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Cardiology in Review

Todd T Tomson, Rod Passman
Insertable cardiac monitors (ICMs) have provided clinicians with a superb tool for assessing infrequent or potentially asymptomatic arrhythmias. ICMs have shownd their usefulness in the evaluation of unexplained syncope, providing high diagnostic yields in a cost effective manner. While unexplained syncope continues to be the most common reason for their use, ICMs are increasingly being used for the monitoring of atrial fibrillation (AF). Recent trials have demonstrated that a substantial proportion of patients with cryptogenic stroke have AF detected only by the prolonged monitoring provided by ICMs...
November 17, 2016: Cardiology in Review
Chee Yuan Ng, E Kevin Heist
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has become a mainstay therapy to improve clinical outcomes of patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction and a wide QRS complex, in addition to guideline-directed medical therapy. As clinical experience with CRT continues to expand, the device and lead design, along with implantation techniques, have evolved as well. However, there is a significant proportion of patients with heart failure who do not have a favorable response to CRT. In this review article we will discuss how to maximize the response to CRT, which includes patient characteristics, device features, positioning of the lead, and device programming...
November 17, 2016: Cardiology in Review
Francesco Fedele, Massimo Mancone, Francesco Adamo, Paolo Severino
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 17, 2016: Cardiology in Review
Aileen M Ferrick, David Tian, Vijaya Vudathaneni, Olga L Shevchuk, Neal J Ferrick, William Frishman
The use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) has favorably impacted the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death (SCD) associated with ventricular arrhythmias. However, there are situations where an ICD cannot be immediately implanted, even though the patient is at high risk for SCD. The wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) is a unique technology that can bridge this gap for patients. The WCD has been demonstrated to terminate ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation if worn and used correctly...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
John R Richards
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Brittany O Aicher, William H Frishman
In many parts of the world, electronic cigarettes (ECs) are marketed as a tool to assist users in attempts to quit smoking and are perceived to be a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Numerous studies have suggested ECs may not be effective in achieving this goal and that the illusive "safety" of ECs can be enticing to consumers. The composition of the liquid solutions vaporized by these devices has not been fully disclosed and may not contain the actual advertised ingredients in the fractions reported...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Syed R Hussain, Andrea Macaluso, Stephen J Pearson
Moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) has long been considered the most effective exercise treatment modality for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but more recently high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been viewed as a potential alternative to MICT in accruing such benefits. HIIT was initially found to induce significant improvements in numerous physiological and health-related indices, to a similar if not superior extent to MICT. Since then, many studies have attempted to explore the potential clinical utility of HIIT, relative to MICT, with respect to treating numerous cardiovascular conditions, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and hypertension...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Betty N Vu, Alyssa Mae De Castro, David Shottland, William H Frishman, Angela Cheng-Lai
For over 50 years, there have been limited options for the management of hyperkalemia, especially among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic nephropathy, hypertension, and heart failure, who were receiving concomitant renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitor therapy. Hyperkalemia is a potential, life-threatening electrolyte abnormality that frequently challenges clinicians from maximizing the mortality benefit and organ-protective properties of RAAS inhibitors especially in CKD and heart failure populations...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Kelly C Rogers, Melanie P Shelton, Shannon W Finks
Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), originally developed as an alternative for vitamin K antagonists, are shifting the landscape of antithrombotic therapy. DOACs such as dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban offer enhancements in safety, convenience, and efficacy compared with warfarin. However, as choices for oral anticoagulation therapy have increased, so has the need for effectual antidotes before urgent surgical procedures and for the reversal of serious adverse events caused by DOACs. To date, one antidote has been FDA approved in the United States for the reversal of dabigatran, and two antidotes are undergoing phase 2and 3clinical trials...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Brian M Lilleness, William H Frishman
Ghrelin is a small peptide released primarily from the stomach. It is a potent stimulator of growth hormone secretion from the pituitary gland and is well known for its regulation of metabolism and appetite. There is also a strong relationship between ghrelin and the cardiovascular system. Ghrelin receptors are present throughout the heart and vasculature and have been linked with molecular pathways, including, but not limited to, the regulation of intracellular calcium concentration, inhibition of proapoptotic cascades, and protection against oxidative damage...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Nan Chen, William H Frishman
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of heart disease, contributing to hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. The use of long-term antilipid therapy has decreased low-density lipoprotein as a target, but high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has many properties which can protect against the formation of atherosclerotic plaque and decrease plaque burden. Numerous studies have shown an inverse correlation with HDL level and the future risk of heart disease. HDL has the unique property of playing a key role in reverse cholesterol transport, essentially bringing cholesterol from the periphery back to the liver for excretion in bile...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Hannah Sinclair, Murugapathy Veerasamy, Christos Bourantas, Mohaned Egred, Anuja Nair, Patrick A Calvert, Salvatore Brugaletta, Gary S Mintz, Vijay Kunadian
Markers of coronary plaque vulnerability, such as a high lipid burden, increased inflammatory activity, and a thin fibrous cap, have been identified in histological studies. In vivo, grayscale intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) provides more in-depth information on coronary artery plaque burden than conventional angiography but is unable to accurately distinguish between noncalcific tissue types within the plaque. An analysis of IVUS radiofrequency backscatter based on spectral pattern recognition, such as virtual histology IVUS, allows detailed scrutiny of plaque composition and classification of coronary lesions...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Andrew J Foy, Christopher Sciamanna, William R Davidson
Patients who present to the emergency department with chest pain but no evidence of ischemia on the electrocardiogram and negative cardiac markers are at very low risk. The newest American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines give noninvasive cardiac testing a IIa recommendation in this patient population. Here, we will review the existing literature that was cited in the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology document, as well as several large, contemporary, comparative observational studies which were not included to address the following question: Do the benefits of noninvasive cardiac testing in this patient population outweigh the risks?...
November 2016: Cardiology in Review
Joshua Liu, William H Frishman
Nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE), formerly known as marantic endocarditis, is a potentially overlooked condition that involves the formation of sterile, fibrin vegetations on heart valve leaflets. Often confused with classic infective endocarditis during its early stages, NBTE can lead to valvular dysfunction, heart failure, and systemic embolization when unchecked. The pathogenesis is not entirely clear but involves a preexisting hypercoagulable state. Diagnosis requires ruling out infection and establishing the presence of valvular vegetations using echocardiography...
September 2016: Cardiology in Review
Brandi N Bowman, James J Nawarskas, Joe R Anderson
Loop diuretics are central to the management of fluid overload in acute decompensated heart failure. However, a variance in the response to loop diuretics can alter a patient's clinical course and has an adverse effect on clinical outcomes. Thus, a diminished response to loop diuretics is an important clinical issue. Factors thought to contribute to diuretic resistance include erratic oral absorption in congested states and postdiuretic sodium retention. Further contributing to diuretic resistance in patients with advanced heart failure are decreases in renal perfusion and alterations in sodium handling that occur in an attempt to maintain circulatory homeostasis...
September 2016: Cardiology in Review
Maayan Konigstein, Stefan Verheye, E Marc Jolicœur, Shmuel Banai
Alongside the remarkable advances in medical and invasive therapies for the treatment of ischemic heart disease, an increasing number of patients with advanced coronary artery disease unsuitable for revascularization continue to suffer from angina pectoris despite optimal medical therapy. Patients with chronic angina have poor quality of life and increased levels of anxiety and depression. A considerable number of innovative therapeutic modalities for the treatment of chronic angina have been investigated over the years; however, none of these therapeutic options has become a standard of care, and none are widely utilized...
September 2016: Cardiology in Review
Daniel Mangels, William H Frishman
The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) is a subcutaneous alternative to conventional transvenous ICD (TV-ICD) systems, which have previously been shown to treat life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias in cardiac disease patients. A review of the literature reveals that S-ICDs have similar shock efficacy rates for both induced and spontaneous ventricular tachyarrhythmias when compared with TV-ICDs. Furthermore, S-ICDs seem to have a higher specificity for withholding therapy when supraventricular tachycardia is present compared with TV-ICDs...
September 2016: Cardiology in Review
Jad Chahoud, Ahmad Sharif Yakan, Hala Saad, Souha S Kanj
Sixty years after its initial description, right-sided infective endocarditis (RSIE) still poses a challenge to all medical practitioners. Epidemiological data reveal a rising incidence attributable to the global surge in the number of intravenous drug users and the increased use of central vascular catheters and implantable cardiac devices. RSIE differs from left-sided infective endocarditis in more than just the location of the involved cardiac valve. They have different clinical presentations, diagnostic findings, and prognoses; hence, they require different management strategies...
September 2016: Cardiology in Review
Matthew Carazo, Jeffrey S Berger, Alex Reyentovich, Stuart D Katz
Heart failure continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the United States. The pathophysiology of heart failure involves the activation of complex neurohormonal pathways, many of which mediate not only hypertrophy and fibrosis within ventricular myocardium and interstitium, but also activation of platelets and alteration of vascular endothelium. Platelet activation and vascular endothelial dysfunction may contribute to the observed increased risk of thromboembolic events in patients with chronic heart failure...
September 2016: Cardiology in Review
Donald Groves, Christos G Mihos, Maiteder Larrauri-Reyes, Orlando Santana
The hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) are used extensively in the treatment of hyperlipidemia and in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Statins have also been demonstrated to confer secondary pleiotropic benefits in a variety of other disease processes, including a potential advantage in treating and preventing atrial fibrillation. These effects are primarily due to the up-regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity and a decrease in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase production, which leads to downstream effects that improve the electromechanical function of atrial and myocardial tissue...
September 2016: Cardiology in Review
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