Although metallic stents improved the safety and efficacy of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), even the latest generation of drug-eluting stents (DES) is still limited by several factors. The limitations of DES are mainly related to the permanent metallic caging in vessel, chronic inflammatory response to the polymer and adverse effects of antiproliferative drug on endothelial tissue, leading to impaired physiological vasomotor response and late stent-related adverse events such as stent thrombosis and neoatherosclerosis. Bioresorbable vascular scaffold (Absorb BVS; Abbott Vascular) was designed to overcome these drawbacks of DES by disappearing from the vessel wall. Absorb BVS, however, was withdrawn from the world market because of increased incidence of scaffold thrombosis compared with DES. Importantly, only very limited long-term post-BVS implantation data are available, especially with regard to neoatherosclerosis, which can lead to very late adverse events even after resorption of the scaffold. Therefore, the goal of this review was to highlight the mid to long term clinical outcomes published to date, and to describe the features of the intimal healing process and neoatherosclerosis in the 5 years following Absorb BVS implantation, mainly based on our previous study. This may provide important information on the pathophysiology of the scaffolded vessel for clinicians, and promote identification of future bioresorbable materials for PCI that will minimize the stimulus for neoatherosclerosis.
The microscopic tissue structure and organization influence the polarization of light. Intravascular polarimetry leverages this compelling intrinsic contrast mechanism by using polarization-sensitive optical frequency domain imaging to measure the polarization properties of the coronary arterial wall. Tissues rich in collagen and smooth muscle cells appear birefringent, while the presence of lipid causes depolarization, offering quantitative metrics related to the presence of important components of coronary atherosclerosis. Here, we review the basic principles, the interpretation of polarization signatures, and first clinical investigations of intravascular polarimetry and discuss how this extension of contemporary intravascular imaging may advance our knowledge and improve clinical practice in the future.
Maintaining a coordinated heart rhythm is essential for maintaining the heart’s pumping function and blood circulation. Every heartbeat is generated by electrical impulse propagation that is passing through gap junctions, which are composed of connexin proteins. In mammalian hearts, Cx43, Cx40, Cx45, and Cx30.2 are expressed and regulated by post-translational modification. Cardiac macrophages account for only a small number of total heart cells, but they reside all around the heart. They are primarily established prenatally, and they arise from embryonic yolk sac progenitors. Recently, increasing attention has been directed toward novel roles for cardiac resident macrophages, especially in the heart’s electrical impulse conduction. Here, we provide an overview of the recent findings on connexins, with a focus on the emerging function of cardiac macrophages, and we discuss the future directions of treatment for heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Despite advances in cardiovascular therapy, mortality in heart disease still remains high. Direct cardiac reprogramming is a promising approach for cardiac tissue repair involving in situ generation of new cardiomyocytes from endogenous cardiac fibroblasts. Although, initially, the reprogramming efficiency was low, several developments in reprogramming methods have improved the in vitro cardiac reprogramming efficiency. Subsequently, in vivo cardiac reprogramming has demonstrated improvement in cardiac function and fibrosis after myocardial infarction. Here, we review recent progress in cardiac reprogramming as a new technology for cardiac regeneration.
Sleep plays an integral role in maintaining health and quality of life. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent sleep disorder recognized as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and arrhythmia. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a common and devastating event. Out-of-hospital SCD accounts for the majority of deaths from cardiac disease, which is the leading cause of death globally. A limited but emerging body of research has further elaborated on the link between OSA and SCD. In this article, we aim to provide a critical review of the existing evidence by addressing the following questions: (1) what epidemiologic evidence exists linking OSA to SCD; (2) what evidence exists for a pathophysiologic connection between OSA and SCD; (3) are there electrocardiographic markers of SCD found in patients with OSA; (4) does heart failure represent a major effect modifier regarding the relationship between OSA and SCD; and (5) what is the impact of sleep apnea treatment on SCD and cardiovascular outcomes. Finally, we elaborate on ongoing research to enhance our understanding of the OSA-SCD association.
Background:We examined the association between initiation of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) and the incidence of infectious complications, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and bacteremia, after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in patients who received targeted temperature management (TTM).
Methods and Results:This retrospective study used data from hospital medical records of patients with OHCA treated with TTM who had been admitted to St. Luke’s International Hospital between April 2006 and December 2018. The primary endpoint was the association between the type of CPR and the incidence of early onset pneumonia in the intensive care unit (ICU; between 48 h and 7 days of hospitalization). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed for the primary endpoints. After applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria, 254 patients were included in the analyses; of these, 52 were enrolled in the ECPR group, and 202 were enrolled in the CCPR group. Median age was 58 years, 88.5% were male, prophylactic antibiotics were used in 80.3%, and favorable neurological outcomes were observed in 51.9%. On multivariate analysis, ECPR (odds ratio [OR], 2.78; 95% CI: 1.16–6.66; P=0.037) was significantly associated with the development of early onset pneumonia.
Conclusions:ECPR was an independent predictor of pneumonia after OHCA in patients who received TTM.
Background:Clinical studies on heart failure (HF) using diagnosis procedure combination (DPC) databases have attracted attention recently, but data obtained from such databases may lack important information essential for determining the severity of HF.
Methods and Results:Using a HF database that collates DPC data and electronic medical records from 3 hospitals in Japan, we investigated factors contributing to prolonged hospitalization and in-hospital death, based on clinical characteristics and data obtained early during hospitalization in 2,750 Japanese patients with HF hospitalized between 2011 and 2015. Mean age was 77.0±13.0 years; 55.3% (n=1,520) were men, and 39.1% (n=759) had left ventricular ejection fraction <40%. In-hospital mortality was 6.0% (n=164) and mean length of stay for patients who were discharged alive was 18.2±13.7 days (median, 15 days). Factors contributing to in-hospital death were advanced age, higher New York Heart Association (NYHA) class, low albumin and sodium, and high creatinine and C-reactive protein (CRP). Factors contributing to prolonged hospitalization were higher NYHA class, low Barthel index, low albumin, and high B-type natriuretic peptide, lactate dehydrogenase, and CRP.
Conclusions:We have constructed a database of HF hospitalized patients in acute care hospitals in Japan. This approach may be helpful to address clinical parameters of HF patients in any acute care hospital in Japan.
Background:Renal congestion is a critical pathophysiological component of congestive heart failure (CHF).
Methods and Results:To quantify renal congestion, contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) was performed at baseline and after treatment in 11 CHF patients and 9 normal subjects. Based on the time-contrast intensity curve, time to peak intensity (TTP), which reflects the perfusion rate of renal parenchyma, and relative contrast intensity (RCI), an index reflecting renal blood volume, were measured. In CHF patients, TTP at baseline was significantly prolonged compared with that in controls (cortex, 10.8±3.5 vs. 4.6±1.2 s, P<0.0001; medulla, 10.6±3.0 vs. 5.1±1.6 s, P<0.0001), and RCI was lower than that in controls (cortex, −16.5±5.2 vs. −8.8±1.5 dB, P<0.0001; medulla, −22.8±5.2 vs. −14.8±2.4 dB, P<0.0001). After CHF treatment, RCI was significantly increased (cortex, −16.5±5.2 to −11.8±4.5 dB, P=0.035; medulla, −22.8±5.2 to −18.7±3.7 dB, P=0.045). TTP in the cortex decreased after treatment (10.8±3.5 to 7.6±3.1 s, P=0.032), but it was unchanged in the medulla (10.6±3.0 to 8.3±3.2 s, P=0.098).
Conclusions:Renal congestion can be observed using CEUS in CHF patients.
Background:Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) due to an unprotected left main coronary artery (LMCA) lesion is a critical condition, but there are limited data available on in-hospital outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Methods and Results:The Japan Acute Myocardial Infarction Registry is a nationwide, real-world database. The clinical data on 13,548 ACS patients hospitalized between January 2011 and December 2013 were retrospectively collected from 10 representative regional ACS registry groups. We compared the 404 patients (3.0%) with LMCA ACS with the remaining 13,144 patients with non-LMCA ACS. The LMCA group was characterized by older age, lower rate of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and higher rate of advanced Killip class. In-hospital mortality was significantly higher in patients with LMCA ACS than in those with non-LMCA ACS (23.3% vs. 5.5%, respectively; P<0.001). Primary PCI for non-LMCA lesions was associated with lower in-hospital mortality (OR, 0.48; 95% CI: 0.34–0.66), but that for LMCA lesions was not (OR, 2.89; 95% CI: 1.13–7.40). Longer door-to-balloon time was associated with Killip class ≥2 and higher in-hospital mortality in the non-LMCA group but not in the LMCA group.
Conclusions:Primary PCI in patients with LMCA ACS is still challenging; therefore, effective strategies are needed.
Background:Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is an important cause of morbidity in patients with connective tissue disease (CTD), and an early stage of PH could present as exercise-induced PH (EIPH). This study investigated the significant clinical indexes of EIPH in patients with CTD.
Methods and Results:We enrolled 63 patients with CTD who did not have PH at rest. All patients underwent the 6-min walk test (6MWT), and systolic pulmonary artery pressure (SPAP) was evaluated on echocardiography before and after 6MWT. EIPH was defined as SPAP ≥40 mmHg after 6 WMT. Thirty-five patients had EIPH. On univariate logistic analysis, SPAP at rest, log brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), vital capacity (VC), and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1.0) were significantly correlated with EIPH. On multiple logistic analysis, SPAP at rest and VC were independent predictors of EIPH, whereas FEV1.0 and log BNP were not significantly associated with EIPH. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve between EIPH and BNP, SPAP at rest, VC or FEV1.0 was 0.67, 0.76, 0.74, and 0.75, respectively.
Conclusions:SPAP at rest and respiratory function, especially VC, could be independent predictors of EIPH in patients with CTD.
Background:The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of isolated tricuspid regurgitation (TR) with long-term outcome in patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Methods and Results:We retrospectively analyzed 3,714 patients who had undergone both scheduled transthoracic echocardiography and electrocardiography in 2013 in a hospital-based population, after excluding severe and moderate left-side valvular disease and LVEF <50%. We classified patients into 2 groups: moderate to severe TR (n=53) and no moderate to severe TR (n=3,661). Next, we generated a propensity score (PS)-matched cohort: the moderate to severe TR group and the no moderate to severe TR group (n=41 in each group). The primary outcome was a composite of all-cause death and major adverse cardiac events. In the moderate to severe TR group, patients were older, and more likely to have higher left atrial volume index and E/e’ than those in the no moderate to severe TR group. In the PS-matched cohort, cumulative 3-year incidence of the primary outcome was 61.5% in the moderate to severe TR group and 24.3% in the no moderate to severe TR group (log-rank P=0.043; hazard ratio, 2.86; 95% CI: 1.37–6.37).
Conclusions:Isolated moderate to severe TR is associated with poor clinical outcome in patients with preserved LVEF.
Background:Smoking exerts detrimental effects during the progression of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Serum cystatin C is useful in the evaluation of early renal dysfunction and serves as a cardiovascular prognostic marker. This study measured changes in serum cystatin C after smoking cessation (SC).
Methods and Results:In this study, patients who visited the SC clinic for the first time and succeeded in SC for 1 year were enrolled. In the entire cohort of 86 patients, body mass index (BMI, P<0.001) and waist circumference (WC, P<0.001) increased significantly at 3 months after SC compared with baseline. These values were further increased significantly (BMI, P<0.001; WC, P<0.001) from 3 months to 1 year after SC. Serum cystatin C decreased significantly at 3 months (P=0.045) after SC, and remained unchanged (P=0.482) from 3 months to 1 year after SC. Percent change from baseline to 3 months after SC in serum cystatin C was correlated with the percent change in serum monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (P=0.047).
Conclusions:Serum cystatin C, a marker of chronic kidney disease, was significantly reduced at 3 months after SC.