(1/3859) Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale using the Amplatzer septal occluder to prevent recurrence of neurological decompression illness in divers.

OBJECTIVE: Large flap valve patent foramens may cause paradoxical thromboembolism and neurological decompression illness in divers. The ability of a self expanding Nitinol wire mesh device (Amplatzer septal occluder) to produce complete closure of the patent foramen ovale was assessed. PATIENTS: Seven adults, aged 18-60 years, who had experienced neurological decompression illness related to diving. Six appeared to have a normal atrial septum on transthoracic echocardiography, while one was found to have an aneurysm of the interatrial septum. METHODS: Right atrial angiography was performed to delineate the morphology of the right to left shunt. The defects were sized bidirectionally with a precalibrated balloon filled with dilute contrast. The largest balloon diameter that could be repeatedly passed across the septum was used to select the occlusion device diameter. Devices were introduced through 7 F long sheaths. All patients underwent transthoracic contrast echocardiography one month after the implant. RESULTS: Device placement was successful in all patients. Device sizes ranged from 9-14 mm. The patient with an aneurysm of the interatrial septum had three defects, which were closed with two devices. Right atrial angiography showed complete immediate closure in all patients. Median (range) fluoroscopy time was 13.7 (6-35) minutes. Follow up contrast echocardiography showed no right to left shunting in six of seven patients and the passage of a few bubbles in one patient. All patients have been allowed to return to diving. CONCLUSION: The Amplatzer septal occluder can close the large flap valve patent foramen ovale in divers who have experienced neurological decompression illness. Interatrial septal aneurysms with multiple defects may require more than one device.  (+info)

(2/3859) Chronic radiodermatitis following cardiac catheterisation: a report of two cases and a brief review of the literature.

Cardiac angiography produces one of the highest radiation exposures of any commonly used diagnostic x ray procedure. Recently, serious radiation induced skin injuries have been reported after repeated therapeutic interventional procedures using prolonged fluoroscopic imaging. Two male patients, aged 62 and 71 years, in whom chronic radiodermatitis developed one to two years after two consecutive cardiac catheterisation procedures are reported. Both patients had undergone lengthy procedures using prolonged fluoroscopic guidance in a limited number of projections. The resulting skin lesions were preceded, in one case, by an acute erythema and took the form of a delayed pigmented telangiectatic, indurated, or ulcerated plaque in the upper back or below the axilla whose site corresponded to the location of the x ray tube during cardiac catheterisation. Cutaneous side effects of radiation exposure result from direct damage to the irradiated tissue and have known thresholds. The diagnosis of radiation induced skin injury relies essentially on clinical and histopathological findings, location of skin lesions, and careful medical history. Interventional cardiologists should be aware of this complication, because chronic radiodermatitis may result in painful and resistant ulceration and eventually in squamous cell carcinoma.  (+info)

(3/3859) The effect of race and sex on physicians' recommendations for cardiac catheterization.

BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies have reported differences in the use of cardiovascular procedures according to the race and sex of the patient. Whether the differences stem from differences in the recommendations of physicians remains uncertain. METHODS: We developed a computerized survey instrument to assess physicians' recommendations for managing chest pain. Actors portrayed patients with particular characteristics in scripted interviews about their symptoms. A total of 720 physicians at two national meetings of organizations of primary care physicians participated in the survey. Each physician viewed a recorded interview and was given other data about a hypothetical patient. He or she then made recommendations about that patient's care. We used multivariate logistic-regression analysis to assess the effects of the race and sex of the patients on treatment recommendations, while controlling for the physicians' assessment of the probability of coronary artery disease as well as for the age of the patient, the level of coronary risk, the type of chest pain, and the results of an exercise stress test. RESULTS: The physicians' mean (+/-SD) estimates of the probability of coronary artery disease were lower for women (probability, 64.1+/-19.3 percent, vs. 69.2+/-18.2 percent for men; P<0.001), younger patients (63.8+/-19.5 percent for patients who were 55 years old, vs. 69.5+/-17.9 percent for patients who were 70 years old; P<0.001), and patients with nonanginal pain (58.3+/-19.0 percent, vs. 64.4+/-18.3 percent for patients with possible angina and 77.1+/-14.0 percent for those with definite angina; P=0.001). Logistic-regression analysis indicated that women (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) and blacks (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) were less likely to be referred for cardiac catheterization than men and whites, respectively. Analysis of race-sex interactions showed that black women were significantly less likely to be referred for catheterization than white men (odds ratio, 0.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 0.7; P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the race and sex of a patient independently influence how physicians manage chest pain.  (+info)

(4/3859) Prediction of life expectancy in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension. A retrospective nationwide survey from 1980-1990.

Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) is a progressive disease of unknown etiology usually followed by death within 5 years after diagnosis. Although heart-lung or lung transplantation is now offered to patients with advanced PPH, adequate criteria assessing an accurate prediction of life expectancy in PPH has been difficult to establish. The aims of this study were to identify the characteristic features associated with a poor prognosis in patients with PPH, and to attempt to establish an individual prognostic index that predicts with great accuracy survival or death of PPH after one year, thereby helping to define criteria for patient selection for transplantation. In 1991, a retrospective nation-wide survey on PPH was conducted in Japan, and the clinical and cardiorespiratory variables of 223 PPH cases (female; 144, male; 79) in the period from 1980-1990 were obtained. The mean pulmonary arterial pressure (PPA) was 57.5+/-17.2 mm Hg (mean+/-SD), and the overall median survival time was 32.5 months since the first diagnostic catheterization. The characteristic features of 61 patients who died within one year of catheterization (Nonsurvivors group) were compared to 141 patients who survived one year or more from the time of catheterization (Survivors group). Among several clinical and cardiorespiratory variables, heart rate, PPA, right atrial pressure (PRA), stroke volume index (SI), pulmonary vascular resistance, and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) were significantly different between the two groups. As the independent factors, PPA, PRA, SI, and PaCO2 were selected for the multiple logistic analysis. Using a 0.7 probability cut-point to separate Nonsurvivors from Survivors, 84.6% of Nonsurvivors and Survivors could be correctly predicted from this logistic regression equation. Predictive equations like the present preliminary one can be used in the future to better assess life expectancy in patients with PPH in whom transplantation will be considered.  (+info)

(5/3859) LocaLisa: new technique for real-time 3-dimensional localization of regular intracardiac electrodes.

BACKGROUND: Estimation of the 3-dimensional (3D) position of ablation electrodes from fluoroscopic images is inadequate if a systematic lesion pattern is required in the treatment of complex arrhythmogenic substrates. METHODS AND RESULTS: We developed a new technique for online 3D localization of intracardiac electrodes. Regular catheter electrodes are used as sensors for a high-frequency transthoracic electrical field, which is applied via standard skin electrodes. We investigated localization accuracy within the right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle by comparing measured and true interelectrode distances of a decapolar catheter. Long-term stability was analyzed by localization of the most proximal His bundle before and after slow pathway ablation. Electrogram recordings were unaffected by the applied electrical field. Localization data from 3 catheter positions, widely distributed within the right atrium, right ventricle, or left ventricle, were analyzed in 10 patients per group. The relationship between measured and true electrode positions was highly linear, with an average correlation coefficient of 0.996, 0.997, and 0.999 for the right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle, respectively. Localization accuracy was better than 2 mm, with an additional scaling error of 8% to 14%. After 2 hours, localization of the proximal His bundle was reproducible within 1.4+/-1.1 mm. CONCLUSIONS: This new technique enables accurate and reproducible real-time localization of electrode positions in cardiac mapping and ablation procedures. Its application does not distort the quality of electrograms and can be applied to any electrode catheter.  (+info)

(6/3859) Detection of adenoviral genome in the myocardium of adult patients with idiopathic left ventricular dysfunction.

BACKGROUND: The use of molecular biological techniques has demonstrated the importance of enteroviral infection of the myocardium in the pathogenesis of myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy in adults and adenovirus and enterovirus infection in children. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of adenoviral infection of the myocardium of adults with impaired left ventricular function of unknown origin. METHODS AND RESULTS: Nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) was used to determine the frequency of detection of adenoviral DNA and enteroviral RNA in myocardial tissue samples from 94 adult patients with idiopathic left ventricular dysfunction and 14 control patients. Histological and immunohistological analyses were performed to detect myocardial inflammation. Adenoviral genomic DNA was detected by nPCR in 12 of the 94 patients with left ventricular dysfunction (in each case, adenovirus type 2), whereas enteroviral RNA was detected in another 12 patients. All control samples were negative for both viruses. In all patients, active myocarditis was excluded according to the Dallas criteria. However, there was significantly decreased CD2, CD3, and CD45RO T lymphocyte counts in the adenovirus-positive group compared with the adenovirus-negative group (P<0.05), whereas no differences were associated with enterovirus infection. CONCLUSIONS: Although enteroviruses are an important causative agent in the pathogenesis of myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy, this study shows that adenovirus infection is also important in the pathogenesis of left ventricular failure in adults. However, the pathogenetic basis of disease associated with adenovirus infection may be different than that after infection with other agents, particularly with respect to activation of the host immune response.  (+info)

(7/3859) Transcatheter occlusion of a post-Fontan residual hepatic vein to pulmonary venous atrium communication using the Amplatzer septal occluder.

A residual hepatic vein to left atrial communication may result in progressive cyanosis after the Fontan procedure. This problem has usually been treated surgically by ligation or re-inclusion of the residual hepatic vein in the Fontan circulation. Previous attempts at transcatheter closure of such veins have been unsuccessful. An Amplatzer septal occluder was successfully used for transcatheter closure of a post-Fontan hepatic vein to pulmonary venous atrium fistula in an 8 year old boy.  (+info)

(8/3859) Primary angioplasty versus systemic thrombolysis in anterior myocardial infarction.

OBJECTIVES: This study compares the efficacy of primary angioplasty and systemic thrombolysis with t-PA in reducing the in-hospital mortality of patients with anterior AMI. BACKGROUND: Controversy still exists about the relative benefit of primary angioplasty over thrombolysis as treatment for AMI. METHODS: Two-hundred and twenty patients with anterior AMI were randomly assigned in our institution to primary angioplasty (109 patients) or systemic thrombolysis with accelerated t-PA (111 patients) within the first five hours from the onset of symptoms. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. Primary angioplasty was independently associated with a lower in-hospital mortality (2.8% vs. 10.8%, p = 0.02, adjusted odds ratio 0.23, 95% confidence interval 0.06 to 0.85). During hospitalization, patients treated by angioplasty had a lower frequency of postinfarction angina or positive stress test (11.9% vs. 25.2%, p = 0.01) and less frequently underwent percutaneous or surgical revascularization after the initial treatment (22.0% vs. 47.7%, p < 0.001) than did patients treated by t-PA. At six month follow-up, patients treated by angioplasty had a lower cumulative rate of death (4.6% vs. 11.7%, p = 0.05) and revascularization (31.2% vs. 55.9%, p < 0.001) than those treated by t-PA. CONCLUSIONS: In centers with an experienced and readily available interventional team, primary angioplasty is superior to t-PA for the treatment of anterior AMI.  (+info)