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1.  The effect of cardiac rehabilitation on anxiety and depression in patients undergoing cardiac bypass graft surgery in Iran 
Many patients experience anxiety and depression after cardiac bypass surgery.
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of cardiac rehabilitation on anxiety and depression in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting in hospitals affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in southern Iran.
For this randomized controlled trial, 80 patients who met the inclusion criteria were recruited and randomly assigned to case and control groups. Anxiety was measured with the Spielberger Anxiety Scale and depression was measured using Beck’s Depression Inventory at three points in time: on discharge from the hospital, immediately after the intervention, and 2 months after cardiac rehabilitation. After measuring anxiety and depression in both groups upon discharge, the experimental group participated in 8 cardiac rehabilitation sessions over a 4-week period. The control group received only the routine follow-up care.
There was a statistically significant difference in depression scores between groups at all three time-points (Mean score from 19.6 to 10 in the intervention group and from 19.5 to 14 in the control group, P = 0.0014). However, no significant difference was seen in anxiety scores between the groups (Mean score from 37 to 28 in the intervention group and from 38 to 32 in the control group, P = 0.079).
Cardiac rehabilitation was effective in reducing depression 2 months after surgery in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3420238  PMID: 22682391
Coronary artery bypass graft; Anxiety; Depression; Rehabilitation
2.  QT dispersion in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: the impact of disease activity 
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Although autopsy studies have documented that the heart is affected in most SLE patients, clinical manifestations occur in less than 10%. QT dispersion is a new parameter that can be used to assess homogeneity of cardiac repolarization and autonomic function. We compared the increase in QT dispersion in SLE patients with high disease activity and mild or moderate disease activity.
Methods and Results
One hundred twenty-four patients with SLE were enrolled in the study. Complete history and physical exam, ECG, echocardiography, exercise test and SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) were recorded. Twenty patients were excluded on the basis of our exclusion criteria. The patients were divided to two groups based on SLEDAI: 54 in the high-score group (SLEDAI > 10) and 50 in the low-score group (SLEDAI < 10).
QT dispersion was significantly higher in high-score group (58.31 ± 18.66 vs. 47.90 ± 17.41 respectively; P < 0.004). QT dispersion was not significantly higher in patients who had received hydroxychloroquine (54.17 ± 19.36 vs. 50.82 ± 15.96, P = 0.45) or corticosteroids (53.58 ± 19.16 vs. 50.40 + 11.59, P = 0.47). There was a statistically significant correlation between abnormal echocardiographic findings (abnormalities of pericardial effusion, pericarditis, pulmonary hypertension and Libman-Sacks endocarditis) and SLEADI (P < 0.004).
QT dispersion can be a useful, simple noninvasive method for the early detection of cardiac involvement in SLE patients with active disease. Concerning high chance of cardiac involvement, cardiovascular evaluation for every SLE patient with a SLEDAI higher than 10 may be recommended.
Trial registration registration NCT01031797
PMCID: PMC3305358  PMID: 22369270
SLE; Disease activity score; QT dispersion
3.  Clinical significance of retinal emboli during diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac catheterization in patients with coronary artery disease 
Cardiac catheterization may cause retinal embolization, a risk factor for cerebrovascular emboli and stroke. We describe the incidence of clinically silent and apparent retinal emboli following diagnostic and interventional coronary catheterization and associated risk factors.
Three hundred selected patients attending a tertiary referral center for diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac catheterization were studied. Retinal examination and examination of the visual field and acuity were done before and after catheterization by a retinal specialist.
There were 5 case of retinal embolus before catheterization, and 19 patients (incidence 6.3%) developed new retinal arteriolar emboli after catheterization. Only 1 patient developed clinically apparent changes in vision. Two conventional risk factors (age and hypertension) were significantly associated with new retinal emboli. The risk of retinal emboli was also significantly associated with operator expertise.
Retinal embolism was found after coronary catheterization in 6.3% of our patients. This finding indicates that the retinal, and possibly the cerebral circulation, may be compromised more frequently than is clinically apparent as a complication of coronary catheterization. Age and hypertension are independent predictors of retinal embolism.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC3032753  PMID: 21255443
4.  Effect of "no added salt diet" on blood pressure control and 24 hour urinary sodium excretion in mild to moderate hypertension 
The incidence of Hypertension as a major cardiovascular threat is increasing. The best known diet for hypertensives is 'no added salt diet'.
In this study we evaluated the effect of 'no added salt diet' on a hypertensive population with high dietary sodium intake by measuring 24 hour urinary sodium excretion.
In this single center randomized study 80 patients (60 cases and 20 controls) not on any drug therapy for hypertension with mild to moderate hypertension were enrolled. 24 hour holter monitoring of BP and 24 hour urinary sodium excretion were measured before and after 6 weeks of 'no added salt diet'.
There was no statistically significant difference between age, weight, sex, Hyperlipidemia, family history of hypertension, mean systolic and diastolic BP during the day and at night and mean urinary sodium excretion in 24 hour urine of case and control groups. Seventy eight percent of all patients had moderate to high salt intake.
After 6 week of 'no added salt diet' systolic and diastolic BP significantly decreased during the day (mean decrease: 12.1/6.8 mmhg) and at night (mean decrease: 11.1/5.9 mmhg) which is statistically significant in comparison to control group (P 0.001 and 0.01).
Urinary sodium excretion of 24 hour urine decreased by 37.1 meq/d ± 39,67 mg/dl in case group which is statistically significant in comparison to control group (p: 0.001).
Only 36% of the patients, after no added salt diet, reached the pretreatment goal of 24 hour urinary sodium excretion of below 100 meq/dl (P:0.001).
Despite modest effect on dietary sodium restriction, no added salt diet significantly decreased systolic and diastolic BP and so it should be advised to every hypertensive patient.
Trial Registration
Clinicaltrial.govnumber NCT00491881
PMCID: PMC2245976  PMID: 17986327

Results 1-4 (4)