Szakacs Xantus Timea, Varga Andreea, Bocicor Andreea Elena, R Tatar and I Tilea
Background: Left non-compaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC) or “spongy myocardium” is a relatively rare primary genetic cardiomyopathy, characterized by prominent wall trabeculations and intertrabecular recesses which communicate with the ventricular cavity. It appears in isolated form or coexists with other congenital heart diseases and/or systemic abnormalities. Material and method: A 28-year-old woman was admitted with exertional dyspnoea, palpitations, non-specific chest pain and progressive fatigue on exertion. In her family history sudden cardiac-related deaths at young age are present. Cardiovascular system examination revealed tachycardia, intermittent extrabeats. The rest EKG showed sinusal tachycardia (105 bpm), negative T-waves in DII, DIII, aVF, V4-V6. Consecutive 24 hours Holter EKG monitoring revealed nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, isolated ventricular extrasystoles. Echocardiography showed left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVEF:30-35%), slight LV enlargement, normal right ventricle and small left ventricle (LV) trabeculae in the apical area. Cardiac MRI demonstrated dilated LV and the presence of the trabeculations of LV walls suggestive for non-compaction cardiomyopathy. A combined treatment for heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias was initiated with good clinical results. Patient was scheduled for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator “life-saving”. Conclusions: The symptoms of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias should be considered important in apparently healthy young patients. Besides intensive medical treatment is indicated the implantation of an ICD “life-saving” and in advanced cases heart transplantation. Even if the electrocardiographic findings are non specific for noncompaction, a complete diagnostic evaluation is important, including sophisticated imaging techniques, a screening of first-degree relatives, and an extensive clinical, and genetic appreciation by a multidisciplinary team.
Ioan Ţilea, Elena Andreea Bocicor, Codruţa Maria Gal and Andreea Varga
Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH), defined by mean pulmonary arterial pressure (PAPm) ≥25 mm Hg, can lead to increasing pulmonary vascular resistance, which eventually results in right ventricle failure. Scleroderma, as an autoimmune connective tissue disease, is associated with PH as a sub-group according to the 2015 ESC/ERS PH classification. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) associated with scleroderma (SSc-PAH) can often result in poor prognosis with increased mortality. Early diagnosis and specific treatment of PH can significantly improve the prognosis of these patients.
Case report: We present the case of a 50 year-old male, with no relevant family history, with a 2-year history of echocardiography-based diagnosis of PH (PAPm 78 mmHg). Physical examination revealed limited hand and forearm areas of non-folding thick skin, vital signs in the normal range and peripheral oxygen saturation of 96%. Severity and risk assessment were performed based on clinical and imaging tests, and hemodynamics. 12-lead rest ECG revealed sinus tachycardia and right bundle branch block, the six-minute walk test confirmed limited exertion capacity, Borg scale 9. Transthoracic echocardiography pointed to dilated right heart cavities and moderate pericardial effusion. Right heart catheterization confirmed the PAH (PAPm: 36 mmHg), and pulmonary CT angiography excluded massive pulmonary embolism. Rheumatologic examination and immune serology identified a scleroderma subset, limited cutaneous sclerosis form (lcSSc) with early onset PH. Combined specific PH drug therapy was initiated, followed by clinical and functional improvement in clinical status, prognosis and life quality.
Conclusions: In clinical group 1 of PH, the subgroup etiology of PAH associated with connective tissue disease (1.4.1) often goes undiagnosed, mainly due to the diminish of lung involvement symptoms in early CTD stages. Multidisciplinary approach is essential in order to refine the diagnosis and set out the treatment algorithm.
Andreea Elena Bocicor, Gabriela Buicu, Daniela Sabau, Andreea Varga, I Tilea and I Gabos-Grecu
Introduction and objectives. Obesity is a public health issue, with increasing prevalence and incidence all over the world. Diet and exercise applied in obesity treatment are not always as effective as expected, as there are many other determining factors which can lead to obesity. One of these modifiable factors seem to be sleep disorder. The objective of our study was to test the positive association between the presence of sleep disorder and increased body mass index (BMI).
Results. We interviewed 84 patients, 32 (38%) men (average age 54 +/− 6.63) and 52 (62%) women (average age 50 +/− 5.26). Mild sleep disorder was present in 36 patients, and severe sleep disorder in 25 patients. We noticed association between sleep disorder and increased BMI (p=0.0064, RR=2.925, 95% CI 1.16-7.36). We observed the risk for increased BMI dependent on the sleep disorder severity.
Conclusions. Sleep disorder is a potentially modifiable risk factor which can be included in obesity therapeutic approach and management. Early diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorder is important in obesity prevention.
Bocicor Andreea Elena, Buicu Gabriela, Varga Andreea, R Tatar, Sabau Daniela, I Tilea and I Gabos-Grecu
Introduction: Abdominal adiposity assessed by increased waist circumference and depression have both a high incidence and prevalence and are associated with increased general mortality and cardiovascular risk. Several studies showed a significant association between abdominal obesity, metabolic syndrome and depression. Early detection of these associations is important for for prevention and treatment of this disease.
Material and method: Eighty patients were enrolled in a cross-sectional descriptive study. Waist circumference was measured in all patients and an increased waist circumference was considered for subjects with values higher than 80 cm in women and higher than 94 cm in men as. Patients completed standardized questionnaires HADS for assessment of depression and anxiety. A depression (D) score higher than 10 points showed a trend to depression while an anxiety (A) score higher than 10 indicated a tendency to anxiety. The association between increased waist circumference, depression and anxiety was studied.
Results: We interviewed 80 patients, 34 (43%) men (mean age 62+/−6.43) and 46 (57%) women (mean age 59+/−5.16). Increased waist circumference was recorded in 22 men, and in 30 women. We noticed a good association between increased waist circumference and both depression (p=0.0006, RR=2.007, 95%CI 1.24-3.24) and anxiety (p=0.017, RR=2.046, 95%CI 1.21-3.45). We found both anxiety and depression risks rather equal in men, while in women we observed a higher depression risk.
Conclusions: Increased waist circumference is associated to depression and anxiety tendency in both genders. Depression trend is more powerful in women, while in men both depression and anxiety seen to have an equal frequency. Psychotherapy should be added to lifestyle changes in patients with abdominal adiposity.
Ioan Tilea, Dorina Petra, Elena Ardeleanu, Adina Hutanu and Andreea Varga
Hypertension remains one of the primary causes of premature cardiovascular mortality representing a major independent risk factor.
The importance of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in clinical evaluation of hypertensive patients, beyond diagnosis, is the identification of circadian dipping/non-dipping profile. The non-dipper pattern in hypertensive and normotensive patients is associated with significant target organ damage and worse outcomes, as an increased cardiovascular risk condition. Non-dipping pattern has been found to be associated with specific clinical conditions. Obesity, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, chronic kidney disease, autonomic and baroreflex dysfunctions, salt sensitivity, hormonal changes, gender and age were extensively studied. Research efforts are focused on recognizing and exploring predictive markers of abnormal blood pressure circadian pattern. Previous studies acknowledge that red cell distribution width, mean platelet volume, fibrinogen level, C-reactive protein, serum uric acid and gamma-glutamyltransferase, are independently significant and positive associated to non-dipping pattern. Moreover, research on new biomarkers are conducted: Chitinase 3-Like-Protein 1, atrial and B-type natriuretic peptide, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, chemerin, sphingomyelin and the G972R polymorphism of the insulin receptor substrate-1 gene. This review summarizes the current knowledge of different clinical conditions and biomarkers associated with the non-dipper profile in hypertensive patients.
Ioan Țilea, Codruța Gal, Andreea Varga and Roxana Rudzik
Left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC) is a cardiomyopathy that can either result from arrested or abnormal myocardial morphogenesis during heart development, or can be acquired later in life. Current practice guidelines recommend different strategies for the management of patients with LVNC. Common clinical features of this disease include cardiac failure, thromboembolism, life-threatening arrhythmia or sudden cardiac death, which could indicate a worse prognosis. The disease may occur alone or in association with other congenital cardiac, neuromuscular, mitochondrial or metabolic disorders. The association of left ventricular non-compaction with other structural cardiac congenital diseases (such as atrial or ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, obstruction of ventricular outflow tract) is rare. As clinical manifestations of LVNC are non-specific, particular imaging modalities (echocardiography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging or ECG gated computed tomography) should be used in order to establish the diagnosis of LVNC. Antiarrhythmic drugs and implantable cardioverter defibrillators may be considered for the management of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with ventricular non-compaction. We report the presentation, diagnosis and management of a 46 year-old female with refractory severe cardiac failure, repeated syncope due to LVNC and atrial septal defect, requiring medical therapy and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator as a "life bridge" to heart transplantation.
Andreea R. Zsigmond, Krisztina Varga, Sándor Harangi, Edina Baranyai and István Urák
We determined the elemental profile of 16 edible mushroom species from the Făget Forest, near Cluj-Napoca, and of 12 species from the Apuseni Mountains. One-way ANOVA showed no difference in the elemental content of mushrooms when the two regions were compared. Some species accumulated high amounts of trace elements, i.e. Boletus edulis (Ag, S, Zn), Macrolepiota procera (Cu), Lactarius volemus (Co), Russula emetica (Mn), Armillariella mellea, and Chantarellus cibarius (Cr). The cadmium content was the highest in the case of Leccinum scabrum and Boletus edulis. These two species presented elevated risk levels for all age-groups when they are consumed regularly.
Ioan Ţilea, Andreea Varga, Septimiu Voidăzan and Adina Huţanu
Background: Twenty-four hours dynamic blood pressure (BP) behaviour displays dipper profile defined as nocturnal systolic BP (SBP) reduction>10% compared to daytime. Non-dipper profile, nocturnal absence of SBP fall, associates an increased cardiovascular risk. We investigated the concomitant association of inflammatory bio-markers - high-sensitivity- C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), Human Chitinase3-like1 (YKL-40) and autonomic nervous system (total brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) with respect to non-dipping blood pressure status.
Material and method: Using 24h automatic BP measurements, 80 known hypertensive patients were divided into two groups: dipper group included fifty-one dipper patients (age 55.6 ±13.5 years) and non-dipper group consisted of 29 non-dipper subjects (62.07±12.03 years). Serum levels of hs-CRP were evaluated with enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay. Plasma levels of YKL-40 were measured by commercial sandwich ELISA using microplate coated with a monoclonal antibody for CHI3L1. Plasma levels of total BDNF were determined using quantitative sandwich enzyme-linked immunoassay. Statistical analysis of obtained data was performed.
Results: In the non-dipper group, a significant positive association with age over 60 years, hs-CRP values above 1.90 mg/dl was observed along with increased mean values of YKL-40. Non-dipper status is independently and statistically significantly associated with elevated levels of hs-CRP (OR: 3.248, 95% CI: 1.022-10.317, p=0.046) in multivariate odds ratio analysis. No statistically significant positive association between a median total BDNF plasma level of 1430 pg/ml and the non-dipper hypertension profile was identified.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that patients over 60 years, in particular, have a higher probability to present a non-dipping pattern of hypertension. hs-CRP and YKL-40 values are more likely to increase in the non-dipping hypertensive patients, and hs-CRP values above 1.9 mg/dl can identify the presence of a non-dipper blood pressure profile.
Claudia Floriana Suciu, Andreea Varga, Corneliu Florin Buicu and Ioan Tilea
Objective: Our study aimed to validate the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) as a marker for aortic arch calcification in hypertensive patients with less advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Methods: A number of forty-four hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease (categories G3a and G3b – 2012 KDIGO nomenclature) were included in the study. Considering the presence of aortic arch calcification (AAC) on chest X-ray, the study population was divided into two groups: 27 patients AAC present and seventeen without aortic arch calcification. Laboratory data were collected for each patient and NLR was computed. Comorbidities were also recorded: stable coronary artery disease, lower extremity arterial disease and hypertensive heart disease.
Results: A positive correlation between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and aortic arch calcification in hypertensive CKD patients was identified. Furthermore, advanced age, increased alkaline phosphatase and increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate had a positive association with aortic arch calcification. We found no statistical correlation between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and other laboratory features in both groups of patients.
Conclusions: Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio may be viewed as a potential risk factor for vascular calcification in patients with moderate chronic kidney disease; nevertheless, future extensive studies are necessary. In the management of hypertensive patients, general medicine might particularly benefit of this simple, readily available inflammatory marker.
Varga Andreea, Szakacs Xantus Timea, Gliga Mirela, Podoleanu Cristian Gheorghe Calin, Bocicor Andreea Elena, Carasca Emilian and Tilea Ioan
Background: Young adults meeting hypertension diagnostic criteria have a lower prevalence of a hypertension diagnosis. Headache is a rather common symptom among young people. Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is an idiopathic, segmental, nonatherosclerotic and noninflammatory disease of the muscular tunica of arterial walls, leading to stenosis of small and medium-sized arteries. Fibromuscular dysplasia is much more common than previously thought and is a treatable cause of secondary hypertension.
Case presentation: We present the case of an 18 y.o. young woman, with headache and high blood pressure. “White coat hypertension” was suspected. Clinical history with abrupt onset and increasingly difficult to treat hypertension especially in women, were suggestive for renal artery stenosis. Renal ultrasound and digital subtraction angiography confirmed the aspect of FMD. Sequential percutaneous renal artery angioplasty was later performed with improved evolution both from the clinical point of view and controlled blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg with minimal antihypertensive regimen. Angio CT exam of neck and brain arteries was performed, no other FMD typical lesions were identified.
Conclusions: Medical treatment is first indicated for the hypertensive patient. In this particular case percutaneous renal artery angioplasty showed significant improvement in reduction of antihypertensive treatment in a young patient with secondary hypertension. Further monitoring and management of this patient will include blood pressure measurements at 3-month intervals and renal function measurements annual, as well as non-invasive duplex ultrasonography at 12-month intervals, follow-up is indefinite. It remains challenging whether the patient can be medically managed on antihypertensive medication alone.