(1/4530) Regulation of chamber-specific gene expression in the developing heart by Irx4.

The vertebrate heart consists of two types of chambers, the atria and the ventricles, which differ in their contractile and electrophysiological properties. Little is known of the molecular mechanisms by which these chambers are specified during embryogenesis. Here a chicken iroquois-related homeobox gene, Irx4, was identified that has a ventricle-restricted expression pattern at all stages of heart development. Irx4 protein was shown to regulate the chamber-specific expression of myosin isoforms by activating the expression of the ventricle myosin heavy chain-1 (VMHC1) and suppressing the expression of the atrial myosin heavy chain-1 (AMHC1) in the ventricles. Thus, Irx4 may play a critical role in establishing chamber-specific gene expression in the developing heart.  (+info)

(2/4530) 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)

(3/4530) Pregnancy after atrial repair for transposition of the great arteries.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of pregnancy in patients with transposition of the great arteries (TGA) who have undergone atrial repair. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis (1962-94) of 342 TGA patients who underwent atrial repair. Of 231 known late survivors, 48 were women over 18 years old who were interviewed about possible reproductive plans and previous pregnancies. As a control, comparison was made with data of 57 500 women (mean age 26 years) obtained from the Swiss Statistical Bank in Bern. RESULTS: Mean follow up was 13.7 years; 66% remained asymptomatic, 29% had mild to moderate cardiac symptoms, and 5% suffered from severe cardiac symptoms (New York Heart Association grade III-IV). Thirty six of the 48 women wished to bear children and, to date, there have been 10 live births, two spontaneous first trimester abortions, and one induced abortion at 16 weeks. During pregnancy there was one case of cardiac deterioration and two cases of pneumonia. There was no evidence of congenital heart disease in the children. CONCLUSIONS: In this relatively small series the completion of pregnancy in women with TGA who had undergone atrial repair and who had normal functional cardiac status was uncomplicated  (+info)

(4/4530) Freeze-fracture studies of frog atrial fibres.

The freeze-fracturing technique was used to characterize the junctional devices involved in the electrical coupling of frog atrial fibres. These fibres are connected by a type of junction which can be interpreted as a morphological variant of the "gap junction" or "nexus". The most characteristic features are rows of 9-nm junctional particles forming single or anastomosed circular profiles on the inner membrane face, and corresponding pits on the outer membrane face. Very seldom aggregates consisting of few geometrically disposed 9-nm particles are found. The significance of the junctional structures in the atrial fibres is discussed, with respect to present knowledge about junctional features of gap junctions in various tissues, including embryonic ones.  (+info)

(5/4530) A comparison of an A1 adenosine receptor agonist (CVT-510) with diltiazem for slowing of AV nodal conduction in guinea-pig.

1. The purpose of this study was to compare the pharmacological properties (i.e. the AV nodal depressant, vasodilator, and inotropic effects) of two AV nodal blocking agents belonging to different drug classes; a novel A1 adenosine receptor (A1 receptor) agonist, N-(3(R)-tetrahydrofuranyl)-6-aminopurine riboside (CVT-510), and the prototypical calcium channel blocker diltiazem. 2. In the atrial-paced isolated heart, CVT-510 was approximately 5 fold more potent to prolong the stimulus-to-His bundle (S-H interval), a measure of slowing AV nodal conduction (EC50 = 41 nM) than to increase coronary conductance (EC50 = 200 nM). At concentrations of CVT-510 (40 nM) and diltiazem (1 microM) that caused equal prolongation of S-H interval (approximately 10 ms), diltiazem, but not CVT-510, significantly reduced left ventricular developed pressure (LVP) and markedly increased coronary conductance. CVT-510 shortened atrial (EC50 = 73 nM) but not the ventricular monophasic action potentials (MAP). 3. In atrial-paced anaesthetized guinea-pigs, intravenous infusions of CVT-510 and diltiazem caused nearly equal prolongations of P-R interval. However, diltiazem, but not CVT-510, significantly reduced mean arterial blood pressure. 4. Both CVT-510 and diltiazem prolonged S-H interval, i.e., slowed AV nodal conduction. However, the A1 receptor-selective agonist CVT-510 did so without causing the negative inotropic, vasodilator, and hypotensive effects associated with diltiazem. Because CVT-510 did not affect the ventricular action potential, it is unlikely that this agonist will have a proarrythmic action in ventricular myocardium.  (+info)

(6/4530) Right atrial bypass grafting for central venous obstruction associated with dialysis access: another treatment option.

PURPOSE: Central venous obstruction is a common problem in patients with chronic renal failure who undergo maintenance hemodialysis. We studied the use of right atrial bypass grafting in nine cases of central venous obstruction associated with upper extremity venous hypertension. To better understand the options for managing this condition, we discuss the roles of surgery and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty with stent placement. METHODS: All patients had previously undergone placement of bilateral temporary subclavian vein dialysis catheters. Severe arm swelling, graft thrombosis, or graft malfunction developed because of central venous stenosis or obstruction in the absence of alternative access sites. A large-diameter (10 to 16 mm) externally reinforced polytetrafluoroethylene (GoreTex) graft was used to bypass the obstructed vein and was anastomosed to the right atrial appendage. This technique was used to bypass six lesions in the subclavian vein, two lesions at the innominate vein/superior vena caval junction, and one lesion in the distal axillary vein. RESULTS: All patients except one had significant resolution of symptoms without operative mortality. Bypass grafts remained patent, allowing the arteriovenous grafts to provide functional access for 1.5 to 52 months (mean, 15.4 months) after surgery. CONCLUSION: Because no mortality directly resulted from the procedure and the morbidity rate was acceptable, this bypass grafting technique was adequate in maintaining the dialysis access needed by these patients. Because of the magnitude of the procedure, we recommend it only for the occasional patient in whom all other access sites are exhausted and in whom percutaneous dilation and/or stenting has failed.  (+info)

(7/4530) Alterations of cross-bridge kinetics in human atrial and ventricular myocardium.

CONDENSED ABSTRACT: We analyzed actomyosin cross-bridge kinetics in human atrial and ventricular muscle strip preparations by using sinusoidal length changes from 0.1 to 60 Hz. The minimum stiffness frequency was higher in atrial than in ventricular human myocardium and lower in failing than in non-failing left ventricular human myocardium. beta-Adrenergic stimulation increased the minimum stiffness frequency by 18 +/- 3% (p < 0.05). Cross-bridge kinetics are temperature-dependent, with a Q10 of at least 2.7. BACKGROUND: Dynamic stiffness measurements have revealed acute and chronic alterations of actomyosin cross-bridge kinetics in cardiac muscles of a variety of different animal species. We studied dynamic stiffness in right atrial and left ventricular preparations of non-failing and failing human hearts and tested the influence of the temperature and beta-adrenergic stimulation on cross-bridge kinetics. METHODS AND RESULTS: Muscle strips were prepared from right atria and left ventricles from human non-failing and failing hearts. After withdrawal of calcium, steady contracture tension was induced by the addition of 1.5 mM barium chloride. Sinusoidal length oscillations of 1% muscle length were applied, with a frequency spectrum of between 0.1 and 60 Hz. Dynamic stiffness was calculated from the length change and the corresponding force response amplitude. The specific minimum stiffness frequency, which indicates the interaction between cross-bridge recruitment and cross-bridge cycling dynamics, was analyzed for each condition: (1) The minimum stiffness frequency was 0.78 +/- 0.04 Hz in left ventricular myocardium and 2.80 +/- 0.31 Hz in right atrial myocardium (p < 0.01) at 27 degrees C. (2) The minimum stiffness frequency was 41% higher in non-failing compared to failing left ventricular human myocardium. (3) Over a wide range of experimental temperatures, the minimum stiffness frequency changed, with a Q10 of at least 2.7. (4) beta-Adrenergic stimulation significantly (p < 0.05) increased the minimum stiffness to 18 +/- 3% higher frequencies and significantly (p < 0.05) lowered contracture tension by 7 +/- 1%. CONCLUSIONS: The contractility of human heart muscle is not only regulated by excitation-contraction coupling but also by modulation of intrinsic properties of the actomyosin system. Acute and chronic alterations of cross-bridge kinetics have been demonstrated, which play a significant role in the physiology and pathophysiology of the human heart.  (+info)

(8/4530) 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)