ResearchPad - aortic-valve https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Retrospectively ECG-gated helical vs. non-ECG-synchronized high-pitch CTA of the aortic root for TAVI planning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13825 Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) plays a key role in patient assessment prior to transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). However, to date no consensus has been established on what is the optimal pre-procedural imaging protocol. Variability in pre-TAVI acquisition protocols may lead to discrepancies in aortic annulus measurements and may potentially influence prosthesis size selection.PurposeThe current study evaluates the magnitude of differences in aortic annulus measurements using max-systolic, end-diastolic, and non-ECG-synchronized imaging, as well as the impact of method on prosthesis size selection.Material and methodsFifty consecutive TAVI-candidates, who underwent retrospectively-ECG-gated CT angiography (CTA) of the aortic root, directly followed by non-ECG-synchronized high-pitch CT of the entire aorta, were retrospectively included. Aortic root dimensions were assessed at each 10% increment of the R-R interval (0–100%) and on the non-ECG-synchronized scan. Dimensional changes within the cardiac cycle were evaluated using a 1-way repeated ANOVA. Agreement in measurements between max-systole, end-diastole and non-ECG-synchronized scans was assessed with Bland-Altman analysis.ResultsMaximal dimensions of the aortic root structures and minimum annulus-coronary ostia distances were measured during systole. Max-systolic measurements were significantly and substantially larger than end-diastolic (p<0.001) and non-ECG-synchronized measurements (p<0.001). Due to these discrepancies, the three methods resulted in the same prosthesis size selection in only 48–62% of patients.ConclusionsThe systematic differences between max-systolic, end-diastolic and non-ECG-synchronized measurements for relevant aortic annular dimensions are both statistically significant and clinically relevant. Imaging strategy impacts prosthesis size selection in nearly half the TAVI-candidates. End-diastolic and non-ECG-synchronized imaging does not provide optimal information for prosthesis size selection. Systolic image acquisition is necessary for assessment of maximal annular dimensions and minimum annulus-coronary ostia distances. ]]> <![CDATA[VGLL4 plays a critical role in heart valve development and homeostasis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fb6d5eed0c4840073d9

Heart valve disease is a major clinical problem worldwide. Cardiac valve development and homeostasis need to be precisely controlled. Hippo signaling is essential for organ development and tissue homeostasis, while its role in valve formation and morphology maintenance remains unknown. VGLL4 is a transcription cofactor in vertebrates and we found it was mainly expressed in valve interstitial cells at the post-EMT stage and was maintained till the adult stage. Tissue specific knockout of VGLL4 in different cell lineages revealed that only loss of VGLL4 in endothelial cell lineage led to valve malformation with expanded expression of YAP targets. We further semi-knockout YAP in VGLL4 ablated hearts, and found hyper proliferation of arterial valve interstitial cells was significantly constrained. These findings suggest that VGLL4 is important for valve development and manipulation of Hippo components would be a potential therapy for preventing the progression of congenital valve disease.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the level of radiation experienced by anesthesiologists during transfemoral Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation and protection by a lead cap]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5282d5eed0c4842bca37

Objective

Transfemoral Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) has become a standard therapy for patients with aortic valve stenosis. Fluoroscopic imaging is essential for TAVI with the anesthesiologist’s workplace close to patient’s head side. While the use of lead-caps has been shown to be useful for interventional cardiologists, data are lacking for anesthesiologists.

Methods

A protective cap with a 0.35 lead-equivalent was worn on 15 working days by one anesthesiologist. Six detectors (three outside, three inside) were analyzed to determine the reduction of radiation. Literature search was conducted between April and October 2018.

Results

In the observational period, 32 TAVI procedures were conducted. A maximum radiation dose of 0.55 mSv was detected by the dosimeters at the outside of the cap. The dosimeters inside the cap, in contrast, displayed a constant radiation dose of 0.08 mSv.

Conclusion

The anesthesiologist’s head is exposed to significant radiation during TAVI and it can be protected by wearing a lead-cap.

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<![CDATA[Numerical and in-vitro experimental assessment of the performance of a novel designed expanded-polytetrafluoroethylene stentless bi-leaflet valve for aortic valve replacement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b528cd5eed0c4842bcb44

The expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) heart valve can serve as a viable option for prosthetic aortic valve. In this study, an ePTFE bi-leaflet valve design for aortic valve replacement (AVR) is presented, and the performance of the proposed valve was assessed numerically and experimentally. The valve was designed using CAE software. The dynamic behavior of the newly designed bi-leaflet valve under time-varying physiological pressure loading was first investigated by using commercial finite element code. Then, in-vitro tests were performed to validate the simulation and to assess the hemodynamic performance of the proposed design. A tri-leaflet ePTFE valve was tested in-vitro under the same conditions as a reference. The maximum leaflet coaptation area of the bi-leaflet valve during diastole was 216.3 mm2. When fully closed, no leakage gap was observed and the free edges of the molded valve formed S-shaped lines. The maximum Von Mises stress during a full cardiac cycle was 4.20 MPa. The dynamic performance of the bi-leaflet valve was validated by the in-vitro test under physiological aortic pressure pulse. The effective orifice area (EOA), mean pressure gradient, regurgitant volume, leakage volume and energy loss of the proposed valve were 3.14 cm2, 8.74 mmHg, 5.93 ml/beat, 1.55 ml/beat and 98.99 mJ, respectively. This study reports a novel bi-leaflet valve design for AVR. The performance of the proposed valve was numerically and experimentally assessed. Compared with the reference valve, the proposed design exhibited better structural and hemodynamic performances, which improved valve competency. Moreover, the performance of the bi-leaflet design is comparable to commercialized valves available on the market. The results of the present study provide a viable option for the future clinical applications.

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<![CDATA[Treatment with XAV-939 prevents in vitro calcification of human valvular interstitial cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141f05d5eed0c484d294ae

The development of a substance or inhibitor-based treatment strategy for the prevention of aortic valve stenosis is a challenge and a main focus of medical research in this area. One strategy may be to use the tankyrase inhibitor XAV-939, which leads to Axin stabilisation and subsequent destruction of the β-catenin complex and dephosphorylation of β-catenin. The dephosphorylated active form of β-catenin (non-phospho-β-catenin) then promotes nuclear transcription that leads to osteogenesis. The aims of the present study were to develop an experimental system for inducing in vitro calcification of human aortic valvular interstitial cells (VICs) to investigate the potential anti-calcific effect of XAV-939 and to analyse expression of the Wnt signalling proteins and Sox9, a chondrogenesis regulator, in this model. Calcification of human VIC cultures was induced by cultivation in an osteogenic medium and the effect of co-incubation with 1μM XAV-939 was monitored. Calcification was quantified when mineral deposits were visible in culture and was histologically verified by von Kossa or Alizarin red staining and by IR-spectroscopy. Protein expression of alkaline phosphatase, Axin, β-catenin and Sox9 were quantified by western blotting. In 58% of the VIC preparations, calcification was induced in an osteogenic culture medium and was accompanied by upregulation of alkaline phosphatase. The calcification induction was prevented by the XAV-939 co-treatment and the alkaline phosphatase upregulation was suppressed. As expected, Axin was upregulated, but the levels of active non-phospho-β-catenin were also enhanced. Sox9 was induced during XAV-939 treatment but apparently not as a result of downregulation of β-catenin signalling. XAV-939 was therefore able to prevent calcification of human VIC cultures, and XAV-939 treatment was accompanied by upregulation of active non-phospho-β-catenin. Although XAV-939 does not downregulate active β-catenin, treatment with XAV-939 results in Sox9 upregulation that may prevent the calcification process.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of forced-air and water-circulating warming for prevention of hypothermia during transcatheter aortic valve replacement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be028a

Introduction

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedures at our institution were complicated by perioperative hypothermia despite use of the standard of care forced-air convective warming device (the BairHugger, Augustine Medical Inc, Eden Prairie, MN, USA). To remedy this problem, we initiated a quality improvement process that investigated the use of a conductive warm water-circulating device (the Allon ThermoWrap, Menen Medical Corporation, Trevose, PA, USA), and hypothesized that it would decrease the incidence of perioperative hypothermia.

Methods

We compared two different intraoperative warming devices using a historic control. We retrospectively reviewed intraoperative records of 80 TAVRs between 6/2013 and 6/2015, 46 and 34 of which were done with the forced-air and water-circulating devices, respectively. Continuous temperature data obtained from pulmonary artery catheter, temperature upon arrival to cardiothoracic ICU (CTU), age, BSA, height, and BMI were compared.

Results

Patients warmed with both devices were similar in terms of demographic characteristics. First recorded intraoperative temperature (mean 36.26 ± SD 0.61 vs. 35.95 ± 0.46°C, p = 0.02), lowest intraoperative temperature (36.01 ± 0.58 vs. 34.89 ± 0.76°C, p<0.001), temperature at the end of the procedure (36.47 ± 0.51 vs. 35.17 ± 0.75°C, p<0.001), and temperature upon arrival to the CTU (36.35 ± 0.44 vs. 35.07 ± 0.78°C, p<0.001) were significantly higher in the water-circulating group as compared to the forced-air group.

Conclusion

A quality improvement process led to selection of a new warming device that virtually eliminated perioperative hypothermia at our institution. Patients warmed with the new device were significantly less likely to experience intraoperative hypothermia and were significantly more likely to be normothermic upon arrival to the CTU.

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<![CDATA[Endogenous Reference Genes for Gene Expression Studies on Bicuspid Aortic Valve Associated Aortopathy in Humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac0ab0ee8fa60bb095b

Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) disease is the most common congenital cardiac abnormality and predisposes patients to life-threatening aortic complications including aortic aneurysm. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) is one of the most commonly used methods to investigate underlying molecular mechanisms involved in aortopathy. The accuracy of the gene expression data is dependent on normalization by appropriate housekeeping (HK) genes, whose expression should remain constant regardless of aortic valve morphology, aortic diameter and other factors associated with aortopathy. Here, we identified an appropriate set of HK genes to be used as endogenous reference for quantifying gene expression in ascending aortic tissue using a spin column-based RNA extraction method. Ascending aortic biopsies were collected intra-operatively from patients undergoing aortic valve and/or ascending aortic surgery. These patients had BAV or tricuspid aortic valve (TAV), and the aortas were either dilated (≥4.5cm) or undilated. The cohort had an even distribution of gender, valve disease and hypertension. The expression stability of 12 reference genes were investigated (ATP5B, ACTB, B2M, CYC1, EIF4A2, GAPDH, SDHA, RPL13A, TOP1, UBC, YWHAZ, and 18S) using geNorm software. The most stable HK genes were found to be GAPDH, UBC and ACTB. Both GAPDH and UBC demonstrated relative stability regardless of valve morphology, aortic diameter, gender and age. The expression of B2M and SDHA were found to be the least stable HK genes. We propose the use of GAPDH, UBC and ACTB as reference genes for gene expression studies of BAV aortopathy using ascending aortic tissue.

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<![CDATA[Thoracic Malignancies and Pulmonary Nodules in Patients under Evaluation for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI): Incidence, Follow Up and Possible Impact on Treatment Decision]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf7ab0ee8fa60bc36f5

Background

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has become the treatment of choice in patients with severe aortic valve stenosis who are not eligible for operative replacement and an alternative for those with high surgical risk. Due to high age and smoking history in a high proportion of TAVI patients, suspicious findings are frequently observed in pre-procedural chest computer tomography (CCT).

Methods

CCT scans of 484 consecutive patients undergoing TAVI were evaluated for incidentally discovered solitary pulmonary nodules (SPN).

Results

In the entire study population, SPN ≥ 5 mm were found in 87 patients (18%). These patients were compared to 150 patients who were incidentally collected from the 397 patients without SPN or with SPN < 5 mm (control group). After a median follow-up of 455 days, lung cancer was diagnosed in only two patients. Neither SPN ≥ 5 mm (p = 0.579) nor SPN > 8 mm (p = 0.328) were significant predictors of overall survival.

Conclusions

Despite the high prevalence of SPNs in this single center TAVI cohort lung cancer incidence at midterm follow-up seems to be low. Thus, aggressive diagnostic approaches for incidentally discovered SPN during TAVI evaluation should not delay the treatment of aortic stenosis. Unless advanced thoracic malignancy is obvious, the well documented reduction of morbidity and mortality by TAVI outweighs potentially harmful delays regarding further diagnostics. Standard guideline-approved procedure for SPN can be safely performed after TAVI.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Manual and Automated Preprocedural Segmentation Tools to Predict the Annulus Plane Angulation and C-Arm Positioning for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f8ab0ee8fa60b70d08

Background

Preprocedural manual multi-slice-CT-segmentation tools (MSCT-ST) define the gold standard for planning transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). They are able to predict the perpendicular line of the aortic annulus (PPL) and to indicate the corresponding C-arm angulation (CAA). Fully automated planning-tools and their clinical relevance have not been systematically evaluated in a real world setting so far.

Methods and Results

The study population consists of an all-comers cohort of 160 consecutive TAVR patients with a drop out of 35 patients for technical and anatomical reasons. 125 TAVR patients underwent preprocedural analysis by manual (M-MSCT) and fully automated MSCT-ST (A-MSCT). Method-comparison was performed for 105 patients (Cohort A). In Cohort A, CAA was defined for each patient, and accordance within 10° between M-MSCT and A-MSCT was considered adequate for concept-proof (95% in LAO/RAO; 94% in CRAN/CAUD). Intraprocedural CAA was defined by repetitive angiograms without utilizing the preprocedural measurements. In Cohort B, intraprocedural CAA was established with the use of A-MSCT (20 patients). Using preprocedural A-MSCT to indicate the corresponding CAA, the levels of contrast medium (ml) and radiation exposure (cine runs) were reduced in Cohort B compared to Cohort A significantly (23.3±10.3 vs. 35.3 ±21.1 ml, p = 0.02; 1.6±0.7 vs. 2.4±1.4 cine runs; p = 0.02) and trends towards more safety in valve-positioning could be demonstrated.

Conclusions

A-MSCT-analysis provides precise preprocedural information on CAA for optimal visualization of the aortic annulus compared to the M-MSCT gold standard. Intraprocedural application of this information during TAVR significantly reduces the levels of contrast and radiation exposure.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01805739

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<![CDATA[Recurrent Rare Genomic Copy Number Variants and Bicuspid Aortic Valve Are Enriched in Early Onset Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9eeab0ee8fa60b6d721

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections (TAAD) are a major cause of death in the United States. The spectrum of TAAD ranges from genetic disorders, such as Marfan syndrome, to sporadic isolated disease of unknown cause. We hypothesized that genomic copy number variants (CNVs) contribute causally to early onset TAAD (ETAAD). We conducted a genome-wide SNP array analysis of ETAAD patients of European descent who were enrolled in the National Registry of Genetically Triggered Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Cardiovascular Conditions (GenTAC). Genotyping was performed on the Illumina Omni-Express platform, using PennCNV, Nexus and CNVPartition for CNV detection. ETAAD patients (n = 108, 100% European American, 28% female, average age 20 years, 55% with bicuspid aortic valves) were compared to 7013 dbGAP controls without a history of vascular disease using downsampled Omni 2.5 data. For comparison, 805 sporadic TAAD patients with late onset aortic disease (STAAD cohort) and 192 affected probands from families with at least two affected relatives (FTAAD cohort) from our institution were screened for additional CNVs at these loci with SNP arrays. We identified 47 recurrent CNV regions in the ETAAD, FTAAD and STAAD groups that were absent or extremely rare in controls. Nine rare CNVs that were either very large (>1 Mb) or shared by ETAAD and STAAD or FTAAD patients were also identified. Four rare CNVs involved genes that cause arterial aneurysms when mutated. The largest and most prevalent of the recurrent CNVs were at Xq28 (two duplications and two deletions) and 17q25.1 (three duplications). The percentage of individuals harboring rare CNVs was significantly greater in the ETAAD cohort (32%) than in the FTAAD (23%) or STAAD (17%) cohorts. We identified multiple loci affected by rare CNVs in one-third of ETAAD patients, confirming the genetic heterogeneity of TAAD. Alterations of candidate genes at these loci may contribute to the pathogenesis of TAAD.

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<![CDATA[Turbulent Kinetic Energy Measurement Using Phase Contrast MRI for Estimating the Post-Stenotic Pressure Drop: In Vitro Validation and Clinical Application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0dab0ee8fa60b78333

Background

Although the measurement of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been introduced as an alternative index for quantifying energy loss through the cardiac valve, experimental verification and clinical application of this parameter are still required.

Objectives

The goal of this study is to verify MRI measurements of TKE by using a phantom stenosis with particle image velocimetry (PIV) as the reference standard. In addition, the feasibility of measuring TKE with MRI is explored.

Methods

MRI measurements of TKE through a phantom stenosis was performed by using clinical 3T MRI scanner. The MRI measurements were verified experimentally by using PIV as the reference standard. In vivo application of MRI-driven TKE was explored in seven patients with aortic valve disease and one healthy volunteer. Transvalvular gradients measured by MRI and echocardiography were compared.

Results

MRI and PIV measurements of TKE are consistent for turbulent flow (0.666 < R2 < 0.738) with a mean difference of −11.13 J/m3 (SD = 4.34 J/m3). Results of MRI and PIV measurements differ by 2.76 ± 0.82 cm/s (velocity) and −11.13 ± 4.34 J/m3 (TKE) for turbulent flow (Re > 400). The turbulence pressure drop correlates strongly with total TKE (R2 = 0.986). However, in vivo measurements of TKE are not consistent with the transvalvular pressure gradient estimated by echocardiography.

Conclusions

These results suggest that TKE measurement via MRI may provide a potential benefit as an energy-loss index to characterize blood flow through the aortic valve. However, further clinical studies are necessary to reach definitive conclusions regarding this technique.

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<![CDATA[Microparticle-Induced Coagulation Relates to Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis in Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d8ab0ee8fa60b66ab5

Background

Circulating microparticles (MPs) derived from endothelial cells and blood cells bear procoagulant activity and promote thrombin generation. Thrombin exerts proinflammatory effects mediating the progression of atherosclerosis. Aortic valve stenosis may represent an atherosclerosis-like process involving both the aortic valve and the vascular system. The aim of this study was to investigate whether MP-induced thrombin generation is related to coronary atherosclerosis and aortic valve calcification.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study of 55 patients with severe aortic valve stenosis, we assessed the coronary calcification score (CAC) as indicator of total coronary atherosclerosis burden, and aortic valve calcification (AVC) by computed tomography. Thrombin-antithrombin complex (TATc) levels were measured as a marker for thrombin formation. Circulating MPs were characterized by flow cytometry according to the expression of established surface antigens and by measuring MP-induced thrombin generation.

Results

Patients with CAC score below the median were classified as patients with low CAC, patients with CAC Score above the median as high CAC. In patients with high CAC compared to patients with low CAC we detected higher levels of TATc, platelet-derived MPs (PMPs), endothelial-derived MPs (EMPs) and MP-induced thrombin generation. Increased level of PMPs and MP-induced thrombin generation were independent predictors for the severity of CAC. In contrast, AVC Score did not differ between patients with high and low CAC and did neither correlate with MPs levels nor with MP-induced thrombin generation.

Conclusion

In patients with severe aortic valve stenosis MP-induced thrombin generation was independently associated with the severity of CAC but not AVC indicating different pathomechanisms involved in coronary artery and aortic valve calcification.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Reference Genes for Quantitative Real Time PCR Assays in Aortic Tissue of Syrian Hamsters with Bicuspid Aortic Valve]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb8a4a

Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is the most frequent congenital cardiac malformation in humans, and appears frequently associated with dilatation of the ascending aorta. This association is likely the result of a common aetiology. Currently, a Syrian hamster strain with a relatively high (∼40%) incidence of BAV constitutes the only spontaneous animal model of BAV disease. The characterization of molecular alterations in the aorta of hamsters with BAV may serve to identify pathophysiological mechanisms and molecular markers of disease in humans. In this report, we evaluate the expression of ten candidate reference genes in aortic tissue of hamsters in order to identify housekeeping genes for normalization using quantitative real time PCR (RT-qPCR) assays. A total of 51 adult (180–240 days old) and 56 old (300–440 days old) animals were used. They belonged to a control strain of hamsters with normal, tricuspid aortic valve (TAV; n = 30), or to the affected strain of hamsters with TAV (n = 45) or BAV (n = 32). The expression stability of the candidate reference genes was determined by RT-qPCR using three statistical algorithms, GeNorm, NormFinder and Bestkeeper. The expression analyses showed that the most stable reference genes for the three algorithms employed were Cdkn1β, G3pdh and Polr2a. We propose the use of Cdkn1β, or both Cdkn1β and G3pdh as reference genes for mRNA expression analyses in Syrian hamster aorta.

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<![CDATA[Associations of brain–natriuretic peptide, high–sensitive troponin T, and high–sensitive C–reactive protein with outcomes in severe aortic stenosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5eab0ee8fa60be0af9

Objectives

Among patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS), we investigated the associations of N–terminal pro–natriuretic peptide (NT–proBNP), high–sensitive troponin T (hsTnT), and high–sensitive C–reactive protein (hs–CRP) with 3–year mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) during 1 year.

Methods

This observational cohort study prospectively enrolled 442 patients with severe AS who were referred for evaluation of possible valve replacement. Clinical data was recorded before the decision of whether to operate was made. We studied the prognostic value of assessing biomarkers by serum levels, and tested associations of NT–proBNP, hsTnT, and hs–CRP with clinical outcomes (3–year all–cause mortality and risk of MACE in the year following study inclusion) using adjusted multivariable analysis.

Results

Elevated serum levels of these biomarkers at baseline evaluation were associated with increased all–cause 3–year mortality regardless of treatment assignment. Adjusted analysis showed that none of the studied biomarkers (NT–proBNP, hsTnT or hs–CRP) or any other covariates were associated with 3–year all–cause mortality following surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). However, adjusted analyses showed that hsTnT (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.11–2.05; P = 0.008) and left ventricular ejection fraction (HR 0.97; 95% CI 0.94–0.97, P = 0.043) was associated with MACE for operated patients.

Conclusions

Whereas NT–proBNP, hsTnT and hs–CRP had no independently prognostic value in relation to all–cause mortality following SAVR, hsTnT was independently associated with MACE following operation. The use of these clinically available biomarkers, in particular hsTnT, should be clarified in larger studies.

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<![CDATA[Pilot Study: Estimation of Stroke Volume and Cardiac Output from Pulse Wave Velocity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbdd60

Background

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is increasingly replacing thermodilution pulmonary artery catheters to assess hemodynamics in patients at high risk for cardiovascular morbidity. However, one of the drawbacks of TEE compared to pulmonary artery catheters is the inability to measure real time stroke volume (SV) and cardiac output (CO) continuously. The aim of the present proof of concept study was to validate a novel method of SV estimation, based on pulse wave velocity (PWV) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Methods

This is a retrospective observational study. We measured pulse transit time by superimposing the radial arterial waveform onto the continuous wave Doppler waveform of the left ventricular outflow tract, and calculated SV (SVPWV) using the transformed Bramwell-Hill equation. The SV measured by TEE (SVTEE) was used as a reference.

Results

A total of 190 paired SV were measured from 28 patients. A strong correlation was observed between SVPWV and SVTEE with the coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.71. A mean difference between the two (bias) was 3.70 ml with the limits of agreement ranging from -20.33 to 27.73 ml and a percentage error of 27.4% based on a Bland-Altman analysis. The concordance rate of two methods was 85.0% based on a four-quadrant plot. The angular concordance rate was 85.9% with radial limits of agreement (the radial sector that contained 95% of the data points) of ± 41.5 degrees based on a polar plot.

Conclusions

PWV based SV estimation yields reasonable agreement with SV measured by TEE. Further studies are required to assess its utility in different clinical situations.

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<![CDATA[A Natural Language Processing Tool for Large-Scale Data Extraction from Echocardiography Reports]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e8ab0ee8fa60b6c11f

Large volumes of data are continuously generated from clinical notes and diagnostic studies catalogued in electronic health records (EHRs). Echocardiography is one of the most commonly ordered diagnostic tests in cardiology. This study sought to explore the feasibility and reliability of using natural language processing (NLP) for large-scale and targeted extraction of multiple data elements from echocardiography reports. An NLP tool, EchoInfer, was developed to automatically extract data pertaining to cardiovascular structure and function from heterogeneously formatted echocardiographic data sources. EchoInfer was applied to echocardiography reports (2004 to 2013) available from 3 different on-going clinical research projects. EchoInfer analyzed 15,116 echocardiography reports from 1684 patients, and extracted 59 quantitative and 21 qualitative data elements per report. EchoInfer achieved a precision of 94.06%, a recall of 92.21%, and an F1-score of 93.12% across all 80 data elements in 50 reports. Physician review of 400 reports demonstrated that EchoInfer achieved a recall of 92–99.9% and a precision of >97% in four data elements, including three quantitative and one qualitative data element. Failure of EchoInfer to correctly identify or reject reported parameters was primarily related to non-standardized reporting of echocardiography data. EchoInfer provides a powerful and reliable NLP-based approach for the large-scale, targeted extraction of information from heterogeneous data sources. The use of EchoInfer may have implications for the clinical management and research analysis of patients undergoing echocardiographic evaluation.

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<![CDATA[Specific changes in circulating cytokines and growth factors induced by exercise stress testing in asymptomatic aortic valve stenosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe94

Background

We evaluated exercise-induced changes in the profile of circulating cytokines and growth factors in patients with AS.

Methods

We studied 32 consecutive asymptomatic moderate-to-severe AS patients and 32 age and sex-matched controls. Plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β were measured at 4 time points, i.e. at rest, at peak bicycle exercise, one hour and 24 hours after a symptom-limited exercise.

Results

Exercise increased all the 5 markers in both groups (all p<0.0001). The maximum levels of all tested cytokines were higher in the AS group (all p<0.05) compared with controls. In AS patients the highest levels of VEGF, IL-6, and IL-10 were observed one hour after exercise, while in the control group at peak exercise. In both groups maximum TGF- β levels were observed one hour after exercise. HGF levels were higher at peak and one hour after test in the AS group (p = 0.0001), however the maximum value in AS was observed at peak while in controls after test. In both groups TGF-β was the only marker that remained increased 24 hours after exercise compared with the value at rest (p = 0.0001). The cytokines and growth factors showed no association with heart rate and the workload.

Conclusion

In asymptomatic patients with moderate-to-severe AS, exercise produces a different pattern of changes in circulating cytokines and growth factors, and maximum levels of all tested cytokines were significantly higher in AS patients compared with the control group.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of valvular heart diseases and associated risk factors in Han, Uygur and Kazak population in Xinjiang, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc84c

Background

Valvular heart diseases (VHD) is very common in clinical practice and has became the subject of growing attention in the field of cardiovascular medicine. Our aim was to assess the prevalence and correlates of VHD in the general population in Xinjiang, China.

Methods

Using a 4-stage stratified cluster random sampling method, a total of 14618 participants were recruited in the Cardiovascular Risk Survey (CRS) study. The participants’ personal information, medical history were assessed by questionnaire. VHD was diagnosed by transthoracic echocardiography. We carried out the statistical analysis utilizing SPSS Statistics version 19.0.

Results

In the total study group, VHD was observed in 1397 (9.65%) individuals. The prevalence rates of VHD in Han, Uygur and Kazak group are 13.51%, 2.71% and 12.29% respectively. The prevalence rates of VHD increased strikingly with age (all P < 0.001). The results of multinomial regression analysis indicated that VHD were related to age in Han group, to age smoking and hypertension in Uygur group, to age and hypertension in Kazak group.

Conclusion

Our research provides a unique prevalence rate of VHD in Xinjiang natural population. The result suggests that VHD are notably common in this population (9.65%) and increase with age. There exists significant difference of prevalence rate between ethnics. The main risk factors of VHD are age, hypertension and smoking. Valvular heart diseases should be regarded as a serious and growing public-health problem.

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<![CDATA[Age-Dependent Changes in Geometry, Tissue Composition and Mechanical Properties of Fetal to Adult Cryopreserved Human Heart Valves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da99ab0ee8fa60ba2f0a

There is limited information about age-specific structural and functional properties of human heart valves, while this information is key to the development and evaluation of living valve replacements for pediatric and adolescent patients. Here, we present an extended data set of structure-function properties of cryopreserved human pulmonary and aortic heart valves, providing age-specific information for living valve replacements. Tissue composition, morphology, mechanical properties, and maturation of leaflets from 16 pairs of structurally unaffected aortic and pulmonary valves of human donors (fetal-53 years) were analyzed. Interestingly, no major differences were observed between the aortic and pulmonary valves. Valve annulus and leaflet dimensions increase throughout life. The typical three-layered leaflet structure is present before birth, but becomes more distinct with age. After birth, cell numbers decrease rapidly, while remaining cells obtain a quiescent phenotype and reside in the ventricularis and spongiosa. With age and maturation–but more pronounced in aortic valves–the matrix shows an increasing amount of collagen and collagen cross-links and a reduction in glycosaminoglycans. These matrix changes correlate with increasing leaflet stiffness with age. Our data provide a new and comprehensive overview of the changes of structure-function properties of fetal to adult human semilunar heart valves that can be used to evaluate and optimize future therapies, such as tissue engineering of heart valves. Changing hemodynamic conditions with age can explain initial changes in matrix composition and consequent mechanical properties, but cannot explain the ongoing changes in valve dimensions and matrix composition at older age.

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<![CDATA[Heart and Cardiovascular Involvement in Patients with Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IVA (Morquio-A Syndrome)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac4ab0ee8fa60bb1d74

Background

Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IVA is a rare lysosomal storage disorder with multiple skeletal and non-skeletal abnormalities requiring multiple surgical interventions. It is well known that patients with MPS IVA suffer from tachycardia, but cardiac and hemodynamic alterations have not been reported to date. We investigated the cardiovascular and hemodynamic alterations in patients with MPS IVA and developed a possible patho-mechanism for cardiovascular deterioration during anesthesia.

Material and Methods

In this observational study, serial cardiac examinations were performed in 54 patients with MPS IVA who were followed at the Children’s Hospital of the Mainz Medical University (Mainz, Germany) between 1991 and 2014 (follow-up 1–24 years; median 5.8 years). Results were compared with data from a large central European cohort of more than 2000 healthy infants and children.

Results

None of the patients had arterial hypertension, but 4% had evidence of increased pulmonary artery pressure. Patients developed aortic root extension up to 6.9 standard deviations above normal. Left-sided valve leaflet thickening occurred in 26 patients (five with valve disease). Patients had lower left ventricular dimensions (z: –1.02±0.1), lower stroke volumes (z: –2.3±0.17), lower left ventricular mass (z: –1.5±0.21), but higher wall thickness (z: +0.8±0.16), and higher work index (z: +2.5±0.2) compared to healthy control subjects. Cardiac output was preserved by an increase in heart rate of 21%. Sixty % of patients showed impaired diastolic filling; heart rate (99.0±1.8 vs. 92.0±2.1 bpm), age (18.0±1.8 vs. 14.2±1 years), and cardiothoracic ratio (61.6±3.6% vs. 55±4.2%) of these patients were higher compared to those with normal filling.

Conclusions

The results of this study suggest an age-progressive disproportion of the intra-thoracic organs of patients with MPS IVA, which is accompanied by aortic root extension and thickened left ventricles, with reduced stroke volumes, impaired diastolic filling patterns, and increased heart rates.

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