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Archive for the ‘Vascular Diseases’ Category


The role of PET/CT in diagnosing giant cell arteritis (GCA) and assessing the risk of ischemic events

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

 

May 20, 2019 — PET/CT images are offering evidence of a link between vascular patterns at the time of diagnosis for giant cell arteritis (GCA) and a patient’s risk of an ischemic event, Spanish researchers explained in a study published online on 12 May in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

The group found that patients with inflammation in vertebral arteries, which causes blood vessels to narrow, were five times more likely to develop ischemic symptoms. The information may be particularly helpful because GCA is difficult to diagnose in its early stages.

“Bearing in mind these results and our findings, we consider that the vertebral arteries should be carefully studied in patients with suspected GCA, not only to support the diagnosis but also to assess the risk of development of ischemic events,” wrote lead author Dr. Jaume Mestre-Torres and colleagues from Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona.

GCA’s challenges

Giant cell arteritis is an inflammatory disease that causes the large blood vessels to narrow and restrict blood flow. The affliction is typically seen in the temporal arteries and the aorta in adults older than 50. Currently, there is little information on how the disease develops, although there are indications that it may be linked to genetics.

The challenge for clinicians is that there are “no specific clinical symptoms that lead to the diagnosis of GCA, but headache and ischemic symptoms such as jaw claudication and transient visual loss or permanent visual loss may raise suspicion [of the disease],” the authors noted.

Results

In assessing visual loss, the team found no significant differences between patients with vertebral artery involvement and permanent visual loss (61.5%) and patients with vertebral artery issues and no permanent visual loss (58.8%) (p = 0.88). Interestingly, the presence of intrathoracic large-vessel vasculitis tended to protect against a patient’s likelihood of permanent visual loss.

In addition, “all patients with vertebral involvement but no aortic involvement showed ischemic manifestations at disease onset,” the researchers noted. “In contrast, none of the patients with aortic involvement but no vertebral hypermetabolism showed ischemic symptoms.”

SOURCE

https://www.auntminnieeurope.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=mol&pag=dis&ItemID=617395

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UPDATED on 2/25/2019

https://www.medpagetoday.com/cardiology/prevention/78202?xid=nl_mpt_SRCardiology_2019-02 25&eun=g99985d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CardioUpdate_022519&utm_term=NL_Spec_Cardiology_Update_Active

 

ICER announced plans to look at icosapent ethyl (Vascepa) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto) as add-on therapies in cardiovascular disease.

Heart attack risk is rising among young women. But NHANES data show women are still ahead of men on control of hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol. (Circulation)

Two Classes of Antithrombotic Drugs: Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet drugs

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN
These drugs are used to treat
  • strokes,
  • myocardial infarctions,
  • pulmonary embolisms,
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and
  • deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
— all potentially life-threatening conditions.
THERAPEUTIC STRATEGIES
• Degrade fibrinogen/fibrin (fibrinolytic agents)
GOAL: eliminate formed clots
• Inhibit clotting mechanism (anticoagulants)
GOAL: prevent progression of thrombosis
• Interfere either with platelet adhesion and/or aggregation (antiplatelet drugs)
GOAL: prevent initial clot formation
Antithrombotic therapy has had an enormous impact in several significant ways.
  • Heparin has made bypass surgery and dialysis possible by blocking clotting in external tubing.
  • Antithrombotic therapy has reduced the risk of blood clots in leg veins (also known as deep-vein thrombosis or DVT), a condition that can lead to death from pulmonary embolism (a clot that blocks an artery to the lungs) by more than 70 percent. And most importantly,
  • it has markedly reduced death from heart attacks, the risk of stroke in people with heart irregularities (atrial fibrillation), and the risk of major stroke in patients with mini-strokes.

Antithrombotic Therapy

This article was published in December 2008 as part of the special ASH anniversary brochure, 50 Years in Hematology: Research That Revolutionized Patient Care.

Normally, blood flows through our arteries and veins smoothly and efficiently, but if a clot, or thrombus, blocks the smooth flow of blood, the result – called thrombosis – can be serious and even cause death. Diseases arising from clots in blood vessels include heart attack and stroke, among others. These disorders collectively are the most common cause of death and disability in the developed world. We now have an array of drugs that can be used to prevent and treat thrombosis – and there are more on the way – but this was not always the case.

Classes of Antithrombotic Drugs

Image Source: http://www.hematology.org/About/History/50-Years/1523.aspx

The most important components of a thrombus are fibrin and platelets. Fibrin is a protein that forms a mesh that traps red blood cells, while platelets, a type of blood cell, form clumps that add to the mass of the thrombus. Both fibrin and platelets stabilize the thrombus and prevent it from falling apart. Fibrin is the more important component of clots that form in veins, and platelets are the more important component of clots that form in arteries where they can cause heart attacks and strokes by blocking the flow of blood in the heart and brain, respectively, although fibrin plays an important role in arterial thrombosis as well.

There are two classes of antithrombotic drugs: anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs. Anticoagulants slow down clotting, thereby reducing fibrin formation and preventing clots from forming and growing. Antiplatelet agents prevent platelets from clumping and also prevent clots from forming and growing.

Anticoagulant Drugs

The anticoagulants heparin and dicumarol were discovered by chance, long before we understood how they worked. Heparin was first discovered in 1916 by a medical student at The Johns Hopkins University who was investigating a clotting product from extracts of dog liver and heart. In 1939, dicumarol (the precursor to warfarin) was extracted by a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin from moldy clover brought to him by a farmer whose prize bull had bled to death after eating the clover.

Both of these anticoagulants have been used effectively to prevent clots since 1940. These drugs produce a highly variable anticoagulant effect in patients, requiring their effect to be measured by special blood tests and their dose adjusted according to the results. Heparin acts immediately and is given intravenously (through the veins). Warfarin is swallowed in tablet form, but its anticoagulant effect is delayed for days. Therefore, until recently, patients requiring anticoagulants who were admitted to a hospital were started on a heparin infusion and were then discharged from the hospital after five to seven days on warfarin.

In the 1970s, three different groups of researchers in Stockholm, London, and Hamilton, Ontario, began work on low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). LMWH is produced by chemically splitting heparin into one-third of its original size. It has fewer side effects than heparin and produces a more predictable anticoagulant response. By the mid 1980s, LMWH preparations were being tested in clinical trials, and they have now replaced heparin for most indications. Because LMWH is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) in a fixed dose without the need for anticoagulant monitoring, patients can now be treated at home instead of at the hospital.

With the biotechnology revolution has come genetically engineered “designer” anticoagulant molecules that target specific clotting enzymes. Anti-clotting substances and their DNA were also extracted from an array of exotic creatures (ticks, leeches, snakes, and vampire bats) and converted into drugs by chemical synthesis or genetic engineering. Structural chemists next began to fabricate small molecules designed to fit into the active component of clotting enzymes, like a key into a lock.

The first successful synthetic anticoagulants were fondaparinux and bivalirudin. Bivalirudin, a synthetic molecule based on the structure of hirudin (the anti-clotting substance found in leeches), is an effective treatment for patients with heart attacks. Fondaparinux is a small molecule whose structure is based on the active component of the much larger LMWH and heparin molecules. It has advantages over LMWH and heparin and has recently been approved by the FDA. Newer designer drugs that target single clotting factors and that can be taken by mouth are undergoing clinical testing. If successful, we will have safer and more convenient replacements for warfarin, the only oral anticoagulant available for more than 60 years.

Antiplatelet Drugs

Blood platelets are inactive until damage to blood vessels or blood coagulation causes them to explode into sticky irregular cells that clump together and form a thrombus. The first antiplatelet drug was aspirin, which has been used to relieve pain for more than 100 years. In the mid-1960s, scientists showed that aspirin prevented platelets from clumping, and subsequent clinical trials showed that it reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. In 1980, researchers showed that aspirin in very low doses (much lower than that required to relieve a headache) blocked the production of a chemical in platelets that is required for platelet clumping. During that time, better understanding of the process of platelet clumping allowed the development of designer antiplatelet drugs directed at specific targets. We now have more potent drugs, such as clopidogrel, dipyridamole, and abciximab. These drugs are used with aspirin and effectively prevent heart attack and stroke; they also prolong the lives of patients who have already had a heart attack.

SOURCE 
Anticoagulation Drugs:
  • heparin (FONDAPARINUX HEPARIN (Calciparine, Hepathrom, Lipo-Hepin, Liquaemin, Panheprin)
  • warfarin – 4-HYDROXYCOUMARIN (Coumadin) WARFARIN (Athrombin-K, Panwarfin)
  • rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
  • dabigatran (Pradaxa)
  • apixaban (Eliquis)
  • edoxaban (Savaysa)
  • enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • fondaparinux (Arixtra)
  • ARGATROBAN BIVALIRUDIN (Angiomax)
  • DALTEPARIN (Fragmin)
  • DROTRECOGIN ALFA (ACTIVATED PROTEIN C) (Xigris)
  • HIRUDIN (Desirudin)
  • LEPIRUDIN (Refludan)
  • XIMELAGATRAN (Exanta)

ANTIDOTES

  • PHYTONADIONE (Vitamin K1)
  • PROTAMINE SULFATE AMINOCAPROIC ACID (EACA) (generic, Amicar) (in bleeding disorders)
Antiplatelet Drugs
  • ACETYL SALICYLIC ACID (aspirin) 
  • clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • dipyridamole (Persantine)
  • abciximab (Centocor)
  • EPTIFIBATIDE (Integrilin)
  • TICLOPIDINE (Ticlid)
  • TIROFIBAN (Aggrastat)

THROMBOLYTICS

  1. ANISTREPLASE (APSAC; Eminase)
  2. STREPTOKINASE (Streptase, Kabikinase)
  3. TISSUE PLASMINOGEN ACTIVATORS (tPAs):
  • ALTEPLASE (Activase),
  • RETEPLASE (Retavase),
  • TENECTEPLASE (TNKase)
  • UROKINASE (Abbokinase)

Fibrinolytic Drugs

Fibrinolytic therapy is used in selected patients with venous thromboembolism. For example, patients with massive or submassive PE can benefit from systemic or catheter-directed fibrinolytic therapy. The latter can also be used as an adjunct to anticoagulants for treatment of patients with extensive iliofemoral-vein thrombosis.

Arterial and venous thrombi are composed of platelets and fibrin, but the proportions differ.

  • Arterial thrombi are rich in platelets because of the high shear in the injured arteries. In contrast,
  • venous thrombi, which form under low shear conditions, contain relatively few platelets and are predominantly composed of fibrin and trapped red cells.
  • Because of the predominance of platelets, arterial thrombi appear white, whereas venous thrombi are red in color, reflecting the trapped red cells.

SOURCE

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A new mechanism of action to attack in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD), Novartis developed Ilaris (canakinumab), a human monoclonal antibody targeting the interleukin-1beta innate immunity pathway

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Speaking at an ESC press briefing, Ridker said, “This is what personalized predictive medicine is all about.” Once a patient has experienced an MI, there is always residual risk of recurrence. Thus, he suggested that residual risk can be divided into

  • residual lipid-driven risk and
  • residual inflammatory-driven risk.

canakinumab might prove to be most useful if it were given to an identified high-responder group. Findings in the hs-CRP responders:

Patients whose hs-CRP declined to 1.8 mg/L or less had a much more robust response. In that subgroup, the number needed to treat to prevent a primary endpoint event was 50 at 2 years and 30 at 3.7 years.

He noted that after a single injection responders have a significant reduction in highly sensitive-CRP and it is those patients who would benefit from continuing on treatment.

“Maybe that first dose could be free,” Ridker added.

Co-investigator, Peter Libby, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, put it this way: 30 days after an MI, when a patient is on statin therapy and stable,

  • physicians could check LDL and then initiate more aggressive statin therapy if it is not well-controlled. Similarly,
  • physicians should check hs-CRP, and if it is elevated — 2.0 mg/L or higher — initiating anti-inflammatory therapy targeting interleukin-1 beta would be an option

Interestingly, the treatment had no effect on lipids, which suggests that the benefit was all attributable to the anti-inflammatory activity. 

In the Canakinumab Anti-inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study (CANTOS), 150 mg of canakinumab every 3 months reduced high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels by an average of 37% compared with placebo and achieved a 15% reduction in cardiovascular events — mostly MIs — compared with placebo, Paul Ridker, MD, reported here at the European Society of Cardiology 2017 congress.

The CANTOS findings were simultaneously published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

After a median follow-up of 3.7 years, the event rate was 4.5 per 100 person-years in the placebo group versus 3.86 events per 100 person-years in the canakinumab 150 mg group. Two other arms — canakinumab 50 mg and 300 mg — also achieved reductions in events (4.11 and 3.90 per 100 person-years, respectively) but only the 150-mg dose achieved a statistically significant reduction.

There was no reduction in mortality. The trial recruited patients who had a history of MI and a hs-CRP level of 2.0 mg/L or higher.

  • There was no significant difference in all-cause mortality (HR for all canakinumab doses versus placebo, 0.94; 95% CI 0.83-1.06; P=0.31).

Benefits of Anti-inflammatory Canakinumab

although there was no cardiovascular mortality benefit, there was 30% reduction in need for bypass surgery, angioplasty, and heart failure — all of which means a significant improvement in quality of life. And treatment was also associated with a reduction in gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis, he said.

Cancer Benefit

There was an apparent decrease in risk of cancer, a finding that was elucidated in a Lancet paper also published today. In the cancer analysis, also authored by Ridker, total cancer mortality was lower only in the 300-mg group, but “[i]ncident lung cancer (n=129) was significantly less frequent in the 150 mg (HR 0.61 [95% CI 0.39–0.97]; P=0.034) and 300 mg groups (HR 0.33 [95% CI 0.18–0.59] P<0.0001.”

Negative findings

  • Canakinumab was associated with a higher incidence of fatal infection than placebo — the rate was 0.18 in the 3,344 patient placebo group versus 0.32 among the 6,717 patients who received any dose of the drug, which worked out to 23 deaths versus 78 deaths (P=0.02).
  • VIEW VIDEO

Study Author Paul M. Ridker. Interviewed by Peggy Peck, Editor-in-Chief of MedPage Today

https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/esc/67529

  • VIEW VIDEO

Clinical Impact or No Clinical Impact

Anthony DeMaria, MD discusses the major trials from ESC and what impact, if any, they will have on clinical practice.
Benefit vs Price
On June 28 heart failure specialist Milton Packer, MD, wrote this in his MedPage Today blog: “My prediction: [canakinumab] may cost $64,000 for a 15-20% reduction in the risk of a major cardiovascular event, without decreasing cardiovascular death by itself.
Amgen’s Repatha (evolocumab) is a PCSK9 inhibitor that aggressively lowers lipids and is approved for patients who fail statin therapy, including patients with heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. But while the lipid reductions with the PCSK9 therapy are impressive, and the FOURIER trial found a 15% reduction in events with treatment, neither evolocumab nor alirocumab (Praluent), a PCSK9 inhibitor from Sanofi/Regeneron have achieved wide uptake as payers balk at the high price tags for the drugs.
Other anti-inflammatory agents:
Ridker said. For example, “we have a [National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute] trial of methotrexate (RA agent) that is on-going. If that proves to be effective, it would be only pennies per treatment.” At the press conference, Ridker said the methotrexate trial has “randomized about 4,000 patients, and we will need to get to 7,000 so it will be a few years before we have results.”

SOURCE

https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/esc/67529

176 articles on monoclonal antibody

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/?s=monoclonal+antibody

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SNP-based Study on high BMI exposure confirms CVD and DM Risks – no associations with Stroke

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Genes Affirm: High BMI Carries Weighty Heart, Diabetes Risk – Mendelian randomization study adds to ‘burgeoning evidence’

by Crystal Phend, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today, July 05, 2017

 

The “genetically instrumented” measure of high BMI exposure — calculated based on 93 single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with BMI in prior genome-wide association studies — was associated with the following risks (odds ratios given per standard deviation higher BMI):

  • Hypertension (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.48-1.83)
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD; OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.09-1.69)
  • Type 2 diabetes (OR 2.53, 95% CI 2.04-3.13)
  • Systolic blood pressure (β 1.65 mm Hg, 95% CI 0.78-2.52 mm Hg)
  • Diastolic blood pressure (β 1.37 mm Hg, 95% CI 0.88-1.85 mm Hg)

However, there were no associations with stroke, Donald Lyall, PhD, of the University of Glasgow, and colleagues reported online in JAMA Cardiology.

The associations independent of age, sex, Townsend deprivation scores, alcohol intake, and smoking history were found in baseline data from 119,859 participants in the population-based U.K. Biobank who had complete medical, sociodemographic, and genetic data.

“The main advantage of an MR approach is that certain types of study bias can be minimized,” the team noted. “Because DNA is stable and randomly inherited, which helps to mitigate errors from reverse causality and confounding, genetic variation can be used as a proxy for lifetime BMI to overcome limitations such as reverse causality and confounding, a process that hampers observational analyses of obesity and its consequences.”

 

Other related articles published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

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Reversing Heart Disease: Combination of PCSK9 Inhibitors and Statins – Opinion by Steven Nissen, MD, Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

UPDATED on 2/25/2019
https://www.medpagetoday.com/cardiology/prevention/78202?xid=nl_mpt_SRCardiology_2019-02-25&eun=g99985d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CardioUpdate_022519&utm_term=NL_Spec_Cardiology_Update_Active

While nearly 10% of middle-age adults in China have high risk for cardiovascular disease, only 0.6% of these high-risk individuals use statins and 2.4% take aspirin, a national screening project reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

UPDATED on 5/5/2017

Europeans Mull PCSK9i Post-FOURIER Fallout on Clinical Practice

Patrice Wendling, May 04, 2017

But it was panelist Dr Stephen Nicholls (University of Adelaide, Australia) who took aim at the elephant in the packed auditorium. At an annual cost of about $14,100 for evolocumab and $14,600 for alirocumab (Praluent, Sanofi/Regeneron), the important question facing cardiologists is who will be eligible for these drugs “in a world where we can’t just write a scrip for every FOURIER-type patient; we won’t be allowed to.”

He suggested initially this will include patients with familial hypercholesterolemia and only those with established atherosclerotic CVD whose LDL-C remains unacceptably high despite therapy. Future FOURIER subanalyses may define other eligible high-risk groups.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879523?nlid=114642_3802&src=WNL_mdplsnews_170505_mscpedit_card&uac=93761AJ&spon=2&impID=1342003&faf=1#vp_2

 

 

UPDATED on 3/14/2017

PCSK9 Inhibitor Access Snarled in Red Tape, Rejections

Patrice Wendling, March 21, 2017

To determine whether this experience is happening nationwide, Navar and colleagues examined first PCSK9 prescriptions in 45,029 patients (median age 66 years; 51% female) between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 in the Symphony Health Solutions database, which covers 90% of retail, 70% of specialty, and 60% of mail-order pharmacies in the US.

Nearly half (48%) of prescribers were cardiologists, and 37% were general practitioners. Most patients (52%) had government insurance, typically Medicare, and 40% had commercial insurance.

In the first 24 hours after being submitted to the pharmacy, 79.2% of prescriptions were rejected. Ultimately, 52.8% of all PCSK9 prescriptions were rejected.

Of special note, 34.7% of prescriptions for the pricy lipid-lowering drugs were abandoned at the pharmacy.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/877515?nlid=113592_3802&src=WNL_mdplsnews_170324_mscpedit_card&uac=93761AJ&spon=2&impID=1314983&faf=1

 

How 2 Drugs Lower Cholesterol Remarkably — and Reverse Heart Disease

Study shows promise for combination of newer drug and statins

How 2 Drugs Lower Cholesterol Remarkably --- and Reverse Heart Disease

Newer cholesterol-lowering drugs combined with more conventional medicine reduces bad cholesterol to incredibly low levels, a new study shows. Perhaps even more important, the combination also reduces the heart-attack-inducing plaque that forms inside the arteries, the study says.

The study was led by cardiologist Steven Nissen, MD, Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Results appeared recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The study looked at the use of a drug called evolocumab by people who took statins to lower the amount of LDL, or bad, cholesterol in their blood. Evolocumab is a drug called a PCSK9 inhibitor. This is a newer kind of medicine that can make LDL cholesterol levels plummet.

The people who took statins and evolocumab had greater reductions in atherosclerosis compared with people who took statins and a placebo.  Atherosclerosis is  a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries.  The condition can lead to serious problems, including heart attack, stroke, or even death.

The results are an intriguing indicator — rather than definite proof — that evolocumab may have benefit for patients taking statins, Dr. Nissen says. Researchers are still awaiting the results of large clinical trials investigating whether evolocumab is safe and will prevent heart attack, stroke or death. The first results of these studies are expected in April 2017.

Special ultrasound

In the study, researchers treated for 18 months 968 high-risk people who had extremely high levels of blood cholesterol.

Participants were randomly assigned to take either a statin and a placebo, or a statin and evolocumab.

Researchers monitored the participants’ cholesterol levels. They also used a special ultrasound probe to measure the amount of plaque in their arteries at the beginning and the end of the study. 

“We were able to show that getting the bad cholesterol levels down to really low levels, down to the 20s and 30s, can actually remove plaque from the coronary arteries,” Dr. Nissen says. “This going to levels that we’ve never been able to achieve before.”           

Low cholesterol, less plaque

Results show the group treated with statins and a placebo reduced their LDL cholesterol levels to 93 on average. At the same time, the group treated with the combination of the statin plus evolocumab got down to an average bad cholesterol level of 36.6.

“No one’s ever reached levels that low in a clinical trial,” Dr. Nissen says.

Participants who took evolocumab also had less plaque in their arteries at the end of the study — essentially reversing their heart disease.

“We, for the first time now, have shown that this new class of drugs, the PCSK9 inhibitors, has a favorable effect on the development of plaques on the coronary artery and can actually regress those plaques,” Dr. Nissen says. “And it turns out about two-thirds of patients actually had less plaque at the end of 18 months than they started with.” 

PCSK9 inhibitors, which are expensive, are not for everybody, Dr. Nissen says. Currently, the drug is used in addition to statins for the highest-risk patients with particularly high cholesterol.

SOURCE

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Inferior Vena Cava Filters: Device for Prevention of Pulmonary Embolism and Thrombosis

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

UPDATED on 7/18/2018

 

Original Investigation
Cardiology
July 13, 2018

Association of Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement for Venous Thromboembolic Disease and a Contraindication to Anticoagulation With 30-Day Mortality

JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(3):e180452. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0452
Key Points

Question  What is the association of inferior vena cava filter placement with 30-day mortality in patients with venous thromboembolic disease and a contraindication to anticoagulation?

Findings  In this cohort study, using 2 different statistical methods with adjustment for immortal time bias, inferior vena cava filter placement in patients with venous thromboembolic disease and a contraindication to anticoagulation was associated with an increased risk of 30-day mortality.

Meaning  Randomized clinical trials are needed to define the role of inferior vena cava filter placement in patients with venous thromboembolic disease and a contraindication to anticoagulation.

 

Abstract

Importance  Despite the absence of data from randomized clinical trials, professional societies recommend inferior vena cava (IVC) filters for patients with venous thromboembolic disease (VTE) and a contraindication to anticoagulation therapy. Prior observational studies of IVC filters have suggested a mortality benefit associated with IVC filter insertion but have often failed to adjust for immortal time bias, which is the time before IVC filter insertion, during which death can only occur in the control group.

Objective  To determine the association of IVC filter placement with 30-day mortality after adjustment for immortal time bias.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This comparative effectiveness, retrospective cohort study used a population-based sample of hospitalized patients with VTE and a contraindication to anticoagulation using the State Inpatient Database and the State Emergency Department Database, part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, from hospitals in California (January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2011), Florida (January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2013), and New York (January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2012). Data analysis was conducted from September 15, 2015, to March 14, 2018.

Exposure  Inferior vena cava filter placement.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were constructed with IVC filters as a time-dependent variable that adjusts for immortal time bias. The Cox model was further adjusted using the propensity score as an adjustment variable.

Results  Of 126 030 patients with VTE, 61 281 (48.6%) were male and the mean (SD) age was 66.9 (16.6) years. In this cohort, 45 771 (36.3%) were treated with an IVC filter, whereas 80 259 (63.7%) did not receive a filter. In the Cox model with IVC filter status analyzed as a time-dependent variable to account for immortal time bias, IVC filter placement was associated with a significantly increased hazard ratio of 30-day mortality (1.18; 95% CI, 1.13-1.22; P < .001). When the propensity score was included in the Cox model, IVC filter placement remained associated with an increased hazard ratio of 30-day mortality (1.18; 95% CI, 1.13-1.22; P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  After adjustment for immortal time bias, IVC filter placement was associated with increased 30-day mortality in patients with VTE and a contraindication to anticoagulation. Randomized clinical trials are needed to determine the efficacy of IVC filter placement in patients with VTE and a contraindication to anticoagulation.

 

Requiem for Liberalizing Indications for Vena Caval Filters?

Samuel Z. Goldhaber

Guidelines

However, it is premature to hammer nails into the coffin and to gather as a medical community for a requiem that celebrates no indication for liberalizing indications for placing an IVC filter. Instead, we need to shift the focus of the questions that we investigate and pour resources into further randomized and observational trials of IVC filter insertion in special highrisk populations.

There remain important groups of patients who may benefit from IVC filters with reduction in PE and PE-associated mortality (Table 2). In some cases, tantalizing data suggest that these populations warrant filters. In other cases, we lack data to guide us. Patients with massive PE—accompanied by cardiogenic shock requiring vasopressors to support blood pressure—are desperately ill. They are clinically unstable. An additional PE under these circumstances can be the fatal blow. Data from the National Inpatient Sample and the International Cooperative PE Registry suggest that filters in these patients may be lifesaving.

Patients with severe PE who undergo acute surgical pulmonary embolectomy are vulnerable to recurrent PE, especially during the early postoperative period where full anticoagulation cannot be immediately implemented. I have had personal experience managing this type of patient where the embolectomy is successful but the patient dies of recurrent PE.19

Table 1. Generally Accepted Consensus Recommendations for IVC Filter Insertion in Patients With VTE

  • Major bleeding on full-dose anticoagulation
  • Major contraindication to full-dose anticoagulation
  • New-onset acute PE (especially recurrent PE) despite well-documented fulldose anticoagulation for an existing VTE

IVC indicates inferior vena caval; PE, pulmonary embolism; and VTE, venous thromboembolism.

 

Table 2. Special Populations Where Benefits of IVC Filter Insertion May Outweigh Risks

  • Massive PE or high-risk submassive PE
  • Surgical pulmonary embolectomy
  • Cancer patients with VTE or at high risk of VTE with concomitant high risk of bleeding if anticoagulated
  • Surgical patients (especially during preoperative evaluation) at high risk of VTE with concomitant high risk of bleeding if anticoagulated

IVC indicates inferior vena caval; PE, pulmonary embolism; and VTE, venous thromboembolism.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.022730

References

1. Stein PD, Matta F, Hull RD. Increasing use of vena cava filters for prevention of pulmonary embolism. Am J Med. 2011;124:655–661. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.02.021.

2. Jia Z, Wu A, Tam M, Spain J, McKinney JM, Wang W. Caval penetration by inferior vena cava filters: a systematic literature review of clinical significance and management. Circulation. 2015;132:944–952. doi: 10.1161/ CIRCULATIONAHA.115.016468

3. Owens CA, Bui JT, Knuttinen MG, Gaba RC, Carrillo TC, Hoefling N, Layden-Almer JE. Intracardiac migration of inferior vena cava filters: review of published data. Chest. 2009;136:877–887. doi: 10.1378/ chest.09-0153.

4. Nicholson W, Nicholson WJ, Tolerico P, Taylor B, Solomon S, Schryver T, McCullum K, Goldberg H, Mills J, Schuler B, Shears L, Siddoway L, Agarwal N, Tuohy C. Prevalence of fracture and fragment embolization of Bard retrievable vena cava filters and clinical implications including cardiac perforation and tamponade. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170:1827–1831. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.316.

5. Angel LF, Tapson V, Galgon RE, Restrepo MI, Kaufman J. Systematic review of the use of retrievable inferior vena cava filters. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2011;22:1522–1530.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2011.08.024.

19. Aklog L, Williams CS, Byrne JG, Goldhaber SZ. Acute pulmonary embolectomy: a contemporary approach. Circulation. 2002;105:1416–1419.

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Xarelto (Rivaroxaban): Anticoagulant Therapy gains FDA New Indications and Risk Reduction for: (DVT) and (PE), while in use for Atrial fibrillation increase in Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding Reported

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/11/04/xarelto-rivaroxaban-anticoagulant-therapy-gains-fda-new-indications-and-risk-reduction-for-dvt-and-pe-while-in-use-for-atrial-fibrillation-increase-in-gastrointestinal-gi-bleeding-reported/

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE): Blood Clots in Leg and Lungs – No. 3 Cardiovascular Killer Globally – Is Leading Cause of Premature Death and Disability in Hospitals

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The Relation between Coagulation and Cancer affects Supportive Treatments

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2015/10/19/the-relation-between-coagulation-and-cancer-affects-supportive-treatments/

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Pathophysiology in Hypertension: Opposing Roles of Human Adaptive Immunity

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

T regulatory lymphocytes counteract hypertensive effects by suppressing innate and adaptive immune responses and T effector lymphocytes promote differentiation towards pro-inflammatory T helper cells

 

Dual opposing roles of adaptive immunity in hypertension

 

, , ,

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehu119 1238-1244 First published online: 30 March 2014

Abstract

Hypertension involves remodelling and inflammation of the arterial wall. Interactions between vascular and inflammatory cells play a critical role in disease initiation and progression. T effector and regulatory lymphocytes, members of the adaptive immune system, play contrasting roles in hypertension. Signals from the central nervous system and the innate immune system antigen-presenting cells activate T effector lymphocytes and promote their differentiation towards pro-inflammatory T helper (Th) 1 and Th17 phenotypes. Th1 and Th17 effector cells, via production of pro-inflammatory mediators, participate in the low-grade inflammation that leads to blood pressure elevation and end-organ damage. T regulatory lymphocytes, on the other hand, counteract hypertensive effects by suppressing innate and adaptive immune responses. The present review summarizes and discusses the adaptive immune mechanisms that participate in the pathophysiology in hypertension.

  • Blood pressure
  • Adaptive immunity
  • Inflammation
  • T effector lymphocytes
  • T regulatory lymphocytes
  • Cytokines

Conclusion

Experimental and clinical evidence discussed in this review strongly suggests that adaptive immunity, represented by T effector and regulatory lymphocyte subsets, plays a dual role in hypertension (Figure 2). Increased sympathetic outflow as a consequence of stimulation of the CNS by hypertensive stimuli may result in mild blood pressure elevation, causing tissue injury and formation of neoantigens2 and/or damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs).80 Activation of innate APCs by DAMPs, or by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) generated in response to low-grade infection,80,81 and direct stimulation by CNS, may be the cause of activation of CD4+, and perhaps CD8+, T effector lymphocytes, and differentiation of CD4+ T cells towards pro-inflammatory Th1/Th17 phenotypes.41 Th1/Th17 effector lymphocytes contribute to the progression of hypertension by producing pro-inflammatory mediators, including ROS, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17, to promote low-grade inflammation.24,41,42,51,52 T regulatory lymphocytes, on the other hand, counteract hypertensive abnormalities by suppressing innate and adaptive immune responses, perhaps by secreting IL-10.6571 As such, circulating levels of Tregs or their immune-suppressive activity may be affected in hypertension.

 SOURCE

http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/19/1238

Idris-Khodja et al. (2014) Dual opposing roles of adaptive immunity in hypertension. European Heart Journal (doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehu119)

 

Adaptive Immunity

Figure 1

Differentiation of naïve T lymphocytes into various subsets in a normal immune response. Antigen-presenting cells (dendritic cells and monocyte/macrophages) present antigens on major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-II to naïve T cells (Th0) in secondary lymphoid tissues, leading to T-cell clonal expansion and differentiation into effector T cells, such as T helper (Th)1, Th2, and Th17 or T regulatory (Treg) cells according to combined stimulation by different cytokines. Th effector lymphocytes and Tregs migrate into tissues such as the vasculature, particularly at the level of the adventitia and perivascular fat. The effector lymphocytes (Th1 and Th17) cells activate other immune cells and participate in inflammation by producing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-17. T regulatory lymphocytes suppress innate and adaptive responses via production of anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and transforming growth factor-β. CD, cluster of differentiation; DC, dendritic cell; MΦ, macrophage; NK cell, natural killer cell; Tc, cytotoxic T cell; TCR, T-cell receptor.

IMAGE SOURCE

http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/19/1238

 

Hypertention

 

IMAGE SOURCE

http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/19/1238

Figure 2

Proposed role of T effector and regulatory lymphocytes in hypertension. Slight elevation in blood pressure (BP) in response to hypertensive stimuli (angiotensin II, aldosterone, endothelin-1, salt and genetic susceptibility) occurs due to increased central signalling, perhaps causing mild tissue injury and formation of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and neoantigens. This may lead to activation of innate antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and, subsequently, activation and polarization of naïve CD4+ T effector lymphocytes (Th0) towards pro-inflammatory T helper (Th)1/Th17 phenotypes. Th1/Th17 may contribute to vascular and kidney damage via production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-17 and lead to maintenance of hypertension and progression of end-organ damage. T regulatory lymphocytes counteract hypertension and associated injury by producing IL-10 or by other mechanisms, and suppression of innate and adaptive immune responses. CD, cluster of differentiation; CNS, central nervous system; MHC-II, major histocompatibility complex-II; PAMPs, pathogen-associated molecular patterns; TCR, T-cell receptor.

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