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Cardiovascular Complications: Death from Reoperative Sternotomy after prior CABG, MVR, AVR, or Radiation; Complications of PCI; Sepsis from Cardiovascular Interventions

Author, Introduction and Summary: Justin D Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC

and

Article Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

The Curator recommends the e-Reader to read the following book on Surgical Complications:

Complications
“Essential Reading For Anyone Involved In Medicine”–Amazon.com –  2002

Cardiovascular Complications:

I. Reoperative Sternotomy after prior CABG, MVR, AVR, or radiation therapy

IIa. PCI, and

IIb. PAD Endovascular Interventions: Carotid Artery Endarterectomy

III. Incidence of Sepsis (circulation infection with serious consequences)

UPDATED 11/2/2013

As minimally interventional techniques improve, patients are offered a choice of invasive surgical remedies or less invasive procedures (video assisted, robotic, or percutaneous). The decision should not rest on the size of the scar or even the up front risk and discomfort, but rather should weigh all aspects of the risks and benefits. In addition to the risks and benefits for the current problem, one should also consider why the problem occurred and its likelihood of recurrence. Open chest surgery has a clear disadvantage when it comes to recurrences, as the scars from first surgery interfere with second surgery. Opening the chest (sternotomy) for a second or third time poses elevated risks analyzed herein. This article reviews data from major centers addressing the risks from repeat sternotomy and from minimally invasive cardiovascular surgeries. Any invasion of the body elevates risk of infection, which can lead to sepsis and possible death, so that risk is also addressed.

I. Risk of Injury During Repeat Sternotomy for CABG or Aortic Valve Replacement, Open Heart Surgery

II. Complications After Percutaneous Coronary intervention (PCI) and endovascular surgery for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

  • (a) Post PCIand 
  • (b) PAD Endovascular Interventions: Carotid Artery Endarterectomy

III. Cardiac Failure During Systemic Sepsis

This article addresses specific reports of complications but does not cover numerous other complications that may occur, such as lung collapse, cardiogenic shock, blood loss, local infection, emboli, thrombus, stroke.

I. Risk of Injury During Open Heart Surgery after prior Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), Aortic Valve Replacement, Mitral Valve Replacement, or Radiation Therapy 

Conclusions of a Study conducted @Mayo Clinic on Reoperative (Repeat) Sternotomy (opening of the chest through the sternum):

Chan B. Park, MD,a,b Rakesh M. Suri, MD,a Harold M. Burkhart, MD,a Kevin L. Greason, MD,a

Joseph A. Dearani, MD,a Hartzell V. Schaff, MD,a and Thoralf M. Sundt III, MDa

Identifying patients at particular risk of injury during repeat sternotomy: Analysis of 2555 cardiac reoperations

Authors Affiliations: From the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery,

a Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn; and the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery,

b St. Paul’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

Disclosures: None.

Read at the 90th Annual Meeting of The American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 1–5, 2010. Received for publication April 6, 2010; revisions received July 19, 2010; accepted for publication July 30, 2010.

doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2010.07.086

Particular attention to protective strategies should be considered during reoperative sternotomy among patients with multiple previous sternotomies, previous mediastinal radiotherapy, and those with patent internal thoracic artery grafts. (J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2010;140:1028-35)

Of the 2555 patients,

  • 1537 (60%) had undergone previous coronary artery bypass grafting,
  • 700 (27%) previous mitral valve surgery, and
  • 643 (25%) previous aortic valve replacement (AVR).
  • 61 (2%) had prior mediastinal radiotherapy, and
  • 424 (17%) had more than one previous sternotomy.

 Injury Analysis – 9% events in 231 Patient in the study

In 231 patients, 267 injuries (9.0%) occurred.

Injury occurred

  • during sternotomy in 87 patients (33%) and
  • during prepump dissection in 135 (51%).

Hospital mortality rate was

6.5% among those without injury and

18.5% among those with injury (P < .001);

25% when injury occurred during sternal division

Injuries were more common

1. after previous coronary artery bypass grafting

  • 11% with previous coronary artery bypass grafting vs
  • 7% without, (P = .0012)

but not

  • previous aortic valve surgery,
  • previous mitral valve surgery, or
  • previous aorta surgery.

2.  Injury was also more common when the current operation was aortic valve replacement (AVR)

  • 10% with AVR vs
  • 8% without, (P = .04) or

3.  aorta surgery

  • 14% vs
  • 8% (P = .004).

Predicted injury by multivariate analysis –

Injury was an independent risk factor of hospital death (odds ratio, 2.6).

4.   previous radiotherapy (odds ratio, 4.9)

5.  a greater number of previous sternotomies (odds ratio 1.7), and

6.  a patent internal thoracic artery (odds ratio, 1.8)

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2010 Nov;140(5):1028-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2010.07.086.

Identifying patients at particular risk of injury during repeat sternotomy: analysis of 2555 cardiac reoperations.

Source

Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A variety of protective strategies during repeat sternotomy been proposed; however, it remains unclear for which patients they are warranted.

METHODS:

We identified adults undergoing repeat median sternotomy for routine cardiac surgery at our institution between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2007. The operative notes and perioperative outcomes were reviewed.

RESULTS:

Of the 2555 patients, 1537 (60%) had undergone previous coronary artery bypass grafting, 700 (27%) previous mitral valve surgery, and 643 (25%) previous aortic valve replacement (AVR). Sixty-one patients (2%) had prior mediastinal radiotherapy, and 424 (17%) had more than one previous sternotomy. In 231 patients, 267 injuries (9.0%) occurred. Injury occurred during sternotomy in 87 patients (33%) and during prepump dissection in 135 (51%). The hospital mortality rate was 6.5% among those without injury and 18.5% among those with injury (P < .001); when injury occurred during sternal division, the mortality rate was 25%. Injuries were more common after previous coronary artery bypass grafting (11% with previous coronary artery bypass grafting vs 7% without, P = .0012) but not previous AVR, mitral valve surgery, or aortic surgery. Injury was also more common when the current operation was AVR (10% with AVR vs 8% without, P = .04) or aortic surgery (14% vs 8%, P = .004). On multivariate analysis, previous radiotherapy (odds ratio, 4.9), a greater number of previous sternotomies (odds ratio 1.7), and a patent internal thoracic artery (odds ratio, 1.8) predicted injury. Injury was an independent risk factor of hospital death (odds ratio, 2.6).

CONCLUSIONS:

Particular attention to protective strategies should be considered during reoperative sternotomy among patients with multiple previous sternotomies, previous mediastinal radiotherapy, and those with patent internal thoracic artery grafts.

Copyright © 2010 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

Comment in

TABLE 2. Hospital mortality according to Timing of Injury

Timing Mortality rate with injury P value

  • Re-entry 19/76 (25.0%) <.001
  • Prepump 20/121 (16.5%) <.001
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB)  3/14 (21.4%) .05
  • Aortic CrossClamp (ACC 1/11) (9.1%) .85
  • Closing 5/17 (29.4%) <.001

TABLE 1. Preoperative patient characteristics

Characteristic No injury (n 1/4 2324) Injury (n 1/4 231) P value

Age (y) 66.9  12.4 67.7  11.5 .509

Men 1583 (68.1%) 167 (72.3%) .192

Diabetes mellitus 499 (21.5%) 61 (26.4%) .084

Hypertension 1536 (66.2%) 158 (68.4%) .490

Hypercholesterolemia 1656 (71.4%) 171 (74.0%) .395

Myocardial infarction 633 (27.3%) 68 (29.4%) .480

Congestive heart failure 758 (32.6%) 89 (38.5%) .069

NYHA .064

I-II 492 (21.2%) 37 (16.0%)

III-IV 1830 (78.8%) 184 (84.0%)

Previous operation No injury (n 1/4 2324) Injury (n 1/4 231) P value

CABG 1375 (59.2%) 162 (70.1%) .001

Aortic valve surgery 586 (25.2%) 57 (24.7%) .857

Mitral valve surgery 645 (27.8%) 55 (23.8%) .200

Tricuspid valve surgery 64 (2.8%) 9 (3.9%) .320

Aorta surgery 167 (7.2%) 20 (8.7%) .413

Current operation No injury (n 1/4 2324) Injury (n 1/4 231) P value

CABG 897 (38.6%) 104 (45.0%) .056

Aortic valve surgery 1020 (43.9%) 118 (51.1%) .036

Mitral valve surgery 821 (35.3%) 80 (34.6%) .833

Tricuspid valve surgery 414 (17.8%) 52 (22.5%) .078

Aortic surgery 232 (10.0%) 37 (16.0%) .004

DISCUSSION

The results of the present study have confirmed the significant risk of cardiovascular injury during reoperative cardiac surgery. The death rate from such injury can be 10-30%, particularly  when occurring during division of the sternum. These risks are greatest among patients with multiple previous sternotomies or prior chest radiotherapy.

Current PROTOCOL at Virginia University, now suggested to be considered for adoption @Mayo Clinic:

The Mayo Clinic’s Authors write: Our findings are more consistent with those reported by Roselli and colleagues.2 The explanation of these institutional differences is unclear, although a number of practice differences are likely present between these institutions in terms of both patient substrate and surgical practice. Compared with the series from the University of Virginia, the Mayo series we have reported represents a greater percentage of total cases performed at the institution (13.5% vs 7.8%), with a somewhat greater percentage of those reoperations being for CABG (41% vs 60%). In the Mayo series, a lower percentage were first-time repeat sternotomies (83% vs 90%) and a greater percentage were the fourth time or more (2.7% vs 1.1%).

The incidence of previous radiotherapy in the University of Virginia series was not reported.

It is also unclear to what degree the differences in surgical practice, including the role of the assistant surgeons in performing the repeat sternotomy, could account for these differences. In the present retrospective study, we were unable to demonstrate an effect of experience or expertise in either the occurrence of injury or the outcome. However, it is clear to all practicing surgeons that, when injury occurs, the judgment and expertise of the operating surgeon is critical to expeditious institution of CPB or other ‘‘rescue’’ maneuvers.

Perhaps of more practical value and broad applicability, however, is the standardized approach to repeat sternotomy advocated by the group at the University of Virginia, including routine preoperative CT scanning if the procedure is the third or fourth sternotomy and insertion of a femoral arterial line by which emergent percutaneous arterial inflow cannulation can be accomplished, if necessary. In their series, emergent institution of CPB using the femoral route was instituted in 1.8% of reoperative patients, constituting 19% of the patients with injury. Most notably, in their series, no deaths occurred among these patients. Serious consideration should be given to adopting such protocols.

Our high mortality rate associated with SVG injury during sternotomy, however, supports the  recommendation by others to carefully assess the course of bypass grafts by preoperative angiography. Routine preoperative CT imaging of all patients with more than one previous sternotomy has been advocated by Morishita and colleagues,3 with a demonstrable reduction in operative complications. Roselli and colleagues2 identified a lack of preparative imaging as the most common ‘‘lapse’’ in the preventive strategy among patients with injury. Our data suggest that CT scanning might be particularly helpful in the subset of patients with multiple previous sternotomies or radiotherapy and would support the institution of a policy of routine scanning for these patients.

FIGURE 1. Hospital mortality according to emergent cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery c November 2010, pp. 1032

TABLE 5. Postoperative results

No injury (n 1/4 2324) —  Injury (n 1/4 231) — P value

Postoperative transfusion (U)

PRCs 4.5  7.2 6.5  8.9 .046

ICU stay (h) 102.3  228.6 146.3 +/- 346.9 <.001

Reoperation for bleeding 127 (5.5%) 21 (9.1%) .024

Sepsis 86 (3.7%) 16 (6.9%) .017

Stroke 56 (2.4%) 11 (4.8%) .033

Prolonged ventilation 505 (21.7%) 97 (42.0%) <.001

Pneumonia 123 (5.3%) 25 (10.8%) <.001

ARDS 32 (1.4%) 8 (3.5%) .015

Postoperative renal failure 237 (10.2%) 51 (22.1%) <.001

Multisystem failure 45 (1.9%) 13 (5.6%) <.001

Perioperative MI 9 (0.4%) 2 (0.9%) .289

Hospital death 151 (6.5%) 43 (18.6%) <.001

Abbreviations:

IABP, intra-aortic balloon pump; ICU, intensive care unit; ARDS, acute respiratory

distress syndrome; MI, myocardial infarction.

SOURCE
The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery c November 2010, pp. 1032

Independent predictors for injury during repeat median sternotomy

The structures injured and the timing of injury in our study were similar to those reported by Roselli and colleagues.2  Bypass grafts were the most commonly injured and, perhaps in contrast to expectations, most injuries occurred during dissection, not during sternal division. Unlike their study, however, we found injury during sternal division to carry a greater mortality risk. We observed a remarkably high mortality rate associated with injury to the right ventricle, as did Roselli and colleagues.2  This may be particularly true in the presence of pulmonary hypertension, when attempts to repair the injury are hampered by inadequate access, progressive tearing of the ventricle secondary to traction injury, and what can be a relatively thin and friable free wall. The incidence of injury to the Internal thoracic artery (ITA) in our series (4.9%) was comparable to the 4.4%–5.3% reported by other investigators.11-14 Because the ITA was damaged more often during prepump dissection (20.7%) than during re-entry (11.5%), these data support the trend to avoid dissecting and isolating the ITA during AVR after previous CABG.12,13

FOUR CONCLUSIONS

1. On the basis of these data, we would advocate preoperative axial CT imaging to define the proximity of cardiovascular structures to the sternum of patients who have undergone more than one previous sternotomy and those who have undergone radiotherapy because these patients statistically have the greatest risk of injury.

2. We would also advocate considering percutaneous or open access of the femoral vessels, if not the institution of CPB, before sternotomy in these same patients, as well as those with significant pulmonary hypertension.

3. Because injury is common during prepump dissection, we support a philosophy of leaving patent ITA grafts undisturbed by attempts to gain control during AVR after previous CABG.

4. Finally, given the mortality rate associated with graft injury, patients with previous CABG should be considered for graft angiography or high-resolution CT.

Summary 

This is a very important study  on the Outcomes and the Complications involved in Cardiac Surgery @Mayo Clinic.

Study’s Objectives: A variety of protective strategies during repeat sternotomy been proposed; however, it remains unclear for which patients they are warranted.

Authors @Mayo Clinic reported:

We were unable to definitively assess the effect of any specific protective strategies on the incidence of injury. Because we do not have standardized or uniform prospective institutional policies in this regard, it was not possible to account for the confounding factor of the clinician’s judgment in the decision to use these strategies in particularly highrisk patients.

Our high mortality rate associated with saphenous vein graft (SVG) injury during sternotomy, however, supports the  recommendation by others to carefully assess the course of bypass grafts by preoperative angiography. Routine preoperative CT imaging of all patients with more than one previous sternotomy has been advocated by Morishita and colleagues,3 with a demonstrable reduction in operative complications.

The reader is advised to review another article Co-Curated by us on the following related study by Mayo Clinic researches, This article examines 10-year to 15-year survivals from arterial bypass grafts using arterial vs saphenous venous grafts.

CABG Survival in Multivessel Disease Patients: Comparison of Arterial Bypass Grafts vs Saphenous Venous Grafts

The conclusions in this article are:

In patients undergoing isolated coronary artery bypass graft surgery with LIMA to left anterior descending artery,

  • arterial grafting of the non-left anterior descending vessels conferred a survival advantage at 15 years compared with Saphenous Venous grafting (SVG).

It is still unproven whether these results apply to higher-risk subgroups of patients.

Related study

Coronary Artery Disease – Medical Devices Solutions: From First-In-Man Stent Implantation, via Medical Ethical Dilemmas to Drug Eluting Stents,

REFERENCES

1. Sabik JF III, Blackstone EH, Houghtaling PL,Walts PA, LytleBW. Is reoperation

still a risk factor in coronary artery bypass surgery? Ann Thorac Surg. 2005;80:

1719-27.

2. Roselli EE, Pettersson GB, Blackstone EH, Brizzio ME, Houghtaling PL,

Lauck R, et al. Adverse events during reoperative cardiac surgery: Frequency,

characterization, and rescue. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008;135:316-23.

3. Morishita K, Kawaharada N, Fukada J, Yamada A, Masaru T, Kuwaki K, et al.

Three or more median sternotomies for patients with valve disease: Role of computed

tomography. Ann Thorac Surg. 2003;75:1476-81.

4. Luciani N, Anselmi A, De Geest R, Martinelli L, Perisano M, Possati G. Extracorporeal

circulation by peripheral cannulation before redo sternotomy: Indications

and results. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008;136:572-7.

5. Potter DD, Sundt TM III, Zehr KJ, Dearani JA, Daly RC, Mullany CJ, et al. Risk

of repeat mitral valve replacement for failed mitral valve prostheses. Ann Thorac

Surg. 2004;78:67-72.

6. Potter DD, Sundt TM III, Zehr KJ, Dearani JA, Daly RC, Mullany CJ, et al. Operative

risk of reoperative aortic valve replacement. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg.

2005;129:94-103.

7. Sundt TM III, Murphy SF, Barzilai B, Schuessler RB, Mendeloff EN,

Huddleston CB, et al. Previous coronary artery bypass grafting is not a risk factor

for aortic valve replacement. Ann Thorac Surg. 1997;64:651-7.

8. Ellman PI, Smith RL, Girotti ME, Thompson PW, Peeler BB, Kern JA, et al. Cardiac

injury during resternotomy does not affect perioperative mortality. JAm Coll

Surg. 2008;206:993-9.

9. Chang ASY, Smedira NG, Chang CL, Benavides MM, Myhre U, Feng J, et al.

Cardiac surgery after mediastinal radiation: Extent of exposure influences outcome.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2007;133:404-13.

10. Schmuziger M, Christenson JT, Maurice J, Mosimann E, Simonet F, Velebit V.

Reoperative myocardial revascularization: An analysis of 458 reoperations and

2645 single operations. Cardiovasc Surg. 1994;2:623-9.

11. Gillinov AM, Casselman FP, Lytle BW, Blackstone EH, Parsons EM, Loop FD,

et al. Injury to a patent left internal thoracic artery graft at coronary reoperation.

Ann Thorac Surg. 1999;67:382-6.

12. Byrne JG, Karavas AN, Filsoufi F, Mihaljevic T, Aklog L, Adams DH, et al. Aortic

valve surgery after previous coronary artery bypass grafting with functioning

internal mammary artery grafts. Ann Thorac Surg. 2002;73:779-84.

13. Smith RL, Ellman PI, Thompson PW, Girotti ME, Mettler BA, Ailawadi G, et al.

Do you need to clamp a patent left internal thoracic artery—Left anterior descending

graft in reoperative cardiac surgery? Ann Thorac Surg. 2009;87:742-7.

14. Coltharp WH, Decker MD, Lea JWIV, Petracek MR, Glassford DM,

Thormas CS, et al. Internal mammary artery graft at reoperation: Risks, benefits,

and methods of preservation. Ann Thorac Surg. 1991;52:225-9.

15. O’Brien MF, Harrocks S, Clarke A, Garlick B, Barnett AG. How to do safe sternal

reentry and the risk factors of redo cardiac surgery: A 21-year review with

zero major cardiac injury. J Cardiac Surg. 2002;17:4-13.

16. Klein G. Naturalistic decision making. Human Factors. 2008;50:456-60.

II. Complications After Percutaneous Coronary intervention (PCI) and endovascular surgery for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

(a) after prior PCI, and

(b) after prior PAD Endovascular Interventions: Carotid Artery Endarterectomy

II(a)  PCI  After Prior PCI – Major occurring Complications include the following:

 

  • Hematoma (a firm collection of blood greater than 2 cm around or in the proximity of the access site).
  • Pseudoaneurysm / dissection,
  • A-V fistula and ischemic leg were also considered along with
  • Retroperitoneal bleed. Retroperitoneal bleeding was defined by any amount of bleeding in the retroperitoneum diagnosed by computer tomography.
  • Inflammation of the Lower extremity on the side of the access site to the femoral artery

UPDATED 11/2/2013

VIEW VIDEO

Impact of Intra-procedural Stent Thrombosis during Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Insights from the CHAMPION PHOENIX Trial ONLINE FIRST

Philippe Généreux, MD1; Gregg W. Stone, MD1; Robert A. Harrington, MD4; C. Michael Gibson, MD5; Ph. Gabriel Steg, MD6; Sorin J. Brener, MD10; Dominick J. Angiolillo, MD, PhD11; Matthew J. Price, MD12; Jayne Prats, PhD13; Laura LaSalle, MPH2; Tiepu Liu, MD, PhD12; Meredith Todd, B.Sc12; Simona Skerjanec, Pharm.D12; Christian W. Hamm, MD14; Kenneth W. Mahaffey, MD4; Harvey D. White, DSc15; Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH16
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;():. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.10.022

Abstract

Objective  We sought to evaluate the clinical impact of intra-procedural stent thrombosis (IPST), a relatively new endpoint.

Background  In the prospective, double-blind, active-controlled CHAMPION PHOENIX trial, cangrelor significantly reduced periprocedural and 30-day ischemic events in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), including IPST.

Methods  An independent core laboratory blinded to treatment assignment performed a frame-by-frame angiographic analysis in 10,939 patients for the development of IPST, defined as new or worsening thrombus related to stent deployment anytime during the procedure. Adverse events were adjudicated by an independent, blinded clinical events committee.

Results  IPST developed in 89 patients (0.8%), including 35/5470 (0.6%) and 54/5469 (1.0%) in the cangrelor and clopidogrel arms, respectively (OR [95%CI] = 0.65 [0.42,0.99], p=0.04). Compared to patients without IPST, IPST was associated with a marked increase in composite ischemia (death, myocardial infarction [MI], ischemia-driven revascularization, or new onset out-of-lab stent thrombosis [ARC]) at 48 hours and at 30 days (29.2% vs. 4.5% and 31.5% vs. 5.7%, P<0.0001 for both). After controlling for potential confounders, IPST remained a strong predictor of all adverse ischemic events at both time points.

Conclusion  In the large-scale CHAMPION PHOENIX trial, the occurrence of IPST was strongly predictive of subsequent adverse cardiovascular events. The potent intravenous ADP antagonist cangrelor substantially reduced IPST, contributing to its beneficial effects at 48 hours and 30 days.

Clinical trial info  CHAMPION PHOENIX; NCT01156571

Bleeding and Vascular Complications at the Femoral Access Site Following Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI): An Evaluation of Hemostasis Strategies

Author(s):

Dale R. Tavris, MD, MPH1, Yongfei Wang, MS2, Samantha Jacobs, BS1, Beverly Gallauresi, MPH, RN1, Jeptha Curtis, MD2, John Messenger, MD3, Frederic S. Resnic, MD, MSc4, Susan Fitzgerald, MS, RN5

Authors Affiliation

From the 1US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Silver Spring, Maryland, 2Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 3University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 4Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and 5the American College of Cardiology, Bethesda, Maryland.

Abstract: Background. Previous research found at least one vascular closure device (VCD) to be associated with excess vascular complications, compared to manual compression (MC) controls, following cardiac catheterization. Since that time, several more VCDs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This research evaluates the safety profiles of current frequently used VCDs and other hemostasis strategies. Methods. Of 1089 sites that submitted data to the CathPCI Registry from 2005 through the second quarter of 2009, a total of 1,819,611 percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures performed via femoral access site were analyzed. Assessed outcomes included bleeding, femoral artery occlusion, embolization, artery dissection, pseudoaneurysm, and arteriovenous fistula. Seven types of hemostasis strategy were evaluated for rate of “any bleeding or vascular complication” compared to MC controls, using hierarchical multiple logistic regression analysis, controlling for demographic factors, type of hemostasis, several indices of co-morbidity, and other potential confounding variables. Rates for different types of hemostasis strategy were plotted over time, using linear regression analysis.Results. Four of the VCDs and hemostasis patches demonstrated significantly lower bleeding or vascular complication rates than MC controls: Angio-Seal (odds ratio [OR], 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.65-0.70); Perclose (OR, 0.54; CI, 0.51-0.57); StarClose (OR, 0.77; CI, 0.72-0.82); Boomerang Closure Wire (OR, 0.63; CI, 0.53-0.75); and hemostasis patches (OR, 0.70; CI, 0.67-0.74). All types of hemostasis strategy, including MC, exhibited reduced complication rates over time. All trends were statistically significant except one. Conclusions. This large, nationally representative observational study demonstrated better safety profiles for most of the frequently used VCDs, compared to MC controls.

J INVASIVE CARDIOL 2012;24(7):328-334

Key words: hemostasis patch, mechanical compression, vascular closure device

Problems and Complications of the Transradial Approach for Coronary Interventions: A Review

The Journal of invasive Cardiology

Elizabeth Bazemore, BS and J. Tift Mann, III, MD

The benefits of the transradial approach have clearly been documented in numerous studies in the past ten years.1–9 Access site bleeding complication rates are lower and early ambulation results in a significant reduction in patient morbidity and a lower total procedure cost.3,4 Both patients undergoing the procedure and staff caring for these patients overwhelmingly prefer the transradial approach.10
As a result of these benefits, there has been an increase in the use of the radial artery for interventional procedures worldwide in the past several years. This experience has led to an understanding of the problems and complications that can result from the transradial approach. The purpose of the present manuscript is to review these issues.
Radial artery occlusion. Although this complication is a major concern, the consequences of radial artery occlusion are usually benign. The dual blood supply to the hand is an extremely protective mechanism (Figure 1). Hand ischemia with necrosis has occurred following prolonged cannulation of the radial artery for hemodynamic monitoring in critically ill patients; however, this complication has not been reported thus far after transradial coronary procedures.
The absence of ischemic complications is largely the result of the original recommendation by Kiemeneij that the transradial procedure be performed only in patients with a documented patent ulnar artery and palmar arch.1 This has traditionally been evaluated using the Allen’s test, but ultrasound, Doppler, and plethysmography prior to the procedure are more accurate methods.11
Plethysmography is probably the simplest and most effective method. A pulse oximetry test is performed with the probe placed on the patient’s thumb (Figure 2). The persistence of waveform and high oximetry readings after digital occlusion of the radial artery is very strong evidence that the patient will have sufficient collateral flow to prevent hand ischemia if the radial artery should become occluded as a result of the procedure. Barbeau has demonstrated the reappearance of the waveform and a high oximetry reading two minutes after initial negative results.11 This delayed recruitment of collaterals may be an additional explanation for the absence of hand ischemia with radial occlusion.
Several variables influence the incidence of radial artery occlusion. Adequate anticoagulation is extremely important. This is usually not an issue in patients undergoing interventional procedures, but the incidence of radial occlusion was as high as 30% in patients receiving only 1,000 units of heparin during diagnostic catheterization.12 The incidence of radial occlusion is reduced significantly by administering at least 5,000 units of heparin during the procedure.12,13 Due to this risk of radial occlusion, we tend to reserve the use of the radial artery for interventional procedures and “look-see” diagnostic catheterization. Elective diagnostic catheterizations are performed transradially only when there is an increased risk of femoral complications.
Catheter size has been shown to be an important predictor of post-procedure radial artery occlusion. Saito has studied the ratio of the radial artery internal diameter to the external diameter of the arterial sheath.14 The incidence of occlusion was 4% in patients with a ratio of greater than 1, as compared to 13% in those with a ratio of less than 1. Radial procedures have traditionally been performed using 6 Fr catheters, and most patients have an internal radial artery diameter larger than the 2.52 mm external 6 Fr sheath diameter.14 The incidence of radial occlusion following 6 Fr procedures is less than 5%, but the rate increases with larger sheath sizes.4,13 Virtually all interventional procedures can now be performed through large-bore, 6 Fr guide catheters, and larger-sized catheters are rarely necessary. For straightforward procedures, 5 Fr guide catheters may be utilized and are particularly useful in smaller women.
When the radial artery is utilized for hemodynamic monitoring in critically ill patients, the incidence of radial occlusion is significantly higher in patients with cannulation times greater than 24 hours, as compared to those under 20 hours.15 Since catheters are virtually always removed at the conclusion of a catheterization or interventional procedure, the time of cannulation may not be a factor. However, prolonged post-procedure compression times, particularly with high pressure using a mechanical device, may be a factor. We use sufficient pressure only to achieve hemostasis and try to remove the device as quickly as possible. Even in patients with intensive anticoagulation, it is rarely necessary to maintain mechanical compression for longer than one to two hours. A compression dressing using non-occlusive pressures can then be applied.
In summary, post-procedure radial occlusion occurs only in a small percentage of patients and is virtually always asymptomatic because of the dual blood supply to the hand. Patients with generalized vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and those undergoing repeat procedures are more susceptible. The incidence can be minimized with appropriate anticoagulation, proper sheath selection, and avoiding prolonged high-pressure compression following the procedure.
Non-occlusive radial artery injury. Recent studies have demonstrated that permanent radial artery injury without occlusion may occur following transradial intervention in some patients. Mean radial artery internal diameter as measured by ultrasound was smaller in patients undergoing repeat transradial interventional procedures as compared to the initial procedure.16 This smaller diameter was not present on the day following the procedure, but developed during a mean follow up of 4.5 months. Wakeyama et al. demonstrated with intravascular ultrasound that this progressive narrowing is due to intimal hyperplasia, presumably induced by trauma from the cannulation sheath or catheter.17 The studies in our laboratory show that this hyperplasia is usually segmental rather than diffuse and is not present in all patients with a previous transradial procedure (Figure 3). The incidence of subsequent intimal hyperplasia in patients undergoing radial procedures is yet to be determined.
The ramifications of this injury are important not only in patients undergoing repeat interventional procedures, but also in patients in whom the radial artery may be used as a conduit for coronary artery bypass surgery. At our center, this is not an issue as most procedures are performed from the right radial artery and surgeons use the left radial artery for bypass graft purposes. At present, it would seem prudent not to use a radial artery that previously has been used for a catheterization as a bypass graft.
Radial artery spasm. Much of the morbidity of the transradial procedure is related to vasospasm induced by the introduction of a sheath or catheter into the radial artery. The vessel has a prominent medial layer that is largely dominated by alpha-1 adenoreceptor function.18 Thus, increased levels of circulating catecholamines are a cause of radial artery spasm. Local anesthesia and adequate sedation to control anxiety during catheter insertion are important preventative measures.
It has been demonstrated in isolated radial artery ring segments that nitroglycerin and verapamil are effective agents in preventing arterial spasm.19 Indeed, a vasodilator cocktail consisting of 3–6 mg of verapamil injected intra-arterially prior to sheath insertion is extremely effective in preventing radial artery spasm. The effect of the drug is immediate and significant arterial dilatation can be seen within minutes of its administration (Figure 4).
Intra-arterial verapamil and nitroglycerin have virtually eliminated vasospasm as a cause of significant morbidity of the procedure. It is now possible to perform transradial procedures using short sheaths and arm discomfort generally occurs only in patients with very small or tortuous radial arteries, particularly if guide catheter manipulation is excessive.
Spasm distal to the access site may be a cause of access failure. Occasionally, guide wire or guide catheter induced focal spasm may occur in a tortuous segment. Angiographic visualization of these areas is important as they generally respond to repeat verapamil administration and can be traversed with an angled hydrophilic coated guide wire. A soft-tipped coronary guide wire may also be used to cross these areas (Figure 5).
Sheath-induced spasm is also minimized by the use of sheaths with hydrophilic coating. Kiemeneij has documented that both patient discomfort and the force required to remove a sheath as measured by an automatic pull-back device was significantly less with hydrophilic coated sheaths as opposed to non-coated sheaths.20
Local access bleeding. The most important benefit of transradial procedures is the elimination of access site bleeding complications.1–4 The radial artery puncture site is located over bone and can easily be compressed with minimal pressure. Thus, bleeding from the radial access site can virtually always be prevented. Although manual pressure from an experienced operator is the ideal method to obtain hemostasis, several compression devices have been developed in an attempt to maximize operator and staff efficiency. Local hematomas may occur as a result of improper device application or device failure. It is important to emphasize that compression of the radial artery both proximally and distally to the puncture site must be performed because of retrograde flow from the palmar arch collaterals.
Forearm hematoma. Bleeding may occur from a site in the radial artery remote from the access site. The most common cause is perforation of a small side branch by the guide wire in patients receiving a platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor (Figure 6). Avulsion of a small radial recurrent artery arising from a radial loop is another important cause of this syndrome.21,22 Hydrophilic guidewires preferentially select this small arterial remnant in patients with a radial loop and forceful advancement of the guide catheter can result in avulsion of the vessel. Radial artery perforation has been described in 1% of patients although in our experience the incidence is substantially lower. A low threshold to perform a radial artery arteriogram when any resistance to guide wire or catheter insertion is encountered will help prevent this complication.
Recognition of this bleeding remote from the access site is important as hemostatic pressure must be applied to an area other than the access site. Hemostasis is usually easily accomplished by the application of an Ace bandage to the forearm. A blood pressure sphygmomanometer may also be utilized. The latter is inflated to systolic pressure and then gradually released over a period of one to two hours. Sealing of a perforation with a long sheath is also an option, but this is rarely necessary.22
Compartment syndrome is the most dreaded complication of radial artery hemorrhage. A large hematoma causes hand ischemia due to pressure-induced occlusion of both the radial and ulnar arteries. Fasciotomy with hematoma evacuation must be performed as an emergency procedure to prevent chronic ischemic injury. This complication is rare, occurring only once in our early experience; it should always be preventable.

Access failure. Failure to cannulate the radial artery using a 20 gauge needle and a 0.025 mm straight Terumo guide wire occurs in less than 5% of patients with an experienced operator. The importance of adequate patient sedation and local anesthesia in the prevention of radial artery spasm has previously been emphasized. In addition, meticulous attention to detail is important as the probability of failure increases as the number of unsuccessful attempts to puncture the artery increases. It should be emphasized that the puncture site is proximal to the styloid process of the radius bone. The radial artery distally usually bifurcates and becomes less superficial and attempting to puncture the vessel too distally is a common cause of access failure (Figure 7).
The radial loop is the most common congenital anomaly of the radial artery and may be a cause of access failure. It occurs in 1–2% of patients and may be unilateral or bilateral.21 Wide loops can occasionally be traversed with hydrophilic guidewires and 5 Fr catheters without excessive patient discomfort.23 However, in most cases, it is preferable to consider an alternative access site.
Radial arteries that are smaller than 2 mm in diameter are difficult to access. These are generally seen in smaller women and patients with previous radial procedures. The use of a 5 Fr guide in this situation may be an option. However, complex or difficult procedures cannot be performed through a 5 Fr guide catheter.
Miscellaneous complications. Pseudoaneurysm formation may rarely occur at the radial artery access site. This is usually easily managed with thrombin injection and/or mechanical compression. However, surgery may be required. Radial artery avulsion due to intense spasm has been described but this complication should virtually never occur using contemporary techniques. Sterile abscesses rarely occur with the use of hydrophilic coated sheaths.24
Conclusion. The radial artery is an excellent access site for coronary interventions. Although technically more challenging with a definite learning curve, there are significant advantages to this approach. Complications are infrequent and many are preventable with careful technique.

 http://www.invasivecardiology.com/article/3821

J Invasive Cardiol. 2010 Apr;22(4):175-8.

Vascular complications after percutaneous coronary intervention following hemostasis with the Mynx vascular closure device versus the AngioSeal vascular closure device.

Source

Department Cardiology, New York Medical College, Macy Pavilion, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.

Abstract

We investigated the prevalence of vascular complications after PCI following hemostasis in 190 patients (67% men and 33% women, mean age 64 years) treated with the AngioSeal vascular closure device (St. Jude Medical, Austin, Texas) versus 238 patients (67% men and 33% women, mean age 64 years) treated with the Mynx vascular closure device (AccessClosure, Mountain View, California).

RESULTS:

Death, myocardial infarction or stroke occurred in none of the 190 patients (0%) treated with the AngioSeal versus none of 238 patients (0%) treated with the Mynx. Major vascular complications occurred in 4 of 190 patients (2.1%) treated with the AngioSeal versus 5 of 238 patients (2.1%) treated with the Mynx (p not significant). Major vascular complications in patients treated with the AngioSeal included removal of a malfunctioning device (1.1%), hemorrhage requiring intervention (0.5%) and hemorrhage with a loss of > 3g Hgb (0.5%). The major vascular complications in patients treated with the Mynx included retroperitoneal bleeding requiring surgical intervention (0.8%), pseudoaneurysm with surgical repair (0.8%) and hemorrhage with a loss of > 3g Hgb (0.4%). These complications were not significantly different between the two vascular closure devices (p = 0.77). Minor complications included hematoma > 5 cm (0.5%, n = 1) within the AngioSeal group, as well as procedure failure requiring > 30 minutes of manual compression after device deployment, which occurred in 7 out of 190 patients (3.7%) treated with the AngioSeal versus 22 of 238 patients with the Mynx (9.2%) (p = 0.033).

CONCLUSIONS:

Major vascular complications after PCI following hemostasis with vascular closure devices occurred in 2.1% of 190 patients treated with the AngioSeal vascular closure device versus 2.1% of 238 patients treated with the Mynx vascular closure device (p not significant). The Mynx vascular closure device appears to have a higher rate of device failure.

Comment in

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20351388

Z Kardiol. 2005 Jun;94(6):392-8.

Incications and complications of invasive diagnostic procedures and percutaneous coronary interventions in the year 2003. Results of the quality control registry of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Leitende Kardiologische Krankenhausarzte (ALKK).

Source

Herzzentrum Ludwigshafen, Bremserstrasse 79, 67063 Ludwigshafen, Germany. Uwe.Zeymer@t-online.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The ALKK registry contains about 20% of the invasive and interventional cardiological procedures performed in Germany.

METHODS:

In 2003 a total of 82,282 consecutive diagnostic invasive and 30,689 interventional procedures from 75 hospitals were centrally collected and analyzed.

RESULTS:

The main indication for an invasive diagnostic procedure was coronary artery disease in 92.5% of cases, myocardial disease in 1.6%, impaired left ventricular function in 4.0%, valve disease in 4% and other indications in 1.9%. An acute coronary syndrome was present in 25% of the patients. The rate of severe complications in patients with a lone diagnostic invasive procedure was low (<0.5%). The indication for percutaneous coronary intervention (n=30,689) was stable angina in 44.1%, ST elevation myocardial infarction in 22.3%, non ST elevation myocardial infarction in 14.8%, unstable angina in 10.0%, silent ischemia in 2.2%, prognostic in 5.2% of patients. The majority of interventions were performed directly after the diagnostic procedure (n=23,887=78.6%). The intervention was successful in 94.6% of cases. Stent implantation was performed in 77.2%, with 1 stent in 88.4%, two stents in 7.6% and 3 or more stents in 3.3%. A drug-eluting stent was implanted in 3.6% of the cases. The complication rate after PCI was influenced by the indication for the intervention. The in-hospital mortality in patients with cardiogenic shock was 33%, while in patients with stable angina, silent ischemia and prognostic indication only 0.2% died.

CONCLUSION:

There is an increase of invasive diagnostic and interventional procedures in patients with acute coronary syndromes, with 47% of PCIs performed in these patient. PCIs were performed in 75% of the cases directly after the diagnostic procedure. The rate of stent implantation seems to have reached a plateau at around 80%, while drug-eluting stents were implanted only in a minority of cases. The complication rate is mainly dependent on the clinical presentation of the patients and the indication for PCI.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15940439

Coronary arterial complications after percutaneous coronary intervention in Behçet’s disease

Authors: Kinoshita T, Fujimoto S, Ishikawa Y, Yuzawa H, Fukunaga S, Toda M, Wagatsuma K, Akasaka Y, Ishii T, Ikeda T

Published Date February 2013 Volume 2013:4 Pages 9 – 12

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/RRCC.S41240,

Published: 05 February 2013
Toshio Kinoshita,1 Shinichiro Fujimoto,Yukio Ishikawa,2 Hitomi Yuzawa,1 Shunji Fukunaga,1Mikihito Toda,3 Kenji Wagatsuma,3 Yoshikiyo Akasaka,2 Toshiharu Ishii,2 Takanori Ikeda1
1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, 2Department of Pathology, 3Division of Interventional Cardiology, Toho University Faculty of Medicine, Ohta City, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: Behçet’s disease is a multisystemic vascular inflammatory disease, but concurrent cardiac diseases, such as acute myocardial infarction, are rare. Several complications may arise after coronary intervention for coronary lesions that interfere with treatment, and the incidence of coronary arterial complications due to invasive therapy remains unclear. Further, the long-term outcomes in patients with Behçet’s disease after stenting for acute myocardial infarction have not been described. The present report describes a 35-year-old Japanese man with Behçet’s disease who developed acute myocardial infarction. A coronary aneurysm developed at the stenting site of the left anterior descending coronary artery, along with stenosis in the left anterior descending segment proximal to the site. Although invasive therapy was considered, medication including immunosuppressants was selected because of the high risk of vascular complications after invasive therapy. The coronary artery disease has remained asymptomatic for the 4 years since the patient started medication. This case underscores the importance of considering the incidence of coronary arterial complications and of conservative treatment when possible.

Keywords: Behçet’s disease, myocardial infarction, coronary arterial complications, percutaneous coronary intervention, immunosuppressants

http://www.dovepress.com/coronary-arterial-complications-after-percutaneous-coronary-interventi-peer-reviewed-article-RRCC-recommendation1

REFERENCES

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  2. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2011 Update. American Heart Association, 2011.
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  6. An initiative of the American College of Cardiology Foundation, the NCDR, National Cardiovascular Data Registry, is a comprehensive, outcomes-based suite of registries focused on quality improvement. www.ncdr.com. 
  7. Applegate RJ, Sacrinty MT, Kutcher MA, et al. Propensity score analysis of vascular complications after diagnostic cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention 1998-2003. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2006;67(4):556-562.
  8. Applegate RJ, Sacrinty M, Kutcher MA, et al. Vascular complications with newer generations of Angio-Seal vascular closure devices. J Interv Cardiol. 2006;19(1):67-74.
  9. Applegate RJ, Sacrinty MT, Kutcher MA, et al. Propensity score analysis of vascular complications after diagnostic cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention using thrombin hemostatic patch-facilitated manual compression. J Invasive Cardiol. 2007;19(4):164-170.
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Frequency and Costs of Ischemic and Bleeding Complications After Percutaneous Coronary Interventions: Rationale for New Antithrombotic Therapy

Journal of Invasive Cardiology

http://www.invasivecardiology.com/article/2489

Author(s):

Mauro Moscucci, MD

Recent advances in catheter technology and antithrombotic therapy have led to a continuous improvement in outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). These improved outcomes have been associated with broadening of the indications for PCI, with an exponential growth in number of procedures performed, but they have also been paralleled by incremental procedure costs. The estimated costs of PCI currently range from $8,000–$13,000.1 With over 800,000 cases performed each year in the United States (US) alone, this represents over $10 billion annually for the US Healthcare System.2 Roughly half of these costs are incurred by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration).3 Total costs of PCI include disposable equipment used during the procedure (balloons, catheters, stents, etc.), cardiac catheterization laboratory overhead and depreciation, nursing and pharmacy costs, laboratory costs and physician services. In addition, factors that have been found to be associated with increased PCI costs include the use of special devices such as atherectomy or vascular closure devices, the use of multiple stents, the use of platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibitors, and the presence of certain patient demographic characteristics including advanced age, gender and other comorbidities.1,4,5 Finally, complications related to the procedure have been identified in several studies as the single most significant contributor to increased costs of PC.5–7

Methods to reduce the cost of PCI include re-use of balloon catheters,8 percutaneous revascularization performed at the same time as diagnostic catheterization,9 reduced anticoagulation, the use of new devices or pharmacological interventions to reduce restenosis and complications, and the use of competitive bidding for cardiac cath lab supplies.10 For example, the evolution of anticoagulation therapy in stented patients from a regime of post-procedural heparin and warfarin to one of thienopyridines and aspirin,11 and the subsequent reduction of length of stay from 4 days in 1995 to 2 days in 2000, have helped keep total procedure costs down.12 In addition, a reduction in complication rates appears to be a key target for cost reduction efforts. In support of this statement, in the economic assessment of the Evaluation of 7E3 for the Prevention of Ischemic Complications (EPIC) trial in high-risk patients, Mark et al. identified bleeding complications, urgent and non-urgent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), and urgent and non-urgent percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) as important correlates of incremental costs.7 Unfortunately, standard aggressive antithrombotic therapy aimed toward a reduction of ischemic complications is often associated with an increase in bleeding complications. In the analysis of the EPIC trial, the benefits of abciximab in decreasing procedure costs through a reduction of ischemic complications were offset by drug acquisition costs and by an increase in bleeding complications.7 Thus, with ischemic complications becoming more rare as a result of improvement in PCI technology and more aggressive antithrombotic therapy, bleeding has become a rather common and costly complication of PCI, with a blood transfusion estimated to add up to $8,000 to the cost of care for the PCI patient.13

Based on these premises, it appears that the next challenge in the care of PCI patients will be to determine how to continue to prevent ischemic complications without increasing the risk of bleeding. This paper examines the frequency of PCI complications in both recent clinical trials and actual practice, discusses the costs of complications, and explores improvements in patient management and particularly changes in anticoagulation therapy that might impact total costs of PCI.

Complication rates in clinical trials

Ischemic complications in clinical trials. Despite advances in PCI technology and adjunctive pharmacotherapy, data from clinical trials indicate that ischemic complications still occur in 5–15% of patients.14–19 Typically, clinical trials define ischemic complications as a combination of death, myocardial infarction (MI; both Q-wave and non-Q wave) and either urgent or any target vessel revascularization (TVR). Different definitions of MI or revascularization can make comparisons across trials difficult. However, comparisons may still be possible through the application of strict meta-analysis methodology. A recent meta-analysis combined data from 6 double-blind PCI trials conducted predominantly in North America between 1993 and 1998.20 A total of 16,546 patients were enrolled in these trials (Table 1). Protocols and case report forms for trials included in the analysis were compared to ensure reasonable consistency of study methods, patient management, data reporting and data structure. Integration of the databases from the trials enabled a direct comparison of key event rates at 7 days, using standard classifications and criteria for severity. The meta-analysis showed that the use of high-dose heparin (175 U/kg) was associated with significantly less frequent clinical ischemic events (8.1%) than lower doses of heparin (100 U/kg; 10.3%). In this same meta-analysis, event rates in patients treated with low-dose heparin (70 U/kg) plus a GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor was 6.5%.20 Although not included in this meta-analysis, it is worth noting that the incidence of death, MI and revascularization in the ESPRIT trial was 9.3% in patients treated with low-dose heparin alone (60 U/kg).21

Bleeding complications in clinical trials. In clinical trials of antiplatelet and anti-thrombotic therapy in PCI, bleeding complications are generally defined using either thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI)22 or global utilization of streptokinase or tPA outcomes (GUSTO)23 criteria (Table 2). Rates of major bleeding in clinical trials using these criteria are generally less than 2% (Table 3).14–19,21,24,25 However, these restrictive definitions may not capture all clinically significant bleeding. For example, neither the TIMI nor the GUSTO major bleeding definition includes the need for a blood transfusion as part of the criteria. Thus, a broader measure of bleeding using a combination of both major and minor bleeding defined by TIMI or GUSTO criteria appears more likely to be representative of bleeding rates in clinical practice.

In the meta-analysis of contemporary PCI trials, TIMI criteria were used to classify hemorrhagic events, permitting direct comparisons between trials. In the high-dose heparin group, the combination of TIMI major and minor bleeding occurred in 10.5% of patients compared with a rate of 10.7% in the low-dose heparin group, while the bleeding rate was 14.3% in patients receiving a combination of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors and low-dose heparin.

As shown in Table 3, when both TIMI major and minor bleeding are combined in contemporary PCI trials, bleeding complications average 4–14%, depending on patient characteristics and the drug regime used. In addition, when transfusions are included in the definition, the frequency of bleeding complications increases substantially. For example, in NICE-3, bleeding complications were 10.5% when transfusions were included in the criteria, but only 2% of the patients experienced TIMI major bleeding.26

Notably, the only adjunctive anti-thrombotic agent shown to reduce both ischemic and bleeding complications in PCI is bivalirudin. In the Bivalirudin Angioplasty Trial,27 the risk of bleeding was decreased 62% in the bivalirudin group compared with high-dose heparin. The combined rate of TIMI major and TIMI minor bleeding in bivalirudin patients (n = 2,161) was found to be 4.3% in the meta-analysis of contemporary PCI trials with a corresponding ischemic event rate of 6.6%.20

Complications in practice

Ischemic complications in practice. Rates of ischemic complications in clinical practice are difficult to determine. Although several investigators have published data from multicenter databases, these data tend to be 3–5 years old by the time manuscripts are in print. Since trends in the published literature do show continued reduction in PCI complications over time, the frequency of complications noted in these publications may overestimate the actual rate of complications in clinical practice today. In addition, rates of complications can vary widely across institutions due to differences in practice patterns, definitions, operator skills and resource utilization. For example, in the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCA&I) registry, stent use among laboratories varied from 29–95%.28 Others have found lower complication rates in patients whose procedure was performed by a high-volume operator or in a high-volume institution.29 We identified 6 published reports of PCI complications in clinical practice reporting a variety of ischemic outcomes.1,28–31

Saucedo et al. prospectively collected data on 900 patients undergoing successful elective stent placement in native coronary arteries between January 1994 and December 1995.30 The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence and long-term clinical consequences of patients with creatine kinase (CK) myocardial isoenzyme band (CK-MB) elevations after stenting. By design, all patients in this observational study had a successful procedure defined as an increase of > 20% in luminal diameter with final percent diameter stenosis of < 50%, without the occurrence of any major complications (death, Q-wave MI and CABG). Nevertheless, 26.4% of patients had CK-MB elevations 1–5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) and 8.5% had CK-MB elevations > 5 times ULN. In total, 3.9% of patients required a repeat diagnostic catheterization for recurrent ischemia and 1.2% required urgent target vessel revascularization. In this study, patients requiring the use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors were excluded.

The Northern New England group (NNE) collected data on 14,498 patients undergoing PCI between 1994 and 1996.29 In this study, outcomes included the in-hospital occurrence of death; emergency CABG (eCABG) or non-eCABG; or new MI (defined as chest pain, diaphoresis, dyspnea or hypotension associated with the development of new Q-waves or ST-T wave changes and a rise in CK to at least twice normal with a positive CK-MB). Overall, death occurred in 1.2% of patients, CABG in 2.6% (0.8% eCABG and 1.8% non-eCABG), and MI in 2%. Stents were used in 22% of patients enrolled in this registry.

In the National Cardiovascular Network database (NCN), Batchelor et al. reported complications of PCI in 109,708 patients who underwent PCI between 1994 and 1997.31 In this observational study, in-hospital mortality was defined as the occurrence of death after the procedure, MI was defined as the appearance of new Q-waves in 2 contiguous leads on a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) for up to 30 days post-PCI, and repeat revascularization was defined as the need for CABG or additional PCI prior to discharge. In this study, death occurred in 1.3% of patients, Q-wave MI in 1.4% and repeat revascularization in 4.5%. Half of the patients underwent stenting in this study. Notably, this database did not record myocardial enzymes or the use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors.

Aronow and colleagues observed outcomes in a cohort of consecutive registry patients undergoing coronary stent placement between 1995 and 1997.32 A total of 373 patients underwent PCI during this time period, with death occurring in 9 patients (2.4%), CABG in 3 (0.8%) and MI in 19 (5.1%, including both QWMI and NQWMI). Repeat diagnostic catheterization was performed in 3.2% of patients and repeat PCI in 0.8%.

The SCA&I registry evaluated outcomes in 16,811 patients undergoing either balloon angioplasty (n = 6,121) or stenting (n = 10,690) between July 1996 and December 1998.28 In this observational analysis, 12.9% of patients received a GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor, 87% of patients enrolled in the database underwent PCI between 1997 and 1998, and 60% of the stent patients were enrolled in 1998. Outcomes reported included in-hospital death (occurring at any time during the hospitalization) and eCABG, defined as CABG occurring immediately after PCI. Death occurred in 0.4% of patients and eCABG in 0.5%.

Finally, Cohen and others recorded in-laboratory complications in 26,421 patients at 70 different centers undergoing PCI in 1998.1 In-laboratory complications were rare, with death occurring in 0.17%, cardiac arrest in 0.32%, stroke in 0.03%, ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia in 0.94%, abrupt closure in 0.71%, and eCABG in 0.53%. Overall, 72% of patients received stents and 20% received GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors.

In addition to published reports of PCI complications, data from unpublished sources can be used to determine outcomes in a more contemporary cohort of patients undergoing PCI.33 The MQ-Profile (MQ-Pro) Database [Cardinal Information Corporation (CIC), Marlborough, Massachusetts] is maintained by CIC, which sells and distributes software to US acute-care hospitals for the collection of detailed clinical and administrative data. Data from 5,373 PCI procedures performed between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 1999 were obtained from the database using International Classification of Diseases 9th Edition (ICD-9) procedure codes for PCI (36.01, 36.02, 36.05). Demographic, clinical and economic data were collected on each patient using a combination of database retrieval and chart review. In this analysis, death was defined as discharge disposition of “deceased”, MI as the presence of ECG changes consistent with MI (new Q-waves or ST-segment changes) or an increase in CK-MB of at least 2 times the testing facility’s ULN. CABG was identified by the presence of ICD-9 procedure code 36.1 and repeat PCI by either code 36.01, 36.02, or 36.05. Failed PCI was defined by the term “failed PTCA” in chart notes (for patients without a previous history of PCI) and recurrent ischemia documented by ECG changes. Death occurred in 2.0% of patients, MI in 3.1%, CABG in 1.3% and repeat PCI in 5.5%. Translated into a combined endpoint similar to those used in clinical trials, the rate of death/MI/revascularization was 11.9%.

Data from these published and unpublished observations of contemporary PCI practice indicate that while in-laboratory ischemic complications are exceedingly rare, in-hospital ischemic complications still occur in a substantial number of patients. Using an approximation of outcomes from these published and unpublished reports, mortality averages 1%, Q-wave MI occurs in 2% of patients, NQWMI in 6%, CABG in 2% and repeat PCI occurs in 3–5% of patients. It is important to underscore that although most deaths following PCI are due to underlying comorbidities (i.e., acute MI, cardiogenic shock, etc.) rather than to the procedure itself, few deaths still occur as a complication of the procedure.34,35 Extrapolated to the estimated PCI population of 800,000 cases per year, then 8,000 people will die and 64,000 will experience an MI. In addition, approximately 16,000 will require CABG and as many as 40,000 will need a repeat PCI before hospital discharge.

II(b) PAD Endovascular Interventions: Carotid Artery Endarterectomy

  • Original Contributions

Medical Complications Associated With Carotid Endarterectomy

Stroke.1999; 30: 1759-1763  doi: 10.1161/​01.STR.30.9.1759

  1. Maurizio Paciaroni, MD;
  2. Michael Eliasziw, PhD;
  3. L. Jaap Kappelle, MD;
  4. Jane W. Finan, BScN;
  5. Gary G. Ferguson, MD;
  6. Henry J. M. Barnett, MD;
  7. for the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) Collaborators

+Author Affiliations


  1. From the John P. Robarts Research Institute (M.P., M.E., L.J.K., J.W.F., H.J.M.B) and the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (M.E.) and Clinical Neurological Sciences (M.E., G.G.F., H.J.M.B.), University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.
  1. Correspondence to Dr H.J.M. Barnett, John P. Robarts Research Institute, PO Box 5015, 100 Perth Dr, London, ON N6A 5K8, Canada. E-mail barnett@rri.on.ca

Abstract

Background and Purpose—Carotid endarterectomy (CE) has been shown to be beneficial in patients with symptomatic high-grade (70% to 99%) internal carotid artery stenosis. To achieve this benefit, complications must be kept to a minimum. Complications not associated with the procedure itself, but related to medical conditions, have received little attention.

Methods—Medical complications that occurred within 30 days after CE were recorded in 1415 patients with symptomatic stenosis (30% to 99%) of the internal carotid artery. They were compared with 1433 patients who received medical care alone. All patients were in the North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET).

Results—One hundred fifteen patients (8.1%) had 142 medical complications: 14 (1%) myocardial infarctions, 101 (7.1%) other cardiovascular disorders, 11 (0.8%) respiratory complications, 6 (0.4%) transient confusions, and 10 (0.7%) other complications. Of the 142 complications, 69.7% were of short duration, and only 26.8% prolonged hospitalization. Five patients died: 3 from myocardial infarction and 2 suddenly. Medically treated patients experienced similar complications with one third the frequency. Endarterectomy was ≈1.5 times more likely to trigger medical complications in patients with a history of myocardial infarction, angina, or hypertension (P<0.05).

Conclusions—Perioperative medical complications were observed in slightly fewer than 1 of every 10 patients who underwent CE. The majority of these complications completely resolved. Most complications were cardiovascular and occurred in patients with 1 or more cardiovascular risk factors. In this selected population, the occurrence of perioperative myocardial infarction was uncommon.

Key Words:

The North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) and the European Carotid Endarterectomy Trial showed unequivocal benefit of carotid endarterectomy (CE) in symptomatic patients with high-grade internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis (70% to 99%).1 2 The parallel study dealing with symptomatic patients with moderate-grade stenosis (30% to 69%) showed benefits of CE only in a carefully selected group of patients.3 Currently, CE is the most common elective peripheral vascular procedure, which in 1997 was performed in ≈130 000 patients in the United States.4

Despite benefit in the long term, CE may cause complications either by the operation itself or by concomitant medical conditions. The challenge for the future is to reduce the perioperative risk as much as possible. The incidence and type of complications that are directly related to the surgical procedure have been the subject of many reports,5 6 7 8 910 whereas medical complications that are not directly caused by the procedure have received less attention. The aim of the present study is to describe the incidence and type of medical complications that occurred in patients randomized into NASCET and to determine their association with baseline risk factors.

Subjects and Methods

The methods of the NASCET have been described in detail elsewhere.1 11 Briefly, NASCET was a randomized clinical trial designed to compare the benefit of best medical therapy alone with best medical therapy plus CE in patients with recent transient or nondisabling neurological deficit caused by cerebral or retinal ischemia in the territory of the ICA. Among the exclusions were patients with recent history (6 months) of myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, atrial fibrillation, recent congestive heart failure, and valvular heart disease. For inclusion, the ICA had to have a 30% to 99% stenosis as assessed by selective carotid angiography and to be technically suitable for CE. Baseline evaluations included a detailed medical history and complete physical and neurological examination.

Surgeons were invited to join NASCET if the center had a documented CE stroke and death rate of ≤6% in a minimum of 50 consecutive cases over a 2-year period. Surgery was completed at the earliest opportunity after randomization, and patients underwent a second complete physical and neurological examination 30 days after surgery. All medical and surgical complications that caused transient or permanent disability within the 30-day period were recorded.

Medical complications consisted of myocardial infarction (based on ECG and cardiac enzyme changes), arrhythmia (requiring antiarrhythmic medication), congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, hypertension (diastolic blood pressure >100 mm Hg requiring intravenous medication), hypotension (systolic pressure <90 mm Hg requiring administration of vasopressor agent), sudden death, respiratory problems (pneumonia, atelectasis, pulmonary edema, or exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), renal failure (doubling of preoperative urea and/or creatinine), depression, and confusion (requiring restraint). Complications were considered mild if they were transient and did not prolong hospital stay, moderate if they were transient but caused delay in hospital discharge, and severe if they were associated with permanent disability or death.

In the present study, patients were excluded from the analyses if they had serious complications that were directly attributable to the surgical procedure, such as those due to anesthesia, thrombosis at the operative site, wound hematomas requiring surgical intervention, or deficits from a vagus nerve injury interfering with swallowing. These surgical complications are described in detail elsewhere.12 For comparative purposes, a list of complications that occurred in the medically treated arm of NASCET was compiled for the 32-day period after randomization (ie, the 30-day period plus the average 2 days that lapsed from randomization to CE in the surgical arm). In both the surgical and medical arms, patients were censored at the time of a stroke, since the subsequent medical complications are commonly the result of the stroke.

Cox proportional hazards regression modeling was used to identify baseline factors that increased the risk of perioperative medical complications. Adjusted hazard rates and adjusted hazard ratios were used to summarize the results. The estimated hazard ratio (or relative hazard) is a measure of association that can be interpreted as a relative risk. Hazard ratios with corresponding probability value of <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Adjusted hazard rates were obtained from the regression model by using the mean value for a factor being adjusted.

The modeling strategy consisted of initially fitting a “full” model, which included all factors. A “final” model was determined by eliminating all factors that were not significantly predictive of the medical complications, using a backward selection approach. The “change-in-estimate” strategy was used to determine whether the remaining factors in the final model were independent risk factors. A factor was considered an independent risk factor if the change in hazard ratios between the full and final models was <10%.

Results

A total of 1436 eligible patients were randomized to the surgical arm and 1449 to the medical arm of the NASCET. In the surgical arm, 21 patients were not operated on for various reasons.12 In the medical arm 16 patients crossed over to surgical therapy within 30 days, leaving 1433 patients for analysis. CE was performed in 1415 patients (328 patients with severe stenosis and 1087 with moderate stenosis). Of the 1415, 59 (4.2%) patients had serious surgical complications that excluded them from further analyses, and 115 (8.1%) had medical complications (Table 1). Of the 142 complications, 69.7% were mild, 26.8% were moderate, and 3.5% were severe. Twenty patients had ≥2 complications. No patient had pulmonary embolus, renal failure, or depression requiring medication. Cardiovascular disorders were >4 times as common as all other conditions combined. All 5 severe complications were fatal and were caused by cardiovascular disorders: 3 patients had fatal myocardial infarction, and 2 patients died suddenly. Of the patients with fatal myocardial infarction, 2 patients had massive myocardial infarctions on the day of surgery. In the other patient, CE was prolonged (7 hours) because of intraoperative occlusion of the ICA. Twenty-four hours after CE, the patient had a myocardial infarction followed by cardiac arrest, leaving the patient in a vegetative state. The patient died 2 months later. Two patients died suddenly on days 3 and 6 after CE, and both had a history of previous myocardial infarction. All patients with fatal medical complications were male, and all had multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/30/9/1759.full

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  18. Adams HP Jr, Brott TG, Crowell RM, Furlan AJ, Gomez CR, Grotta J, Helgason CM, Marler JR, Woolson RF, Zivin JA, Feinberg W, Mayberg M. Guidelines for the management of patients with acute ischemic stroke: a statement for healthcare professionals from a special writing group of the Stroke Council, American Heart Association. Stroke. 1994;25:1901–1914.
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  30. Chambers BR, Smidt U, Koh O. Hyperperfusion post-endarterectomy.Cerebrovasc Dis. 1994;4:32–37.
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  32. Baptista MV, Maeder P, Dewarrat A, Bogousslavsky J. Conflicting images.Lancet. 1998;351:414.

Intraoperative use of dextran is associated with cardiac complications after carotid endarterectomy.

J Vasc Surg. 2013 Mar;57(3):635-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2012.09.017. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Source

Section of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. Alik.Farber@bmc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although dextran has been theorized to diminish the risk of stroke associated with carotid endarterectomy (CEA), variation exists in its use. We evaluated outcomes of dextran use in patients undergoing CEA to clarify its utility.

METHODS:

We studied all primary CEAs performed by 89 surgeons within the Vascular Study Group of New England database (2003-2010). Patients were stratified by intraoperative dextran use. Outcomes included perioperative death, stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and congestive heart failure (CHF). Group and propensity score matching was performed for risk-adjusted comparisons, and multivariable logistic and gamma regressions were used to examine associations between dextran use and outcomes.

RESULTS:

There were 6641 CEAs performed, with dextran used in 334 procedures (5%). Dextran-treated and untreated patients were similar in age (70 years) and symptomatic status (25%). Clinical differences between the cohorts were eliminated by statistical adjustment. In crude, group-matched, and propensity-matched analyses, the stroke/death rate was similar for the two cohorts (1.2%). Dextran-treated patients were more likely to suffer postoperative MI (crude: 2.4% vs 1.0%; P = .03; group-matched: 2.4% vs 0.6%; P = .01; propensity-matched: 2.4% vs 0.5%; P = .003) and CHF (2.1% vs 0.6%; P = .01; 2.1% vs 0.5%; P = .01; 2.1% vs 0.2%; P < .001). In multivariable analysis of the crude sample, dextran was associated with a higher risk of postoperative MI (odds ratio, 3.52; 95% confidence interval, 1.62-7.64) and CHF (odds ratio, 5.71; 95% confidence interval, 2.35-13.89).

CONCLUSIONS:

Dextran use was not associated with lower perioperative stroke but was associated with higher rates of MI and CHF. Taken together, our findings suggest limited clinical utility for routine use of intraoperative dextran during CEA.

J Vasc Surg. 2008 Nov;48(5):1139-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2008.05.013. Epub 2008 Jun 30.

Factors associated with stroke or death after carotid endarterectomy in Northern New England.

Source

Section of Vascular Surgery Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH 03765, USA. philip.goodney@hitchcock.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study investigated risk factors for stroke or death after carotid endarterectomy (CEA) among hospitals of varying type and size participating in a regional quality improvement effort.

METHODS:

We reviewed 2714 patients undergoing 3092 primary CEAs (excluding combined procedures or redo CEA) at 11 hospitals in Northern New England from January 2003 through December 2007. Hospitals varied in size (25 to 615 beds) and comprised community and teaching hospitals. Fifty surgeons reported results to the database. Trained research personnel prospectively collected >70 demographic and clinical variables for each patient. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to generate odds ratios (ORs) and prediction models for the 30-day postoperative stroke or death rate.

RESULTS:

Across 3092 CEAs, there were 38 minor strokes, 14 major strokes, and eight deaths (5 stroke-related) < or =30 days of the index procedure (30-day stroke or death rate, 1.8%). In multivariate analyses, emergency CEA (OR, 7.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8-26.9; P = .004), contralateral internal carotid artery occlusion (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.3-6.2; P = .009), preoperative ipsilateral cortical stroke (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1-5.1; P = .02), congestive heart failure (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.4, P = .03), and age >70 (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 0.8-2.3; P = .315) were associated with postoperative stroke or death. Preoperative antiplatelet therapy was protective (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9; P = .02). Risk of stroke or death varied from <1% in patients with no risk factors to nearly 5% with patients with > or =3 risk factors. Our risk prediction model had excellent correlation with observed results (r = 0.96) and reasonable discriminative ability (area under receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.71). Risks varied from <1% in asymptomatic patients with no risk factors to nearly 4% in patients with contralateral internal carotid artery occlusion (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.3-8.1; P = .01) and age >70 (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.0-4.9, P = .05). Two hospitals performed significantly better than expected. These differences were not attributable to surgeon or hospital volume.

CONCLUSION:

Surgeons can “risk-stratify” preoperative patients by considering the variables (emergency procedure, contralateral internal carotid artery occlusion, preoperative ipsilateral cortical stroke, congestive heart failure, and age), reducing risk with antiplatelet agents, and informing patients more precisely about their risk of stroke or death after CEA. Risk prediction models can also be used to compare risk-adjusted outcomes between centers, identify best practices, and hopefully, improve overall results.

III. Cardiac Failure During Systemic Sepsis

CHANGES IN HEART FUNCTION DURING SEPSIS

The patient with sepsis has severely altered physiology in a number of ways, which can influence cardiac function. Firstly, there is a

  • Loss of intravascular volume due to excessive third space loss that results in a decrease in preload. Systemic vascular resistance is decreased which results in a fall in afterload. In addition,
  • end diastolic volumes often increase and
  • ejection fraction falls. However, many of these changes are overcome by an
  • increase in heart rate that may result in an increase in cardiac output. However, it should be remembered that even in the presence of high cardiac outputs it is usually always possible to demonstrate
  • ventricular dysfunction in patients with sepsis. Echocardiographic studies consistently confirm that there is decreased left ventricular systolic function in humans with sepsis.

In addition, there have been many studies in animals and a few in humans which have confirmed the presence of

  • diastolic dysfunction – particularly in those patients that go on to die from sepsis.

In the presence of adequate fluid resuscitation there is an increase in end diastolic volume and this is probably a normal response to a decrease in contractility. However, in the non-survivors of sepsis there is a normal or low end diastolic volume that is the result of a decrease in ventricular diastolic compliance. Thus, there is a decreased end diastolic volume at the same filling pressure.

During sepsis, a

  • decrease in contractility results in a shift to the right of the end-systolic pressure / volume curve and if this is not compensated for results in a
  • decrease in stroke volume and cardiac output.

When patients with sepsis are appropriately fluid resuscitated there is an

  • increase in end diastolic pressure that increases stroke volume. In addition, the
  • decrease in afterload will also increase stroke volume and will prevent a decrease in ejection fraction.

Alas, because there is a decrease in systolic contractility it would be expected that there would also be a decrease in diastolic stiffness which would allow cardiac output to be maintained despite the relatively low filling pressures. However, if this diastolic compliance change does not occur (as in the nonsurvivors of sepsis) then it is apparent  that the ability of the ventricle to generate a stroke volume is impaired at both ends of the curve.

The cause of the altered cardiac function in sepsis remains unknown although there are many theoretical explanations. Clearly, one of the most important mechanisms which can be readily corrected is hypovolaemia.

  • Myocardial oedema may contribute to a decrease in contractility.
  • Increased circulating catecholamines can result in a decrease in diastolic compliance, particularly important since these agents are often used to improve myocardial contractility.
  • Increased intrathoracic pressure caused by positive pressure ventilation can also result in decreased diastolic compliance. In addition, many of the
  • mediators of the inflammatory response, including products of activated endothelial cells and polymorphonuclear leucocytes (e.g. nitric oxide, tumour necrosis factor and interleukins 1 and 2) have all been postulated as negative inotropes and negative lusitropes.

Another, as yet, unidentified agent which is believed to be released from the splanchnic bed –

  • myocardial depressant factor – is postulated to play a role.

Treatments aimed at correcting the effects of these various inflammatory mediators may be eventually found but until these approaches have been proven to be beneficial the septic patient will continue to be managed according to the physiological principles outlined by Starling.

http://www.rcsed.ac.uk/RCSEDBackIssues/journal/vol46_1/4610005.htm

Sepsis and the Heart – Cardiovascular Involvement in General Medical Conditions

  1. M.W. Merx, MD;
  2. C. Weber, MD

+Author Affiliations


  1. From the Department of Medicine (M.W.M.), Division of Cardiology, Pulmonary Diseases and Vascular Medicine and the Institute of Molecular Cardiovascular Research (IMCAR) at the University Hospital (C.W.), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
  1. Correspondence to Marc W. Merx, MD, Medizinische Klinik I, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH Aachen, Pauwelstraße 30, 52057 Aachen, Germany (e-mailmmerx@ukaachen.de), or Christian Weber, MD, Institut für Kardiovaskuläre Molekularbiologie, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH Aachen, Pauwelstraße 30, 52057 Aachen, Germany (e-mail cweber@ukaachen.de).
Circulation.2007; 116: 793-802doi: 10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.106.678359

Abstract

Sepsis is generally viewed as a disease aggravated by an inappropriate immune response encountered in the afflicted individual. As an important organ system frequently compromised by sepsis and always affected by septic shock, the cardiovascular system and its dysfunction during sepsis have been studied in clinical and basic research for more than 5 decades. Although a number of mediators and pathways have been shown to be associated with myocardial depression in sepsis, the precise cause remains unclear to date. There is currently no evidence supporting global ischemia as an underlying cause of myocardial dysfunction in sepsis; however, in septic patients with coexistent and possibly undiagnosed coronary artery disease, regional myocardial ischemia or infarction secondary to coronary artery disease may certainly occur.

A circulating myocardial depressant factor in septic shock has long been proposed, and potential candidates for a myocardial depressant factor include

  • cytokines,
  • prostanoids, and
  • nitric oxide, among others.
  • Endothelial activation and
  • induction of the coagulatory system also contribute to the pathophysiology in sepsis.

Prompt and adequate antibiotic therapy accompanied by surgical removal of the infectious focus, if indicated and feasible, is the mainstay and also the only strictly causal line of therapy. In the presence of severe sepsis and septic shock, supportive treatment in addition to causal therapy is mandatory. The purpose of this review is to delineate some characteristics of septic myocardial dysfunction, to assess the most commonly cited and reported underlying mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction in sepsis, and to briefly outline current therapeutic strategies and possible future approaches.

Key Words:

Sepsis, defined by consensus conference as “the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) that occurs during infection,”1 is generally viewed as a disease aggravated by the inappropriate immune response encountered in the affected individual (for review, see Hotchkiss and Karl2 and Riedemann et al,3). The Table gives the current criteria for the establishment of the diagnosis of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, sepsis, and septic shock.1,4 Morbidity and mortality are high, resulting in sepsis and septic shock being the 10th most common cause of death in the United States.5 The incidence of sepsis and sepsis-related deaths appears to be increasing by 1.5% per year.6 In a recent study,6 the total national hospital cost invoked by severe sepsis in the United States was estimated at approximately $16.7 billion on the basis of an estimated severe sepsis rate of 751 000 cases per year with 215 000 associated deaths annually. A recent study from Britain documented a 46% in-hospital mortality rate for patients presenting with severe sepsis on admission to the intensive care unit.7

Current Criteria for Establishment of the Diagnosis of SIRS, Sepsis, and Septic Shock1,4

As an important organ system frequently affected by sepsis and always affected by septic shock, the cardiovascular system and its dysfunction during sepsis have been studied in clinical and basic research for more than 5 decades. In 1951, Waisbren was the first to describe cardiovascular dysfunction due to sepsis.8 He recognized a hyperdynamic state with full bounding pulses, flushing, fever, oliguria, and hypotension. In addition, he described a second, smaller patient group who presented clammy, pale, and hypotensive with low volume pulses and who appeared more severely ill. With hindsight, the latter group might well have been volume underresuscitated, and indeed, timely and adequate volume therapy has been demonstrated to be one of the most effective supportive measures in sepsis therapy.9

Under conditions of adequate volume resuscitation, the profoundly reduced systemic vascular resistance typically encountered in sepsis10 leads to a concomitant elevation in cardiac index that obscures the myocardial dysfunction that also occurs. However, as early as the mid-1980s, significant reductions in both stroke volume and ejection fraction in septic patients were observed despite normal total cardiac output.11 Importantly, the presence of cardiovascular dysfunction in sepsis is associated with a significantly increased mortality rate of 70% to 90% compared with 20% in septic patients without cardiovascular impairment.12 Thus, myocardial dysfunction in sepsis has been the focus of intense research activity. Although a number of mediators and pathways have been shown to be associated with myocardial depression in sepsis, the precise cause remains unclear.

The purpose of the present review is to delineate some characteristics of septic myocardial dysfunction, to assess the most commonly cited and reported underlying mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction in sepsis, and to briefly outline current therapeutic strategies and possible future approaches. This review is not intended to be all inclusive.

Characteristics of Myocardial Dysfunction in Sepsis

Using portable radionuclide cineangiography, Calvin et al13 were the first to demonstrate myocardial dysfunction in adequately volume-resuscitated septic patients with decreased ejection fraction and increased end-diastolic volume index. Adding pulmonary artery catheters to serial radionuclide cineangiography, Parker and colleagues11 extended these observations with the 2 major findings that (1) survivors of septic shock were characterized by increased end-diastolic volume index and decreased ejection fraction, whereas nonsurvivors typically maintained normal cardiac volumes, and (2) these acute changes in end-diastolic volume index and ejection fraction, although sustained for several days, were reversible. More recently, echocardiographic studies have demonstrated impaired left ventricular systolic and diastolic function in septic patients.14–16 These human studies, in conjunction with experimental studies ranging from the cellular level17 to isolated heart studies18,19 and to in vivo animal models,20–22 have clearly established decreased contractility and impaired myocardial compliance as major factors that cause myocardial dysfunction in sepsis.

Notwithstanding the functional and structural differences between the left and right ventricle, similar functional alterations, as discussed above, have been observed for the right ventricle, which suggests that right ventricular dysfunction in sepsis closely parallels left ventricular dysfunction.23–26 However, the relative contribution of the right ventricle to septic cardiomyopathy remains unknown.

Myocardial dysfunction in sepsis has also been analyzed with respect to its prognostic value. Parker et al,27 reviewing septic patients on initial presentation and at 24 hours to determine prognostic indicators, found a heart rate of <106 bpm to be the only cardiac parameter on presentation that predicted a favorable outcome. At 24 hours after presentation, a systemic vascular resistance index >1529 dyne · s−1 · cm−5 · m−2, a heart rate <95 bpm or a reduction in heart rate >18 bpm, and a cardiac index >0.5 L · min−1 · m−2 suggested survival.27 In a prospective study, Rhodes et al28 demonstrated the feasibility of a dobutamine stress test for outcome stratification, with nonsurvivors being characterized by an attenuated inotropic response. The well-established biomarkers in myocardial ischemia and heart failure, cardiac troponin I and T, as well as B-type natriuretic peptide, have also been evaluated with regard to sepsis-associated myocardial dysfunction. Although B-type natriuretic peptide studies have delivered conflicting results in septic patients (for review, see Maeder et al29), several small studies have reported a relationship between elevated cardiac troponin T and I and left ventricular dysfunction in sepsis, as assessed by echocardiographic ejection fraction30–33 or pulmonary artery catheter–derived left ventricular stroke work index.34 Cardiac troponin levels also correlated with the duration of hypotension35 and the intensity of vasopressor therapy.34In addition, increased sepsis severity, measured by global scores such as the Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II) or the Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation II score (APACHE II), was associated with increased cardiac troponin levels,31,33 as was poor short-term prognosis.32,33,35,36 Despite the heterogeneity of study populations and type of troponin studied, the mentioned studies were univocal in concluding that elevated troponin levels in septic patients reflect higher disease severity, myocardial dysfunction, and worse prognosis. In a recent meta-analysis of 23 observational studies, Lim et al37 found cardiac troponin levels to be increased in a large percentage of critically ill patients. Furthermore, in a subset of studies that permitted adjusted analysis and comprised 1706 patients, this troponin elevation was associated with an increased risk of death (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.9 to 3.4, P<0.001)37; however, the underlying mechanisms clearly require further research.

Thus, it appears reasonable to recommend inclusion of cardiac troponins in the monitoring of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock to facilitate prognostic stratification and to increase alertness to the presence of cardiac dysfunction in individual patients. However, it remains to be shown whether risk stratification based on cardiac troponins can identify patients in whom aggressive therapeutic regimens might reap the greatest benefit and so translate into a survival benefit.

Mechanisms Underlying Myocardial Dysfunction in Sepsis

Cardiac depression during sepsis is probably multifactorial (Figure). Nevertheless, it is important to identify individual contributing factors and mechanisms to generate worthwhile therapeutic targets. As a consequence, a vast array of mechanisms, pathways, and disruptions in cellular homeostasis have been examined in septic myocardium.

Figure

View larger version:

Synopsis of potential underlying mechanisms in septic myocardial dysfunction. MDS indicates myocardial depressant substance.

Global Ischemia

An early theory of myocardial depression in sepsis was based on the hypothesis of global myocardial ischemia; however, septic patients have been shown to have high coronary blood flow and diminished coronary artery–coronary sinus oxygen difference.38 As in the peripheral circulation, these alterations can be attributed to disturbed flow autoregulation or disturbed oxygen utilization.39,40 Coronary sinus blood studies in patients with septic shock have also demonstrated complex metabolic alterations in septic myocardium, including increased lactate extraction, decreased free fatty acid extraction, and decreased glucose uptake.41 Furthermore, several magnetic resonance studies in animal models of sepsis have demonstrated the presence of normal high-energy phosphate levels in the myocardium.42,43 It has also been proposed that myocardial dysfunction in sepsis may reflect hibernating myocardium.44 To reach this conclusion, Levy et al44 studied a murine cecal ligation and double-puncture model and observed diminished cardiac performance, increased myocardial glucose uptake, and deposits of glycogen in a setting of preserved arterial oxygen tension and myocardial perfusion. Although all of the above-mentioned findings reflect important alterations in coronary flow and myocardial metabolism, mirroring effects observed in peripheral circulation during sepsis, there is no evidence supporting global ischemia as an underlying cause of myocardial dysfunction in sepsis. However, in septic patients with coexistent and possibly undiagnosed coronary artery disease (CAD), regional myocardial ischemia or infarction secondary to CAD may certainly occur. The manifestation of myocardial ischemia due to CAD might even be facilitated by the volatile hemodynamics in sepsis, as well as by the generalized microvascular dysfunction so frequently observed in sepsis.45 Additional CAD-aggravating factors encountered in sepsis encompass generalized inflammation and the activated coagulatory system. Furthermore, the endothelium plays a prominent role in sepsis (see below), but little is known of the impact of preexisting, CAD-associated endothelial dysfunction in this context. In a postmortem study of 21 fatal cases of septic shock, previously undiagnosed myocardial ischemia at least contributed to death in 7 of the 21 cases (all 21 patients were males, with a mean age of 60.4 years).46 It certainly appears prudent to remain wary of CAD complications while treating sepsis, especially in patients with identifiable risk factors and in view of the ever-increasing mean age of intensive care unit patients and including septic patients.

Myocardial Depressant Substance

A circulating myocardial depressant factor in septic shock was first proposed more than 50 years ago.47 Parrillo et al48 quantitatively linked the clinical degree of septic myocardial dysfunction with the effect the serum, taken from respective patients, had on rat cardiac myocytes, with clinical severity correlating well with the decrease in extent and velocity of myocyte shortening. These effects were not seen when serum from convalescent patients whose cardiac function had returned to normal was applied or when serum was obtained from other critically ill, nonseptic patients.48 In extension of these findings, ultrafiltrates from patients with severe sepsis and simultaneously reduced left ventricular stroke work index (<30 g · m−1 · m−2) displayed cardiotoxic effects and contained significantly increased concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-8, and C3a.49Recently, Mink et al50 demonstrated that lysozyme c, a bacteriolytic agent believed to originate mainly from disintegrating neutrophilic granulocytes and monocytes, mediates cardiodepressive effects during Escherichia coli sepsis and, importantly, that competitive inhibition of lysozyme c can prevent myocardial depression in the respective experimental sepsis model. Additional potential candidates for myocardial depressant substance include other cytokines, prostanoids, and nitric oxide (NO). Some of these will be discussed below.

Cytokines

Infusion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, an obligatory component of Gram-negative bacterial cell walls) into both animals and humans51 partially mimics the hemodynamic effects of septic shock.51,52 However, only a minority of patients with septic shock have detectable LPS levels, and the prolonged time course of septic myocardial dysfunction and the chemical characteristics of LPS are not consistent with LPS representing the sole myocardial depressant substance.48,53 Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is an important early mediator of endotoxin-induced shock.54 TNF-α is derived from activated macrophages, but recent studies have shown that TNF-α is also secreted by cardiac myocytes in response to sepsis.55 Although application of anti-TNF-α antibodies improved left ventricular function in patients with septic shock,56 subsequent studies using monoclonal antibodies directed against TNF-α or soluble TNF-α receptors failed to improve survival in septic patients.57–59 IL-1 is synthesized by monocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils in response to TNF-α and plays a crucial role in the systemic immune response. IL-1 depresses cardiac contractility by stimulating NO synthase (NOS).60 Transcription of IL-1 is followed by delayed transcription of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1-ra), which functions as an endogenous inhibitor of IL-1. Recombinant IL-1-ra was evaluated in phase III clinical trials, which showed a tendency toward improved survival61 and increased survival time in a retrospective analysis of the patient subgroup with the most severe sepsis62; however, to date, this initially promising therapy has failed to deliver a statistically significant survival benefit. IL-6, another proinflammatory cytokine, has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of sepsis and is considered a more consistent predictor of sepsis than TNF-α because of its prolonged elevation in the circulation.63 Although cytokines may very well play a key role in the early decrease in contractility, they cannot explain the prolonged duration of myocardial dysfunction in sepsis, unless they result in the induction or release of additional factors that in turn alter myocardial function, such as prostanoids or NO.64,65

Prostanoids

Prostanoids are produced by the cyclooxygenase enzyme from arachidonic acid. The expression of cyclooxygenase enzyme-2 is induced, among other stimuli, by LPS and cytokines (cyclooxygenase enzyme-1 is expressed constitutively).66 Elevated levels of prostanoids such as thromboxane and prostacyclin, which have the potential to alter coronary autoregulation, coronary endothelial function, and intracoronary leukocyte activation, have been demonstrated in septic patients.67 Early animal studies with cyclooxygenase inhibitors such as indomethacin yielded very promising results.68,69Along with other positive results, these led to an important clinical study involving 455 septic patients who were randomized to receive intravenous ibuprofen or placebo.70Unfortunately, that study did not demonstrate improved survival for the treatment arm. Similarly, a more recent, smaller study on the effects of lornoxicam failed to provide evidence for a survival benefit through cyclooxygenase inhibition in sepsis.71 Animal studies aimed at elucidating possible benefits of isotype-selective cyclooxygenase inhibition have so far produced conflicting results.72,73

Endothelin-1

Endothelin-1 (ET-1; for an in-depth review of endothelin in sepsis, see Gupta et al74) upregulation has been demonstrated within 6 hours of LPS-induced septic shock.75Cardiac overexpression of ET-1 triggers an increase in inflammatory cytokines (among others, TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-6), interstitial inflammatory infiltration, and an inflammatory cardiomyopathy that results in heart failure and death.76 The involvement of ET-1 in septic myocardial dysfunction is supported by the observation that tezosentan, a dual endothelin-A and endothelin-B receptor antagonist, improved cardiac index, stroke volume index, and left ventricular stroke work index in endotoxemic shock.77 However, higher doses of tezosentan exhibited cardiotoxic effects and led to increased mortality.77Although ET-1 has been demonstrated to be of pathophysiological importance in a wide array of cardiac diseases through autocrine, endocrine, or paracrine effects, its biosynthesis, receptor-mediated signaling, and functional consequences in septic myocardial dysfunction warrant further investigation to assess the therapeutic potential of ET-1 receptor antagonists.

Nitric Oxide

NO exerts a plethora of biological effects in the cardiovascular system.78 It has been shown to modulate cardiac function under physiological and a multitude of pathophysiological conditions. In healthy volunteers, low-dose NO increases LV function, whereas inhibition of endogenous NO release by intravenous infusion of the NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor NG-monomethyl-L-arginine reduced the stroke volume index.79 Higher doses of NO have been shown to induce contractile dysfunction by depressing myocardial energy generation.80 The absence of the important NO scavenger myoglobin (Mb) in Mb knockout mice results in impaired cardiac function that is partially reversible by NOS inhibition.81 Endogenous NO contributes to hibernation in response to myocardial ischemia by reducing oxygen consumption and preserving calcium sensitivity and contractile function.82 NO also represents a potent modulator of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, as in sepsis-related NO research, the reported effects of NO on ischemia/reperfusion injury are inconsistent owing to a multitude of confounding experimental factors.83

Sepsis leads to the expression of inducible NOS (iNOS) in the myocardium,84,85 followed by high-level NO production, which in turn importantly contributes to myocardial dysfunction, in part through the generation of cytotoxic peroxynitrite, a product of NO and superoxide (for an excellent review, see Pacher et al86). In iNOS-deficient mice, cardiac function is preserved after endotoxin challenge.87 Nonspecific NOS inhibition restores cardiac output and stroke volume after LPS injection.88 Strikingly, in septic patients, infusion of methylene blue, a nonspecific NOS inhibitor, improves mean arterial pressure, stroke volume, and left ventricular stroke work and decreases the requirement for inotropic support but, unfortunately, does not alter outcome.89 An interesting study comparing the inhibition of NO superoxide and peroxynitrite in cytokine-induced myocardial contractile failure found peroxynitrite to indeed be the most promising therapeutic target.90 It has also been proposed that the constitutively expressed mitochondrial isoform of NOS (mtNOS), the expression of which can be augmented by induction, controls rates of oxidative phosphorylation by inhibiting various steps of the respiratory chain.91 Although this hypothesis would provide a plausible explanation for the reduced coronary oxygen extraction observed during sepsis (see above), the effects of sepsis on expression of mtNOS and NO generation remain to be explored. Furthermore, the constitutively expressed endothelial NOS (eNOS), previously neglected in the context of sepsis, has been shown to be an important regulator of iNOS expression, resulting in a more stable hemodynamic status in eNOS-deficient mice after endotoxemia.92 Very recently, a functional NOS in red blood cells (rbcNOS) was identified that regulates deformability of erythrocyte membranes and inhibits activation of platelets.93 With both effect targets thus far demonstrated for rbcNOS lying at the core of microvascular dysfunction in sepsis, this discovery opens a whole new window to NO-related sepsis research. Given the existence of different NOS isoforms and their various modulating interactions, dose-dependent NO effects, and the precise balance of NO, superoxide, and thus peroxynitrite generated in subcellular compartments, further advances in our understanding of the complex NO biology and its derived reactive nitrogen species hold the promise of revealing new, more specific and effective therapeutic targets.

Adhesion Molecules

Surface-expression upregulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 has been demonstrated in murine coronary endothelium and cardiomyocytes after LPS and TNF-α stimulation.94 After cecal ligation and double puncture, myocardial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression increases in rats.95Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 blockade with antibodies has been shown to prevent myocardial dysfunction and decrease myocardial neutrophil accumulation,94,96 whereas both knockout and antibody blockade of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 ameliorate myocardial dysfunction in endotoxemia without affecting neutrophil accumulation.94 In addition, neutrophil depletion does not protect against septic cardiomyopathy, which suggests that the cardiotoxic potential of neutrophils infiltrating the myocardium is of lesser importance in this context.94 Other aspects of adhesion molecules are discussed in conjunction with possible statin effects below.

The e-Reader is advised to consider the following expansion on the subject matter carrying the discussion to additional related clinical issues:

Advanced Topics in Sepsis and the Cardiovascular System at its End Stage

Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/08/18/advanced-topics-in-sepsis-and-the-cardiovascular-system-at-its-end-stage/

Therapeutic Approaches: The Present and the Future

A detailed discussion of therapeutic options in septic patients would clearly be beyond the scope of this review, and readers are kindly referred to the multiple excellent reviews published on the subject (eg, Hotchkiss and Karl,2 Annane et al,4 and Dellinger et al97). Although a number of preventive measures, such as prophylactic antibiotics, maintenance of normoglycemia, selective digestive tract decontamination, vaccines, and intravenous immunoglobulin, have shown benefit in distinct patient populations, preventive strategies with a broader aim remain elusive. Once sepsis is manifest (see the Table for criteria), prompt and adequate antibiotic therapy accompanied by surgical removal of the infectious focus, if indicated and feasible, is the mainstay and also the only strictly causal line of therapy. In the presence of severe sepsis and septic shock, supportive treatment in addition to causal therapy is mandatory. Supportive therapy encompasses early and goal-directed fluid resuscitation,9 vasopressor and inotropic therapy, red blood cell transfusion, mechanical ventilation, and renal support when indicated. It is very likely beneficial to monitor cardiac performance in these patients. A wide array of techniques are available for this purpose, ranging from echocardiography to pulmonary catheters, thermodilution techniques, and pulse pressure analysis.98 Because none of these techniques have demonstrated superiority, physicians should use the method with which they are most familiar. Whichever method is chosen, it should be applied frequently to tailor supportive therapy to the individual patient and to achieve the “gold standard” of early goal-directed therapy. In recent years, several attempts have been made to therapeutically address myocardial dysfunction in sepsis. Although the combination of norepinephrine as vasopressor and dobutamine as inotropic agent is probably the most frequently applied in septic shock, there is currently no evidence to recommend one catecholamine over the other.97 In human endotoxemia, epinephrine has been demonstrated to inhibit proinflammatory pathways and coagulation activation, as well as to augment antiinflammatory pathways,99,100 whereas no immunomodulatory or coagulant effects could be demonstrated for dobutamine in a similar setting.101 Isoproterenol has recently been applied successfully in a small group of patients with septic shock, no known history of CAD, and inappropriate mixed venous oxygen concentration despite correction of hypoxemia and anemia.102 In a cecal ligation and double-puncture model of sepsis, the β-blocker esmolol given continuously after sepsis induction improved myocardial oxygen utilization and attenuated myocardial dysfunction,103 which suggests that therapeutic strategies proven in ischemic heart failure might also hold promise in septic cardiomyopathy. However, the optimal mode of β-receptor stimulation (or indeed inhibition) to limit myocardial dysfunction remains a wide-open field for inspired investigation.

Given the generally accepted view of sepsis as a disease largely propelled by an inappropriate immune response, numerous basic research and clinical trials have been undertaken to curb the lethal toll of sepsis through modulation of this uncontrolled immune response.2,3 To date, activated protein C104 and low-dose hydrocortisone105 have emerged as the only inflammation-modulating substances that have been confirmed to be of benefit in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Over the past years, increasing evidence has accumulated that suggests that inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, or statins, have therapeutic benefits independent of cholesterol lowering, termed “pleiotropic” effects. These have added a wide scope of potential targets for statin therapy that range from decreasing renal function loss106 and lowering mortality in patients with diastolic heart failure107 to prevention and treatment of stroke,108 to name just a few. These pleiotropic effects include antiinflammatory and antioxidative properties, improvement of endothelial function, and increased NO bioavailability and thus might contribute to the benefit observed with statin therapy. Notably, these important immunomodulatory effects of statins have been demonstrated to be independent of lipid lowering109 and appear to be mediated via interference with the synthesis of mevalonate metabolites (nonsteroidal isoprenoid products). Blockade of the mevalonate pathway has been shown to suppress T-cell responses,110 reduce expression of class II major histocompatibility complexes on antigen presenting cells,109 and inhibit chemokine synthesis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.111 Furthermore, CD11b integrin expression and CD11b-dependent adhesion of monocytes have been found to be attenuated by the initiation of statin treatment in hypercholesterolemic patients.112 In this context, Yoshida et al113 have reported that statins reduce the expression of both monocytic and endothelial adhesion molecules, eg, the integrin leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), via an inhibition of Rho GTPases, in particular their membrane anchoring by geranylation. In addition, mechanisms for antiinflammatory actions of statins have been revealed that are not related to the isoprenoid metabolism. For instance, Weitz-Schmidt et al114 have identified that some statins act as direct antagonists of LFA-1 owing to their capacity to bind to the regulatory site in the LFA-1 i-domain. In addition to these multifaceted antiinflammatory effects, statins may interfere with activation of the coagulation cascade, as illustrated by the suppression of LPS-induced monocyte tissue factor in vitro.115 Beyond their immunomodulatory functions, statins have been shown to exert direct antichlamydial effects during pulmonary infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae in mice,116 and a recent report suggests the benefit of statins may also extend to viral pathogens.117

Given the strong impact of statins on inflammation, statins might represent a welcome enforcement in the battle against severe infectious diseases such as sepsis. Consequently, several investigators have evaluated the role of statins in the prevention and treatment of sepsis. In a retrospective analysis, Liappis et al118 demonstrated a reduced overall and attributable mortality in patients with bacteremia who were treated concomitantly with statins. Pretreatment with simvastatin has been shown to profoundly improve survival in a polymicrobial murine model of sepsis by preservation of cardiovascular function and inhibition of inflammatory alterations.19 Encouraged by these findings, the same model was used to successfully treat sepsis in a clinically feasible fashion, ie, treatment was initiated several hours after the onset of sepsis. With different statins (atorvastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin) being effective, the therapeutic potential of statins in sepsis appears to be a class effect.22 Recently, Steiner et al119observed that pretreatment with simvastatin can suppress the inflammatory response induced by LPS in healthy human volunteers. Furthermore, in a prospective observational cohort study in patients with acute bacterial infections performed by Almog et al,120previous treatment with statins was associated with a considerably reduced rate of severe sepsis and intensive care unit admissions. A total of 361 patients were enrolled in that study, and 82 of these patients had been treated with statins for at least 4 weeks before their admission. Severe sepsis developed in 19% of patients in the no-statin group compared with only 2.4% in patients who were taking statins. The intensive care unit admission rates were 12.2% for the no-statin group and 3.7% for the statin group. Because of the number of patients enrolled, the study was not powered to detect differences in mortality, although the large effect on sepsis rate and intensive care unit admission were at least suggestive. As the most recent development in this field, Hackam et al121 have produced an impressive observational study by initial evaluation of 141 487 cardiovascular patients, which resulted in a well-paired and homogenous study cohort of 69 168 patients after propensity-based matching. Drawing from this solid base, Hackam and coauthors were able to support the conclusion that statin therapy is associated with a considerably decreased rate of sepsis (hazard ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.90), severe sepsis (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.97), and fatal sepsis (hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.93). This protective effect prevailed at both high and low statin doses and for several clinically important subpopulations, such as diabetic and heart failure patients.

As has been suggested previously,122 statins might provide cumulative benefit by reducing mortality from cardiovascular and infectious diseases such as sepsis. However, statins may have detrimental effects in distinct subsets of patients. Therefore, caution should prevail, and the use of statins in patients with sepsis must be accompanied by meticulous monitoring of unexpected side effects and well-designed randomized, controlled clinical trials.

Beyond an apparent rationale for randomized trials on statins in sepsis, it is notable that the results with other immunomodulatory approaches in sepsis have yielded rather limited success. For instance, use of the anti-TNF antibody F(ab′)2 fragment afelimomab led to a significant but rather modest reduction in risk of death and to improved organ-failure scores in patients with severe sepsis and elevated IL-6 levels.123 Moreover, a selective inhibitor of group IIA secretory phospholipase A2 failed to improve clinical outcome for patients with severe sepsis, with a negative trend most pronounced among patients with cardiovascular failure.124 Hence, because none of the available strategies proven to be effective in sepsis are designed specifically to target myocardial dysfunction, one might conclude that strategies that preferentially address cardiac morbidity in sepsis may be a promising area for investigation. For instance, lipoteichoic acid, a major virulence factor in Gram-positive sepsis, causes cardiac depression by activating myocardial TNF-α synthesis via CD14 and induces coronary vascular disturbances by activating thromboxane 2 synthesis. It thus contributes to cardiac depression and may therefore be a worthwhile and cardiac-specific target.125 The implications of intensified efforts in the search for successful novel approaches to the treatment of myocardial dysfunction in sepsis may be considerable with regard to improved patient care that results in reduced mortality. This is of major significance in view of the substantial economic consequences of increasing sepsis morbidity in an aging population.

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Circulation.2007; 116: 793-802doi: 10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.106.678359

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https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/07/08/becoming-a-cardiothoracic-surgeon-an-emerging-profile-in-the-surgery-theater-and-through-scientific-publications/

Pearlman, JD and A. Lev-Ari  7/4/2013 Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) & Instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR): An Evaluation of Catheterization Lab Tools (Software Validation) for Ischemic Assessment (Diagnostics) – Change in Paradigm: The RIGHT vessel not ALL vessels

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/07/04/fractional-flow-reserve-ffr-instantaneous-wave-free-rario-ifr-an-evaluation-of-catheterization-lab-tools-for-ischemic-assessment/

Lev-Ari, A. 7/1/22013 Endovascular Lower-extremity Revascularization Effectiveness: Vascular Surgeons (VSs), Interventional Cardiologists (ICs) and Interventional Radiologists (IRs)

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/07/01/endovascular-lower-extremity-revascularization-effectiveness-vascular-surgeons-vss-interventional-cardiologists-ics-and-interventional-radiologists-irs/

Lev-Ari, A. 6/10/2013 No Early Symptoms – An Aortic Aneurysm Before It Ruptures – Is There A Way To Know If I Have it?

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/06/10/no-early-symptoms-an-aortic-aneurysm-before-it-ruptures-is-there-a-way-to-know-if-i-have-it/

Lev-Ari, A. 6/9/2013 Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) at Birth and into Adulthood: The Role of Spontaneous Mutations

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/06/09/congenital-heart-disease-at-birth-and-into-adulthood-the-role-of-spontaneous-mutations-the-genes-and-the-pathways/

Lev-Ari, A. 6/3/2013 Clinical Indications for Use of Inhaled Nitric Oxide (iNO) in the Adult Patient Market: Clinical Outcomes after Use, Therapy Demand and Cost of Care

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/06/03/clinical-indications-for-use-of-inhaled-nitric-oxide-ino-in-the-adult-patient-market-clinical-outcomes-after-use-therapy-demand-and-cost-of-care/

Lev-Ari, A. 6/2/2013 Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Adults: Clinical Trials and Meta Analysis Studies – Recent Findings

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/06/02/inhaled-nitric-oxide-in-adults-with-acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome/

Pearlman, JD and A. Lev-Ari 5/24/2013 Imaging Biomarker for Arterial Stiffness: Pathways in Pharmacotherapy for Hypertension and Hypercholesterolemia Management

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/24/imaging-biomarker-for-arterial-stiffness-pathways-in-pharmacotherapy-for-hypertension-and-hypercholesterolemia-management/

Pearlman, JD and A. Lev-Ari 5/22/2013 Acute and Chronic Myocardial Infarction: Quantification of Myocardial Perfusion Viability – FDG-PET/MRI vs. MRI or PET alone

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/22/acute-and-chronic-myocardial-infarction-quantification-of-myocardial-viability-fdg-petmri-vs-mri-or-pet-alone/

Lev-Ari, A. 5/17/2013 Synthetic Biology: On Advanced Genome Interpretation for Gene Variants and Pathways: What is the Genetic Base of Atherosclerosis and Loss of Arterial Elasticity with Aging

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/17/synthetic-biology-on-advanced-genome-interpretation-for-gene-variants-and-pathways-what-is-the-genetic-base-of-atherosclerosis-and-loss-of-arterial-elasticity-with-aging/

Justin D Pearlman, HL Bernstein and A. Lev-Ari 5/15/2013 Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease, Treatment and Prevention: Current & Predicted Cost of Care and the Promise of Individualized Medicine Using Clinical Decision Support Systems

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/15/diagnosis-of-cardiovascular-disease-treatment-and-prevention-current-predicted-cost-of-care-and-the-promise-of-individualized-medicine-using-clinical-decision-support-systems-2/

Pearlman, JD and A. Lev-Ari 5/11/2013 Hypertension and Vascular Compliance: 2013 Thought Frontier – An Arterial Elasticity Focus

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/11/arterial-elasticity-in-quest-for-a-drug-stabilizer-isolated-systolic-hypertension-caused-by-arterial-stiffening-ineffectively-treated-by-vasodilatation-antihypertensives/

Pearlman, JD and A. Lev-Ari 5/7/2013 On Devices and On Algorithms: Arrhythmia after Cardiac Surgery Prediction and ECG Prediction of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Onset

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/07/on-devices-and-on-algorithms-arrhythmia-after-cardiac-surgery-prediction-and-ecg-prediction-of-paroxysmal-atrial-fibrillation-onset/

Pearlman, JD and A. Lev-Ari 5/4/2013 Cardiovascular Diseases: Decision Support Systems for Disease Management Decision Making

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/04/cardiovascular-diseases-decision-support-systems-for-disease-management-decision-making/

Lev-Ari, A. 5/3/2013 Gene, Meis1, Regulates the Heart’s Ability to Regenerate after Injuries.

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/05/03/gene-meis1-regulates-the-hearts-ability-to-regenerate-after-injuries/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/30/2013 Prostacyclin and Nitric Oxide: Adventures in Vascular Biology – A Tale of Two Mediators

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/30/prostacyclin-and-nitric-oxide-adventures-in-vascular-biology-a-tale-of-two-mediators/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/28/2013 Genetics of Conduction Disease: Atrioventricular (AV) Conduction Disease (block): Gene Mutations – Transcription, Excitability, and Energy Homeostasis

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/28/genetics-of-conduction-disease-atrioventricular-av-conduction-disease-block-gene-mutations-transcription-excitability-and-energy-homeostasis/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/25/2013 Economic Toll of Heart Failure in the US: Forecasting the Impact of Heart Failure in the United States – A Policy Statement From the American Heart Association

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/25/economic-toll-of-heart-failure-in-the-us-forecasting-the-impact-of-heart-failure-in-the-united-states-a-policy-statement-from-the-american-heart-association/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/24/2013 Harnessing New Players in Atherosclerosis to Treat Heart Disease

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/25/harnessing-new-players-in-atherosclerosis-to-treat-heart-disease/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/25/2013 Revascularization: PCI, Prior History of PCI vs CABG

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/25/revascularization-pci-prior-history-of-pci-vs-cabg/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/7/2013 Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) Inhibitor: Potential of Anacetrapib to treat Atherosclerosis and CAD

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/07/cholesteryl-ester-transfer-protein-cetp-inhibitor-potential-of-anacetrapib-to-treat-atherosclerosis-and-cad/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/4/2013 Hypertriglyceridemia concurrent Hyperlipidemia: Vertical Density Gradient Ultracentrifugation a Better Test to Prevent Undertreatment of High-Risk Cardiac Patients

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/04/hypertriglyceridemia-concurrent-hyperlipidemia-vertical-density-gradient-ultracentrifugation-a-better-test-to-prevent-undertreatment-of-high-risk-cardiac-patients/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/3/2013 Fight against Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: A Biologics not a Small Molecule – Recombinant Human lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (rhLCAT) attracted AstraZeneca to acquire AlphaCore

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/04/03/fight-against-atherosclerotic-cardiovascular-disease-a-biologics-not-a-small-molecule-recombinant-human-lecithin-cholesterol-acyltransferase-rhlcat-attracted-astrazeneca-to-acquire-alphacore/

Lev-Ari, A. 3/31/2013 High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): An Independent Predictor of Endothelial Function & Atherosclerosis, A Modulator, An Agonist, A Biomarker for Cardiovascular Risk

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/03/31/high-density-lipoprotein-hdl-an-independent-predictor-of-endothelial-function-artherosclerosis-a-modulator-an-agonist-a-biomarker-for-cardiovascular-risk/

Lev-Ari, A. 3/10/2013 Acute Chest Pain/ER Admission: Three Emerging Alternatives to Angiography and PCI

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/03/10/acute-chest-painer-admission-three-emerging-alternatives-to-angiography-and-pci/

Lev-Ari, A. and L H Bernstein 3/7/2013 Genomics & Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease Diagnoses: A Literature Survey of AHA’s Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics, 3/2010 – 3/2013

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/03/07/genomics-genetics-of-cardiovascular-disease-diagnoses-a-literature-survey-of-ahas-circulation-cardiovascular-genetics-32010-32013/

Lev-Ari, A. 2/28/2013 The Heart: Vasculature Protection – A Concept-based Pharmacological Therapy including THYMOSIN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/02/28/the-heart-vasculature-protection-a-concept-based-pharmacological-therapy-including-thymosin/

Lev-Ari, A. 2/27/2013 Arteriogenesis and Cardiac Repair: Two Biomaterials – Injectable Thymosin beta4 and Myocardial Matrix Hydrogel

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/02/27/arteriogenesis-and-cardiac-repair-two-biomaterials-injectable-thymosin-beta4-and-myocardial-matrix-hydrogel/

Lev-Ari, A. 12/29/2012. Coronary artery disease in symptomatic patients referred for coronary angiography: Predicted by Serum Protein Profiles

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/12/29/coronary-artery-disease-in-symptomatic-patients-referred-for-coronary-angiography-predicted-by-serum-protein-profiles/

Bernstein, HL and Lev-Ari, A. 11/28/2012. Special Considerations in Blood Lipoproteins, Viscosity, Assessment and Treatment

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/11/28/special-considerations-in-blood-lipoproteins-viscosity-assessment-and-treatment/

Lev-Ari, A. 11/13/2012 Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-gamma) Receptors Activation: PPARγ transrepression for Angiogenesis in Cardiovascular Disease and PPARγ transactivation for Treatment of Diabetes

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/11/13/peroxisome-proliferator-activated-receptor-ppar-gamma-receptors-activation-pparγ-transrepression-for-angiogenesis-in-cardiovascular-disease-and-pparγ-transactivation-for-treatment-of-dia/

Lev-Ari, A. 10/19/2012 Clinical Trials Results for Endothelin System: Pathophysiological role in Chronic Heart Failure, Acute Coronary Syndromes and MI – Marker of Disease Severity or Genetic Determination?

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/19/clinical-trials-results-for-endothelin-system-pathophysiological-role-in-chronic-heart-failure-acute-coronary-syndromes-and-mi-marker-of-disease-severity-or-genetic-determination/

Lev-Ari, A. 10/4/2012 Endothelin Receptors in Cardiovascular Diseases: The Role of eNOS Stimulation

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/04/endothelin-receptors-in-cardiovascular-diseases-the-role-of-enos-stimulation/

Lev-Ari, A. 10/4/2012 Inhibition of ET-1, ETA and ETA-ETB, Induction of NO production, stimulation of eNOS and Treatment Regime with PPAR-gamma agonists (TZD): cEPCs Endogenous Augmentation for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction – A Bibliography

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/10/04/inhibition-of-et-1-eta-and-eta-etb-induction-of-no-production-and-stimulation-of-enos-and-treatment-regime-with-ppar-gamma-agonists-tzd-cepcs-endogenous-augmentation-for-cardiovascular-risk-reduc/

Lev-Ari, A. 8/29/2012 Positioning a Therapeutic Concept for Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs — Therapeutic Indications for Macrovascular Disease: Coronary, Cerebrovascular and Peripheral

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/29/positioning-a-therapeutic-concept-for-endogenous-augmentation-of-cepcs-therapeutic-indications-for-macrovascular-disease-coronary-cerebrovascular-and-peripheral/

Lev-Ari, A. 8/28/2012 Cardiovascular Outcomes: Function of circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells (cEPCs): Exploring Pharmaco-therapy targeted at Endogenous Augmentation of cEPCs

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/28/cardiovascular-outcomes-function-of-circulating-endothelial-progenitor-cells-cepcs-exploring-pharmaco-therapy-targeted-at-endogenous-augmentation-of-cepcs/

Lev-Ari, A. 8/27/2012 Endothelial Dysfunction, Diminished Availability of cEPCs, Increasing CVD Risk for Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/27/endothelial-dysfunction-diminished-availability-of-cepcs-increasing-cvd-risk-for-macrovascular-disease-therapeutic-potential-of-cepcs/

Lev-Ari, A. 8/24/2012 Vascular Medicine and Biology: CLASSIFICATION OF FAST ACTING THERAPY FOR PATIENTS AT HIGH RISK FOR MACROVASCULAR EVENTS Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/24/vascular-medicine-and-biology-classification-of-fast-acting-therapy-for-patients-at-high-risk-for-macrovascular-events-macrovascular-disease-therapeutic-potential-of-cepcs/

Lev-Ari, A. 7/19/2012 Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and the Role of agent alternatives in endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) Activation and Nitric Oxide Production

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/19/cardiovascular-disease-cvd-and-the-role-of-agent-alternatives-in-endothelial-nitric-oxide-synthase-enos-activation-and-nitric-oxide-production/

Lev-Ari, A. 4/30/2012 Resident-cell-based Therapy in Human Ischaemic Heart Disease: Evolution in the PROMISE of Thymosin beta4 for Cardiac Repair

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/04/30/93/

Lev-Ari, A. 5/29/2012 Triple Antihypertensive Combination Therapy Significantly Lowers Blood Pressure in Hard-to-Treat Patients with Hypertension and Diabetes

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/05/29/445/

Lev-Ari, A. 7/2/2012 Macrovascular Disease – Therapeutic Potential of cEPCs: Reduction Methods for CV Risk

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/02/macrovascular-disease-therapeutic-potential-of-cepcs-reduction-methods-for-cv-risk/

 

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AHA, ACC Change in Requirement for Surgical Support for PCI Performance: Class IIb -> Class III, Level of Evidence A: Support Nonemergent PCI without Surgical Backup (Change of class IIb, Level of evidence B).


AHA, ACC Change in Requirement for Surgical Support:  Class IIb -> Class III, Level of Evidence A: Supports Nonemergent PCI without Surgical Backup (Change of class IIb, Level of Evidence B).

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Author, Curator, Volumes 1,2,3,4,5,6 Co-Editor and Author, Volume Two & Five, Co-Editor and Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC, Content Consultant to Six-Volume e-SERIES A: Cardiovascular Diseases

 

Voice of content consultant: Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) have convened teams of experts to summarize evidence and opinion regarding a wide range of decisions relevant to cardiovascular disease. The system accounts for some of the short comings of “evidence based medicine” by allowing for expert opinion in areas where evidence is not sufficient. The main argument for evidence-based medicine is the existence of surprises, where a plausible decision does not actually appear to work as desired when it is tested. A major problem with adhesion to evidence based medicine is that it can impede adaptation to individual needs (we are all genetically and socially/environmentally unique) and impede innovation. Large studies carry statistical weight but do not necessary consider all relevant factors. Commonly, the AFFIRM trial is interpreted as support that rate control suffices for most atrial fibrillation (AFIB), but half of those randomized to rhythm control were taken off anticoagulation without teaching patients to check their pulse daily for recurrence of AFIB. Thus the endorsed “evidence” may have more to do with the benefits of anticoagulation for both persisting and recurring AFIB and rhythm control may yet prove better than rate control. However, with wide acceptance of a particular conclusion, randomizing to another treatment may be deemed unethical, or may simply not get a large trial due to lack of economic incentive, leaving only the large trial products as the endorsed options. A medication without patent protection, such as bismuth salts for H Pylori infection, lacks financial backing for large trials.

The American Heart Association Evidence-Based Scoring System
Classification of Recommendations

● Class I: Conditions for which there is evidence, general

agreement, or both that a given procedure or treatment is

useful and effective.

● Class II: Conditions for which there is conflicting evidence,

a divergence of opinion, or both about the usefulness/

efficacy of a procedure or treatment.

● Class IIa: Weight of evidence/opinion is in favor of

usefulness/efficacy.

● Class IIb: Usefulness/efficacy is less well established by

evidence/opinion.

● Class III: Conditions for which there is evidence, general

agreement, or both that the procedure/treatment is not useful/

effective and in some cases may be harmful.

Level of Evidence

● Level of Evidence A: Data derived from multiple randomized

clinical trials

● Level of Evidence B: Data derived from a single randomized

trial or nonrandomized studies

● Level of Evidence C: Consensus opinion of experts

Circulation 2006 114: 1761 – 1791.

Assessment of Coronary Artery Disease by Cardiac Computed Tomography

A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Committee on Cardiovascular Imaging and Intervention, Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, and Committee on Cardiac Imaging, Council on Clinical Cardiology

Reported by Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage  7/2013  

 

Action Points

  1. Patients with indications for nonemergency PCI who presented at hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery, were randomly assigned to undergo PCI at a hospital without on-site cardiac surgery or at a hospital with on-site cardiac surgery.
  2. The rates of death, myocardial infarction, repeat revascularization, and stroke did not differ significantly between the groups.
  3. Community hospitals without surgical services can safely perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in low-risk patients — and not refuse higher-risk patients either, the MASS COMM trial found.

Summary

  • The co-primary endpoint of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at 30 days occurred at a rate of 9.5% in the 10 hospitals without surgical backup versus 9.4% in the seven hospitals with onsite surgery (P<0.001 for noninferiority), Alice K. Jacobs, MD, of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues found.
  • The other co-primary endpoint of MACE at 12 months was also significant, occurring in 17.3% of patients in hospitals without backup versus 17.8% in centers with surgical services (P<0.001 for non-inferiority), they reported in the study published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings were also reported at the American College of Cardiology meeting.

Study Characteristics and Results

Primary Endpoints

  1. death
  2. myocardial infarction
  3. repeat revascularization
  4. stroke
no significant differences between the two groups at 30 days and at 12 months.

Rate of stent thrombosis at 30 days

similar in both groups (0.6% versus 0.8%) and at 12 months (1.1% versus 2.1%).
Jacobs and colleagues noted that the 2011 PCI guidelines lacked evidence to fully support nonemergent PCI without surgical backup (class IIb, level of evidence B).

CPORT – E trial

Even though those guidelines came out before the results of the CPORT-E trial were published, CPORT-E trial showed similar non-inferiority at 9 months between centers that perform PCI with or without surgical backup in a cohort of nearly 19,000 non-emergent patients. The CPORT-E results were published in the March 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, and in May three cardiology organizations published an update to cath lab standards allowing for PCI without surgical.

 MASS COMM study

To further the evidence, Jacobs and colleagues in 2006  had designed and carried out the Randomized Trial to Compare Percutaneous Coronary Intervention between Massachusetts Hospitals with Cardiac Surgery On-Site and Community Hospitals without Cardiac Surgery On-Site (MASS COMM) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health who collaborated to obtain “evidence on which to base regulatory policy decisions about performing non-emergent PCI in hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery.”

  • Hospitals without backup surgery were required to perform at least 300 diagnostic catheterizations per year, and operators were mandated to have performed a minimum of 75 PCI procedures per year.
  • The researchers randomized 3,691 patients to each arm in a 3:1 ratio (without/with backup). The median follow-up was about 1 year.
  • The median age of patients was 64, one-third were women, and 92% were white. Both groups had similar median ejection fractions at baseline (55%).
  • The mean number of vessels treated was 1.17 and most patients (84%) had one vessel treated. The mean number of lesions treated was 1.45 and most patients (67%) had one lesion treated.

The indications for PCI were:

1. ST-segment elevated MI (>72 hours before PCI of infarct-related or non–infarct-related artery — 19% and 17%
2. Unstable angina — 45% and 47%
3. Stable angina — 27% and 28%
4. Silent ischemia — 5% and 6%
5. Other — 2.5% and 2.8%
Regarding secondary endpoints, both groups had similar rates of emergency CABG and urgent or emergent PCI at 30 days. Results at 30 days and 12 months were similar for rates of ischemia-driven target-vessel revascularization and target-lesion revascularization. Other endpoints as well were similar at both time points, including
  • all-cause death
  • repeat revascularization
  • stroke
  • definite or probable stent thrombosis
  • major vascular complications
Researchers adjusted for a 1.3 greater chance of MACE occurring at a randomly selected hospital compared with another randomly selected hospital and found
  • the relative risks at 30 days and 12 months “were consistent with those of the primary results” (RR 1.02 and 0.98, respectively).

However, they cautioned that new sites perhaps should be monitored as they gain experience.

A prespecified angiographic review of 376 patients who were in the PCI-without-backup arm and 87 in the other arm showed no differences in
  1. rates of procedural success,
  2. proportion with complete revascularization, or
  3. the proportion of guideline-indicated appropriate lesions for PCI.
Such results show consistent practice patterns between the groups, they noted.
The study had several limitations including the
  • loss of data for 13% of patients, the
  • exclusion of some patients for certain clinical and anatomical features, and
  • not having the power to detect non-inferiority in the separate components of the primary endpoint, researchers wrote.

Cardio Notes: Score Predicts PCI Readmission

Published: Jul 15, 2013

By Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today
  

A simple calculation of patient variables before PCI may help stem the tide of readmission within the first month. Also this week, two blood pressure drugs that benefit diabetics and imaging cardiac sympathetic innervation.

Pre-PCI Factors Predict Return Trip

A new 30-day readmission risk prediction model for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) showed it’s possible to predict risk using only variables known before PCI, according to a study published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

After multivariable adjustment, the 10 pre-PCI variables that predicted 30-day readmission were older age (mean age 68 in this study), female sex, insurance type (Medicare, state, or unknown), GFR category (less than 30 and 30-60 mL/min per 1.73m2), current or history of heart failure, chronic lung disease, peripheral vascular disease, cardiogenic shock at presentation, admit source (acute and non-acute care facility or emergency department), and previous coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Additional significant variables post-discharge that predicted 30-day readmission were beta-blocker prescribed at discharge, post-PCI vascular or bleeding complications, discharge location, African American race, diabetes status and modality of treatment, any drug-eluting stent during the index procedure, and extended length of stay.

A risk score calculator using the pre-PCI variables will be available online soon, according to Robert W. Yeh, MD, MSc, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.

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Treatment Options for Left Ventricular Failure  –  Temporary Circulatory Support: Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)Impella Recover LD/LP 5.0 and 2.5, Pump Catheters (Non-surgical) vs Bridge Therapy: Percutaneous Left Ventricular Assist Devices (pLVADs) and LVADs (Surgical) 

Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP
And
Curator: Justin D Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC

 

UPDATED on 12/2/2013 – HeartMate II – LVAD

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/28/business/3-hospital-study-links-heart-device-to-blood-clots.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&emc=eta1

Hospital Studies Link Heart Device to Clots

David Maxwell for The New York Times

Dr. Randall Starling, right, said that he could only speculate about the reason for the rapid rise in early blood clots.

By 
Published: November 27, 2013

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic began to suspect in 2012 that something might be wrong with a high-tech implant used to treat patients with advanced heart failure like former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Thoratec Corportation

The HeartMate II is a left ventricular assist device, which contains a pump that continuously pushes blood through the heart.

The number of patients developing potentially fatal blood clots soon after getting the implant seemed to be rising. Then early this year, researchers completed a check of hospital records and their concern turned to alarm.

The data showed that the incidence of blood clots among patients who got the device, called the HeartMate II, after March 2011 was nearly four times that of patients who had gotten the same device in previous years. Patients who developed pump-related clots died or needed emergency steps like heart transplants or device replacements to save them.

“When we got the data, we said, ‘Wow,’ ” said Dr. Randall C. Starling, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic.

On Wednesday, The New England Journal of Medicineposted a study on its website detailing the findings from the Cleveland Clinic and two other hospitals about the device. The HeartMate II belongs to a category of products known as a left ventricular assist device and it contains a pump that continuously pushes blood through the heart.

The abrupt increase in pump-related blood clots reported in the study is likely to raise questions about whether its manufacturer, Thoratec Corporation, modified the device, either intentionally or accidentally. By March, the Cleveland Clinic had informed both Thoratec and the Food and Drug Administration about the problems seen there, Dr. Starling said.

Officials at Thoratec declined to be interviewed. But in a statement, the company, which is based in Pleasanton, Calif., said that the HeartMate II had been intensively studied and used in more 16,000 patients worldwide with excellent results. It added that the six-month survival rate of patients who received the device had remained consistently high.

“Individual center experience with thrombosis varies significantly, and Thoratec actively partners with clinicians at all centers to minimize this risk,” the company said in a statement.

Thoratec and other cardiologists also pointed to a federally funded registry that shows a smaller rise in the rate of blood clots, or thrombosis, among patients getting a HeartMate II than the one reported Wednesday by the three hospitals. In the registry, which is known as Intermacs, the rate of pump-related blood clot associated with the HeartMate II rose to about 5 percent in devices implanted after May 2011 compared with about 2 percent in previous years.

The data reported on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine found rates of clot formation two months after a device’s implant had risen to 8.4 percent after March 2011 from 2.2 percent in earlier years. Researchers also suggested in the study that the Intermacs registry might not capture all cases of pump-related blood clots, such as when patients gets emergency heart transplants after a clot forms.

Not only did the rate of blood clots increase, but the clots also occurred much sooner than in the past, according to the study. After March 2011, the median time before a clot was 2.7 months, compared with 18.6 months in previous years. In addition to the Cleveland Clinic, the report on Wednesday included data from Duke University and Washington University in St. Louis.

All mechanical heart implants are prone to producing blood clots that can form on a device’s surface. And experts say that the rate of blood clot formation can be affected by a variety of factors like changes in the use of blood-thinning drugs or the health of a patient.

In a telephone interview, Dr. Starling described the Thoratec officials as cooperative, adding that they have been looking into the problem since March to understand its cause. He said that he could only speculate about the reason for the rapid rise in early blood clots but believed it was probably device-related.

“My belief is that it is something as subtle as a change in software that affects pump flow or heat dissipation near a bearing,” said Dr. Starling, who is a consultant to Thoratec.

Asked about his comments, Thoratec responded that it had yet to determine the reason for even the smaller rise in blood clots seen in the federally funded database. “We have performed extensive analysis on HeartMate II and have not identified any change that would cause the increase observed in the Intermacs registry,” the company said.

In a statement, the F.D.A. said that it was reviewing the findings of the study. “The agency shares the authors concerns about the possibility of increased pump thrombosis,” the F.D.A. said in a statement.

The fortunes of Thoratec, which has been a favorite of Wall Street investors, may depend on its ability to find an answer to the apparent jump in pump-related blood clots. Over the last two years, the company’s stock has climbed from about $30 a share to over $43 a share. In trading Wednesday, Thoratec stock closed at $42.12 a share, up 61 cents. (The New England Journal of Medicine article was released after the stock market closed.)

The HeartMate II has been a lifesaver for many patients like Mr. Cheney in the final stages of heart failure, who got his device in 2010, sustaining them until they get a heart transplant or permanently assisting their heart. Dr. Starling said that he planned to keep using the HeartMate II in appropriate patients at the Cleveland Clinic because those facing death from heart failure had few options.

But the company has also been pushing to expand the device’s use beyond patients who face imminent death from heart failure. For example, the F.D.A. approved a clinical trial for patients with significant, but less severe, heart failure to receive a HeartMate II to compare their outcomes with patients who take drugs for the same condition. Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical Center who are leading the trial said on Wednesday that, based on the lower rates of blood clots seen in the Intermacs registry, they are planning to move forward with the trial.

Dr. Starling and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic tried this spring to get The New England Journal of Medicine to publish a report about the findings at that hospital, but the publication declined, saying the data might simply represent the experience of one facility. As a result, Dr. Starling contacted Duke University and Washington University for their data. When analyzed, it mirrored events at the Cleveland Clinic, he said.

The problems seen with the HeartMate II at the three hospitals were continuing as recently as this summer, when researchers paused the collection of data to prepare Wednesday’s study. The study also noted that a preliminary analysis of data provided by a fourth hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, showed the same pattern of blood clot formation, but that the data had been submitted too late for full analysis.

 SOURCE

 

This article presents the following four Sections:

I.     Impella LD – ABIOMED, Inc.

II.   IABP VS. Percutaneous LVADS

III. Use of the Impella 2.5 Catheter in High-Risk Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

IV.  PROTECT II Study – Experts Discussion

This account is a vital piece of recognition of very rapid advances in cardiothoracic interventions to support cardiac function mechanically by pump in the situation of loss of contractile function and circulatory output sufficient to sustain life, as can occur with the development of cardiogenic shock.  This has been mentioned and its use has been documented in other portions of this series.   On the one hand, PCI has a long and steady history in the development of interventional cardiology. This necessitated the availability of thoracic-surgical operative support. The situation is changed, and is more properly, conditional.

I. Impella LD – ABIOMED, Inc.

This micro-axial blood pump can be inserted into the left ventricle via open chest procedures. The Impella LD device has a 9 Fr catheter-based platform and a 21 Fr micro-axial pump and is  inserted through the ascending aorta, across the aortic and mitral valves and into the left ventricle.  It requires minimal bedside support and a 9 Fr single-access point  requires no priming outside the body.

Impella.LD_

Impella Recover LD/LP 5.0

The Impella Recover miniaturized impeller pump located within a catheter. The Impella Recover LD/LP 5.0 Support System has been developed to address the need for ventricular support in patients who develop heart failure after heart surgery (called cardiogenic shock) and who have not responded to standard medical therapy. The system is designed to provide immediate support and restore hemodynamic stability for a period of up to 7 days. Used as a bridge to therapy, it allows time for developing a definitive treatment strategy.

The Pump

The Impella Recover LD 5.0 showing implantation via direct placement into the left ventricle.
 Insert B – location in LV
imeplla-LD-video
The Impella Recover system is a miniaturized impeller pump located within a catheter. The device can provide support for the left side of the heart using either the
  • Recover LD 5.0 (implanted via direct placement into the left ventricle) or the
  • Recover LP 5.0 LV (placed percutaneously through the groin and positioned in the left ventricle).
The microaxial pump of the Recover LP/LD 5.0 can pump up to 4.5 liters per minute at a speed of 33,000 rpm. The pump is located at the distal end of a 9 Fr catheter.

II.   IABP VS. Percutaneous LVADS

An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) remains the method of choice for mechanical assistance1 in patients experiencing LV failure because of its

  • proven hemodynamic capabilities,
  • prompt time to therapy, and
  • low complication rates.

Percutaneous left ventricular assist devices (pLVADs), such as described above, represent an emerging option for partial or total circulatory support2 and several studies have compared the and efficacy of these devices with intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) (IABP.)

Despite some randomized controlled trials demonstrating better hemodynamic profiles for pLVADs compared with IABP, there is no difference in  30-day survival or trend toward a reduced 30-day mortality rate associated with pLVADs.  Patients treated with pLVADs tended to have a
  • higher incidence of leg ischemia and
  • device related bleeding.3
Further, no differences have been detected in the overall use of
  • positive inotropic drugs or
  • vasopressors in patients with pLVADs.4,5
However, pLVADs may increase their use for patients not responding to
  • PCI,
  • fluids,
  • inotropes, and
  • IABP
Therefore, the decision making process on how to treat requires an integrated stepwise approach. A pLVAD might be considered on the basis of
  • anticipated individual risk,
  • success rates, and for
  • postprocedural events.6

Potential Algorithm for Device Selection during High-Risk PCI

PADS_HRPCI cardiac assist device selection

Potential Algorithm for Device Selection during Cardiogenic Shock
device_selection_CS
Until an alternative modality, characterized by improved efficacy and safety features compared with IABP, is developed, IABP remains the cornerstone of temporary circulatory support.2

Device Comparison for Treatment of Cardiogenic Shocktraditional intra-aortic balloon therapy with Impella 2.5 percutaneous ventricular assist device

 
1. Percutaneous LVADs in AMI complicated by cardiogenic shock. H Thiele, et al. EHJ 2007;28:2057-2063
2. Cardiogenic shock current concepts and improving outcomes. H R Reynolds et al. Circulation 2008 ;117 :686-697
3. Percutaneous left ventricular assist devices vs. IABP counterpulsation for treatment of cardiogenic shock. J M Cheng, et al. EHJ doi:10.1093/eurheart/ehp292
4. A randomized clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a pLVAD vs. IABP for treatment of cardiogenic shock caused by MI. M Seyfarth, et al. JACC 2008;52:1584-8
5. A randomized multicenter clinical study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the tandem heart pLVAD vs. conventional therapy with IABP for treatment of cardiogenic shock.
6. Percutaneous LVADs in AMI complicated by cardiogenic shock. H Thiele, et al. EHJ 2007;28:2057-2063

III. Use of the Impella 2.5 Catheter in High-Risk Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Brenda McCulloch, RN, MSN
Sutter Heart and Vascular Institute, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, California
Crit Care Nurse 2011; 31(1): e1-e16    http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ccn2011293
Abstract
The Impella 2.5 is a percutaneously placed partial circulatory assist device that is increasingly being used in high-risk coronary interventional procedures to provide hemodynamic support. The Impella 2.5 is able to unload the left ventricle rapidly and effectively and increase cardiac output more than an intra-aortic balloon catheter can. Potential complications include bleeding, limb ischemia, hemolysis, and infection. One community hospital’s approach to establishing a multidisciplinary program for use of the Impella 2.5 is described.
Patients who undergo high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), such as procedures on friable saphenous vein grafts or the left main coronary artery, may have an intra-aortic balloon catheter placed if they require hemodynamic support during the procedure. Currently, the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is the most commonly used device for circulatory support. A newer option that is now available for select patients is the Impella 2.5, a short-term partial circulatory support device or percutaneous ventricular assist device (VAD).
In this article, I discuss the Impella 2.5, review indications and contraindications for its use, delineate potential complications of the Impella 2.5, and discuss implications for nursing care for patients receiving extended support from an Impella 2.5. Additionally, I share our experiences as we developed our Impella program at our community hospital. Routine management of patients after PCI is not addressed.

IABP Therapy: Background

  • decreases after-load,
  • decreases myocardial oxygen consumption,
  • increases coronary artery perfusion, and
  • modestly enhances cardiac output.1,2
The IABP cannot provide total circulatory support. Patients must have some level of left ventricular function for an IABP to be effective.
Optimal hemodynamic effect from the IABP is dependent  on:
  • the balloon’s position in the aorta,
  • the blood displacement volume,
  • the balloon diameter in relation to aortic diameter,
  • the timing of balloon inflation in diastole and deflation in systole, and
  • the patient’s own blood pressure and vascular resistance.3,4

Impella 2.5 Catheter – ABIOMED, Inc.

Effect
  • reduces myocardial oxygen consumption,
  • improves mean arterial pressure, and
  • reduces pulmonary capillary wedge pressure.2

The Impella 2.5 has been used for

  • hemodynamic support during high-risk PCI and for
  • hemodynamic support of patients with
  1. myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock or ventricular septal defect,
  2. cardiomyopathy with acute decompensation,
  3. postcardiotomy shock,
  4. off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, or
  5. heart transplant rejection and
  6. as a bridge to the next decision.9
The Impella provides a greater increase in cardiac output than the other IABP provides. In one trial5 in which an IABP was compared with an Impella in cardiogenic shock patients, after 30 minutes of therapy, the cardiac index (calculated as cardiac output in liters per minute divided by body surface area in square meters) increased by 0.5 in the patients with the Impella compared with 0.1 in the patients with an IABP.
Unlike the IABP, the Impella does not require timing, nor is a trigger from an electrocardiographic rhythm or arterial pressure needed (Table 1). The device received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in June 2008 for providing up to 6 hours of partial circulatory support. In Europe, the Impella 2.5 is approved for use up to 5 days. Reports of longer duration of therapy in both the United States and Europe have been published.8,9
Table IABT vs Impella

Clinical Research and Registry Findings

Abiomed has sponsored several trials, including PROTECT I, PROTECT II, RECOVER I, RECOVER II, and ISAR-SHOCK.
The PROTECT I study was done to assess the safety and efficacy of device placement in patients undergoing high-risk PCI.10

Twenty patients who had

  • poor ventricular function (ejection fraction =35%) and had
  • PCI on an unprotected left main coronary artery or the
  • last remaining patent coronary artery or graft.

The device was successfully placed in all patients, and the duration of support ranged from 0.4 to 2.5 hours. Following this trial, the Impella 2.5 device received its 510(k) approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The ISAR-SHOCK trial was done to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the Impella 2.5 versus the IAPB in patients with cardiogenic shock due to acute myocardial infarction.5 Patients were randomized to support from an IABP (n=13) or an Impella (n=12).

The trial’s primary end point of hemodynamic improvement was defined as improved cardiac index at 30 minutes after implantation.

  1. Improvements in cardiac index were greater with the Impella (P=.02).
  2. The diastolic pressure increased more with Impella (P=.002).
  3. There was a nonsignificant difference in the MAP (P=.09), as was the use of inotropic agents and vasopressors similar in both groups of patients.

Device Design: Impella 2.5 Catheter

The Impella 2.5 catheter contains a nonpulsatile microaxial continuous flow blood pump that pulls blood from the left ventricle to the ascending aorta, creating increased forward flow and increased cardiac output. An axial pump is one that is made up of impellar blades, or rotors, that spin around a central shaft; the spinning of these blades is what moves blood through the device.13

The Impella 2.5 catheter has 2 lumens. A tubing system called the Quick Set-Up has been developed for use in the catheterization laboratory. It is a single tubing system that bifurcates and connects to each port of the catheter. This arrangement allows rapid initial setup of the console so that support can be initiated quickly. When the Quick Set-Up is used, the 10% to 20% dextrose solution used to purge the motor is not heparinized. One lumen carries fluid to the impellar blades and continuously purges the motor to prevent the formation of thrombus. The proximal port of this lumen is yellow. The second lumen ends near the motor above the level of the aortic valve and is used to monitor aortic pressure.
The components required to run the device are assembled on a rolling cart and include the power source, the Braun Vista infusion pump, and the Impella console. The Impella console powers the microaxial blood pump and monitors the functioning of the device, including the purge pressure and several other parameters. The console can run on a fully charged battery for up to 1 hour.

Placement of the Device

The Impella 2.5 catheter is placed percutaneously through the common femoral artery and advanced retrograde to the left ventricle over a guidewire. Fluoroscopic guidance in the catheterization laboratory or operating room is required. After the device is properly positioned, it is activated and blood is rapidly withdrawn by the microaxial blood pump from the inlet valve in the left ventricle and moved to the aorta via the outlet area, which sits above the aortic valve in the aorta.
If the patient tolerates the PCI procedure and hemodynamic instability does not develop, the Impella 2.5 may be removed at the end of the case, or it can be withdrawn, leaving the arterial sheath in place, which can be removed when the patient’s activated clotting time or partial thromboplastin time has returned to near normal levels. For patients who become hemodynamically unstable or who have complications during the PCI (eg, no reflow, hypotension, or lethal arrhythmias), the device can remain in place for continued partial circulatory support, and the patient is transported to the critical care setting.

Potential Complications of Impella Therapy

The most commonly reported complications of Impella 2.5 placement and support include

  • limb ischemia,
  • vascular injury, and
  • bleeding requiring blood transfusion.6,9
Hemolysis is an inherent risk of the axial construction, and results in transfusions.5,10
Hemolysis can be mechanically induced when red blood cells are damaged as they pass through the microaxial pump. Other potential complications include
  • aortic valve damage,
  • displacement of the distal tip of the device into the aorta,
  • infection, and
  • sepsis.
  • Device failure, although not often reported, can occur.
Patients on Impella 2.5 support who may require
  • interrogation of a permanent pacemaker or
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
present an interesting situation. In order for the interrogator to connect with the permanent pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, the Impella console must be turned off for a few seconds while the signal is established. As soon as the signal has been established, Impella support is immediately restarted.

Impella 2.5 Console Management

The recommended maximum performance level for continuous use is P8. At P8, the flow rate is 1.9 to 2.6 L/min and the motor is turning at 50000 revolutions per minute. When activated, the console is silent. No sound other than alarms is audible during Impella support, unlike the sound heard with an IABP. Ten different performance levels ranging from P0 to P9 are available. As the performance level increases, the flow rate and number of revolutions per minute increase. At maximum performance (P9), the pump rotates at 50000 revolutions per minute and delivers a flow rate of 2.1 to 2.6 L/min. P9 can be activated only for 5-minute intervals when the Impella 2.5 is in use.

IV.  PROTECT II Study – Experts Discussion

the use of the Impella support device and the intraortic balloon pump for high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention
 
DR. SMALLING: Well, the idea about the PROTECT trial is that it would show that using the Impella device to support high-risk angioplasty was not inferior to utilizing the balloon pump for the same patient subset. Ejection fraction’s were in the 30%–35% range. Supposedly last remaining vessel or left main disease or left-main plus three-vessel disease and low EF; so I think that was the screening for entry into the trial.
major adverse cardiac event endpoints
  1. Acute myocardial infarction,
  2. mortality,
  3. bleeding,
mortality was the same. Their endpoints really didn’t show that much difference. In subgroup analysis, they felt that they Impella may have had a little advantage over balloon pump.
DR. KERN: So do you think this study would tip the interventionalist to move in one direction or the other for high-risk angioplasty?
DR. SMALLING: That’s an interesting concept, you know? One has to get to: What is really a high-risk angioplasty. I think you and I are both old enough to remember that back in the mid-’80s, we determined that high-risk angioplasty was a patient with an ejection fraction of 25% or less, with a jeopardy score over 6. The EFs were a little higher. And, I guess, based on our prior experience with other support devices — like, for instance, CPS and then, later on, the Tandem Heart — there really was not an advantage of so-called more vigorous support systems. And so, the balloon pump served as well.
DR. SMALLING:
Those of us that have looked carefully at what it can really do, I think it may get one liter a minute at most, maybe more.1-6 But I think, for all intents and purposes, it doesn’t support at a very vigorous level. So I think personally, if I had someone I was really worried about, I would opt for something more substantial like, for instance, a Tandem Heart device.
DR. KERN: I think this is a really good summary of the study and the. Are there any final thoughts for those of us who want to read the PROTECT II study when it comes out?
DR. SMALLING: We have to consider a $20,000, $25,000 device. Is that really necessary to do something that we could often do without any support at all, or perhaps with a less costly device like a balloon pump.
DR. KERN: We’re going to talk for a few minutes about the PROTECT II study results that were presented here in their form. And Ron, I know you’ve been involved with following the work of the PROTECT II investigators. Were you a trial site for this study?
DR. WAKSMAN: No, actually, we were not, but we have a lot of interest in high-risk PCI and using devices to make this safe — mainly safe — and also effective. We were not investigators, but we did try to look, based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria, on our own accord with the balloon pump. If you recall, this study actually was comparing balloon time to the Impella device for patients who are high-risk PCI.
The composite endpoint was very complicated. They added like probably nine variables there, which is unusual for a study design. … They basically estimated that the event rate on the balloon pump would be higher than what we thought it should be. So we looked at our own data, and we found out that the actual — if you go by the inclusion/exclusion criteria and their endpoints — the overall event rate in the balloon pump would be much lower than they predicted and built in their sample size.
DR. KERN: And, so, the presentation of the PROTECT II trial, was it presented as a positive study or a negative study.
DR. WAKSMAN: Overall the study did not meet the endpoint. So the bottom line, you can call it the neutral study, which is a nice way to say it.
if you go and do all those analyses, you may find some areas that you can tease a P value, but I don’t think that this has any scientific value, and people should be very careful. We’re not playing now with numbers or with statistics, this is about patient care. You’re doing a study — the study, I think, has some flaws in the design to begin with — and we actually pointed that out when we were asked to participate in the study. But if the study did not meet the endpoint, then I think all those subanalyses, subgroups, you extract from here, you add to there, and you get a P value, that means nothing. So we have to be careful when we interpret this, other than as a neutral study that you basically cannot adopt any of the … it did not meet the hypothesis, that’s the bottom line.

A first-in-man study of the Reitan catheter pump for circulatory support in patients undergoing high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention.

Smith EJ, Reitan O, Keeble T, Dixon K, Rothman MT.
Department of Cardiology, London Chest Hospital, United Kingdom.
Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2009 Jun 1;73(7):859-65.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccd.21865.

To investigate the safety of a novel percutaneous circulatory support device during high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

BACKGROUND:

The Reitan catheter pump (RCP) consists of a catheter-mounted pump-head with a foldable propeller and surrounding cage. Positioned in the descending aorta the pump creates a pressure gradient, reducing afterload and enhancing organ perfusion.

METHODS:

Ten consecutive patients requiring circulatory support underwent PCI; mean age 71 +/- 9; LVEF 34% +/- 11%; jeopardy score 8 +/- 2.3. The RCP was inserted via the femoral artery. Hemostasis was achieved using Perclose sutures. PCI was performed via the radial artery. Outcomes included in-hospital death, MI, stroke, and vascular injury. Hemoglobin (Hb), free plasma Hb (fHb), platelets, and creatinine (cre) were measured pre PCI and post RCP removal.

RESULTS:

The pump was inserted and operated successfully in 9/10 cases (median 79 min). Propeller rotation at 10,444 +/- 1,424 rpm maintained an aortic gradient of 9.8 +/- 2 mm Hg.  Although fHb increased,

  • there was no significant hemolysis (4.7 +/- 2.4 mg/dl pre vs. 11.9 +/- 10.5 post, P = 0.04, reference 20 mg/dl).
  • Platelets were unchanged (pre 257 +/- 74 x 10(9) vs. 245 +/- 63, P = NS).
  • Renal function improved (cre pre 110 +/- 27 micromol/l vs. 99 +/- 28, P = 0.004).

All PCI procedures were successful with no deaths or strokes, one MI, and no vascular complications following pump removal.

14F RCP first in man mechanical device post PCI LVEF 25% JS 10

CONCLUSIONS:

The RCP can be used safely in high-risk PCI patients.

(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.  PMID: 19455649

Todd J. Brinton, MD and Peter J. Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, Chapter 14: VENTRICULAR ASSIST TECHNOLOGIES

http://www.sis.org/docs/2006Yearbook_Ch14.pdf

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

A coronary angiogram that shows the LMCA, LAD ...

A coronary angiogram that shows the LMCA, LAD and LCX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Simulation of a wave pump human ventr...

English: Simulation of a wave pump human ventricular assist device (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Figure A shows the structure and bloo...

English: Figure A shows the structure and blood flow in the interior of a normal heart. Figure B shows two common locations for a ventricular septal defect. The defect allows oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle to mix with oxygen-poor blood in the right ventricle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Introducing Dr. Tim Wu – Interventional Cardiologist, Inventor and Entrepreneur

Author: Ed Kislauskis, PhD

Welcome readers to the first in a series of interviews with future scientific leaders in biotechnology and medicine.  In this post I interview a close colleague and clinical scientist who appears to be on a fast-track to achieving his vision for the future of interventional cardiology – at the very vanguard of applied nanotechnology.

Tim (Tiangen) Wu, M.D has graciously accepted my invitation to answer a few questions about how his career path and primary goal to develop and commercialize his first product, a fully-biodegradable drug-eluting stent he calls the PowerStent® Absorb (see insert).  This technology combines three especially innovations:  a unique balloon-expandable stent design (PowerStent®), a bioabsorbable nanoparticle composition (BioDe®), and a formulation of two commercially-available anti-restenosis drugs (Combo®).

Stent

About the Subject

Dr. Wu received his clinical education in China and research training in the USA. In 1988, he graduated with an MD from the prestigious Linyli Medical School and completed a fellowship in clinical cardiology at the Tonji Medical University.  In 1993, presented with an opportunity to travel to the US, he uprooted to accept a position as visiting scholar, and ultimately post-doctoral fellow,in Jeffrey Isner’s lab at St. Elizabeth Hospital (Tufts University) and the Beth Israel Medical Center (Harvard Medical).  There he investigated the biology of stenosis, and directed sponsored research projects to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the latest commercially-developed drug-coated stents (DES) in animals.

After  a decade in academia, Dr. Wu made the successful transition to industry and joined Nitromed Inc. as a Research Scientist.  His next stop was as a Research Director at Biomedical Research Models, Inc (2000-2006) where we met and collaborated on developing and characterizing macrovascular disease in an inbred, type 2 diabetic rat model.  After a 20 year career, and upon gaining additional qualification in Mechanical Engineering (Wentworth Institute), Business Administration (MIT), Clinical Research Affairs (Mass. Biotech Council), and Medical Device Regulatory Affairs (North Eastern Univ.), he was ready to take the entrepreneurial leap.  His first company, VasoTech would aim to re-engineer the clinical standards of stent design and drug delivery.

In 2007, Dr. Wu founded VasoTech, Inc. from inside his home garage. Less than a year later, VasoTech received a $1.5M SBIR fast-track grant award from the NIH.  With funding, VasoTech joined the newly announced M2D2 facility on the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus, and expanded operations in China.  With the support of one of his closest advisors, Dr. Stephen McCarthy and other research faculty, Dr. Wu was appointed as an adjunct faculty in the Dept. of BioMedical Engineering at the UMass/Lowell where he mentored a number of talented graduate students.  Dr. Wu is recognized as a senior reviewer on the NIH Bioengineering, Surgical Science and Technology Study Section, and Biomaterials, Delivery Systems and Nanotechnology Special Emphasis Panels servicing the  Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program.

Dr. Wu’s work at Vasotech is devoted to developing a 3rd generation of fully biodegradable DES coronary stents to solve two major complications associated with stenting, restenosis and late-stage thrombosis. Thusfar, his ideas have attracted well over $1.5 Million (USD) in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant awards from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and $1million (USD) from China Innovative Talent Leadership Program.  Through his efforts VasoTech is well positioned to attract the strategic partnerships and venture capital investments necessary to translate his research through clinical stages of development both in China and the US.

The Interview

Kislauskis:  Please help our readers understand the current clinical approach to CAD.

Wu:  Most patients with advanced atherosclerosis diseases are at risk for occlusive coronary arterial disease and stroke. Consequently, it is recommended they undergo a percutaneous intervention (PCI); essentially, balloon angioplasty followed by instillation of one or more expandable metal stents. A properly expanded stent will dilate the vessel and increase blood flow to cardiac muscle tissue. Current 2nd generation drug-eluting-stents (DES) release drugs to inhibit the process of vascular remodeling leading to restenosis. Because the DES approach is remarkably successful and lowers the rate of restenosis to < 10%, DESs is now performed in 85% of the 2 million percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) procedures annually in the U.S.

Kislauskis:  What is your impression of the recent 5 yr update of the FREEDOM trial comparing effectiveness of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) to PCI among diabetics? 1

Wu:  It makes perfect sense. There are other reports evaluating PCI in patients within high risk categories, including those with small diameter vessels, diabetes, and extensive, systemic vascular disease, showing unacceptably high rates of restenosis with bare metal stents (30%-60%) and DESs (6%-18%) 2-4.  We also know first-hand using an inbred rat strain that develops macrovascular disease 4 months after onset of spontaneous diabetes.  In our experiment model, just 4weeks following balloon-induced injury to the coratid artery (PTCA),  we observed 2x greater restenosis in female obese rats, and 4x greater stenosis in obese, diabetic rats  littermates (syndrome X) relative to the non-obese, non-diabetic littermates.  These results predicted that obesity (dyslipidemia) and diabetes (severe hyperglycemia) were major risk factors promoting the complication of restenosis (Wu and Kislauskis, unpublished).

Kislauskis: Can you tell our readers a bit more about the significance of restenosis and thrombosis and the concept behind your approach.

Wu: Two significant drawbacks to conventional PCI are the need for costly, long-term anti-platelet therapy; and having a metal artifact within the coronary vessel. In fact, once installed, the purpose of DES is to maintain patency and provide a scaffold until remodeling is complete, maybe 6 months.  The period of drug elution is typically shorter in duration.  In the event of restenosis, a second DES procedure is recommended and performed with satisfactory results.  However, leaving another metal artifact is problematic.

Most concerning to PCI patients, however, should be an increased risk of sudden death from heart attack from a clot (thrombosis) and tissue ischemia (myocardial infarction).  No available DES technology (eg. Cypher®or Taxus® DES) demonstrates any advantage over bare metal stents in this regard 5-7.  So the thinking is a metal artifact create an irregular vessel surface and micro-eddys in blood flow which ultimately result in late-stage thrombosis, particularly in patients who go off anti-their platelet therapy too soon 8.  Therefore and conceptually, by combining potent DES technology with a fully-biodegradable scaffold, designed to be absorbed fully into the tissue, likely will reduce the rate in-stent stenosis and prevents late-stage thrombosis.

Kislauskis: How did you come up with your unique polymer formulation?

Wu: It turns out that through a process of trial and error in the lab I was able to identify a biodegradable formulation which reduces the local inflammatory response common to all DES formulations while improving the stent’s radial strength.  With a stable drug delivery platform (BioDe®), the process of remodeling will contribute far less to restenosis.  Furthermore, and unlike all prior art, my BioDe® formulation can neutralize acidic intermediates generated during stent degradation that induce inflammation.  The combination of anti-restenosis drugs (Combo®) also is effective at inhibiting signaling pathways that contribute to restenosis.

Kislauskis:  How did you come to design the PowerStent®?

Wu: Again, a long process of trial and error, initially using computer applied design (CAD) principals I learned while earning attending a mechanical engineering certificate program at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Elements behind my concept for BioDe® came to me while I was involved in a home renovation project, working with grout.  Although the formulation is simple and may be duplicated, the process of manufacturing is complicated.

Kislauskis: So it’s your trade secret.

Wu: Absolutely.

Kislauskis: Can you summary its other advantages and your plans to commercialize the PowerStent®?

Wu: Preclinical, short duration (30 day) studies in porcine models with the PowerStent® Absorb deployed indicate that it will be non-inferior to the current metal DES and competing biodegradable stent technologies. Important functional attributes of the BioDe® polymer include better biocompatibility (less inflammatory), excellent radial strength, potent anti-restenosis activity, and a unique microporous surface that promotes integration into neointimal layer of stented vessel.  Ongoing and much longer duration studies may also support our contention that this design can reduce risks of late-stage in-stent thrombosis.

Kislauskis: What path and difficulties to you foresee in obtaining a regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials with the PowerStent® Absorb?

Wu:  FDA Guidance to commercialize conventional DES technology is available. Unfortunately, no guidance is published for a fully-biodegradable stent.  Therefore, I anticipate seeking advice from the regulatory bodies prior to petitioning for approval to perform clinical trials.  It will no doubt be a complicated process as this technology involves a novel drug combination (albeit FDA-approved drugs), and a novel formulation (albeit FDA-approved components), and a novel indwelling and bioabsorbable medical device (stent).  We are presently completing several required engineering studies for the final phase of pre-clinical safety and efficacy testing, in China. The goals are to obtain FDA pre-market and NDA approvals, and to receive a CE mark from major international markets including Europe and the BRICK nations.

Kislauskis: How will you commercialize this 3rd generation, fully-biodegradable stent?

Wu: There are likely 3 scenarios to complete development and commercialization.  One involves securing bridge funding from the NIH SBIR program, supplemented with angel financing to complete preclinical program. I project that a minimum of $6 Million (USD) will be required to complete regulatory approval and pivotal clinical trials.  Therefore, it is conceivable that a Series A round of equity financing from venture capitalists, in either US or China, will be required. A third scenario is to partner or sell the technology to a major player in this space to complete clinical testing and commercialization. Potential partners include Boston Scientific Company, J&J, etc. Any of these partners could facilitate the processes of regulatory approval, manufacturing, global distribution and marketing.  Discussions are underway with one such prospective partner and with several VC groups.

Kislauskis: What is its likely impact of this product on patient care and the field of interventional cardiology?

Wu: According to US statistics, approximately 14 million Americans suffer from CAD, and 500,000 people die from acute myocardial infarction. One million more survive but with a 1.5 to 15 times greater risk of mortality or morbidity than the rest of the population each year.  In the U.S., the annual health care costs of CAD are estimated to be in excess of $112 billion, and the estimated annual total direct cost associated with PCI with stents is over $2 billion.  I anticipate that our PowerStent® Absorb stent will be competitive in a marketplace estimated to be over $5 billion in 2010. Although CAD patients are the primary market, other related applications for our PowerStent Absorb technology include peripheral arteries, intracerebral vascular and small vessels which are also significant.

Kislauskis:  Thank you for your contribution to this site.  For more information about MMG, LLC and Dr. Wu’s technology please refer to his publications 9-13 or contact him directly at tiangenwu@yahoo.com.

REFERENCES

1.   Mark A. Hlatky, M.D. Compelling Evidence for Coronary-Bypass Surgery in Patients with Diabetes.   N Engl J Med 2012; 367:2437-2438.

2.  Stamler, J. (1989) Epidemiology.  Established major risk factors, and the primary prevention of coronary heart disease. In: Chatterjee K, Karliner J, Rapaport E, Cheitlin MD, Parmlee WW, Sheinman, M eds. Cardiology, Philadelphia Penn: JB Lippincott, 1991, 7.2-7.35. (volume 2).

3. Tanabe, K, Regar, E et al.  Sirolimus-eluting stent for treatment of in-stentrestenosis: One-year angiographic and intravascular ultrasound follow-up. J. Am Col.Cardi.   (2003) 41: 12A.

4. Grube, Eberhard;  Silber, Sigmund.  Six- and twelve-month results from a randomized, double-blind trial on a slow-release paclitaxel-eluting stent for de novo coronary lesions. Circulation 2003: 107, 38-42.

5.  Iakovou I, Schmidt T, Bonizzoni E, et al. Incidence, predictors, and outcome of thrombosis after successful implantation of drug-eluting stents. JAMA 2005;293:2126–2130.

6.  Ong AT, McFadden EP, Regar E, et al. Late angiographic stent thrombosis (LAST) events with drug-eluting stents. J Am Coll Cardiol 2005;45:2088–2092.

7. Wang F, Stouffer GA, Waxman S, et al. Late coronary stent thrombosis: Early vs late stent thrombosis in the stent era. Catheter Cardiovasc Interven 2002;55:142–147.

8. McFadden EP, Stabile E, Regar E, et al. Late thrombosis in drug-eluting coronary stents after discontinuation of antiplatelet therapy. Lancet 2004;364:1519–1521.

9. Ma X, Oyamada S, Wu T, Robich MP, Wu H, Wang X, Buchholz B, McCarthy S, Bianchi CF, Sellke FW, Laham R. In vitro and in vivo degradation of poly(D, L-lactide-co-glycolide)/amorphous calcium phosphate copolymer coated on metal stents. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2011 Mar 15;96(4):632-8. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.33016. Epub 2011 Jan 25.

10. Oyamada S, Ma X, Wu T, Robich MP, Wu H, Wang X, Buchholz B, McCarthy S, Bianchi CF, Sellke FW, Laham R. Trans-iliac rat aorta stenting: a novel high throughput preclinical stent model for restenosis and thrombosis. J Surg Res. 2011 Mar;166(1):e91-5. Erratum in: J Surg Res. 2012 May 1;174(1):184.

11. Ma X, Oyamada S, Gao F, Wu T, Robich MP, Wu H, Wang X, Buchholz B, McCarthy S, Gu Z, Bianchi CF, Sellke FW, Laham R Paclitaxel/sirolimus combination coated drug-eluting stent: in vitro and in vivo drug release studies. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2011 Mar 25;54(4):807-11. Erratum in: J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2012 Feb 5;59:217.

12. Ma X, Wu T, Robich MP, Wang X, Wu H, Buchholz B, McCarthy S. Drug-eluting stents. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2010 Jul 15;3(3):192-201.

Other articles related to this subject were published in this Open Access OnlIne Scientific Journal:

Lev-Ari, A. (2012aa). Renal Sympathetic Denervation: Updates on the State of Medicine

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/12/31/renal-sympathetic-denervation-updates-on-the-state-of-medicine/

 

Lev-Ari, A. (2012U). Imbalance of Autonomic Tone: The Promise of Intravascular Stimulation of Autonomics

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/09/02/imbalance-of-autonomic-tone-the-promise-of-intravascular-stimulation-of-autonomics/

Lev-Ari, A. (2012R). Coronary Artery Disease – Medical Devices Solutions: From First-In-Man Stent Implantation, via Medical Ethical Dilemmas to Drug Eluting Stents https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/08/13/coronary-artery-disease-medical-devices-solutions-from-first-in-man-stent-implantation-via-medical-ethical-dilemmas-to-drug-eluting-stents/

 

Lev-Ari, A. (2012K). Percutaneous Endocardial Ablation of Scar-Related Ventricular Tachycardia

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/18/percutaneous-endocardial-ablation-of-scar-related-ventricular-tachycardia/

 

Lev-Ari, A. (2012C). Treatment of Refractory Hypertension via Percutaneous Renal Denervation

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/06/13/treatment-of-refractory-hypertension-via-percutaneous-renal-denervation/

Lev-Ari, A. (2012D). Competition in the Ecosystem of Medical Devices in Cardiac and Vascular Repair: Heart Valves, Stents, Catheterization Tools and Kits for Open Heart and Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/06/22/competition-in-the-ecosystem-of-medical-devices-in-cardiac-and-vascular-repair-heart-valves-stents-catheterization-tools-and-kits-for-open-heart-and-minimally-invasive-surgery-mis/

Lev-Ari, A. (2012E). Executive Compensation and Comparator Group Definition in the Cardiac and Vascular Medical Devices Sector: A Bright Future for Edwards Lifesciences Corporation in the Transcatheter Heart Valve Replacement Market

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/06/19/executive-compensation-and-comparator-group-definition-in-the-cardiac-and-vascular-medical-devices-sector-a-bright-future-for-edwards-lifesciences-corporation-in-the-transcatheter-heart-valve-replace/

 

Lev-Ari, A. (2012F). Global Supplier Strategy for Market Penetration & Partnership Options (Niche Suppliers vs. National Leaders) in the Massachusetts Cardiology & Vascular Surgery Tools and Devices Market for Cardiac Operating Rooms and Angioplasty Suites

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/06/22/global-supplier-strategy-for-market-penetration-partnership-options-niche-suppliers-vs-national-leaders-in-the-massachusetts-cardiology-vascular-surgery-tools-and-devices-market-for-car/

 

Lev-Ari, A. (2012G).  Heart Remodeling by Design: Implantable Synchronized Cardiac Assist Device: Abiomed’s Symphony

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2012/07/23/heart-remodeling-by-design-implantable-synchronized-cardiac-assist-device-abiomeds-symphony/

 

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PCI Outcomes, Increased Ischemic Risk associated with Elevated Plasma Fibrinogen not Platelet Reactivity

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Q&A Session between Dr. Michael Ward and Dr. Larry Bernstein presented for in our Research Category on 

Interviews with Scientific Leaders

Primary research:

Ang L, et al “Elevated plasma fibrinogen rather than residual platelet reactivity after clopidogrel pre-treatment is associated with an increased ischemic risk during elective percutaneous coronary intervention” J Am Coll Cardiol2013; 61: 23-34.

 

Question by DR. MICHAEL WARD

How ironic that an old diagnostic parameter should
reappear in the limelight of diagnostic predictors.

Of course, decades ago, doctors asked for “sed rates”, seeking to know if red cells, thought to be bound to fibrinogen, settled faster in a patient compared to a control subject’s blood. Fibrinogen has always been a diagnostic number in evaluating inflammatory results.

However, the diagnostic world, like the worlds of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biologics, and other industries, always seek the ‘new kid on the block’ to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack in the
marketplace.

So there was a binge (and still is) to seek new and exotic blood proteins that are surrogate markers for specific diagnoses or prognoses.

That is the irony, that in this case at least, fibrinogen has come full circle. Biology works in mysterious ways.

Answer by Dr. Larry Bernstein, MD, FCAP

Dear Dr. M.  Ward:

Doctors asked for “sed rates”, seeking to know if red cells, thought to be bound to fibrinogen, settled faster in a patient compared to a control
subject’s blood. Fibrinogen has always been a diagnostic number in evaluating inflammatory results.

You are quite right that physicians used “sed rates” as a measure of inflammation, and more in Lupus Erythematosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Nephritides, Systemic Sclerosis, and so forth.  The “sed rate” was not a part of the thinking about CVD, and PCI didn’t exist.  Recently, MI post-PCI has been defined as a type (NSTEMI?).

Yes. In principle, the sed rate is related to fibrinogen and red-cell aggregation.  I am not prepared to accept that a platelet count over 400,000 would make no contribution, even if many of the PCI related infarcts are within a range of 150-300,000.  I don’t know how much power there is in the discussion.  The role of tissue factor (plaque), and of platelets in hemostasis is undeniable.

The industry does look for every opportunity to seize on promising biomarkers.  The coagulation assays developed at Dade-Behring (Dade, Dupont Division; then Dade) were far better and more explanatory that the “sed rate”.  The sed rate measurement requires that you set up graduated tubes to watch the rate of sedimentation.  It is not a walkaway procedure.  Industry has been so good at introducing automation that led to high volume efficiency, that this led to the only part of hospital operations that had good accounting measures.  The long trip to reducing personnel, but of course the profiles were a piece of cake.  I continually reorganized to carve out services for immunology and toxicology, which took longer to get automated.

The only use for sed rate now is for Temporal Thrombosis (?).

In the early days Yale NH Hospital had some 5 Perkin Elmer HPLCs to measure calcium.  Electrophoretic separation of isoenzymes was not helpful for managing patients.  The procedure was run batchwise once a day.  I was the first in CT to be running the immunoassay three times a day on the Roche COBAS Bio CFA., and Dupont put it on the ‘aca’.  A med tech could run it at 3 am  at Detroit Receiving, Bellevue, or Cook County, when the phone didn’t stop ringing for STAT results.

Physicians had expectations too.  So we had the progression from AST, LDH, and CK to isoenzyme MBCK, and then there were the cancer biomarkers – CEA, CA-125, PSA, with much to be discussed.

 

Q&A is derived from the following Article in

MedPage Today

Published: January 07, 2013

Fibrinogen Level Tied to Poorer PCI Outcomes

By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: January 07, 2013

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

An elevated serum fibrinogen level predicted worse short-term ischemic outcomes among patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention after pretreatment with clopidogrel, researchers found.

Significantly higher levels of fibrinogen were seen in patients with periprocedural myocardial infarction (MI) defined by either creatine kinase-myocardial band (CK-MB) or troponin (P<0.02 for both), according to Ehtisham Mahmud, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues.

Those relationships remained consistent after adjustment for several factors, including platelet function, which was not itself associated with periprocedural MI, the researchers reported in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“The results of the current study suggest that an elevated fibrinogen level…is related to significant platelet cross-linking and thrombus formation independent of residual P2Y12 receptor-mediated platelet activity during clopidogrel therapy,” they wrote.

Higher risk of ischemic cardiovascular events has been observed with both high platelet reactivity after thienopyridine treatment and elevated serum fibrinogen.

“As an acute phase reactant involved in the final common pathway of the coagulation cascade and essential component of platelet cross-linking in thrombus formation, fibrinogen possesses a clear biological mechanism for its adverse cardiovascular effects,” Mahmud and colleagues wrote.

In fact, high levels of serum fibrinogen have been shown to contribute to high platelet reactivity during clopidogrel treatment, resulting in uncertainty about whether insufficient platelet inhibition and elevated fibrinogen levels are independent or interactive risk factors for ischemic events.

To explore the issue, the researchers looked at data from 189 patients undergoing elective PCI who were pretreated with clopidogrel, defined as 75 mg daily for at least 7 days or a 600-mg bolus at least 12 hours before study enrollment. The mean age of the patients was 63.8 and most (74.1%) were male.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) had undergone a previous PCI, and 18% had undergone revascularization with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Baseline platelet function was measured using the VerifyNow P2Y12 assay. Markers of ischemic myocardial injury, including troponin and CK-MB, were measured every 8 hours after PCI until hospital discharge.

Periprocedural MI defined by troponin I or T occurred in 13.9% of patients. Those who had an MI had significantly higher levels of fibrinogen (363.1 versus 309.1 mg/dL, P=0.017).

The rate of CK-MB-defined periprocedural MI was 5.8%. Patients with that outcome also had elevated levels of fibrinogen (403.4 versus 313.5 mg/dL, P=0.007).

Both differences remained significant after multivariate adjustment that accounted for platelet function and other inflammatory markers.

The researchers found that a fibrinogen level of 345 mg/dL or higher — a cutoff identified as having optimal combined sensitivity and specificity for CK-MB-defined periprocedural MI — was associated with periprocedural MI defined by either troponin or CK-MB (P<0.04 for both).

Those relationships were stronger when systemic inflammation was low (C-reactive protein ≤0.5 mg/dL).

The platelet reactivity measurements were not associated with either definition of periprocedural MI, which is inconsistent with the findings from several smaller studies. The authors noted, however, that “the significance of these negative findings may be limited due to inadequate study power.”

In discussing the limitations of the study, the researchers pointed out that “the findings … do not provide insight into whether the relationship between high platelet reactivity and ischemic cardiovascular events demonstrated in previous studies is a direct one or mediated through the effect of serum fibrinogen.”

To get to the bottom of that, they wrote, “future studies relating platelet reactivity and adverse cardiac events should measure baseline fibrinogen.”

Mahmud has received clinical trial support from Accumetrics, Eli Lilly, and sanofi-aventis, and is on the speakers bureau for Medtronic. One of his co-authors is a consultant for Abbott Vascular, Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, Medtronic, and sanofi-aventis.

From the American Heart Association:

Todd Neale

Senior Staff Writer

Todd Neale, MedPage Today Staff Writer, got his start in journalism at Audubon Magazine and made a stop in directory publishing before landing at MedPage Today. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.A. in journalism from the Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting program at New York University.

SOURCE:

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Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Updated 3/10/2013

Since August 25, 2012, when the ESC: New Definition of MI Unveiled was reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco as was reported  By Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today,  a new discussion emerged by ACC asking if FFR CT is Ready for prime time or not?

By Lisa Fratt
Mar 09, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO—Is there a better way to measure fractional flow reserve (FFR), Bon-Kwon Koo, MD, of Seoul National University queried a crowded room March 9 during an educational session at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific session.

The current model is good for patients, safe and effective, Koo said. However, it requires an invasive procedure and is expensive. FFR CT may provide a method to measure FFR without an invasive procedure.

FFRCT extracts geometry from a CT scan to determine boundary conditions and fluid properties. In addition, velocity and pressure can be calculated. The hitch is that a supercomputer is required to solve the blood flow equation, said Koo. The results provide anatomical and functional data, thus giving a possible answer to the question at hand.

FFRCT may change daily practice in several ways. Most importantly, it may be a novel, fast, risk-free, noninvasive cost-saving way to measure FFR and identify patients who may not need to be sent to the cath lab for stenting or PCI. It can provide information to help surgeons plan strategies before invasive procedures, bypass procedures or interventional procedures. Noninvasive CT-derived FFR also can predict the functional significance of coronary lesions.

Despite its promise, however, FFR CT is not ready for prime time, Koo said. FFR CT depends on the diagnostic accuracy of coronary CT angiography stenosis, which is less than true stenosis. With current technologies, true stenosis provides the required diagnostic accuracy.

FFRCT is promising, but further development of the technology is required, Koo concluded.

http://www.cardiovascularbusiness.com/topics/imaging/acc-ffrct—ready-prime-time-or-not

ESC: New Definition of MI Unveiled

By Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today

Published: August 25, 2012

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

MUNICH — An international, multispecialty task force has published a new definition of myocardial infarction that was prompted by the new generation of highly sensitive cardiac troponin (cTn) assays.

The highly sensitive assays are capable of detecting cTn in conditions other than MI, such as pulmonary embolism, cardiomyopathy, and left bundle branch block, and so result in false positives, according to the task force writing group.

The expert consensus document dips into a controversial area by setting levels of cTn for MI associated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

“This is one of the most controversial areas in the definition of myocardial infarction,” Anthony DeMaria, MD, from the University of California in San Diego and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, told MedPage Today.

“There are a large number of people undergoing PCI in the setting of an acute MI. It’s almost impossible to know whether a subsequent increase in troponin was part and parcel of the acute MI or related to the procedure itself,” DeMaria said.

The consensus document, titled “Third Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction,” set the cTn levels for MI associated with PCI as elevation of troponin greater than 5 times the 99th percentile upper reference limit (URL) in patients with normal baseline levels or a rise in troponin values greater than 20% if the baseline values are elevated and are stable or falling.

“Some people speculate that troponin may be too sensitive in this situation and what is needed is evidence that an elevation of some degree of troponin following a procedure actually results in some alteration of the natural history of the patient,” DeMaria said. “In other words, the definition of acute MI after a procedure really is of significance if it increases the risk of subsequent events such as death.”

In CABG, the task force set the troponin values as greater than 10 x 99th percentile URL during the first 48 hours when baseline values are normal.

DeMaria said there are several ongoing studies examining the correlation of elevated cTn with subsequent events. As this is the third definition of MI since 2000, there most likely will be more refinements as new data emerge, he said.

The document is being copublished online in several journals including the Journal of the American College of CardiologyCirculation, the European Heart Journal, and Global Heart.

The task force was in touch with the FDA during the development of this new definition, which means it could be used as the basis for clinical trial protocols designed according to FDA regulations.

“A universal definition for MI is of great benefit for clinical studies, since it will allow a standardized approach for interpretation and comparison across different trials,” the task force writing group explained.

When different definitions have been used in trials, it hampers “comparison and generalization between these trials,” they said.

Also of significance in this document is the inclusion of imaging as a means to identify or confirm an MI. The document spells out the strengths of echocardiography, nuclear imaging, MRI, and CT in the setting of acute MI.

“Imaging is playing an increasingly important role,” DeMaria said. “In the absence of focal symptoms or with an inconclusive ECG, it’s important to recognize the concomitant potential of ancillary measures, primarily imaging, to help with the diagnosis of a myocardial infarction.”

Thygesen reported relationships with Edwards Lifesciences, Servier, St. Jude Medical, Roche Pharma, and Roche Diagnostics. Her co-authors and reviewers reported relationships with Bayer Healthcare, Daiichi Sankyo, Johnson & Johnson, sanofi aventis, Servier, Novartis, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Genzyme, Eli Lilly, OrthoClinical Diagnostics, Abbott Laboratories, Alere, Brahms, Siemens Healthcare, Roche Pharma, Radiometer, BioRad, Diagenics, Response Medical, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Regado Biosciences, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck Sharp and Dohme, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Portola Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Regado Biosciences, Scios, Ortho-Biotech, Pfizer, Kai Pharmaceuticals, Iroko Cardio, Philips, GE Healthcare, Boston Scientific, Lantheus, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Biotronik, Impulse Dynamics, Edwards Lifesciences, Health System Networks, Health Station Networks, Insight Telehealth Systems, Elsevier Sciences, Gilead, Evolva, Medicines Company, F. Hoffman La Roche, Torrent, Vifor International, Corthera, Nanosphere, Bayer Schering Pharma, Cardiorentis, Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Berlin Chemie, Menarini, Cordis, Beckman Coulter, Amgen, Critical Diagnostics, Tethys Bioscience, Roche Diagnostics, bioMérieux, Genentech, Ikaria, Singulex, BG Medicine, Shionogi, Amylin, DiaDexus, Orion, WebMD, theheart.org, Pozen, Maquet, BHFZ, Covidien, Rapidscan, Actelion, Athera, Symetis, Schering-Plough, OrbusNeich, Terumo, Cardio3 Biosciences, Micell, Ablynx, Therabel, Kowa, Zentiva, Chugai Pharma, Automedics Medical Systems, Essentialis, Biosensors, Vascular Solutions, Zoll Medical, JaBA Recordati, Actavis, PharmaSwiss, Eisai, Medscape, Accumetrics, Bial Portela, AGA, Novo-Nordisk, Janssen-Cilag, Valtech, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Meda Pharma, CEPHALON, Intracellular Therapies USA, Santhera, TROPHOS, Pierre-Fabre, and Lundbeck.

DeMaria reported relationships with Gilead, ResMed Foundation, Lantheus, Cardiovascular Biotherapeutics, Angioblast Systems, General Electric Medical Systems, and Cardionet.

Primary source: European Heart Journal

Source reference:
Thygesen K, et al “Third universal definition of myocardial infarction” Eur Heart J 2012; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehs184.

ESC: FFR CT Has Potential for Tagging Ischemia

By Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today

Published: August 26, 2012

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

MUNICH — Using CT imaging to assess the hemodynamic significance of coronary lesions is “promising” but needs more research before it displaces conventional invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR), researchers said.

Using FFR as the reference standard, FFRCTplus CT angiography (CTA) had good sensitivity (90%) and negative predictive value (84%) on a per patient basis for detecting ischemia, which indicates a low rate of false-negative studies, according to James K. Min, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, and colleagues.

Although FFRCT plus CTA were superior to CTA alone, the specificity (54%) and negative predictive value (67%) of the combination remained low compared with conventional FFR, indicating that a considerable number of false-positive studies would endure, Min reported here during a Hot-Line session at the European Society of Cardiology meeting.

The results of this proof of concept study show that FFRCT can “impart considerable discriminatory power” to detect and exclude ischemia in patients with suspected CAD, Min said.

However, future studies should be conducted to determine the cost-effectiveness of FFRCT in guiding decisions to stent, particularly given the potentially high false-positive rate, he added.

“Non-invasive FFR is a dream for all interventional cardiologists,” said study discussant Jean-Pierre Bassand, MD, of the University Hospital Jean-Minjoz in Besançon, France. Although Bassand praised the DeFACTO study, he expressed concern about the discrepancy between the accuracy of FFR versus FFRCT.

For example, compared with FFR, the sensitivity and specificity of FFRCT in cases of greater than 90% or less than 30% stenosis were 83% and 76%, respectively. The per-vessel correlation of FFRCT to FFR was 0.63.

“What matters is the correlation with FFR,” he concluded.

A single non-invasive imaging test that can identify obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) and determine the physiological significance of those lesions would be ideal. At present, nuclear stress imaging fulfills the first part, but it cannot label stenoses as hemodynamically significant or not. Also, nuclear stress testing suffers from high rates of both false-negative and false-positive studies, Min said.

The results of this study are in line with stress imaging: per patient diagnostic accuracy of 73% (95% CI 67% to 78%). Min said that studies are being designed to compare FFRCT plus CTA with stress imaging.

“For patients considered for invasive therapy, this type of test could help exclude those who don’t need to be stented,” Spencer King III, MD, of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta told MedPage Today.

“The excitement about this CT approach is that it moves things closer to being able to assess physiology and anatomy in a single non-invasive test,” added King, who is also a past president of the American College of Cardiology.

However, the process of calculating the FFR values from CT data currently takes about 6 hours, Min told MedPage Today. The CT data are sent offsite to HeartFlow, the company that makes the software. Whether such processing would be done onsite in the future is not yet determined, Min said. He also expects the processing time to drop to about 2 hours by the year’s end.

HeartFlow has already received EU mark to use the software in Europe and is in the process of applying for FDA approval, Min said.

Conventional FFR uses a pressure wire inserted through the groin to the coronary arteries to determine the hemodynamic significance of lesions. The same data can be gleaned during a typical CTA exam with software that calculates computational fluid dynamics,without additional radiation exposure. The median radiation exposure among the study centers was 6.4 mSv (range 4.4 to 15 mSv).

The original FAME study found the use of FFR to guide stenting was better than relying on angiography alone in patients with multivessel disease. A second study, FAME II, was stopped early because of the overwhelming benefit seen in patients with stable CAD when FFR guided stenting versus patients randomized to optimal medical therapy.

Because FFRCT is a novel technique, it has not been adequately evaluated in its ability to identify patients with ischemia, Min said.

The researchers therefore designed the DeFACTO (Determination of Fractional Flow Reserve by Anatomic Computed Tomographic Angiography) study, which sought to evaluate the accuracy of FFRCT while using invasive FFR as the reference standard.

The study was also simultaneously published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The 252 patients with suspected or known CAD were recruited from 17 centers in five countries between October 2010 and October 2011. They were scheduled to undergo diagnostic catheter angiography.

The mean age of patients was 63, 70% were men, and a majority were white. Nearly half of the patients had obstructive CAD (>50% stenosis).

Among 615 study vessels, 271 had less than 30% stenosis and 101 had at least 90% stenosis. Invasive coronary angiography and FFR identified 46.5% of 408 vessels with obstructive CAD, while CT and FFRCT identified 52.3% of 406 vessels.

A total of 172 patients had an FFR value <0.80, which indicates an ischemic lesion.

The diagnostic accuracy of FFRCT plus CT was 73% (95% CI 67% to 78%), but this did not meet the prespecified primary endpoint of greater than 70% of the lower bound of the 95% confidence interval, Min said.

However, Min emphasized that FFRCT was superior to CTA alone in all categories.

The researchers concluded that the results show the potential of FFRCT as a “promising” non-invasive tool to identify ischemia.

King added that despite not meeting the prespecified primary endpoint, “it’s an encouraging early study.”

This study was funded by HeartFlow

Min reported relationships with GE Healthcare and Philips Medical. Some of his co-authors reported relationships with GE Healthcare, Siemens Medical Systems, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Boston Scientific, Merck, Abbott Vascular, Medtronic, Cordis, Eli Lilly, Daiichi Sankyo, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and sanofi-aventis.

King reporeted relationships with Merck & Company, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Celonova Biosciences, and Northpoint Domain.

 

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