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  • Author: Radu Sascau x
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Abstract

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has emerged as a safe, durable, and revolutionary therapy for end-stage heart failure patients. Despite the appearance of newer-generation devices that have improved patient outcomes, the burden of adverse events remains significant. Although the survival rate for patients with LVAD is appreciated to be 81% at 1 year and 70% at 2 years, the incidence of adverse events is also high. Over time, both early and late postimplant complications have diminished in terms of prevalence and impact; however, complications, such as infections, bleeding, right heart failure, pump thrombosis, aortic insufficiency, or stroke, continue to represent a challenge for the practitioner. Therefore, the aim of this review is to highlight the most recent data regarding the current use of LVAD in the treatment of end-stage heart failure, with a specific focus on LVAD-related complications, in order to improve device-related outcomes. It will also revise how to mitigate the risk and how to approach specific adverse events. Withal, understanding the predisposing risk factors associated with postimplant complications, early recognition and appropriate treatment help to significantly improve the prognosis for patients with end-stage heart failure.

Abstract

Coronary heart disease occurs more often in patients over the age of 45. However, recent data shows a growing incidence of coronary events in younger patients also. Young patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) represent a relatively small proportion of subjects suffering from an acute ischemic event. However, they represent a subset that is distinguished from elderly patients by a different profile of risk factors, often atypical clinical presentation, and different prognosis. The prevalence of risk factors such as smoking, dyslipidemia, and a family history of coronary events is higher in this group of patients compared to the general population with AMI. Because of an important negative impact on the patients’ psychology, impaired working abilities, and a high socioeconomical burden, myocardial infarction in young patients represents an important cardiovascular pathology. This manuscript aims to present the particularities of AMI occuring at a young age, in comparison with the rest of the population with AMI.

Abstract

Background: In just a few years, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has emerged as a key player in the treatment of advanced heart failure (HF). However, approximately 30% of patients with CRT device implantation do not achieve a favorable response. The purpose of the present study was to identify clinical, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic predictors of a positive response to biventricular pacing in patients with advanced decompensated HF.

Methods: This prospective, observational study involved 42 consecutive patients admitted in emergency settings in our clinic with HF in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III/IV, with QRS duration ≥120 ms and left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤35%, who underwent cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT-P or CRT-D) between January 2010 and July 2014. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS statistical software.

Results: The clinical response (improvement in NYHA class) was recorded in 6 patients (14.3%), while echocardiographic response (change in ejection fraction and/or in endsystolic or end-diastolic volumes) was recorded in 10 patients (23.8%). The most frequently observed type of response to CRT was the double (clinical plus echocardiographic) response, recorded in 23 out of 42 patients (54.8%). ROC analysis identified the absence of chronic renal disease and the duration from onset of symptoms to CRT implantation as good predictors for clinical improvement after CRT (AUC = 0.625, 95% CI: 0.400–0.850 for absence of renal failure and AUC = 0.516, 95% CI: 0.369–0.853 for symptoms duration). However, gender, age, duration from symptom onset, and comorbidities were not good predictors for the echocardiographic response (AUC <0.600).

Conclusions: CRT represents an important therapeutic option for selected patents with advanced decompensated HF and prolonged QRS interval; however, only some of the commonly used criteria can predict a favorable outcome in patients undergoing CRT.

Abstract

Introduction. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease with increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness not solely explained by abnormal loading conditions, with great heterogeneity regarding clinical expression and prognosis. The aim of the present study was to collect data on HCM patients from different centres across the country, in order to assess the general characteristics and therapeutic choices in this population.

Methods. Between December 2014 and April 2017, 210 patients from 11 Romanian Cardiology centres were enrolled in the National Registry of HCM. All patients had to fulfil the diagnosis criteria for HCM according to the European Society of Cardiology guidelines. Clinical, electrocardiographic, imaging and therapeutic characteristics were included in a predesigned online file.

Results. Median age at enrolment was 55 ± 15 years with male predominance (60%). 43.6% of the patients had obstructive HCM, 50% non-obstructive HCM, while 6.4% had an apical pattern. Maximal wall thickness was 20.3 ± 4.8 mm (limits 15-37 mm) while LV ejection fraction was 60 ± 8%. Heart failure symptoms dominated the clinical picture, mainly NYHA functional class II (51.4%). Most frequent arrhythmias were atrial fibrillation (28.1%) and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (19.9%). Mean sudden cardiac death risk score (SCD-RS) was 3.0 ± 2.3%, with 10.4% of the patients with high risk of SCD. However, only 5.7% received an ICD. Patients were mainly treated with beta-blockers (72.9%), diuretics (28.1%) and oral anticoagulants (28.6%). Invasive treatment of LVOT obstruction was performed in a small number of patients: 22 received myomectomy and 13 septal ablation. Cardiac magnetic resonance was reported in only 14 patients (6.6%).

Conclusions. The Romanian registry of HCM illustrates patient characteristics at a national level as well as the gaps in management which need improvement – accessibility to high-end diagnostic tests and invasive methods of treatment.