Heart Views

: 2004  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 38--39

Cardiovascular News


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How to cite this article:
. Cardiovascular News.Heart Views 2004;5:38-39

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. Cardiovascular News. Heart Views [serial online] 2004 [cited 2023 Jun 3 ];5:38-39
Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2004/5/3/38/64552

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No Benefit from Coronary-Artery Revascularization Before Elective Major Vascular Surgery (CARP trial)

The benefit of coronary-artery revascularization before elective major vascular surgery is unclear. Investigators randomly assigned patients at increased risk for perioperative cardiac complications and clinically significant coronary artery disease to undergo either revascularization or no revascularization before elective major vascular surgery. The primary end point was long-term mortality.

Of 5859 patients scheduled for vascular operations at 18 Veterans Affairs medical centers, 510 (9 percent) were eligible for the study and were randomly assigned to either coronary-artery revascularization before surgery or no revascularization before surgery. The indications for a vascular operation were an expanding abdominal aortic aneurysm (33 percent) or arterial occlusive disease of the legs (67 percent). Among the patients assigned to preoperative coronary-artery revascularization, percutaneous coronary intervention was performed in 59 percent, and bypass surgery was performed in 41 percent. The median time from randomization to vascular surgery was 54 days in the revascularization group and 18 days in the group not undergoing revascularization (P N Eng J Med 2004;351:2795 - 2804

Should we Screen for Occult Coronary Artery Disease among Asymptomatic Patients with Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus predisposes people to premature atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD). The risk of a myocardial infarction in diabetics without overt evidence of obstructive CAD matches that of patients without diabetes who have had a previous myocardial infarction.

The available data suggest that occult CAD is a common finding among asymptomatic diabetics, ranging from 20% to > 50%. The diagnostic accuracy of myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in diabetics appears to be comparable to that observed in nondiabetic individuals. As shown in other patient groups, the ischemic burden assessed by stress SPECT in subjects with diabetes is also linked to their increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Among patients with normal stress SPECT, however, those with diabetes are at significantly greater risk than non-diabetics. Testing diabetics with an abnormal resting electrocardiogram or with evidence of peripheral or carotid occlusive arterial disease appears to result in an excellent yield of abnormal SPECT findings, as does testing in the setting of dyspnea.

However, recent evidence suggests that achieving an adequate yield in asymptomatic diabetics without overt evidence of CAD is a greater challenge. Further investigation of sequential testing strategies is needed in order to identify an efficient means for screening asymptomatic patients with diabetes.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2005;45:50 - 53

Ventricular Asynchrony Predicts a Better Outcome in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure Receiving Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the clinical benefit of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) can be prospectively predicted by means of the baseline evaluation of left ventricular asynchrony.

The reverse remodeling associated with CRT is more evident in patients with severe heart failure (HF) and left bundle branch block (LBBB) who have left ventricular asynchrony.

Baseline left ventricular asynchrony was assessed in 60 patients with severe HF and LBBB by calculating the electrocardiographic duration of QRS and the echocardiographic septal-to-posterior wall motion delay (SPWMD). Left ventricular size and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), mitral valve regurgitation, and functional capacity were also evaluated. The progression toward HF (defined as a worsening clinical condition leading to a sustained increase in conventional therapies, hospitalization, cardiac transplantation, and death) was assessed during follow-up, as were the changes in LVEF after six months.

During the median follow-up of 14 months, 16 patients experienced HF progression. Univariate analysis showed that ischemic cardiomyopathy, changes in the QRS duration after implantation, and SPWMD significantly correlated with events. At multivariate analysis, a long SPWMD remained significantly associated with a reduced risk of HF progression (hazard ratio: 0.91; 95% confidence interval: 0.83 to 0.99; p J Am Coll Cardiol 2005;45:60 - 69

Inflammatory Markers and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Men and Women

Few studies have simultaneously investigated the role of soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) receptors types 1 and 2 (sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2), C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6 as predictors of cardiovascular events. The value of these inflammatory markers as independent predictors remains controversial.

Researchers examined the plasma levels of sTNF-R1, sTNF-R2, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein as markers of risk for coronary heart disease among women participating in the Nurses' Health Study and men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in nested case-control analyses.

Among participants who provided a blood sample and who were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline, 239 women and 265 men had a nonfatal myocardial infarction or fatal coronary heart disease during eight years and six years of follow-up, respectively. Using risk-set sampling, controls were selected in a 2:1 ratio with matching for age, smoking status, and date of blood sampling.

After adjustment for matching factors, high levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein were significantly related to an increased risk of coronary heart disease in both sexes, whereas high levels of soluble TNF-alpha receptors were significant only among women. Further adjustment for lipid and nonlipid factors attenuated all associations; only C-reactive protein levels remained significant. The relative risk among all participants was 1.79 for those with C-reactive protein levels of at least 3.0 mg per liter, as compared with those with levels of less than 1.0 mg per liter (95 percent confidence interval, 1.27 to 2.51; P for trend N Engl J Med 2004;351:2599-2610

Prophylactic Treatment with UFH and LMWH Recommended to Prevent Venous Thromboembolism in Acutely ill Medical Patients

Given the increased number of patients hospitalized for acute medical illnesses and the associated risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), the use of prophylaxis has become a public health matter. Thromboprophylaxis is not widely practiced in acutely ill medical patients, due in part to the heterogeneity of this group and the perceived difficulty in assessing those who would most benefit from treatment. Nevertheless, the results of recent well-conducted clinical trials support the evidence-based recommendations for more widespread systematic use of low-dose low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) or unfractionated heparin (UFH) in this population. Three large well-controlled studies (MEDENOX, PREVENT, and ARTEMIS) in acutely ill medical patients confirm previous findings that different at-risk patient populations show a consistent 50% reduction in VTE events with LMWH and fondaparinux. A meta-analysis in nearly 5000 patients in internal medicine comparing UFH and LMWH revealed a trend for reduction of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism with LMWH. Based on duration of use in clinical trials in acutely ill medical patients, prophylactic treatment with UFH and LMWH is recommended for 2 weeks.

Circulation 2004;110:IV-13 - IV-19