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1.  High sensitive troponin T and heart fatty acid binding protein: Novel biomarker in heart failure with normal ejection fraction?: A cross-sectional study 
High sensitive troponin T (hsTnT) and heart fatty acid binding protein (hFABP) are both markers of myocardial injury and predict adverse outcome in patients with systolic heart failure (SHF). We tested whether hsTnT and hFABP plasma levels are elevated in patients with heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFnEF).
We analyzed hsTnT, hFABP and N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide in 130 patients comprising 49 HFnEF patients, 51 patients with asymptomatic left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD), and 30 controls with normal diastolic function. Patients were classified to have HFnEF when the diagnostic criteria as recommended by the European Society of Cardiology were met.
Levels of hs TnT and hFABP were significantly higher in patients with asymptomatic LVDD and HFnEF (both p < 0.001) compared to controls. The hsTnT levels were 5.6 [0.0-9.8] pg/ml in LVDD vs. 8.5 [3.9-17.5] pg/ml in HFnEF vs. <0.03 [< 0.03-6.4] pg/ml in controls; hFABP levels were 3029 [2533-3761] pg/ml in LVDD vs. 3669 [2918-4839] pg/ml in HFnEF vs. 2361 [1860-3081] pg/ml in controls. Furthermore, hsTnT and hFABP levels were higher in subjects with HFnEF compared to LVDD (p = 0.015 and p = 0.022).
In HFnEF patients, hsTnT and hFABP are elevated independent of coronary artery disease, suggesting that ongoing myocardial damage plays a critical role in the pathophysiology. A combination of biomarkers and echocardiographic parameters might improve diagnostic accuracy and risk stratification of patients with HFnEF.
PMCID: PMC3146933  PMID: 21729325
2.  Limiting esophageal temperature in radiofrequency ablation of left atrial tachyarrhythmias results in low incidence of thermal esophageal lesions 
Atrio-esophageal fistula formation following radiofrequency ablation of left atrial tachyarrhythmias is a rare but devastating complication. Esophageal injuries are believed to be precursors of fistula formation and reported to occur in up to 47% of patients. This study investigates the incidence of esophageal lesions when real time esophageal temperature monitoring and temperature limitation is used.
184 consecutive patients underwent open irrigated radiofrequency ablation of left atrial tachyarrhythmias. An esophageal temperature probe consisting of three independent thermocouples was used for temperature monitoring. A temperature limit of 40°C was defined to interrupt energy delivery. All patients underwent esophageal endoscopy the next day.
Endoscopy revealed ulcer formation in 3/184 patients (1.6%). No patient developed atrio-esophageal fistula. Patient and disease characteristics had no influence on ulcer formation. The temperature threshold of 40°C was reached in 157/184 patients. A temperature overshoot after cessation of energy delivery was observed frequently. The mean maximal temperature was 40.8°C. Using a multiple regression analysis creating a box lesion that implies superior- and inferior lines at the posterior wall connecting the right and left encircling was an independent predictor of temperature. Six month follow-up showed an overall success rate of 78% documented as sinus rhythm in seven-day holter ECG.
Limitation of esophageal temperature to 40°C is associated with the lowest incidence of esophageal lesion formation published so far. This approach may contribute to increase the safety profile of radiofrequency ablation in the left atrium.
PMCID: PMC2987899  PMID: 20977747
3.  Variation in the human soluble epoxide hydrolase gene and risk of restenosis after percutaneous coronary intervention 
Restenosis represents the major limiting factor for the long-term efficacy of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Several genetic factors involved in the regulation of the vascular system have been described to play a role in the pathogenesis of restenosis. We investigated whether the EPHX2 K55R polymorphism, previously linked to significantly higher risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), was associated with the occurrence of restenosis after PCI. The association with incident CHD should have been confirmed and a potential correlation of the EPHX2 K55R variant to an increased risk of hypertension was analysed.
An overall cohort of 706 patients was studied: This cohort comprised of 435 CHD patients who had undergone successful PCI. Follow-up coronary angiography in all patients was performed 6 months after intervention. Another 271 patients in whom CHD had been excluded by coronary angiography served as controls. From each patient EDTA-blood was drawn at the baseline ward round. Genomic DNA was extracted from these samples and genotyping was performed by real-time PCR and subsequent melting curve analysis.
In CHD patients 6 month follow-up coronary angiography revealed a restenosis rate of 29.4%, classified as late lumen loss as well as lumen re-narrowing ≥ 50%.
Statistical analysis showed an equal genotype distribution in restenosis patients and non-restenosis patients (A/A 82.0% and A/G + G/G 18.0% versus A/A 82.1% and A/G + G/G 17.9%). Moreover, neither a significant difference in the genotype distribution of CHD patients and controls nor an association with increased risk of hypertension was found.
The results of the present study indicate that the EPHX2 K55R polymorphism is not associated with restenosis after PCI, with incidence of CHD, or with an increased risk of hypertension and therefore, can not serve as a predictor for risk of CHD or restenosis after PCI.
PMCID: PMC2767343  PMID: 19814804

Results 1-3 (3)