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Open access

Diana Opincariu and Iulia Monica Chițu

ABSTRACT

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly widespread healthcare problem. AF can frequently present as a complication in acute coronary syndromes (ACS), especially in ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction (AMI), in which case it is the most frequent supraventricular rhythm disturbance with an estimated incidence of 6.8-21%. The presence of AF in ACS heralds worse outcomes in comparison to subjects in sinus rhythm, and several studies have shown that in AMI patients, both new-onset and pre-existing AF are associated with a higher risk of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events during hospitalization. The cause of newonset AF in AMI is multifactorial. Although still incompletely understood, the mechanisms involved in the development of AF in acute myocardial ischemic events include the neurohormonal activation of the sympathetic nervous system that accompanies the AMI, ischemic involvement of the atrial myocytes, ventricular dysfunction, and atrial overload. The identification of patients at risk for AF is of great significance as it may lead to prompt therapeutic interventions and closer follow-up, thus improving prognosis and decreasing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. The present manuscript aims to summarize the current research findings related to new-onset AF in AMI patients, as well as the predictors and prognostic impact of this comorbid association.

Open access

Ciprian Blendea, Monica Chitu, Marius Orzan, Balázs Bajka, Adriana Craciun and Imre Benedek

Abstract

Introduction: The management of in stent restenosis represents a topic of great actuality and interest, especially since the interventional treatment with stent implantation became largely accepted as the metod of choice in patients with acute coronary syndromes. Identification of certain risk factors that could predict the development of an in stent restenosis and its severity could be extremely useful for the clinical management of these patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed a total of 60 stent restenoses encountered in 57 patients admitted and treated in the Cardiology Clinic of Tirgu Mures. The interval of occurrence of restenosis ranged between 2 months and 37 months postintervention. We monitored the demographic characteristics (age, gender, colesterol, presence of renal insufficiency) and we realized a descriptive qualitative analysis of the angiographic procedural aspects. The in stent restenosis occurred most frequently on left anterior descending artery (63%), followed by the circumflex artery (22.15%) and right coronary artery (14.8%), regardless of the degree of stenosis prior to revascularization. Results: Statistical analysis using Chi square test revealed no statistically significant differences in terms of the correlation between the incidence of restenosis and gender (p=0.14), treatment with ACE inhibitors (p=0.16), implanted stent diameter (p=0.22) or the type of procedure (ram crossing over a secondary branch being considered as a procedure involved in the genesis of severe restenosis) (p=0.2). We used the t-student test for comparative analysis of the correlation between the continuous variables related to initial native lesion diameter and the degree of restenosis, without finding any a statistically significant correlation between them (p=0.226). However, a statistically significant correlation was found between cholesterol levels and the degree of stenosis (p=0.039). Descriptive analysis of restenosis lesions did not find any statistically significant correlation with the type or degree of stenosis in the native vessel, but showed statistically significant differences when evaluating the geometric assumption of restenosis by intraluminal diameter or intraluminal area (p=0.0018), suggesting that assessment of the degree of restenosis should be performed only by planimetric area. Conclusions: We can conclude that in stent restenosis represents a plurifactorial phenomenon, that is not conditioned by the severity of the native lesion or by the administration of ACE inhibitors or Spironolactone, however it depends directly on the control of cholesterol values afther the coronary revascularization.

Open access

Marius Orzan, Mihaela Dobra and Monica Chițu

Abstract

The aim of this preliminary study was to assess the effectiveness of transluminal contrast attenuation gradient (TAG) determined by computed tomographic angiography (CTA), for the evaluation of the functional significance of coronary artery stenoses in patients with acute coronary syndromes produced by vulnerable coronary plaques, and to demonstrate the correlation between this new parameter and the vulnerability markers of the culprit lesions.

Material and methods: This is a preliminary pilot study on 10 patients with acute coronary syndromes – unstable angina type, who underwent CTA for the assessment of coronary lesions, followed by invasive angiography and the determination of fractional flow reserve (FFR) prior to a revascularization procedure. Patients were divided into 2 groups, according to their FFR values: Group 1 consisted of 6 patients with an FFR value <0.8 (functionally significant lesion), and Group 2 consisted of 4 patients who presented an FFR value >0.8 (functionally non-significant lesion).

Results: FFR values were 0.64 ± 0.07, 95% CI: 0.5–0.7 in Group 1, and 0.86 ± 0.05, 95% CI: 0.7–0.9 in Group 2. Plaques associated with an FFR<0.8 presented a higher amount of plaque volume (192.7 ± 199.7 mm3 vs. 42.1 ± 27.3 mm3, p = 0.1), necrotic core (66.7 ± 72.9 mm3 vs. 10.0 ± 9.3 mm3, p = 0.1), and fibro-fatty tissue (29.7 ± 37.4 mm3 vs. 6.2 ± 3.8 mm3, p = 0.2). At the same time, TAG significantly correlated with the presence of a functionally significant lesion. Coronary lesions associated with low FFR presented significantly higher values of TAG along the plaque as compared with lesions with FFR values >0.8 (TAG values 22.1 ± 5.8 HU vs. 11.7 ± 2.5 HU, p = 0.01). Linear regression identified a significant correlation between TAG and FFR values as a measure of functional significance of the lesion (r = 0.7, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Contrast attenuation gradient along the culprit lesion, determined by CTA, correlates with the FFR values and with CT markers of plaque vulnerability, indicating that the presence of vulnerability features inside a coronary plaque could increase the functional significance of a coronary lesion.

Open access

Andreea Barcan, Istvan Kovacs, Ciprian Blendea, Marius Orzan and Monica Chitu

Abstract

Introduction: The recent development of large networks dedicated to ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) led to a significant increase in the number of primary percutaneous interventions (p-PCI) parallel with mortality reduction in Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). The number of non ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) is increasing and the highest mortality rates are encountered in patients with cardiogenic shock and/or out of hospital cardiac arrest associated to ACS. The aim of this study was to identify the factors associated with a higher mortality rate in a global population with acute coronary syndromes presented in the emergency department of a county clinical hospital which serves as a regional center for a STEMI network.

Material and method: This is a retrospective study including 684 patients with acute coronary syndrome admitted in the Clinic of Cardiology from the County Clinical Emergency Hospital Tîrgu Mureș in 2014. In all the cases, the factors that correlated with in hospital mortality were identified and analyzed.

Results: The incidence of arterial hypertension was significantly higher in patients admitted with unstable angina (75.0%) and STEMI cases with less than 12 hours onset of symptomatology (68.1%), while impaired renal function correlated with the presence of NSTEMI (66.6%). The presence of a multivessel disease was significantly correlated with cardiogenic shock. The localisation of the culprit lesion in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) significantly correlated with the development of cardiogenic shock, LAD culprit lesions being present in 44.4% of CS cases as compared with 21.7% of noCS cases in STEMI patients. In NSTEMI patients, the localisation of the culprit lesion in the left main artery (LM) significantly correlated with the development of cardiogenic shock, culprit lesions in the left main being present in 47.0% of CS cases as compared with 28.5% of noCS cases in STEMI patients.

Conclusion: Patients presenting with out-of-hospital resuscitated cardiac arrest due to Acute Myocardial Infarction associate higher in-hospital mortality rates. In-hospital mortality seems to be highly correlated with the female gender, STEMI myocardial infarction and the presence of multivascular lesions.

Open access

Monica Chitu, Theodora Benedek, S. Condrea, C. Blendea and I. Benedek

Abstract

Introduction: We aimed to present a case of acute coronary syndrome with unexpected etiology complicated by syncope and arrhythmias, confirmed by imagistic examinations as cardiac parasitosis. Cardiac parasitic diseases are rare diseases, whose diagnosis and therapy should be adapted to each case. Imaging techniques allow precise diagnosis of cardiac echinococcosis, providing essential structural details on the damage degree of heart structures, allowing optimization of complex treatment in these cases. Case presentation: A 67-year old, obese and diabetic woman presented with cardiac syncope, arrhythmias and acute chest pain. Imagistic examinations excluded intracoronary thrombosis and confirmed a severe structural damage of myocardial tissue, consisting in replacement of the myocardial structure by many cysts caused by parasitic infestation with echinococcus multilocularis and echinoccocus granulosus originating from the liver. CT scan confirmed severe distruction of the left ventricular myocardium by policysts, that led to thinning of inferior and apical left ventricle wall without any possibility of surgical excision. Therefore a specific chemotherapy with albendazole was initiated. Follow up at 2 months indicated a favorable evolution, with serological decrease of echinococcal antibodies and reduction of cysts volume. Conclusion: In cases of angina and arrhythmias with non-atherosclerotic etiology, imaging techniques can diagnose the anatomopathological substrate of the disease and represent a valuable tool for the follow up.

Open access

Ciprian Blendea, István Kovács, Andreea Bărcan, Tiberiu Nyulas and Monica Chițu

Abstract

Introduction: The location of culprit lesions on the left main is associated with an increased procedural risk in acute coronary syndromes. Our study aims to evaluate the utility of CT angiography determined Syntax score (CCTA) in comparison with the classical angiographic Syntax score for predicting the procedural success in percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) of left main lesions.

Methods: We included 23 patients presenting to the Cardiology Clinic with an acute coronary syndrome. All patients underwent coronary angiography ± angio CT multisclice for assessment of the target lesion, defined as a significant (>50%) left main disease. Patient population consisted in: group 1 – 13 patients (56.52%), in whom revascularization indication was based on lesion severity assessment by CCTA score correlated with the angio Syntax score (SS), and group 2 – 10 patients (43.48%), in whom revascularization indication was based only on angio SS. According to the SS, the study population was divided into subgroup A – low SS (<22), subgroup B – intermediate SS (23–32) and subgroup C –high SS (>32). All patients were followed for 1 year.

Results: Despite similar SS in both groups (35.38 in group 1 vs. 32.4 in group 2), the use of Angio CT multislice increased the rate of PCI indication – 76.92% PCI in group 1 versus 50% PCI in group 2. In patients with high SS, PCI rate was 66.66% in group 1 compared with 50% in group 2 (p<0.05). High calcium score >100 was recorded in 50% of patients in the low SS subgroup (<22), 50% in the medium SS subgroup (23–32) and 22.22% in the high SS (>33) subgroup. One-year follow-up showed an overall mortality of 8.69%, slightly higher in group 2 (10%), as compared to group 1 (mortality of 7.69%).

Conclusions: Additional evaluation by angio CT of culprit left main stenoses in acute coronary syndromes provides more information about the complexity of atherosclerotic plaques in this location, and could be extremely useful in establishing the indication for PCI in high risk stenoses, showing a predictive significance for post-procedural 1 year follow up mortality.

Open access

András Mester, Laura Jáni and Monica Chițu

Open access

Tiberiu Nyulas, Theodora Benedek, Claudia Matei, István Kovács, Monica Chiţu, Szillamér Korodi and Imre Benedek

Abstract

Introduction: The present study aims to demonstrate the role of acute impairment of regional contractility, as assessed by 3D echocardiography, in predicting LV remodeling in post acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients.

Methods: We enrolled in the study a number of 48 subjects with AMI who underwent primary PCI followed by optimum medical therapy. In all these cases we followed the correlation between the amplitude of ventricular remodeling at 6 months postinfarction and regional contractility in the immediate postinfarction period, as assessed by 3D echo parameters at baseline: regional index of contraction amplitude (RICA) and the index of contraction amplitude (ICA). Positive remodeling (PR) was defined as an increase in LV end-diastolic global volume with >15% compared with baseline.

Results: Patients with positive remodeling (PR) presented at baseline a significantly lower ejection fraction (44.75% versus 49.95%, p = 0.009), associated with a higher end-systolic volume (80.34 ml vs. 70.63 ml, p = 0.02) and lower values for index of contraction amplitude — ICA (3.05 vs. 3.53, p = 0.01) and for regional index of contraction amplitude — RICA (1.38 vs. 2.78, p <0.0001), in comparison with the patients who did not experience ventricular remodeling. RICA achieved the best statistical significance for predicting the development of LV remodeling during the evolution of the disease. For RICA, the ROC curve using logistic analysis showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.88, highly significant (p = 0.0001).

Conclusions: Impairment of regional contractility is associated with development of LV remodeling to a more significant extent than the global impairment of ventricular contractility.

Open access

Nóra Raț, Diana Opincariu, Ciprian Blendea, Roxana Cucuruzac, Pirvu Mirela, Monica Chitu, Imre Benedek and Theodora Benedek

Abstract

Background: Little is known on the effect of epicardial fat in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Therefore, the present study sought to perform a comparative analysis on the influence of epicar-dial fat thickness (EFT) on the right and left ventricular function, between three different etiological varieties of pulmonary arterial hypertension: caused by congenital heart defects (atrial septum defects with left to right shunt), by systemic sclerosis, and by myocardial ischemia.

Materials and Methods: This is a prospective observational study on

50 patients with documented PAH (systolic pulmonary artery pressure – PASP of >35 mmHg). The thickness of the epicardial adipose tissue was evaluated by 2D cardiac ultrasound, on the free wall of the right ventricle, during end-diastole, in the long parasternal axis view. The patients were divided into three study groups: Group 1 – PAH determined by congenital heart defects with left to right shunts (atrial septum defects, n = 25); Group 2 – PAH induced by systemic sclerosis (n = 12); Group 3 – PAH induced by myocardial ischemia (n = 13).

Results: The average age was 54.48 ± 10.78 years, 30% (n = 15) of subjects were males, with a mean body mass index of 24.65 ± 4.40 kg/m2, EFT was 9.15 ± 2.24 mm, and the PASP was 41.33 ± 5.11 mmHg. Patients in Group 3 were more likely to smoke (p = 0.025) and presented a significantly lower LVEF, compared to the other groups (Group 1: 60% ± 6 vs. Group 2: 60% ± 7 vs. Group 3: 48% ± 7, p <0.0001). The largest EFT was found in Group 3 (11.08 ± 2.39 mm), followed by Group 2 (9.14 ± 2.03 mm), and Group 1 (8.16 ± 1.57 mm) (p = 0.0003). The linear regression analysis found no significant correlations between EFT and other echocardiographic parameters: PASP (r = −0.228, p = 0.118), LVEF (r = −0.265, p = 0.06), TAPSW (r = 0.015, p = 0.912), TEI (r = 0.085, p = 0.552), RVEDD (r = −0.195, p = 0.173), RA area (r = −178, p = 0.214), and LA diameter (r = 0.065, p = 0.650).

Conclusions: Epicardial fat thickness was found to be significantly higher in patients with PAH induced by myocardial ischemia, followed by those with systemic sclerosis and congenital heart defects, respectively. EFT did not influence the echocardiographic parameters for left and right ventricular function in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension of different etiologies.