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May 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29:43–5 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.016

Viruses, vaccines and cardiovascular effects

Anthony R Rees

Abstract

On the 31st March 2021, the German Health Ministry – on the advice of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) – declared that the Astra Zeneca/Oxford Vaxzevria vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), based on a chimpanzee adenovirus genetic scaffold, henceChAdOx1, would no longer be administered to those under the age of 60 years. In its hands were details of 31 cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) cases provided by the Paul Ehrlich Institute. These cases, of whom 19 had platelet deficiency, were seen after 2.7 million first and 767 second vaccine doses.

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May 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29:60–3 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.017

Total ischaemic time in STEMI: factors influencing systemic delay

Cormac T O’Connor, Abdallah Ibrahim, Anthony Buckley, Caoimhe Maguire, Rajesh Kumar, Jatinder Kumar, Samer Arnous, Thomas J Kiernan

Abstract

Total ischaemic time in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has been shown to be a predictor of mortality. The aim of this study was to assess the total ischaemic time of STEMIs in an Irish primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) centre. A single-centre prospective observational study was conducted of all STEMIs referred for pPCI from October 2017 until January 2019.

There were 213 patients with a mean age 63.9 years (range 29–96 years). The mean ischaemic time was 387 ± 451.7 mins. The mean time before call for help (patient delay) was 207.02 ± 396.8 mins, comprising the majority of total ischaemic time. Following diagnostic electrocardiogram (ECG), 46.5% of patients had ECG-to-wire cross under 90 mins as per guidelines; 73.9% were within 120 mins and 93.4% were within 180 mins. Increasing age correlated with longer patient delay (Pearson’s r=0.2181, p=0.0066). Women exhibited longer ischaemic time compared with men (508.96 vs. 363.33 mins, respectively, p=0.03515), driven by a longer time from first medical contact (FMC) to ECG (104 vs. 34 mins, p=0.0021).

The majority of total ischaemic time is due to patient delay, and this increases as age increases. Women had longer ischaemic time compared with men and longer wait from FMC until diagnostic ECG. This study suggests that improved awareness for patients and healthcare staff will be paramount in reducing ischaemic time.

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May 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29:64–6 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.018

Evaluation of the prognostic value of the admission ECG in COVID-19 patients: a meta-analysis

Mateusz Wawrzeńczyk, Marcin D Grabowski

Abstract

The assessment of the prognostic value of the admission electrocardiography (ECG) (specifically of the duration of the PR and QTc intervals, the QRS complex and the heart rate [HR]) in COVID-19 patients on the basis of nine observational studies (n=1,424) indicates that relatively long duration of the QTc interval and QRS complex, as well as higher HR, are linked to a severe course of COVID-19, which may be of use in risk stratification. Since there are important differences in suggested indicators of adverse prognosis between observational studies, further research is necessary to clarify high-risk criteria.

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May 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29:73–6 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.019

The use of PYP scan for evaluation of ATTR cardiac amyloidosis at a tertiary medical centre

Joshua Dower, Danai Dima, Mumtu Lalla, Ayan R Patel, Raymond L Comenzo, Cindy Varga

Abstract

Cardiac transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) is an often underdiagnosed disease that can lead to significant morbidity and mortality for patients. In recent years, technetium-99m pyrophosphate scintigraphy (PYP) imaging has become a standard of care diagnostic tool to help clinicians identify this disease. With newly emerging therapies for ATTR cardiomyopathy, it is critical to identify patients who are eligible for therapy as early as possible. At our institution, we sought to describe the frequency of PYP scanning and how it has impacted the management of a patient suspected to have amyloid cardiomyopathy.

Between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2020, we identified 273 patients who completed PYP scanning for evaluation of cardiac amyloidosis at Tufts Medical Center, a tertiary care centre. We reviewed pertinent clinical data for all study subjects. A PYP scan was considered positive when the heart to contralateral lung ratio was greater than or equal to 1.5, with a visual grade of 2 or 3, and confirmation with single-photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT) imaging.

In total there were 55 positive, 202 negative, and 16 equivocal PYP scans. Endomyocardial biopsies were rarely performed following PYP results. Of the seven patients with a positive PYP scan who underwent biopsy, five were positive for ATTR amyloid; of the patients with a negative scan who were biopsied, none were positive for ATTR amyloidosis and two were positive for amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis. The biomarkers troponin I, B-type naturietic peptide (BNP), and N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP), as well as the interventricular septal end-diastolic thickness (IVSd) seen on echocardiogram, were all found to be statistically higher in the PYP positive cohort than in the PYP negative cohort using Mann-Whitney U statistical analysis. In total, 27 out of the 55 patients with a positive PYP scan underwent therapy specific for cardiac amyloid.

In conclusion, this study reinforces the clinical significance of the PYP scan in the diagnosis and management of cardiac amyloidosis. A positive scan allowed physicians to implement early amyloid-directed treatment while a negative scan encouraged physicians to pursue an alternative diagnosis.

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May 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29:79–80 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.020

Angina pain associated with isolated R-IIP modified Lipton classification coronary artery anomaly

Nicholas Coffey, Alexis Smith, Rich Pham, Mohammed Kazimuddin, Aniruddha Singh

Abstract

We report a case of a patient that presented with typical angina pain and associated risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). Subsequent cardiac catheterisation led to the discovery of an isolated R-IIP modified Lipton classification coronary artery anomaly with follow-up coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) confirmation. This case report includes images of the CCTA and left heart catheterisation results, along with a discussion of the potential for increased risk of atherosclerosis in our patient, and a proposed explanation of his presentation with prototypical angina pain, despite lack of apparent atherosclerosis.

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