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July 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.024

Pain after pacemaker/ICD implants

Selwyn Brendon Goldthorpe

Abstract

A retrospective study of 322 patient experiences of post-operative pain, short term and long term, following a cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) procedure. Pain from pacemaker and ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) implant surgery remains a problem both in terms of severity and longevity. There is a subset of patients receiving implants that have severe pain that may be of a long duration. Patient advice needs to be appropriate to these findings.

This study illustrates a need for better pain management by physicians, support, and realistic communication with their patients.

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July 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.025

Infective endocarditis: acne to zoonoses on the valve, an A to Z perspective

Mark Boyle, Charlene Tennyson, Achyut Guleri, Antony Walker

Abstract

Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes), previously known as Propionibacterium acnes, is a rare cause of infective endocarditis (IE). We provide a review of the literature and describe two recent cases from a single centre to provide insight into the various clinical presentations, progression and management of patients with this infection.

The primary objective of our review is to highlight the difficulty in the initial assessment of these patients with an aim to improve the time and accuracy of diagnosis and expedite subsequent treatment. There are currently no guidelines in the literature specific to the management of IE caused by C. acnes. Our secondary objectives are to disseminate information about the indolent course of the disease and add to the growing body of evidence around this rare, yet complex, cause of IE.

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July 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.026

High-output heart failure due to arteriovenous malformation treated by endovascular embolisation

Federico Liberman, Roberto Cooke, María J Cabrera, Santiago Vigo, Guillermo Allende, Luciana Auad, Juan P Ricarte-Bratti

Abstract

High-output heart failure (HF) is an uncommon condition. This occurs when HF syndrome patients have a cardiac output higher than eight litres per minute. Shunts, such as fistulas and arteriovenous malformations are an important reversible cause. We present the case of a 30-year-old man who presented to the emergency department due to decompensated HF. Echocardiogram showed dilated myocardiopathy with high cardiac output (19.5 L/min calculated on long-axis view). He was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation by computed tomography (CT) and subsequent angiography, and a multi-disciplinary team decided to perform endovascular embolisation with ethylene vinyl alcohol/dimethyl sulfoxide at different times. The transthoracic echocardiogram showed a significant decrease in cardiac output (9.8 L/min) and his general condition improved significantly.

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June 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.021

Evolution of a circulatory support system with full implantability: personal perspectives on a long journey

Stephen Westaby

Abstract

Implantable mechanical circulatory support systems have evolved dramatically over the last 50 years. The objective has been to replace or support the failing left ventricle with a device that pumps six litres of blood each minute, a massive 8,640 litres per day. Noisy cumbersome pulsatile devices have been replaced by smaller silent rotary blood pumps that are much more patient friendly. Nonetheless, the tethering to external components, together with the risks of power line infection, pump thrombosis and stroke, must be addressed before widespread acceptance. Infection predisposes to thromboembolism, so elimination of the percutaneous electric cable has the capacity to transform outcomes, reduce costs and improve quality of life.

Developed in the UK, the Calon miniVAD is powered by an innovative coplanar energy transfer system. As such, we consider it can achieve those ambitious objectives.

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June 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.022

The protracted path to untethered mechanical circulatory support: always the future or reality soon?

Jignesh K Patel

Abstract

Significant pharmacologic, interventional and surgical strategies in the management of coronary syndromes, together with evolving surgical and non-surgical innovations for valvular disease and improved care of congenital heart disease, have ensured that patients live longer and better lives. With these advancing therapies for cardiac disease, the number of patients surviving to develop end-stage heart failure continues to increase exponentially. While the heart as an organ has evolved to demonstrate remarkable resilience in the setting of disease, death from cardiovascular causes remains the most common cause of death in many parts of the world. Given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with end-stage heart failure, the last half century has been notable for a concentrated effort on developing therapies for the failing heart.

In this issue, Professor Stephen Westaby (see https://doi.org/10.5837/bjc.2022.021) provides an insightful personal perspective on a laudable life-long pursuit in the development of mechanical circulatory support with the ultimate goal of a fully implantable device. His long career has been punctuated by a number of seminal achievements, which have led to incremental improvements in a challenging area.

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