(1/2020) 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)

(2/2020) Infective endocarditis due to Staphylococcus aureus: 59 prospectively identified cases with follow-up.

Fifty-nine consecutive patients with definite Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis (IE) by the Duke criteria were prospectively identified at our hospital over a 3-year period. Twenty-seven (45.8%) of the 59 patients had hospital-acquired S. aureus bacteremia. The presumed source of infection was an intravascular device in 50.8% of patients. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) revealed evidence of IE in 20 patients (33.9%), whereas transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) revealed evidence of IE in 48 patients (81.4%). The outcome for patients was strongly associated with echocardiographic findings: 13 (68.4%) of 19 patients with vegetations visualized by TTE had an embolic event or died of their infection vs. five (16.7%) of 30 patients whose vegetations were visualized only by TEE (P < .01). Most patients with S. aureus IE developed their infection as a consequence of a nosocomial or intravascular device-related infection. TEE established the diagnosis of S. aureus IE in many instances when TTE was nondiagnostic. Visualization of vegetations by TTE may provide prognostic information for patients with S. aureus IE.  (+info)

(3/2020) Carcinoid heart disease from ovarian primary presenting with acute pericarditis and biventricular failure.

A case is described of a 54 year old woman who had acute pericarditis with large exudative effusion accompanied by severe right and left ventricular failure. The patient was finally diagnosed with carcinoid heart disease from an ovarian carcinoid teratoma. She was treated with octreotide--a somatostatin analogue--followed by radical surgical resection of the neoplasm. At one year follow up only mild carcinoid tricuspid regurgitation remained. Only 16 cases of carcinoid heart disease from an ovarian primary have been described in literature. Moreover clinically manifest acute, nonmetastatic pericarditis and left heart failure are not considered as possible presentations of carcinoid heart disease, whatever the origin. In a recent series a small pericardial effusion was considered an infrequent and unexpected echocardiographic finding in carcinoid heart patients. One case of "carcinoid pericarditis" has previously been described as a consequence of pericardial metastasis. Left sided heart involvement is usually caused by bronchial carcinoids or patency of foramen ovale; both were excluded in the case presented.  (+info)

(4/2020) Intraoperative transoesophageal echocardiography as an adjuvant to fluoroscopy during endovascular thoracic aortic repair.

OBJECTIVES: To define the utility of intraoperative transeophageal echocardiography (TEE) during endovascular thoracic aortic repair. DESIGN: Retrospective study. MATERIALS: Five patients underwent six transluminal endovascular stent-graft procedures for repair of thoracic aortic disease. METHODS: After induction of anaesthesia, a multiplane or biplane TEE probe was placed to obtain views of the diseased aorta. Both transverse and longitudinal planes of the aortic arch and descending thoracic aortic segments were imaged. The aortic pathology was confirmed by TEE and the proximal and distal extents of the intrathoracic lesion were defined. Doppler and colour-flow imaging was used to identify flow patterns through the aorta before and after stent-graft deployment. RESULTS: Visualisation and confirmation of the aortic pathology by ultrasonography was accomplished in all patients. TEE was able to confirm proper placement of the endograft relative to the aortic lesion after deployment and was able to confirm exclusion of blood flow into the aneurysm sacs. CONCLUSIONS: TEE may facilitate repair by confirming aortic pathology, identifying endograft placement, assessment of the adequacy of aneurysm sack isolation, as well as dynamic intraoperative cardiac assessment.  (+info)

(5/2020) Intimal tear without hematoma: an important variant of aortic dissection that can elude current imaging techniques.

BACKGROUND: The modern imaging techniques of transesophageal echocardiography, CT, and MRI are reported to have up to 100% sensitivity in detecting the classic class of aortic dissection; however, anecdotal reports of patient deaths from a missed diagnosis of subtle classes of variants are increasingly being noted. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a series of 181 consecutive patients who had ascending or aortic arch repairs, 9 patients (5%) had subtle aortic dissection not diagnosed preoperatively. All preoperative studies in patients with missed aortic dissection were reviewed in detail. All 9 patients (2 with Marfan syndrome, 1 with Takayasu's disease) with undiagnosed aortic dissection had undergone >/=3 imaging techniques, with the finding of ascending aortic dilatation (4.7 to 9 cm) in all 9 and significant aortic valve regurgitation in 7. In 6 patients, an eccentric ascending aortic bulge was present but not diagnostic of aortic dissection on aortography. At operation, aortic dissection tears were limited in extent and involved the intima without extensive undermining of the intima or an intimal "flap." Eight had composite valve grafts inserted, and all survived. Of the larger series of 181 patients, 98% (179 of 181) were 30-day survivors. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with suspected aortic dissection not proven by modern noninvasive imaging techniques, further study should be performed, including multiple views of the ascending aorta by aortography. If patients have an ascending aneurysm, particularly if eccentric on aortography and associated with aortic valve regurgitation, an urgent surgical repair should be considered, with excellent results expected.  (+info)

(6/2020) Effects of respiratory cycle on pulmonary venous flow and cardiac cycle on pulmonary venous diameter of dogs: a transesophageal echocardiography study.

We investigated 12 anesthetized normal dogs using transesophageal echocardiography to understand the effects of respiration on the pulmonary venous flow. Additionally, we observed whether the diameter of the pulmonary vein changes with the heart beat. The pulsed Doppler wave form of pulmonary venous flow predominantly demonstrated two backward flows, with one peak occurring during ventricular systole and another during ventricular diastole. Sometimes a small forward flow occurred during left atrial contraction. In comparison with expiration, the peak velocity and velocity-time integral of the flow wave under inspiration occurred during both systole and diastole were significantly smaller. The diameter of the pulmonary vein decreased during left atrial contraction and increased during left ventricular systole and diastole.  (+info)

(7/2020) Mobile echoes on prosthetic valves are not reproducible. Results and clinical implications of a multicentre study.

AIMS: To test the hypothesis that inter-observer variability accounts for the wide variation in reported prevalences of fibrin strands on prosthetic heart valves and to develop criteria for their identification and reporting. METHODS AND RESULTS: A videotape with 30 sequences of prosthetic heart valves imaged by transoesophageal echocardiography and showing abnormalities such as strands, microbubbles, and spontaneous echocardiographic contrast, was assessed in 13 European and three American centres. There were three duplicated examples, unbeknown to the observers. Definitions and reported prevalence rates of the abnormalities were analysed, and inter- and intra-observer agreement estimated with the kappa statistic. Mobile echoes were identified in 40 to 80% of the sequences on the tape. The reported prevalence of mobile echoes correlated with the time spent reporting the tape. There was moderate inter-observer agreement for the identification of any mobile echoes (kappa = 0.38), but no agreement for their labelling (kappa = 0.22), in spite of similar definitions. Intra-observer reproducibility was good (agreement in 76% of the reduplicated sequences). CONCLUSIONS: The true prevalence and potential significance of mobile echoes on prosthetic heart valves cannot be assessed unless inter-observer consensus on echocardiographic criteria for identifying such echoes is reached.  (+info)

(8/2020) Pulmonary venous flow in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as assessed by the transoesophageal approach. The additive value of pulmonary venous flow and left atrial size variables in estimating the mitral inflow pattern in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

AIMS: This study was conducted to assess the characteristics of the pattern of pulmonary venous flow and to document the interaction of this flow and left atrial function with the pattern of mitral inflow in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. METHODS AND RESULTS: Pulmonary venous and mitral flows were evaluated by the transoesophageal approach in 80 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Left atrial size and function were measured by the transthoracic approach. Their values were compared with those obtained from 35 normal controls. Twelve patients showed significant (> 2+) mitral regurgitation. As a group, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients showed increased atrial reversal flow and longer deceleration time of the diastolic wave, but a wide variability of pulmonary venous flow patterns were observed. Thirty patients (37.5%) had pseudonormal mitral flow patterns. Stepwise multilinear regression analysis identified the ratio of systolic to diastolic pulmonary venous flow velocity, the ratio of velocity-time integrals of both flow waves at atrial contraction, the left atrial minimal volume and the systolic fraction as independent predictive variables of the mitral E/A wave velocity ratio (r = 0.82). By logistic regression, the former three variables were selected as independent predictive covariates of a pseudonormal mitral flow pattern (sensitivity: 83%, specificity: 90%). The ratio of velocity-time integrals of both atrial waves was the most important predictive variable in both analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The observed variability in the configuration of pulmonary venous flow velocity waveform is related to what occurs in transmitral flow in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Significant mitral regurgitation is not an independent correlate of pseudonormal mitral inflow patterns in these patients. Our results further emphasize the complementary, additive value of the pulmonary venous flow velocity pattern and left atrial size in the interpretation of the mitral flow velocity pattern, and indirectly suggest the underlying increased left ventricular filling pressures of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and pseudonormal mitral flow patterns.  (+info)