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Open access

Mehmet Can Ugur, Ferhat Ekinci, Utku Erdem Soyaltın and Harun Akar

Abstract

Introduction. Contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). On the other hand, CIN is a serious complication in patients with diabetes or renal impairment undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). CIN after PCI may be associated with prolonged hospitalization, increased rates of kidney injury, and short- and long-term mortality. Factors that have been associated with CIN include: diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, recent acute myfocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock, and pre-existing renal impairment. In this study, we investigated contrast nephropathy development after coronary angiography (CAG) in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome, who were hospitalized initially in the Coronary Care Unit and subsequenttly referred to the Internal Medicine Clinic in a tertiary care hospital.

Methods. We’ve analyzed 335 patients’ records retrospectively in 1 year that were followed-up with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and transferred to the Internal Medicine Clinic (IMC). The following parameters were evaluated: age, gender, chronic disease and drug history, biochemical values evaluated before hospitalization to CCU, ejection fraction (EF) and left atrium diameter (LA), with or without previous CAG; values of serum creatinine (sCr) levels before CAG and after 48 hours. Values of p <0.05 were considered to be significant.

Results. 126 of 335 patients were female and 209 were male. The average age of patients was 64.2 years. 122 patients used angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), 54 patients used furosemide. CIN development rate of CAG patients was 22.8% (n=54). There was no significant relationship with age, gender and chronic disease history in CIN patients. When laboratory findings were compared, there was no significant relationship except for potassium value before CAG. However, potassium values were significantly higher in CIN patients (p=0.001). When drug usage of patients was compared, 48.1% (n=26) of CIN patients used ACEI and there was a significant relationship between ACEI use and CIN development (p=0.026).

Conclusions. CIN development rate was 22.8% and it was relatively high when compared with literature data. Awareness about contrast nephropathy develepment risk and assessment of risk factors before the procedure should be increased in our Center.

Open access

Olivera Andrejić, Rada Vučić, Svetlana Apostolović, Milan Pavlović, Dragana Stokanović, Valentina Nikolić, Tatjana Jevtović-Stoimenov and Stefan Momčilović

Summary

The aim of our study was to determine the factors influencing galectin-3 levels in patients with acute coronary syndrome and decreased left ventricular ejection fraction. We collected material from 37 successive patients with acute coronary syndrome and decreased left ventricular ejection fraction, of which 19 patients had atrial fibrillation, and 18 patients who were without atrial fibrillation constituted a control group. Blood samples used for the biochemical measurements were obtained on the third day from acute coronary syndrome. We used Statistical Package for Social Sciences for data analysis. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered to be a measure of statistical significance. Galectin-3 concentration is directly correlated with age and B-type natriuretic peptide level. Also, our results showed an inverse correlation between galectin-3 and total body weight, body mass index, body surface area and creatinine clearance. The following variables were found to be significant predictors of galectin-3 level: decreased left ventricular ejection fraction, total body weight, LDL concentration and body mass index. We identified factors that can predict a decrease in the left ventricular ejection fraction below 45% after acute coronary syndrome: atrial fibrillation increases the risk by almost six times, and urea concentration increases the risk by 1.2 times for each unit. Left ventricular ejection fraction below 45%, TBW, body mass index and LDL level are good predictors of galectin-3 concentration in patients with ACS and decreased left ventricular ejection fraction. Atrial fibrillation could be a predictive marker of decreased left ventricular ejection fraction.

Open access

Andrey V. Grek, Lyudmyla N. Prystupa and Tatiana V. Sytnik

Summary

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) of atherosclerotic origin and accompanying complications are a major cause of mortality in the world and Ukraine, in particular. Endothelial dysfunction is the key cause of atherosclerosis and atherothrombosis. One of the causes of endothelial dysfunction is hyperhomocysteinemia that may occur on the background of MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) mutation.

Thus, the goal of the study was to investigate the interrelation between homocysteine (Hc) level and MTHFR polymorphism in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

161 patients with ischemic heart disease and ACS have been examined. The control group comprised 87 healthy individuals. Homocysteine level was the highest in the patients having ACS with ST-segment elevation and complicated course, and was 1.8 times higher than Hc level in the control group. The patients with the most severe ACS course comprised 27 % of homozygotes for the major allele C and 41 % of homozygotes for the minor allele T. Comparing the distribution of MTHFR gene C677T polymorphism in patients with ACS that were stratified by plasma Hc level, we observed a statistically significant association, P < 0.030 by chi-square test. We confirmed that these patients had a high T/T genotype frequency of MTHFR C677T polymorphism. The obtained data proved the association of T/T genotype of MTHFR C677T polymorphism with increased Hc level as well as ACS severity.

Open access

Gabriel E. Pérez Baztarrica, Leonardo P. Armijos Carrion, Juan H. Abarca Real, William A. Paredes Lima, Otto P. Giler Saltos and Rafeal Porcile

Abstract

There are few case reports of cases of carotid and aortic dissection related to the ergotamine abuse, but the cases that affect the coronary arteries is a very rare coronary. We present a patient of a 48-year-old female with an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction attributable to chronic ergotamine use. The coronary angiography showed dissection of right coronary artery proximal.

Open access

Violeta Dinesch, Mihail Dinesch, Ileana Voichita Sirbu, Cosmin Macarie and Mircea Buruian

Abstract

Objective: Admission for acute coronary syndrome after successful percutaneous coronary intervention is a delicate situation for the patient and doctor. Predictors of these cases are poorly described.

Methods: We retrospectively analysed the files of post-percutaneous coronary intervention patients admitted to the Department of Cardiology of the Institute for Cardiovascular Disease and Heart Transplant in Tirgu Mures between January 2012 and December 2015. Analyses using the t-test, chi-square test, and Fisher test were performed to compare demographics, clinical and angiographic characteristics of patients with acute coronary syndrome, patients with stable angina, and those without symptoms.

Results: One hundred eighty post-percutaneous coronary intervention patients were readmitted; 46 patients (25.55%) were readmitted for acute coronary syndrome. Histories of arterial hypertension and renal dysfunction at hospital admission were associated with acute coronary syndrome. Bare metal stent in-stent restenosis and localisation of bare metal stent in-stent restenosis of the left descendent coronary artery were angiographic predictors of acute coronary syndrome.

Conclusion: Several clinical and angiographic factors identify patients at high risk for acute coronary syndrome after successful percutaneous coronary intervention. Recognition and treatment of these factors may prevent readmission for such a dangerous condition and may improve outcomes.

Open access

Alexandra Stănescu, Elisabeta Himcinschi, Mirabela Morariu, Nora Rat, Lehel Bordi, Mihaela Rațiu, Annabella Benedek, Imre Benedek and Theodora Benedek

Abstract

The diagnosis and treatment of acute coronary syndrome remain a challenge for clinicians in many clinical settings, especially in patients with previous low-to-intermediate risk. Due to its high specificity and sensitivity for detecting significant coronary artery stenoses, cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) tends to be used more frequently in the emergency room (ER) in the last years. This technique has been associated with a higher rate of safe discharge in patients with chest pain, less time spent in the ER, and decreased costs related to further investigations. In cases positive for coronary artery stenosis, CCTA can accurately evaluate the indication for percutaneous coronary angioplasty and can offer relevant information related to the characteristics of the coronary plaques, being able to detect vulnerable coronary plaques. The aim of this manuscript is to highlight the possibility of using CCTA in the ER in the assessment of patients with chest pain and to show the benefits of the procedure regarding safety, costs, accuracy, and time.

Open access

Theodora Benedek, András Mester, Annabell Benedek, Nora Rat, Diana Opincariu and Monica Chițu

Abstract

The aim of this systematic review was to analyze studies characterizing vulnerable coronary plaques using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), in order to identify the most efficient invasive technique permitting plaque characterization in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

Method: A total number of 432 studies were identified, 420 through database searching and 12 through manual searching. Eight duplicate studies were removed, leaving a total number of 424 studies to be screened. Twenty-six studies only available in Abstract-only form were excluded, resulting in 398 studies checked for eligibility. Eleven studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria and were included in this systematic analysis. Plaque vulnerability was investigated in plaques with thin cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) versus those with thick cap fibroatheroma, in ruptured coronary plaques versus non-ruptured coronary plaques, in culprit versus non-culprit lesions and in lipid-rich versus non-lipid-rich plaques.

Results: A total of 1,568 coronary plaques in 1,225 patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) who underwent both IVUS and OCT for analysis of plaque features were included in the final analysis. The review identified the following IVUS-derived features as significantly correlated with plaque vulnerability: plaque burden (p <0.001), remodeling index (p <0.001), external elastic membrane cross-sectional area (p <0.001), and the amount of necrotic core (p <0.001), while OCT-derived features characterizing unstable plaque were TCFA (p <0.001), lipid arch (p <0.001), accumulation of macrophages (p = 0.03), and presence of intracoronary thrombus (p <0.001).

Conclusion: Both IVUS and OCT are invasive imaging techniques able to provide relevant information on the vulnerability of coronary atheromatous plaques, identifying, as they do, various plaque features significantly associated with unstable plaques. Information provided by the two techniques is complementary, and both methods can serve as a useful clinical diagnostic tool, especially in cases of ACS patients undergoing a revascularization procedure.

Open access

Diana Opincariu, Daniel Cernica, Marius Orzan, Monica Chițu, Zsuzsanna Suciu, Nora Rat, Theodora Benedek and Imre Benedek

Abstract

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has evolved notably over the last decade, gaining an increased amount of temporo-spatial resolution in combination with decreased radiation exposure. The importance of CCTA is emerging especially in vulnerable and young patients who might not have developed a viable collateral vascular network to sustain the circulation to an infarction area during a major adverse coronary event. There are a few well-known markers by which a vulnerable plaque can be assessed and that can predict the subsequent events of sudden myocardial ischemia, such as an increased positive remodeling index (cut-off >1.4), low-attenuation plaque (cut-off <30 HU), plaque burden (cut-off >0.7), and napkin-ring sign (NRS). This manuscript presents a series of 3 clinical cases of young patients experiencing symptoms and signs of myocardial ischemia who underwent CCTA in order to assess the composition and functional characteristics of atherosclerotic plaques and their repercussion in developing an acute coronary syndrome.

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

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

Abstract

Background: The independent role of each plaque feature in relation to plaque vulnerability is still the subject of ongoing research. This study aimed to compare the morphologic characteristics of vulnerable atheromatous coronary plaques with the ones of stable, non-vulnerable plaques, and in plaques with different locations in the coronary tree, in order to identify the most relevant imaging-based biomarkers associated with coronary plaque vulnerability.

Material and methods: This was a prospective observational, non-randomized study that included 50 patients with unstable angina who underwent computed tomography angiography for assessment of the entire coronary artery tree followed by complex morphologic analysis of all lesions, divided into two groups: group 1 – 25 patients with vulnerable plaque (VP) and group 2 – 25 age- and gender-matched patients with non-vulnerable plaque (NVP).

Results: Lesions with a stenosis degree >70% were significantly longer than those with a stenosis degree <70% (8.27 ± 2.74 mm vs. 5.56 ± 4.11 mm, p = 0.04). VP presented significantly higher values of plaque thickness (p = 0.0005), plaque burden (p = 0.0004), and higher total plaque volume (p = 0.0005) than NVP. The remodeling index was not significantly different between the groups (p = 0.6), but the eccentricity index was (0.24 ± 0.14 compared to 0.14 ± 0.17, p = 0.023). Linear regression analysis revealed a significant correlation between plaque burden and plaque components in VP (r = 0.76, p <0.0001 for necrotic core; r = 0.62, p = 0.0008 for fibro-fatty tissue; and r = 0.5, p = 0.01 for fibrotic tissue volume). Culprit plaques located in the right coronary artery presented significantly larger plaque burden volumes (91.17 ± 4.88 mm3 vs. 83.35 ± 8.47 mm3, p = 0.04), larger volumes of necrotic core (82.03 ± 47.85 mm3 vs. 45.84 ± 43.72 mm3, p = 0.02) and fibrofatty tissue (53.23 ± 31.92 mm3 vs. 23.76 ± 20.90 mm3, p = 0.02) than the ones situated in the left coronary artery.

Conclusions: VPs from the culprit lesions exhibit a different phenotype than non-vulnerable ones, and vulnerability features are present in a significantly larger extent in VPs from the right coronary artery as compared to those from the left coronary artery.