Introduction: According to European guidelines, ST elevation acute myocardial infarction should be treated by immediate reperfusion, if diagnosed within 12 hours from the onset of symptoms. We aimed to show the impact of a well-functioning pre-existing STEMI network in improving the results of a national program dedicated to the invasive treatment of AMI.
Methods: We followed the comparison between primary PCI rates and STEMI-related mortality in two regions, after the introduction of a nationwide program for the interventional treatment of acute myocardial infarction: region A, where the territory has been appropriately prepared via previous organizational measures in the network, and region B, where the territory has not been previously prepared.
Results: In 2011, one year after the initiation of the national program, a primary PCI rate of 12.1%, a thrombolysis rate of 10.1% and a no-reperfusion treatment rate of 77.8% have been found in these new centers for patients arriving <12 h from symptoms onset. This has been reflected in a mortality of 23.07% for “early presentations” in these new centers in 2011. In comparison, data from the territorial hospitals of the registry (only those without cathlab facilities, similar to the new centers) showed in 2011 a 73.85% primary PCI rate, 12.09% thrombolysis rate and a 14.07% conservative treatment rate, reflected in a mortality of 6.81% for “early presentations” in the registry centers.
Conclusions: The national strategy for reduction of STEMI related mortality via implementation of primary PCI, started in 2010, had a significant impact especially in that region where the territory was previously prepared with appropriate organizational efforts, including educational and logistic measures.
Objective: To demonstrate the relationship between intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and cardiac output (CO) in mechanically ventilated (MV), critically ill patients.
Material and methods: This was a single-center, prospective study performed between January and April 2016, on 30 mechanically ventilated patients (mean age 67.3 ± 11.9 years), admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Emergency County Hospital of Tîrgu Mureș, Romania, who underwent measurements of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP). Patients were divided into two groups: group 1 – IAP <12 mmHg (n = 21) and group 2 – IAP >12 mmHg (n = 9). In 23 patients who survived at least 3 days post inclusion, the variation of CO and IAP between baseline and day 3 was calculated, in order to assess the variation of IAP in relation to the hemodynamic status.
Results: IAP was 8.52 ± 1.59 mmHg in group 1 and 19.88 ± 8.05 mmHg in group 2 (p <0.0001). CO was significantly higher in group 1 than in the group with IAH: 6.96 ± 2.07 mmHg (95% CI 6.01–7.9) vs. 4.57 ± 1.23 mmHg (95% CI 3.62–5.52) (p = 0.003). Linear regression demonstrated an inverse correlation between CO and IAP (r = 0.48, p = 0.007). Serial measurements of CO and IAP proved that whenever accomplished, the decrease of IAP was associated with a significant increase in CO (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: CO is significantly correlated with IAP in mechanically ventilated patients, and IAH reduction is associated with increase of CO in these critically ill cases.
Background: The role of periplaque fat (PPF), as a fragment of the total epicardial adipose tissue, measured in the vicinity of a target coronary lesion, more specifically within the close proximity of a vulnerable plaque, has yet to be evaluated.
The study aimed to evaluate the interrelation between PPF and coronary plaque vulnerability in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). Secondary objective: evaluation of the relationship between the total pericardial fat and markers for plaque vulnerability.
Materials and methods: We prospectively enrolled 77 patients with stable CAD, who underwent 128-multislice computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA), and who presented minimum one lesion with >50% stenosis. CTCA analysis included measurements of: total pericardial fat and PPF volumes, coronary plaque characteristics, markers for plaque vulnerability – positive remodeling (PR), low attenuation plaque (LAP), spotty calcifications (SC,) napkin ring sign (NRS). Study subjects were divided into two categories: Group 1 – 1 marker of plaque vulnerability (n = 36, 46.75%) and Group 2 – ≥1 marker of vulnerability (n = 41, 53.25%).
Results: The mean age of the population was 61.77 ± 11.28 years, and 41 (53.24%) were males. The analysis of plaque characteristics showed that Group 2 presented significantly longer plaques (16.26 ± 4.605 mm vs. 19.09 ± 5.227 mm, p = 0.02), remodeling index (0.96 ± 0.20 vs. 1.18 ± 0.33, p = 0.0009), and vessel volume (p = 0.027), and more voluminous plaques (147.5 ± 71.74 mm3 vs. 207.7 ± 108.9 mm3, p = 0.006) compared to Group 1. Group 2 presented larger volumes of PPF (512.2 ± 289.9 mm3 vs. 710.9 ± 361.9 mm3, p = 0.01) and of thoracic fat volume (1,616 ± 614.8 mm3 vs. 2,000 ± 850.9 mm3, p = 0.02), compared to Group 1, but no differences were found regarding the total pericardial fat (p = 0.49). Patients with 3 or 4 vulnerability markers (VM) presented significantly larges PPF volumes compared to those with 1 or 2 VM, respectively (p = 0.008). There was a significant positive correlation between PPF volume and the non-calcified (r = 0.474, 95% CI 0.2797–0.6311, p <0.0001), lipid-rich (r = 0.316, 95% CI 0.099–0.504, p = 0.005), and fibro-fatty (r = 0.452, 95% CI 0.2541–0.6142, p <0.0001) volumes. The total pericardial fat was significantly correlated only with the volume of lipid-rich plaques (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Periplaque fat volume was associated with a higher degree of coronary plaque vulnerability. PPF was correlated with lipid-rich, fibro-fatty, and non-calcified plaque-related volumes, as markers for enhanced plaque vulnerability. PPF volume, assessed with native cardiac computed tomography, could become a novel marker for coronary plaque vulnerability.
The aim of our study was to investigate the correlation between volumes of thoracic fat distributed in different compartments and the geometry of vulnerable coronary plaques assessed by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), in patients with acute chest pain.
Methods: This was a non-randomized, observational, single-center study, including 50 patients who presented in the emergency department with acute chest pain who underwent 128-slice single-source CCTA. Plaque geometry was evaluated in transversal and longitudinal planes, and the assessment of adipose tissue was performed using the Syngo.via Frontier (Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Forchheim, Germany) research platform.
Results: Eccentric plaques presented a significantly higher incidence of spotty calcification (40% vs. 22%, p = 0.018), whereas positive remodeling, volume of low attenuation plaque, and incidence of napkin-ring sign were not significantly different between the study groups or in ascending versus descending plaques. The volume of pericoronary fat around the plaque was significantly larger near eccentric lesions (707.68 ± 454.08 mm3 vs. 483.25 ± 306.98 mm3, p = 0.046) and descendent plaques (778.26 ± 479.37 mm3 vs. 473.60 ± 285.27 mm3, p = 0.016). Compared to ascending lesions, descendent ones presented a significantly larger volume of thoracic fat (1,599.25 ± 589.12 mL vs. 1,240.71 ± 291.50 mL), while there was no significant correlation between thoracic fat and cross-sectional eccentricity.
Conclusions: The phenotype of plaque distribution and geometry seems to be associated with a higher vulnerability of coronary lesions and may be influenced by the local accumulation of inflammatory mediators released by the pericoronary epicardial adipose tissue.
Introduction: We present the case of a patient suffering from inferior vena cava hypoplasia complicated with Phlegmasia cerulean dolens. Imaging techniques allow precise diagnosis of inferior vena cava hypoplasia, providing essential structural details on the degree of damage of the vena cava and for the other branches. Case presentation: A 58 years old, obese and diabetic male patient presented with intense pain in the lower limbs, with the onset 24h before presentation. The patient presented generalized edema, cyanosis and functional impotence. Angio CT examination revealed hypoplasia of the inferior vena cava, with extensive DVT (deep vein thrombosis). In emergency conditions, with the agreement of the patient, we initiated the thrombolytic therapy (streptokinase for 72h) associated with anticoagulants (heparin). The evolution was favorable: a significant reduction in leg circumference was recorded, together with pain relief and reduction of local inflammation in the lower limbs. Conclusion: Severe cases of inferior vena cava hypoplasia complicated with deep vein thrombosis can present a good prognosis if appropriate treatment with anticoagulants and thrombolytics is initiated in time.
Introduction: In complex cases of multiple coronary artery stenosis, revascularization strategy could be essential for improving the life expectancy and quality of life. However, major complications are sometimes encountered during interventions, such as rupture of the atheromatous plaque with consequent dissection of the coronary artery, causing an acute coronary syndrome which requires immediate intervention from the operator. In the absence of an experienced interventional cardiologist a complication like this can be fatal.
Case presentation: We present the case of a 67-years old patient, male, with a known history of cardiovascular disease, who presented in our service complaining of chest pain with tightening character, irradiation in the shoulder and left arm, respectively shortness of breath and fatigue. The patient presented a history of multiple infarctions, intervention and stenting on RCA and circumflex artery. Computed Tomographic Coronary Angiography provided detailed information on the location of the target lesions and was followed by a revascularization procedure. However, despite the complex pre-interventional assessment, while trying to engage the guide in the emergence of the circumflex artery, atherosclerotic plaque rupture occurred, causing a dissection of the coronary wall which extended retrogradely into the left main, requiring a rapid response from the operator. A coronary stent was implanted into the left coronary artery trunk, treating the dissection.
Conclusions: Coronary artery dissection is a very serious complication that can occur during a complex revascularization procedure, requiring immediate intervention in order to save the patient’s life.
Aortic intramural hematoma frequently appear in elderly hypertensive patients who suffered a vasa vasorum rupture into the media, presenting clinical symptoms similar to aortic dissection. The current available data suggest a similar treatment strategy as in aortic dissection, although intramural hematoma is a different pathophysiological entity. The issue of the vulnerable contact of the intraaortic plaque, which is prone to rupture and to trigger the formation of an intramural hematoma, has not been elucidated so far. We present a brief literature review regarding complex plaque analysis, which opens a new area in identification of vulnerable patients with intramural hematoma, important for management of these patients and optimization of their treatment in order to avoid complications.
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.