Coronary stents dramatically improve acute outcomes of percutaneous coronary interventions but also induce abundant intraluminal neointimal growth. Drug-eluting stents reduce intimal hyperplasia, the main cause of in-stent restenosis. The safety and beneficial effects of paclitaxel-eluting stents (Taxus) in patients treated in daily practice remains to be defined. The aim of this study was to report the late outcomes of Taxus implantation in patients with coronary artery disease. The study population consisted of 151 patients (202 stents) who had undergone coronary Taxus stent implantation between March 2003 and May 2005. Patients were eligible for enrollment if there was symptomatic coronary artery disease or positive functional testing, and angiographic evidence of single or multivessel disease with a target lesion stenosis of 70% in a 2.0 mm vessel. The control coronary angiographies were performed after stent deployment at 12 ± 2.8 months, and approximately 2 years of follow-up was completed. The polymer-based paclitaxel-eluting stent has been shown to be effective in reducing restenosis. Patients were followed-up for 16.7 ± 7.4 months. All patients survived after stent implantation, but 2 (1.3%) patients experienced acute myocardial infarction after 3 and 9 months following angioplasty. Recurrent angina pectoris was observed in 3 patients. Angiographic evidence of restenosis was observed in these 5 patients. Three patients underwent angioplasty because of re- stenosis, and coronary artery bypass grafting was conducted in the other 2 patients. The results indicate that Taxus stents can be implanted with a very high success rate and have encouraging long-term angiographic and clinical results.
Acute left main coronary artery (LMCA) occlusion may result in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or sudden death. ST elevation in the aVR and V1 leads is reported to be valuable in recognizing LMCA occlusion. Early recognition of electrocardiogram (ECG) changes, such as reciprocal ST depression in other leads, is helpful in averting this disaster. This study aimed to determine the reciprocal ST segment depression of 12-lead ECGs associated with acute LMCA occlusion. From January 2000 to December 2004, 61 patients who underwent emergency percutaneous coronary intervention in 3 hospitals due to AMI associated with LMCA (n = 18) and a left anterior descending coronary artery (LADCA) (n = 43) proximal lesion were selected. Reciprocal ST segment depression occurred in leads aVF, V2, V3, V4, V5, and V6 with significantly higher incidence in the LMCA group than in the LADCA group. Stepwise linear multivariate discriminant analysis indicated that ST segment depression in leads aVF, V2, and V4 could distinguish the LMCA group from the LADCA group. We concluded that reciprocal ST segment depression in leads V2, V4, and aVF of a 12-lead ECG is an important predictor of acute LMCA occlusion.
The transradial approach for left heart catheterization has become increasingly popular recently because of its clinical benefits. We examined the safety and feasibility of a transforearm approach for bilateral cardiac catheterizations, using the radial artery and a superficial forearm vein (the cephalic, basilic, or median antecubital vein). Between August 2002 and October 2003, 296 right heart catheterizations were performed in our hospital. A superficial forearm vein was used in one group of 101 patients, of which 98 had a concomitant left heart catheterization through the radial artery. The femoral vein was used for right heart catheterization in the second group of 195 patients. Of these patients, 37 underwent left heart catheterization through the radial artery and 157 through the femoral artery. All instances of bilateral catheterizations were successful except for one complication of pseudoaneurysm occurring in the transfemoral group. The procedure time for right heart catheterization was significantly less in the forearm group than the femoral group. The transforearm group had a larger proportion of males and of patients undergoing diagnostic right heart catheterization for congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy, and ischemic cardiomyopathy. Patients with aortic stenosis (AS), atrial septal defect (ASD), and mitral stenosis (MS) were mainly restricted to the transfemoral approach. We conclude that the transradial artery and superficial forearm venous approach for bilateral cardiac catheterizations is a safe and feasible alternative to the femoral approach in a wide range of patients, with the exception of patients with AS, ASD, or MS.
The outcome for facilitated percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is known to be more favorable in cases in which TIMI-3 flow is obtained before PCI. We investigated factors that affect the acquisition of TIMI-3 flow before PCI. Facilitated PCI was performed on 178 patients divided into two groups, a group in which TIMI-3 flow was acquired before conducting PCI and another in which it was not, and their background factors and short-term outcomes were investigated. The hemoglobin concentrations, white blood cell (WBC) counts, and HbA1c values were significantly lower in the group in which TIMI-3 flow was acquired before PCI and significantly more had a history of past smoking. According to the results of logistic analysis, WBC count (odds ratio [OR], 0.865, P = 0.0077), hemoglobin concentration (OR, 0.77, P = 0.0257), and smoking history (OR, 0.266, P = 0.0021) were independent factors that predicted acquisition of TIMI-3 flow. The WBC count and hemoglobin value on arrival at the emergency room and history of smoking were shown to be independent factors for acquisition of TIMI-3 flow before PCI in facilitated PCI.
Aspirin has been shown to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, its effects on long-term (over 10years) mortality have not been fully elucidated. This retrospective study recorded the patient characteristics and admission medication for all patients undergoing PCI over an 8-year period from 1984 to 1992. Follow-up information was available for 748 patients (100%) for a mean of 143.6 ± 43.4 months. A propensity analysis was performed to adjust for presumed selection biases in the administration of aspirin. The baseline clinical characteristics were similar between the group that received aspirin and the group that did not, except for the administration of statins and PCI procedural success rate. Of the 748 patients, 535 (71.5%) received aspirin treatment at the time of PCI. During the 12-year follow-up, 54 patients died from any cause and 20 patients from cardiac death. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that aspirin treatment led to a significant reduction in all cause mortality (10% versus 16.4%; P = 0.01) and cardiac death (3.7% versus 8.0%; P = 0.02) compared to other antiplatelet drugs. The hazard ratio (HR) for the total mortality and cardiac mortality rates was adjusted using the Cox-proportional hazard model for confounding variables and propensity score. The all cause (HR, 0.49; 95%CI [0.29-0.80], P = 0.005) and cardiac mortality rates (HR, 0.32; 95%CI [0.14-0.72], P = 0.006) for patients receiving aspirin remained lower than for those not receiving aspirin. Aspirin treatment at the time of PCI significantly reduced the risk of death from any cause and cardiac death. The administration of aspirin had a positive impact on the over 10-year long-term outcomes of patients who underwent PCI. (Int Heart J 2006; 47 : 37-45 )
The objective of the present prospective multicenter case-control study was to investigate the long-term clinical outcome (5years) of primary stenting compared to primary percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) without stenting (POBA) in patients with acute myocardial infarction at 7 cardiovascular centers in Hokkaido, Japan. Forty-one patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with successful primary stenting (stent group: case) and paired with 41 matched control subjects with acute myocardial infarction treated by successful primary PTCA without stenting (POBA group: control) were analyzed. After 1 year, the stent group had a lower incidence of the combined clinical endpoint (death, rehospitalization due to congestive heart failure, nonfatal myocardial infarction, repeat angioplasty, CABG, or cerebrovascular events) compared to the POBA group (17.1% versus 39.0%, P = 0.049). After 5 years, the incidences of congestive heart failure and cardiac death were the same in both groups. However, compared to the POBA group, the stent group had a lower combined clinical endpoint (34.1% versus 61.0%, P = 0.027). The Kaplan-Meier event-free survival curves of the stent group showed a significantly lower occurrence of clinical events compared to the POBA group (P = 0.0116). Multiple logistic regression analysis of clinical events identified age ≥ 69 years (P = 0.0092, odds ratio = 4.179) and stenting (P = 0.0158, odds ratio = 0.279) as explanatory factors. Compared with POBA, primary stenting for acute myocardial infarction results in a better long-term clinical outcome.
In addition to the clinical outcome, a patient's perspective and satisfaction with their health status have become important indicators. One of the most common measures to assess the quality of life is Short Form (SF)-36. The objective of the present study was to measure the functional status of elderly patients who had undergone coronary bypass surgery and to evaluate the impact of that surgery on their quality of life. The study involved 120 nonsmoking patients who underwent coronary bypass surgery between January 1, 2001 and January 1, 2003 at the Sevket Demirel Heart Center. Assessments were made using physical, clinical, and laboratory findings. We used the Turkish version of the Short Form (SF)-36 preoperatively and 18 months after surgery. The paired t test, two-tailed correlation, and variant analysis were used for statistical analysis. Of the 120 patients, 108 could be followed during the study period. Significant physical and mental improvements were seen in all areas, especially in the items of vitality and mental health. Females seemed to benefit from surgery more than males. Cardiac surgery substantially improved the quality of life of our patients. The findings allowed us to determine the patient's perspective of his or her outcome. With this knowledge, health care workers can provide information to the patient regarding functional limitations after cardiac surgery.
The objective of this study was to determine a reliable, alternative ratio to the pulmonary artery (PA) index, which will help to estimate the adequacy of postoperative pulmonary blood flow in patients with tetralogy of Fallot. We propose the pulmonary segmental artery ratio (PSAR), which is an angiographic measure for the quantitative standardization of the total number of pulmonary segmental arteries in a patient. The expected value of the PSAR is 1 and it is constant after the 16th week of intrauterine life. Retrospective analysis of the PSAR and PA index calculations in patients with tetralogy of Fallot was conducted. Sixty-one patients were assigned to a moderate or low risk group according to their PSAR; the low risk group included 31 patients whose PSAR was between 0.75-1 (group 1) while the moderate risk group included 30 patients whose PSAR was between 0.50-0.75 (group 2). High risk patients whose PSAR was less than 0.50 were excluded from the study. Postoperative peak right ventricular pressure, the pulmonary artery to systemic pressure ratio, and peripheral arterial oxygen saturation preoperatively after cardiopulmonary bypass were analyzed separately in groups 1 and 2. Postoperative peak right ventricular pressure was lower in group 1 than group 2, while the pulmonary artery to systemic pressure ratio and peripheral arterial oxygen saturation were higher in group 1 than group 2 (P < 0.01). Based on the present findings, it is concluded that PSAR is not as reliable as the Nakata index. However, in cases in which the PSAR and PA index are not correlated, PSAR may be helpful for determining the adequacy of postoperative pulmonary blood flow and postoperative outcomes of patients with hypoplastic pulmonary arteries.
Pseudoexfoliation syndrome (PEX) is the most common clinical precursor of open-angle glaucoma. Recent studies have shown that pseudoexfoliative material is widely distributed throughout the body, including blood vessels. The aim of our study was to evaluate endothelial function in the brachial artery of patients with pseudoexfoliation syndrome. We prospectively examined 23 patients with PEX (mean age, 70 ± 8 years) and 20 healthy age- and sex-matched individuals (mean age, 68 ± 9 years) as a control group. Brachial artery endothelial function was assessed by vascular response to reactive hyperemia (flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and sublingual nitroglycerin (NTG-mediated dilation) using high-resolution ultrasound. Flow-mediated and NTG-induced dilation were expressed as the percent change in diameter after reactive hyperemia and after NTG administration relative to the baseline value, respectively. Patients with cardiovascular disease and other conditions associated with endothelial dysfunction were excluded. When compared with controls, patients with PEX had significantly lower flow-mediated dilation (4.5 ± 2.8 versus 8.2 ± 3.7, P = 0.01) and NTG-mediated dilation (10.9 ± 3.1 versus 15.8 ± 3.8, P = 0.0001). Flow-mediated dilation and NTG-mediated dilation were similar in PEX patients with glaucoma (n = 11) and without glaucoma (n = 12). Flow-mediated and NTG-mediated dilation did not correlate with any measured parameter in any patient or control subject. The findings indicate that systemic endothelial function is impaired in PEX syndrome patients.
Amiodarone (AM) is a potent vasodilator and exhibits diverse cardiovascular protective effects in vivo, but their underlying mechanisms remain unsettled. We investigated the effects of AM and N-desethylamiodarone (DEA), the major metabolite of AM, on endothelial nitric oxide (NO) production using cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The release of NO was evaluated as measured by nitrite, a stable metabolite of NO, using the Griess reaction and also measured directly by a NO-selective electrode. The expression of each nitric oxide synthase (NOS) mRNA was examined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and the effects of AM on eNOS mRNA expression were studied by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. AM and DEA (1-30 μM) enhanced NO production in a concentration-dependent manner. DEA was capable of producing more NO than AM. L-NAME, a nonselective NOS inhibitor, EGTA, a Ca2+-chelating agent, and nickel, a nonspecific Ca2+ blocker, all inhibited AM-induced NO production. However, LY294002, an Akt pathway inhibitor and SB202190, a MAP kinase inhibitor, did not significantly suppress the production. In RT-PCR analysis, only eNOS mRNA was detected. Treatment with AM for 4 hours did not show a significant increase in the expression of eNOS mRNA. AM lower than 30 μM did not induce apoptosis, net cell loss, or LDH release from cells. The present study provides the first evidence that therapeutic concentrations of AM and DEA enhance eNOS-mediated NO production without any toxic or apoptotic effects. This mechanism may underlie the cardiovascular protective effects of AM and its metabolite observed in a clinical setting.
Endothelial progenitor cells were isolated from peripheral blood obtained from 32 healthy volunteers without cardiovascular risk factors who ranged in age from 20 to 61 years (mean [± SD] age, 34.1 ± 9.6 years). The fractions of CD34+ endothelial progenitor cells expressing kinase insert domain receptor-1, CD62E, or CD31 were analyzed with flow cytometry. Correlation analysis demonstrated that there was no significant correlation between subject age and the fraction of circulating CD34+ mononuclear cells expressing kinase insert domain receptor-1 (P = 0.324; r = −0.180). Similarly, there was no significant correlation between subject age and the fraction of circulating CD34+ mononuclear cells expressing CD62E (P = 0.496; r = −0.125) or the fraction of circulating CD34+ mononuclear cells expressing CD31 (P = 0.245; r = −0.212). In conclusion, the experimental results showed that there was no age-related change in the basal level of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in healthy subjects without cardiovascular risk factors.
A mouse model of encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus-induced myocarditis was used to investigate the expression of adiponectin in damaged cardiomyocytes. We intraperitoneally injected EMC virus into leptin-deficient ob/ob (OB) mice and wild-type (WT) mice. OB mice were divided into two subgroups consisting of mice with no intervention and mice receiving leptin replacement starting simultaneously with viral inoculation. We determined differences in heart weight, cardiac histological score, numbers of infiltrating and apoptotic cells in the myocardium, expression levels of adiponectin and TNF-α mRNA in the heart, adiponectin immunoreactivity in myocytes, adiponectin and TNF-α concentrations in the heart, and immunoreactivity of adiponectin receptors in myocytes between OB mice and WT mice. There was significantly decreased adiponectin mRNA expression, immunoreactivity, and protein level in the heart, and reduced immunoreactivity of adiponectin receptor 1 in myocytes from OB mice on days 4 and 8 after viral inoculation as compared with those in WT mice, together with increased cardiac weight, severe inflammatory myocardial damage, and increased levels of cardiac TNF-α mRNA and protein. Replacement of leptin in OB mice inhibited the development of severe myocarditis through augmentation of adiponectin mRNA, immunoreactivity, and protein level, increased adiponectin receptor 1 immunoreactivity in myocytes, and suppressed levels of TNF-α mRNA and protein. These results suggest that impaired expression of cardiac adiponectin may contribute to the progression of viral myocarditis through enhanced expression of TNF-α under a leptin-deficient condition.
Dislodgement and embolisation of the new generation of coronary stents before deployment are rare. If it is impossible to withdraw the embolised stent from the coronary artery, the stent may be crushed into the side wall of the coronary artery with a balloon over a wire passed alongside the embolised stent.
The case of a 30-year-old man with myocardial infarction localized in the interventricular septum is described. Coronary angiography performed on day 28 after the onset of symptoms revealed ectasia in the right and left coronary arteries, but no overt stenotic or occlusive lesions were present. Spasm was induced in the first septal branch of the left anterior descending artery by an acetylcholine provocation test, and single photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging showed a reduced thallium-201 uptake localized in the interventricular septum.
In the present study, the usefulness and feasibility of a new measuring microcatheter, the Navicath (Type-MUTO) microcatheter, for facilitating the stenting procedure subsequent to ablation using a rotablator (rota-stenting) is described. A method for measuring the length of the targeted lesion (lesion length) angiographically with the Navicath when exchanging the guide wires is presented using 2 representative cases of rota-stenting. In addition, the validity of the selected stent according to the measurement of lesion length with the Navicath was evaluated by comparing the length of the selected stent with lesion length before PCI measured by quantitative coronary angiography. Based on the results obtained, we believe the Navicath is useful for facilitating rota-stenting, and may even be applicable to PCI in general.
A 27-year-old woman, who had received mitral valve repair for mitral regurgitation resulting from infective endocarditis, was admitted for a close examination of abnormal echocardiographic findings in the left atrium. Transthoracic echocardiography showed trivial mitral regurgitation with normal left ventricular contraction and dilatation of the coronary sinus. Auscultation revealed a grade 2 continuous murmur along the left sternal border. Transesophageal echocardiography demonstrated a marked dilatation of the coronary sinus just behind the posterior wall of the left atrium and turbulent blood flow in the dilated coronary sinus. Cardiac catheterization showed no significant step-up of oxygen saturation in the right heart and normal pulmonary artery pressure. Coronary angiography revealed a markedly dilated and tortuous circumflex coronary artery connected to the coronary sinus through a fistula. A left circumflex artery with a fistulous connection to the coronary sinus is extremely rare.
At the time of the first visit to our clinic, an electrocardiographic examination of a 73-year-old female patient revealed ventricular premature contractions (VPCs) with variable coupling intervals that were diagnosed as parasystole. Characteristically many of the parasystoles had no sinus contractions between two consecutive VPCs, which we referred to as pure parasystole. We first repeatedly examined variations in the length of the parasystolic cycles between January 6, 1997 and March 2, 2003 using electrocardiography. The time courses recorded over this period showed that the length of the parasystolic cycle did not remain constant, but varied irregularly within a relatively narrow range. We also recorded the length of the parasystolic cycles over 3 hours using Holter monitoring. The interectopic intervals plotted against mean sinus cycle length showed that the cycle length of pure parasystoles remained almost constant at about 1,300 ms over the 3 hours. We also examined the cycle length during exercise and found that it was slightly prolonged thereafter, while the sinus cycle length was clearly shortened after exercise. The average of six deep breathing tests showed that parasystolic cycle length did not significantly differ between deep inspiration and deep expiration, whereas the sinus cycle length during expiration was significantly longer than that during inspiration. These results indicate that the responses to both exercise and deep breathing obviously differed between the parasystolic and sinus cycle lengths.