September 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:99–100 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.028
Anthony P C Bacon, Harry Rosen, Neil Ruparelia
The management of aortic stenosis has dramatically changed over the last 60 years. We briefly describe these remarkable advances from the personal perspective of Anthony P C Bacon (APCB) who was one of the first physicians to observe the importance of this pathological process and who watched, first-hand, some of the first surgical aortic valve procedures being performed in the UK. He most recently benefited from treatment with transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) himself, and provides a personal perspective of his experiences.
September 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:105–9 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.029
Paul Brady, Andrew Kelion, Tom Hyde, Edward Barnes, Hazim Rahbi, Andy Beale, Steve Ramcharitar
In November 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published an update of its guideline for the investigation of chest pain of recent onset (CG95), bringing computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) to the forefront as the first-line investigation. CTCA has a high negative-predictive value for the identification of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), but its positive-predictive value may be as low as 48%. Moreover, until recently it was unable to determine the functional significance of stenoses identified by CTCA. Using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD), HeartFlow® has pioneered a system that can predict the invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR) from a standard CTCA acquisition (FFRCT). The PLATFORM study has demonstrated that the use of CTCA with FFRCT was associated with equivalent clinical outcomes in terms of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and quality of life at one year compared with usual testing. The global ADVANCE registry, and other long-term follow-up studies in over 9,000 patients, have demonstrated extremely good long-term outcomes when patients with CAD but negative FFRCT are managed conservatively without invasive testing. In a technology appraisal (MTG32), NICE projected that the adoption of this technology within the NHS in England could save at least £9.1 million by 2022. While it is accepted that the HeartFlow® FFRCT shows a lot of promise, there are a number of limitations that need to be considered.
September 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:114–8 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.030
Amir Orlev, Amna Abdel-Gadir, Graeme Tait, Jonathan P Bestwick, David S Wald
Radial artery access coronary angiography is associated with high procedural success and lower rates of complications, compared with femoral access, in patients without prior coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). Whether or not this applies to patients who have undergone CABG is not known.
We retrospectively examined hospital records of 5,993 consecutive patients undergoing coronary angiography to identify patients with previous CABG undergoing the procedure by the radial or femoral access routes. We compared clinical characteristics, procedural success and complications up to 30 days, adjusting for significant baseline differences.
Among the 5,993 patients undergoing angiography, 471 (8%) had previous CABG; 164 (35%) underwent angiography by the radial and 307 (65%) by the femoral artery. Procedural success was lower in the radial than femoral groups; 28/164 (17%) radial versus 1/307 (0.3%) femoral patients required access-site cross-over (p<0.001) and 254/347 (73%) versus 496/594 (84%) bypass grafts were selectively identified without the need for further imaging investigations (p=0.008), respectively. Access-site bleeding requiring compression affected 1/164 (0.6%) in the radial group and 12/307 (3.9%) in the femoral group (p=0.04 for difference) with no significant differences in other major complications.
About one in 12 patients undergoing coronary angiography have had previous CABG surgery. In such patients, the radial access route was associated with lower procedural success than the femoral route but also a lower rate of bleeding complications.
September 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:119 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.031
Nicolas Buttinger, Mark Forde, Timothy Williams, Sally Curtis, James Cockburn
We describe a case of primary meningococcal Y effusive pericarditis in a previously fit and well 35-year-old man who presented with a rapidly developing pericardial effusion resulting in cardiac tamponade. This is a rare, but important, cause of primary pericardial disease, and only the fourth documented case of primary meningococcal pericarditis due to Neisseria meningitidis serotype Y. Our patient was successfully treated with a pericardial drain and intravenous ceftriaxone. Our case highlights the importance of adverse clinical features such as temperature >38°C, subacute course, large effusion or tamponade, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)/aspirin failure, which can identify patients who require close observation as they are at higher risk of complications.
July 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:110–3 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.024
Matthew E Li Kam Wa, Pitt O Lim
Angiography of internal mammary artery (IMA) grafts continues to be a common indication for upfront femoral access. This is particularly the case for bilateral pedicled IMAs, or when the left radial artery has been grafted. While the right radial artery is ideally suited in these situations for cannulation of the right IMA, accessing the left IMA (LIMA) by this route is often perceived as challenging and for ‘radial evangelists’ only. We describe a case series showing a simple technique for selective cannulation of the LIMA from the right radial artery using a single catheter that provides sufficient backup for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
July 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:101–4 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.025
Jeremy S Nayagam, Viral A Sagar, Maxwell Asante
Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS). Our understanding of managing GI symptoms in PoTS is very limited. Our objectives were to evaluate common GI symptoms, diagnostic work-up, diagnosis and management strategy in patients with PoTS.
We retrospectively reviewed medical records of all patients referred to the gastroenterology clinic (2014 to 2017) with GI symptoms and known or suspected PoTS: 85 patients with PoTS and GI symptoms were seen in our clinic. Bloating (75%), constipation (74%) and abdominal pain (60%) were the most common GI symptoms. Endoscopy, high-resolution manometry, gastric-emptying studies and colonic-transit studies were commonly performed investigations. Over two-thirds of patients had confirmed or suspected GI dysmotility, 5.9% had organic GI disease (e.g. inflammatory and acid peptic disorders).
In conclusion, the majority of patients with PoTS have a functional disturbance and reduced GI motility, however, a small proportion have organic disease that needs systematic evaluation. Dietary modifications and laxatives are the main modalities of therapy.
July 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:92–6 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.026
Subodh R Devabhaktuni, Ali O Malik, Ji Won Yoo, Xibei Liu, Vipul Shah, Syed I Shah, John M Ham, Bejon T Maneckshana, Jimmy Diep, Chowdhury H Ahsan
False-negative results either from balanced ischaemia or from failure to induce optimal hyperaemia is a known limitation of vasodilator myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). We sought to identify the prevalence of false-negative results in the kidney transplant population and to identify the risk factors predictive of false-negative MPI results at our institution.
We retrospectively studied 133 consecutive patients who were referred to us for pre-operative evaluation. Mean age was 56 years and 70% of the subjects were males. All patients who underwent vasodilator MPI and computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) were included.
In the studied population, false-negative vasodilator MPI test result prevalence was around 13%. In uni-variable and multi-variable analysis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) were predictive of false-negative vasodilator MPI testing results. CTCA had a positive-predictive value (PPV) of 82%.
In conclusion, false-negative results, either from balanced ischaemia or from failure to induce optimal hyperaemia, are a major problem in the pre-operative evaluation of renal transplant patients when the vasodilator MPI test is used. CTCA could be a useful imaging modality in this patient population. We found that diabetes and CVD are significantly associated with false-negative MPI results.
July 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:120 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.027
Jenny McKeon, Richard Mansfield, Mark Hamilton, Benjamin J Hudson
Absence of the pericardium is a rare defect that can be both congenital and acquired. Defects occur through abnormal development of the pleuro-pericardial membranes, which should fuse at the midline and separate the pericardial and pleural cavities.1 Congenital incidence is thought to be less than one in 10,000,2 however, prevalence is uncertain due to the incidental findings of many diagnoses. With increasing use of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and cardiac computed tomography (CT), diagnosis of pericardial absence is becoming more frequent, however, little is known about the long-term management of these patients.
May 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:59–62 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.018
Sally Youssef, Mariam Ali, Kim Heathcote, Alistair Mackay, Chris Isles
Studies have suggested that acute coronary syndrome (ACS) may be excluded by a single undetectable high-sensitivity troponin (hs-TnT) taken at least three hours after the onset of symptoms in patients with non-pleuritic chest pain whose electrocardiogram (ECG) is non-ischaemic.
During a six-month period between April and September 2015, we identified 147 consecutive patients with non-pleuritic chest pain and non-ischaemic ECG whose first hs-TnT was less than 5 ng/L at least three hours after the onset of symptoms. We used the Elecsys hs-TnT assay, which has a lower limit of detection of 5 ng/L and a 99th centile of <14 ng/L.
Sixty-seven of 147 (46%) patients were male. The average age of our cohort was 52 years, range 19–83 years. Coronary heart disease (CHD) was known to have been present in 24 (16%) before the index admission. Median length of hospital stay was 15.4 hours (mean 22.5 hours) with 86 (59%) patients spending more than 12 hours in hospital. We referred 60 (41%) patients to cardiology for further assessment, either during or after admission, in order to rule out unstable angina. No patient was readmitted with hs‑TnT positive ACS, one patient underwent elective revascularisation and no patient died during one year of follow-up. Only one patient was lost to follow-up.
In conclusion, patients with non-pleuritic chest pain, non-ischaemic ECG and undetectable hs-TnT at least three hours after the onset of symptoms have a low risk of hs-TnT positive ACS, revascularisation and death during one year of follow-up. Most such patients could safely be discharged from hospital after a few hours of observation, without the need for a second hs-TnT.
May 2019 Br J Cardiol 2019;26:63–6 doi :10.5837/bjc.2019.019
Janine Beezer, Titilope Omoloso, Helen O’Neil, John Baxter, Deborah Mayne, Samuel McClure, Janet Oliver, Zoe Wyrko, Andy Husband
Frailsafe was developed by the British Geriatrics Society as clinical criteria to accurately identify patients at risk of frailty-associated harm on admission to hospital. There is no single validated tool for assessing frailty in heart failure on admission to hospital. The aim is to determine the prevalence of frailty-associated harm and the outcomes of older persons admitted to hospital with decompensated heart failure using Frailsafe screening criteria.
A retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients aged 75 years and over, admitted to hospital with decompensated heart failure within a six-month period was performed. Frailsafe screening criteria were applied to each patient retrospectively and data on length of stay, inpatient mortality, six-month mortality and readmission at six months was collected for all patients. The outcomes were analysed using univariate analysis comparing the patients ‘at risk of frailty-associated harm’ with those ‘not at risk’.
There were 103 patients identified as 75 years or older and admitted with a primary diagnosis of heart failure, 27% (28) were identified as at risk of frailty-associated harm. This cohort had a significantly longer length of stay (3.5 days, p=0.0496), worse six-month mortality (57% vs. 33%, p=0.0274) and more frequent emergency readmissions (2.04 vs. 0.97, p=0.0031).
In conclusion, prevalence of patients at risk of frailty-associated harm measured by Frailsafe in an older population admitted with decompensated heart failure was 27%. Such patients had a longer length of stay, and were at increased risk of readmission and mortality within the following six months. Future research should include analysis of confounding variables, such as comorbidity, in a larger population to aim to identify how to improve outcomes in this particularly high-risk group.