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Open access

Pál Maurovich-Horvat, Milán Vecsey-Nagy, Judit Simon, Bálint Szilveszter, Júlia Karády, Ádám Jermendy and Béla Merkely

Abstract

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from symptomatic, severe aortic valve stenosis. Previously, only patients with prohibitive or high surgical risk were TAVI candidates; however, current guidelines already recommend TAVI as a treatment alternative for patients with intermediate surgical risk. Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) has gained great importance in the periprocedural assessment of patients who undergo TAVI. Due to the three-dimensional image visualization, MDCT allows the evaluation of anatomical structures in a more comprehensive manner compared to echocardiography, the traditional tool used in TAVI patient work-up. By providing accurate measurements of the aortic root, MDCT helps to avoid potential patient-prosthesis mismatch throughout transcatheter valve sizing. Moreover, MDCT is also a feasible tool for access route evaluation and to determine the optimal projection angles for the TAVI procedure. Although the routine MDCT follow-up of patients is currently not recommended in clinical practice, if performed, it could provide invaluable information about valve integrity and asymptomatic leaflet thrombosis. Post-procedural MDCT can provide details about the position of the prosthesis and complications such as leaflet-thrombosis, aortic regurgitation, coronary occlusion, and other vascular complications that can represent major cardiac emergencies. The aim of the current review is to overview the role of MDCT in the pre- and post-procedural assessment of TAVI patients. In the first part, the article presents the role of pre-TAVI imaging in the complex anatomical assessment of the aortic valve and the selection of the most appropriate device. The second part of the review describes the role of MDCT in patients who underwent TAVI to assess potential complications, some of them leading to a major cardiovascular emergency.

Open access

Aura-Gabriela Casu

Abstract

Sudden cardiac death in children is one of the most devastating conditions that can be encountered in acute cardiac care. Intracardiac device therapy, providing prompt and effective treatment in malignant ventricular arrhythmia or in severe conduction abnormalities, is a promising tool to reduce the incidence of this fatal condition. However, the implementation of device-based therapy in the pediatric population is currently limited by the lack of clinical studies on large number of subjects. As a result, indications for device therapy in pediatric patients are still unclear in many circumstances. There are also several particularities related to device implantation in pediatric age, such as the somatic growth leading to a mismatch between chamber size and lead length, or the difficulties of implantation technique in children with small body weight. This study aims to present an update on the current advantages and limitations of device-based therapy for treating severe malignant arrhythmia or conduction disorders in children at risk for sudden cardiac death.

Open access

Adrian Corneliu Iancu, Mihaela Ioana Dregoesc, Aurelia Solomoneanu and Theodora Benedek

Abstract

Patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) complicated with cardiogenic shock (CS) present one of the highest mortality rates recorded in critical care. Mortality rate in this setting is reported around 45-50% even in the most experienced and well-equipped medical centers. The continuous development of ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) networks has led not only to a dramatic decrease in STEMI-related mortality, but also to an increase in the frequency of severely complicated cases who survive to be transferred to tertiary centers for life-saving treatments. The reduced effectiveness of vasoactive drugs on a severely altered hemodynamic status led to the development of new devices dedicated to advanced cardiac support. What’s more, efforts are being made to reduce time from first medical contact to initiation of mechanical support in this particular clinical context. This review aims to summarize the most recent advances in mechanical support devices, in the setting of CS-complicated AMI. At the same time, the review presents several modern concepts in the organization of complex CS centers. These specialized hubs could improve survival in this critical condition.

Open access

Diana Opincariu, Szilamér Korodi and Annabell Benedek

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between left ventricular remodeling, atrial fibrillation (AF), and the severity of ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with ventricular rhythm disturbances admitted in a level 3 facility of acute cardiac care. Material and Methods: The RHYTHM-ACC registry was a single-center observational study, including 150 consecutive patients with sustained or non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (sVT and nsVT, respectively) admitted in an intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU), separated in: group 1 - 29 patients (21.01%) with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and group 2 - 109 patients (78.99%) with normal ventricular performance. We investigated the difference between clinical characteristics of patients with sVT versus those with nsVT in each study group, and the association between AF and different forms of ventricular arrhythmia in 38 (25.33%) patients with AF and 112 (74.66%) patients in sinus rhythm. Results: There were no significant differences between the study groups with respect to type of ventricular arrhythmia: sVT (46.87% vs. 36.44%, p = 0.2), nsVT (43.75% vs. 55.93%, p = 0.2), or ventricular fibrillation (VF) (9.37% vs. 7.62%, p = 0.7). However, patients with DCM presented a significantly higher incidence of AF (43.75% vs. 20.33%, p = 0.01) and bundle branch block (37.5% vs. 11.86%, p = 0.0007). VF occurred more frequently in patients with AF compared to those in sinus rhythm (18.42% vs. 4.46%, p = 0.006). Multivariate analysis identified the co-existence of AF (OR = 4.8, p = 0.01) and the presence of a bundle branch block (BBB) (OR = 3.9, p = 0.03) as the most powerful predictors for the degeneration of VT into VF in patients admitted with sVT or nsVT in an ICCU unit. Conclusions: In patients with any type of VT admitted in an ICCU, the presence of ventricular remodeling is associated with a higher incidence of AF and conduction abnormalities, but not with a more severe pattern of ventricular arrhythmia. At the same time, AF and BBB seem to represent the most powerful predictors for degeneration of VT into VF, independent of the type of VT.

Open access

Ioana Radu, Anamaria Victoria Bumbu, Lucian Croitorescu and Laura Chinezu

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Cardiac fibroma is a rare benign tumor, although it is considered the second most frequent cardiac tumor in children. It is located in the ventricular myocardium, frequently in the interventricular septum. One third of the cases are asymptomatic, being discovered postmortem. Case presentation: A 10-year-old male child accused severe dyspnea a few minutes before its sudden death. Autopsy examination revealed hypertrophic cardiomegaly, the entire left ventricular wall being replaced by an enlarged tumor mass. On histopathological examination, the tumor was diagnosed as cardiac fibroma. Conclusions: Noninvasive examinations during childhood, such as cardiac ultrasound, increase the early detection of the tumors of the heart, decreasing the number of sudden death cases in young patients, especially children.

Open access

Monica Marton-Popovici

Open access

Előd Etele Élthes, Alexandra Lavinia Cozlea and Árpád Török

ABSTRACT

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the factors associated with increased mortality in patients with acute mesenteric ischemia, emphasizing the importance of an early diagnosis and a prompt surgical intervention in order to avoid lesion progression. Materials and method: A retrospective analytical study was conducted on a study population of 50 male and female patients with acute ischemia of the mesenteric arteries, aged between 36-92 years. Demographic and pathological history characteristics were assessed, together with presented symptoms, laboratory and CT findings, as well as surgical outcome and time-related aspects between presentation in the emergency department and time of surgery, as well as the hospitalization period until discharge or death. Results: Muscular defense (OR = 23.05) and shock (OR = 13.24) as symptoms were strongly associated with a poor prognosis, while elevated values of lactate dehydrogenase (p = 0.0440) and creatine kinase (p = 0.0025) were associated with higher death rates. The time elapsed during investigations in the emergency room was significantly higher in patients who deceased (p = 0.0023), similarly to the total time from the onset of symptoms to the beginning of surgery (p = 0.0032). Surgical outcomes showed that patients with segmental ischemia of the small bowel had significantly higher chances of survival (p <0.0001). Conclusion: Increased mortality rates in patients presenting in the emergency department for acute mesenteric ischemia were observed in patients with occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery, with higher levels of CK and LDH, as well as with longer periods of stay in the emergency department for diagnostic procedures until the commencement of the surgical intervention. Therefore, proper investigations in a timely manner followed by a specific and prompt surgical intervention may avoid unfavorable evolution of patients towards death.

Open access

Niklas F. Boeder, Oliver Dörr, Wiebke Rutsatz, Timm Bauer and Holger M. Nef

ABSTRACT

We describe the case of a 68-year-old patient who was admitted to the trauma unit with anisocoria after pre-hospital resuscitation upon loss of consciousness. An intracranial bleeding was ruled out. The patient was admitted to the cardiology ward with the initial diagnosis of a syncope due to myocarditis, as myocardial necrosis markers were slightly elevated. The suspicion of an acute aortic dissection (AAD) was raised when the patient developed kidney failure and a progressive aortic regurgitation. He underwent emergency surgery for an acute type A AAD. Renal function recovered completely and, fortunately, the patient was discharged 10 days later.