March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:
Transradial coronary angiography DAVID HILDICK-SMITH T he transradial approach to coronary angiography was first considered to be a serious possibility in 1989. Gradual miniaturisation of equipment, coupled with the continuing desire to reduce patient discomfort and procedural risks, allowed the introduction of 6 French (6F) catheters. At 2 mm diameter, these fit without difficulty into most radial arteries. After Campeau experimented with this approach, others saw the potential, both for angiography and for angioplasty. From the diagnostic point of view, a simple transfemoral catheterisation is quick, uncomplicated, requires limited bed rest afterwards and can be accomplished with ease on a day-case basis in most patients. An arm approach is required in some patients because of difficulties with peripheral vascular disease, haemostasis or an inability to lie flat. These patients have formed the focus of our transradial diagnostic programme at Papworth Hospital. the transfemoral and transradial routes for diagnostic coronary angiography. 1 This study gave clear results: even allowing for the learning curve, the transradial route took longer, was more com-plicated, and resulted in a greater degree of pain in a significant proportion of patients. We therefore decided that the radial route should be reserved for patients in whom there is a relative con-traindication to the femoral approach, and we have continued with this policy ever since, though other authors have suggested that the transradial route is preferred by patients for diagnostic as well as interventional work. 2 We then compared the transradial route with the brachial cut-down procedure in a randomised study of 100 patients with con-traindications to the femoral approach. (~5%) and therapeutic anticoagulation (~10%). Diagnostic coronary angiography from the radial artery begins with a modi-fied Allen test to assess dual palmar arch circulation.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:
F doctors, catheter lab and nursing staff find the procedures difficult, technically demanding and time- consuming. Laboratory throughput is reduced, and some patients experience considerable discomfort or unpleasant vasovagal reactions. There is a high rate of puncture and procedure failure in the early stages, but these procedures can be easily completed from another access site if necessary. It is important that all the staff are clear about the reasons for starting a transradial programme (reduced vascular access site complication rate, easy and reliable haemostasis even when aggressive antithrombotic therapy is used, immediate patient mobilisation) and that there exists an important learning curve. Starting a transradial programme Jim Nolan The radial sheath should be removed at the end of the procedure, before the patient leaves the catheterisation laboratory. 2 In the rare situation of early re-intervention, an alternative access site can be used. When removing long sheaths, exert steady constant pressure
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:182-4
Kamlesh Khunti, Kate C Windridge
Continuity of care is much valued by patients and doctors. It is seen as a core feature of the discipline in general practice, although there is little supporting evidence that it leads to improvement in the care given during the management of patients with chronic disorders. This study shows that increased continuity is not associated with improved clinical care in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. The study also shows that it is possible to maintain high continuity for a chronic condition in a group practice with flexible working arrangements. This has implications for recruitment of future general practitioners.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:171-81
Martin R Cowie, Hugh McIntyre, Zoya Panahloo ON BEHALF OF THE OMADA INVESTIGATORS
The Omada programme, a nurse-delivered model of care, has achieved improved levels of evidence-based intervention for patients with chronic heart failure in nine secondary care centres in the UK. It may provide an appropriate model for audit and delivery of care, in line with the requirements of the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:168-70
Wayne R Arthur, Gerry C Kaye, Robert F Mueller
Recurrent syncope in a patient with Andersen’s syndrome Wayne R Arthur, Gerry C Kaye, Robert F Mueller Most common inherited diseases with cardiac involvement are associated with structural abnormalities of the heart and/or great vessels. Discussions of inherited cardiac electrophysiological abnormalities were once limited to Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome and Romano-Ward syndrome. Subsequently, other genetically distinct arrhythmogenic cardiovascular disorders have been discovered.1 These result from mutations in the fundamental cardiac ion channels that orchestrate the action potential of the human heart. Most of these genetic channelopathies are depicted by marked QT prolongation on the electrocardiogram.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:163-7
Diana R Holdright
Coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke frequently coexist, partly because they share many risk factors. After myocardial infarction (MI), there is a significant risk of mural thrombus formation, left ventricular aneurysm, impaired left ventricular function and atrial fibrillation; all these increase the risk of stroke. The risk of neurological deficit after cardiac surgery is higher in those patients who have already had a stroke. Cognitive decline after cardiac surgery is common: it may follow a pattern of early improvement but later decline. Lipid-lowering therapy has been shown to reduce non-fatal stroke in patients at risk of developing or with coronary artery disease. Clopidogrel with aspirin may be of benefit in patients with unstable angina and non-ST elevation MI. Antihypertensive treatment and stopping smoking are helpful. The HOPE trial results showed a powerful and preventative role for ACE inhibitors.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:158-62
Abba Gomma, John Henderson, Henry Purcell, Kim Fox
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Blockade of this system results in a number of biologically important beneficial effects, including inhibition of the breakdown of bradykinin, reduction in blood pressure and inhibition of neuroendocrine activity, as well as reversal of endothelial dysfunction. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have an established role in the management of hypertension and heart failure. More recently, for instance in the HOPE trial, they have been investigated in patients with a history of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetes plus at least one other cardiovascular risk factor, but with preserved left ventricular function. Treatment with ramipril was shown to reduce cardiovascular events significantly, especially in patients who had diabetes. Two further ongoing trials – EUROPA (with perindopril) and PEACE (with trandolapril) – are described, which have important differences in trial design and which will further assess the protective effects of ACE inhibition in patients with stable coronary artery disease.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:153-7
Mohd R Abdul-Rahman, Saveena S Ghaie, Justo R Sadaba, Levent T Guvendik, Alexander R Cale, Michael E Cowen, Steven C Griffin
The aim of this survey was to review the awareness and efficacy amongst patients and general practitioners (GPs) in controlling coronary risk factors following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). It was a prospective cohort study based on an inclusive registry at our department 230 patients who underwent CABG between April 1999–July 2000 and who had a history of hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia were selected. Frequency of blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol monitoring, blood glucose control, current smoking status, weight and medications were established via telephone interview of patients. BP and cholesterol levels were confirmed by written questionnaires to GPs. BP and cholesterol were considered to be controlled if they were ≤ 140/85 mmHg and ≤ 5.0 mmol/L respectively. Of the 230 patients, 213 were successfully contacted. After surgery, 181 (85%) patients had BP checks at least six-monthly by their GPs, 13 (6.1%) less frequently and 19 (8.9%) not at all. Cholesterol levels were checked at least six-monthly in 128 (60.1%), less frequently in 47 (22.1%) and not at all in 38 (17.8%). Thirteen of the 20 patients who were smoking at the time of surgery continued to smoke. BP and cholesterol readings were obtained for 169 of the 213 patients. Of these, BP was well controlled in 92 (54.4%), uncontrolled in 61 (36.1%) and not checked in 16 (9.5%). Cholesterol was well controlled in 106 (62.7%), uncontrolled in 35 (20.7%) and not checked in 28 (16.6%) patients. Although patients and GPs are generally aware of the importance of controlling coronary disease risk factors, more effort is required if we are to meet the Joint British recommendations on prevention of coronary heart disease.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:147-52
Dougal R McClean, Martyn R Thomas
Restenosis following PTCA or intracoronary stent insertion remains the greatest challenge to interventional cardiology. Intracoronary brachytherapy may use either beta- or gamma- radiation. The target cells are most likely in the adventitial layer of the vessel wall. The principle of using brachytherapy post-angioplasty to reduce restenosis has been proven in animal models. Multiple randomised trials have shown brachytherapy to be the current optimal therapy to treat in-stent restenosis. The data for the use of intracoronary radiation for treatment of de novo coronary lesions are less strong. Potential complications of brachytherapy include ‘edge effect’ and ‘late late stent thrombosis’. These problems are being minimised with the use of long sources and prolonged antiplatelet therapy. Drug delivery stents may challenge the role of brachytherapy in preventing and treating restenosis in the near future.
March 2002 Br J Cardiol 2002;9:131-4
Scott W Muir, Kennedy R Lees
PROGRESS in the secondary prevention of stroke Scott W Muir, Kennedy R Lees Over the last 10 years there has been considerable progress in the development of secondary prevention strategies for ischaemic stroke. No longer is aspirin the cornerstone of stroke secondary prevention. Trials like ESPS-21 and CAPRIE,2 have established the place of antiplatelet agents in secondary prevention. The 4S3 and CARE4 studies, among others, and the recently presented Heart Protection Study5 have alluded to the benefits of statins, not only in the setting of ischaemic heart disease, but now also in the setting of cerebrovascular disease. Until the publication of the PROGRESS study6 in September of last year, the question of blood pressure reduction in the setting of secondary prevention was unanswered and contentious.