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Open access

Tiberiu Nyulas, Ciprian Blendea, Nora Rat, Andreea Barcan, Szilamer Korodi and Balazs Bajka

Abstract

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.

Open access

Tiberiu Nyulas, Ciprian Blendea, Andreea Barcan, Balazs Bajka, Szilamer Korodi and Nora Rat

Abstract

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.

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

Mihaela Ratiu, Nora Rat, Tiberiu Nyulas, Geanina Moldovan, Victoria Rus, Theodora Benedek and Imre Benedek

Abstract

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.

Open access

Victoria Rus, Diana Opincariu, Roxana Hodas, Tiberiu Nyulas, Marian Hintea and Theodora Benedek

Abstract

Background: The impact of nutritional status on the early outcome of subjects with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is still not completely elucidated. This study aimed to assess the correlation between nutritional status, as expressed by the CONUT and PIN scores, and (1) clinical and laboratory characteristics, (2) complication rates, and (3) length of hospitalization, in patients with AMI.

Materials and methods: We included 56 consecutive patients with AMI who underwent primary percutaneous intervention and stenting. Evaluation of the nutritional status was comprised in the calculation of the CONUT and PNI scores. The study population was divided into 2 groups according to the calculated CONUT score, as follows: group 1 – CONUT score <3 points (normal to mildly impaired nutritional status) and group 2 – CONUT score ≥3 points (moderate to severe malnutrition). The primary end-point of the study was the rate of in-hospital complications (left ventricular free wall rupture, hemodynamic instability requiring inotropic medication, high-degree atrioventricular block, the need for temporary cardiostimulation, supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias and in-hospital cardiac arrest). The secondary end-points included the duration of hospitalization and the length of stay in the intensive cardiac care unit.

Results: In total, 56 patients (44.64% with STEMI, 55.35% with NSTEMI) with a mean age of 61.96 ± 13.42 years, 58.92% males were included in the study. Group distribution was: group 1 – 76.78% (n = 43), group 2 – 23.21% (n = 23). There were no differences between the two groups regarding age, gender, cardiovascular risk factors, or comorbidities. PNI index in group 1 was 54.4 ± 10.4 and in group 2 41.1 ± 2.8, p <0.0001. Serum albumin was significantly lower in group 1 – 4.1 ± 0.3 vs. group 2 – 3.6 ± 0.3 (p <0.0001), similarly to total cholesterol levels (group 1 – 194.9 ± 41.5 vs. group 2 – 161.2 ± 58.2, p = 0.02). The complete blood cell count showed that group 2 presented lower levels of hematocrit (p = 0.003), hemoglobin (p = 0.002), and lymphocytes (p <0.0001) compared to group 1, but a significantly higher platelet count (p = 0.001), mean platelet volume (p = 0.03), neutrophil/lymphocyte (p <0.0001) and platelet/lymphocyte (p <0.0001) ratios, indicating enhanced blood thrombogenicity and inflammation. Regarding in-hospital complications, group 2 presented a higher rate of hemodynamic instability (group 1 – 11.6% vs. group 2 – 38.4%, p = 0.02). The overall hospitalization period was 7.7 ± 1.4 days in group 1 vs. 10.2 ± 4.8 days in group 2, p = 0.06; while the duration of stay in the intensive cardiac care unit was 2.6 ± 0.5 days in group 1 vs. 4.0 ± 2.5 days in group 2, p = 0.02.

Conclusions: This study proved that nutritional deficit in acute myocardial patients who undergo revascularization is associated with an increased rate of in-hospital complications and with a longer observation time in a tertiary intensive cardiac care unit.

Open access

Marius Orzan, Alexandra Stănescu, Tiberiu Nyulas, Mirabela Morariu, Nora Rat, Sebastian Condrea and Imre Benedek

Abstract

Invasive and noninvasive methods currently used for imaging-based evaluation of the coronary tree reveal a high number of moderate degree coronary artery stenoses, and the decision to revascularize or not such lesions could be difficult in different clinical settings. Therefore, the need for evaluating the functional significance of such lesions appeared obvious and led to the introduction of fractional flow reserve methodology, a new tool proposed for the evaluation of the functional impact of a coronary stenosis. At the same time, new tools have been proposed for the same application, such as the transluminal attenuation gradient along a coronary artery stenosis, determined using cardiac computed angiography. The aim of this short update is to summarize the recent advances in the field of invasive and noninvasive evaluation of the functional significance of coronary artery stenoses.

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

Erzsébet Lázár, Péter Balázs Oltean, Laura Jáni, István Kovács, Tiberiu Nyulas, István Benedek and István Benedek

Abstract

Hematological conditions and their treatments have an increased risk of cardiovascular events, and invasive interventions have a higher risk of periprocedural complications in this group of patients. The aim of this review was to evaluate the risk of invasive interventions in patients with hematologic disorders and to underline the role of noninvasive cardiovascular screening in patients with hematological disorders such as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, anemia, hemophilia, thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera, and leukemia. Based on present knowledge in the field, our opinion is that the screening of patients with hematological diseases is very important to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular events. Noninvasive assessments are suitable for this purpose with a significantly lower risk compared to invasive interventions.

Open access

Erzsébet Lázár, Lehel Bordi, István Benedek, Monica Chițu, Zsuzsanna Suciu, Tiberiu Nyulas, Roxana Hodas, Imre Benedek and István Benedek

Abstract

Despite of numerous treatment strategies developed in the last years, ischemic heart disease remains the leading cause of death around the world. Acute myocardial infarction (MI) causes irreversible destruction to the myocardial tissue, which is replaced by fibroblast cells, leading to the formation of a dense, collagenous scar, a non-contractile tissue, and often to heart failure. Stem cell therapy seems to represent the next therapeutic method for the treatment of heart failure caused by myocardial infarction. Several international trials proved the beneficial outcome of the intracoronary infusion of bone marrow-derived stem cells, improving left ventricular systolic function and clinical symptomatology. Many noninvasive imaging procedures are available to evaluate the beneficial properties of stem cell therapy. Most studies have demonstrated the role of multislice computed tomography (MSCT) in evaluating left ventricular parameters such as end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes and ejection fraction, or to quantify myocardial scar tissue. In this review we will discuss the usefulness of MSCT for the assessment of coronary arteries, new tissue regeneration, and evaluation of tissue changes and their functional consequences in subjects undergoing stem cell treatment following MI.

Open access

Tiberiu Nyulas, Mirabela Morariu, Nora Rat, Emese Marton, Victoria Ancuta Rus, Mihaela Ratiu, Theodora Benedek and Imre Benedek

Abstract

Background: Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) has been recently identified as a major player in the development of the atherosclerotic process. This study aimed to investigate the role of EAT as a marker associated with a higher vulnerability of atheromatous coronary plaques in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) as compared to patients with stable angina.

Material and methods: This analysis enrolled a total of 89 patients, 47 with stable angina (SA) and 42 with AMI, who underwent echocardiographic investigations and epicardial fat measurement in 2D-parasternal long axis view. The study lot was divided as follows: Group 1 included patients with prior AMI, and Group 2 included patients with SA.

Results: There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding cardiovascular risk factors, excepting smoking status, which was recorded more frequently in Group 1 as compared to Group 2 (36.17% vs. 11.63%, p = 0.02). The mean epicardial fat diameter was 9.12 ± 2.28 mm (95% CI: 8.45–9.79 mm) in Group 1 and 6.30 ± 2.03 mm (95% CI: 5.675–6.93 mm) in Group 2, the difference being highly significant statistically (p <0.0001). The mean value of left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly lower in patients with AMI (Group 1 – 47.60% ± 7.96 vs. Group 2 – 51.23% ± 9.05, p = 0.04). EAT thickness values showed a weak but significant positive correlation with the level of total cholesterol (r = −0.22, p = 0.03) and with the value of end-systolic left ventricle diameter (r = 0.33, = 0.001).

Conclusions: The increased thickness of EAT was associated with other serum- or image-based biomarkers of disease severity, such as the left ventricular ejection fraction, end-systolic diameter of the left ventricle, and total cholesterol. Our results indicate that EAT is significantly higher in patients with acute coronary syndrome, proving that EAT could serve as a marker of vulnerability in cardiovascular diseases.