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.
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.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequent form of supraventricular arrhythmia in medical practice. It is characterized by chaotic electrical activity in the atria, which often leads to irregular and fast ventricular contractions. Pulmonary veins (PV) play an essential part in the genesis of AF. There are a series of risk factors that trigger the development and recurrence of AF after PV isolation. Despite advanced medical technology, the success rate of AF ablation is not satisfactory. The purpose of this study is to assess the preprocedural imaging and serum biomarkers linked to an increased recurrence of AF after PV isolation. The primary endpoint is represented by AF recurrence after PV isolation. In addition, the rate of cardiovascular death and the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events will be assessed in relation to the enlargement of the left atrium and the volume of epicardial adipose tissue surrounding the heart.
Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF), a common arrhythmia in clinical practice, is associated with a high rate of complications and an increased risk for thromboembolic events. Pulmonary vein ablation is a new therapeutic option to cure AF; however, it remains associated with a high rate of recurrence. In this study we aimed to identify the clinical characteristics and imaging-based features that may predict the risk of recurrence after pulmonary veins ablation in atrial fibrillation.
Materials and method: Twenty-four patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF, who underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation and a 12-month follow-up were included in the study. Group 1 included 8 patients with AF recurrence, and group 2 included 16 patients with no AF recurrence. In all cases, cardiovascular risk factors, ejection fraction, left atrial diameter, atrial volumes, and epicardial fat volume were analyzed.
Results: CT analysis revealed that patients with AF recurrence presented a significantly larger mean index of left atrial volume (59.57 ± 8.52 mL/m2 vs. 49.99 ± 10.88 mL/m2, p = 0.04), right atrial volume (58.94 ± 8.37 mL/m2 vs. 43.21 ± 6.4 mL/m2, p<0.0001), and indexed bi-atrial volume (118.5 ± 15.82 mL/m2 vs. 93.19 ± 16.42 mL/m2, p = 0.005). At the same time, CT analysis of the epicardial adipose tissue volume indicated that patients with AF recurrence have a larger amount of epicardial fat than those without AF recurrence (176.4 ± 100.8 mL vs. 109.8 ± 40.73 mL, p = 0.02).
Conclusion: Left atrial diameter, indexed atrial volumes, and epicardial fat volume may be used as factors to identify patients at risk for developing recurrence after pulmonary vein ablation.
Recent studies demonstrated that despite restoration of the sinus rhythm, patients with a positive history of atrial fibrillation (AF) are still at risk of thromboembolic events. The primary objective of this study is to identify new imaging-derived biomarkers provided by modern imaging technologies, such as cardiac computed tomography angiography, delayed enhancement magnetic resonance imaging, or speckle tracking echocardiography, as well as hematological biomarkers, associated with the risk of intracavitary thrombosis in patients with AF, in order to identify the imaging-derived characteristics associated with an increased risk of cardioembolic events. Imaging data collected will be post-processed using advanced techniques of computational modeling, in order to fully characterize the degree of structural remodeling and the amount of atrial fibrosis. The primary endpoint of the study is represented by the rate of thromboembolic events. The rate of cardiovascular death, the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events, and the rate of AF recurrence will also be determined in relation to the degree of structural remodeling and atrial fibrosis.
Introduction: In patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) complicating an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the survival depends largely on the restoration of coronary flow in the infarct related artery. The aim of this study was to determine clinical and angiographic predictors of in-hospital mortality in patients with OHCA and STEMI, successfully resuscitated and undergoing primary percutaneous intervention (PCI).
Methods: From January 2013 to July 2015, 78 patients with STEMI presenting OHCA, successfully resuscitated, transferred immediately to the catheterization unit and treated with primary PCI, were analyzed. Clinical, laboratory and angiographic data were compared in 28 non-survivors and 50 survivors.
Results: The clinical baseline characteristics of the study population showed no significant differences between the survivors and non-survivors in respect to age (p=0.06), gender (p=0.8), the presence of hypertension (p=0.4), dyslipidemia (p=0.09) obesity (p=1), smoking status (p=0.2), presence of diabetes (p=0.2), a clinical history of acute myocardial infarction (p=0.7) or stroke (p=0.17). Compared to survivors, the non-survivor group exhibited a significantly higher incidence of cardiogenic shock (50% vs 24%, p=0.02), renal failure (64.3% vs 30.0%, p=0.004) and anaemia (35.7% vs 12.0%, p=0.02). Three-vessel disease was significantly higher in the non-survivor group (42.8% vs. 20.0%, p=0.03), while there was a significantly higher percentage of TIMI 3 flow postPCI in the infarct-related artery in the survivor group (80.% vs. 57.1%, p=0.03). The time from the onset of symptoms to revascularization was significantly higher in patients who died compared to those who survived (387.5 +/- 211.3 minutes vs 300.8 +/- 166.1 minutes, p=0.04), as was the time from the onset of cardiac arrest to revascularization (103.0 +/- 56.34 minutes vs 67.0 +/- 44.4 minutes, p=0.002). Multivariate analysis identified the presence of cardiogenic shock (odds ratio [OR]: 3.17, p=0.02), multivessel disease (OR: 3.0, p=0.03), renal failure (OR: 4.2, p=0.004), anaemia (OR: 4.07, p=0.02), need for mechanical ventilation >48 hours (OR: 8.07, p=0.0002) and a duration of stay in the ICU longer than 5 days (OR: 9.96, p=0.0002) as the most significant independent predictors for mortality in patients with OHCA and STEMI.
Conclusion: In patients surviving an OHCA in the early phase of a myocardial infarction, the presence of cardiogenic shock, renal failure, anaemia or multivessel disease, as well as a longer time from the onset of symptoms or of cardiac arrest to revascularization, are independent predictors of mortality. However, the most powerful predictor of death is the duration of stay in the ICU and the requirement of mechanical ventilation for more than forty-eight hours.
Radiofrequency catheter ablation of parahisian accessory pathways in pre-excitation syndrome is a challenging task, due to the extremely high risk of complete atrioventricular block. In this brief report we describe the case of a 32 year-old man presenting a parahisian accessory pathway, who has been successfully treated by radiofrequency ablation. Radiofrequency catheter ablation using low-power radiofrequency current is considered to be the most appropiate method of ablation in adult patients.
Introduction: Peripheral artery disease, a frequent consequence of atherosclerosis, is usually associated with concomitant ischaemic coronary artery disease and with a high rate of cardiovascular mortality.
Material and methods: The study population consisted of 24 patients, admitted to our clinic with peripheral artery disease, 10 of them with critical limb ischaemia. In all cases, cardiovascular risk factors, left ventricular dysfunction and ejection fraction were analyzed. Peripheral Multislice Angio CT examination was used to determine the TASC class and to assess the peripheral arterial lesions. The Coronary Calcium Score and the Syntax Score were determined with angio CT of the coronary arteries.
Results: Patients were between 39 and 84 years of age, and 54% were in Fontaine class 2B, 21% in Fontaine class 3 and 25% in Fontaine class 4. 12.5% of patients presented TASC class A, 33.3% TASC class B, and 54.2% TASC class C. Coronary Calcium Scores were between 0 and 100 in 16.6% of patients, between 100 and 400 in 41.8%, and >400 in 41.6% of patients. The SYNTAX Score was <22 in 54% of patients, between 22 and 32 in 37.5%, and >32 in 8.5% of patients. A significant correlation was found between the Coronary Calcium Score and the SYNTAX Score (r = 0.82, p = 0.03). The Syntax Score was 22.43 ± 3.2 in TASC A patients, 26.2 ± 5.4 in TASC B patients, 32.1 ± 2.3 in TASC C patients (p = 0.005).
Conclusions: The severity of coronary artery disease characterized by the Syntax Score, by the presence of left main stenosis and segmental left ventricular hypokinesis presents significant correlation with the severity of peripheral artery disease, characterized by the TASC classification.