic status, restriction of screening to school going children is subjected to selection bias likely to underestimate the real disease burden related to RHD in Eastern Nepal.
Cultural sensitivity with education programmes and focus group discussions will anticipate the potential social stigma of a diagnosis with a heart condition during childhood and increase public awareness.
PMCID: PMC3371575  PMID: 22685225
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27556.
Reduced left ventricular function in patients with severe symptomatic valvular aortic stenosis is associated with impaired clinical outcome in patients undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) has been shown non-inferior to SAVR in high-risk patients with respect to mortality and may result in faster left ventricular recovery.
We investigated clinical outcomes of high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis undergoing medical treatment (n = 71) or TAVI (n = 256) stratified by left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in a prospective single center registry.
Twenty-five patients (35%) among the medical cohort were found to have an LVEF≤30% (mean 26.7±4.1%) and 37 patients (14%) among the TAVI patients (mean 25.2±4.4%). Estimated peri-interventional risk as assessed by logistic EuroSCORE was significantly higher in patients with severely impaired LVEF as compared to patients with LVEF>30% (medical/TAVI 38.5±13.8%/40.6±16.4% versus medical/TAVI 22.5±10.8%/22.1±12.8%, p <0.001). In patients undergoing TAVI, there was no significant difference in the combined endpoint of death, myocardial infarction, major stroke, life-threatening bleeding, major access-site complications, valvular re-intervention, or renal failure at 30 days between the two groups (21.0% versus 27.0%, p = 0.40). After TAVI, patients with LVEF≤30% experienced a rapid improvement in LVEF (from 25±4% to 34±10% at discharge, p = 0.002) associated with improved NYHA functional class at 30 days (decrease ≥1 NYHA class in 95%). During long-term follow-up no difference in survival was observed in patients undergoing TAVI irrespective of baseline LVEF (p = 0.29), whereas there was a significantly higher mortality in medically treated patients with severely reduced LVEF (log rank p = 0.001).
TAVI in patients with severely reduced left ventricular function may be performed safely and is associated with rapid recovery of systolic left ventricular function and heart failure symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3213147  PMID: 22102909

Results 1-6 (6)