ResearchPad - coronary-arteries https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Collagen methionine sulfoxide and glucuronidine/LW-1 are markers of coronary artery disease in long-term survivors with type 1 diabetes. The Dialong study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13877 Type 1 diabetes is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. The underlying mechanism behind the accelerated atherosclerosis formation is not fully understood but may be related to the formation of oxidation products and advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). We aimed to examine the associations between the collagen oxidation product methionine sulfoxide; the collagen AGEs methylglyoxal hydroimidazolone (MG-H1), glucosepane, pentosidine, glucuronidine/LW-1; and serum receptors for AGE (RAGE) with measures of coronary artery disease in patients with long-term type 1 diabetes.MethodsIn this cross-sectional study, 99 participants with type 1 diabetes of ≥ 45-year duration and 63 controls without diabetes had either established coronary heart disease (CHD) or underwent Computed Tomography Coronary Angiography (CTCA) measuring total, calcified and soft/mixed plaque volume. Skin collagen methionine sulfoxide and AGEs were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and serum sRAGE/esRAGE by ELISA.ResultsIn the diabetes group, low levels of methionine sulfoxide (adjusted for age, sex and mean HbA1c) were associated with normal coronary arteries, OR 0.48 (95% CI 0.27–0.88). Glucuronidine/LW-1 was associated with established CHD, OR 2.0 (1.16–3.49). MG-H1 and glucuronidine/LW-1 correlated with calcified plaque volume (r = 0.23–0.28, p<0.05), while pentosidine correlated with soft/mixed plaque volume (r = 0.29, p = 0.008), also in the adjusted analysis.ConclusionsLow levels of collagen-bound methionine sulfoxide were associated with normal coronary arteries while glucuronidine/LW-1 was positively associated with established CHD in long-term type 1 diabetes, suggesting a role for metabolic and oxidative stress in the formation of atherosclerosis in diabetes. ]]> <![CDATA[The adipokine vaspin is associated with decreased coronary in-stent restenosis <i>in vivo</i> and inhibits migration of human coronary smooth muscle cells <i>in vitro</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7692 Percutaneous coronary intervention represents the most important treatment modality of coronary artery stenosis. In-stent restenosis (ISR) is still a limitation for the long-term outcome despite the introduction of drug eluting stents. It has been shown that adipokines directly influence vessel wall homeostasis by influencing the function of endothelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells. Visceral adipose tissue-derived serpin vaspin was recently identified as a member of serine protease inhibitor family and serveral studies could demonstrate a relation to metabolic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate a role of vaspin in the development of in-stent restenosis in vivo and on migration of smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells in vitro.MethodsWe studied 85 patients with stable coronary artery disease who underwent elective and successful PCI with implatation of drug eluting stents. Blood samples were taken directly before PCI. Vaspin plasma levels were measured by specific ELISA. ISR was evaluated eight months later by coronary angiography. Human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) migration was analyzed by an in-vitro migration assay with different concentrations (0.004ng/mL up to 40ng/mL) of vaspin as well as by an scratch assay. For proliferation an impedance measurement with specialiced E-Plates was performed.ResultsDuring the follow up period, 14 patients developed ISR. Patients with ISR had significantly lower vaspin plasma levels compared to patients without ISR (0.213 ng/ml vs 0.382 ng/ml; p = 0.001). In patients with plasma vaspin levels above 1.35 ng/ml we could not observe any restenosis. There was also a significant correlation of plasma vaspin levels and late lumen loss in the stented coronary segments. Further we could demonstrate that vaspin nearly abolishes serum induced migration of HCASMC (100% vs. 9%; p<0.001) in a biphasic manner but not migration of HUVEC. Proliferation of HCASMC and HUVEC was not modulated by vaspin treatment.ConclusionWe were able to show that the adipokine vaspin selectively inhibits human coronary SMC migration in vitro and has no effect on HUVEC migration. Vaspin had no effect on proliferation of HUVEC which is an important process of the healing of the stented vessel. In addition, the occurrence of ISR after PCI with implantation of drug eluting stents was significantly associated with low vaspin plasma levels before intervention. Determination of vaspin plasma levels before PCI might be helpful in the identification of patients with high risk for development of ISR after stent implantation. In addition, the selective effects of vaspin on smooth muscle cell migration could potentially be used to reduce ISR without inhibition of re-endothelialization of the stented segment. ]]> <![CDATA[Apolipoprotein B correlates with intra-plaque necrotic core volume in stable coronary artery disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac91d5eed0c484d08a4e

Objective

To determine the relationship between plaque composition and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoprotein B (Apo-B), and Apo-A1 using virtual-histology intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS).

Methods

We assessed plaque composition in patients with stable coronary artery disease (SCD) admitted to our hospital for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) between November 1, 2012, and March 10, 2015. Before PCI, fibrous (FI), fibrofatty (FF), necrotic core (NC), and dense calcium (DC) regions were evaluated using VH-IVUS, and the contributions of each to the culprit lesion volume were recorded. Plasma LDL-C, HDL-C, Apo-B, and Apo-A1 levels were assessed before PCI. The relationship between the regions on VH-IVUS and plasma lipid levels was assessed. Patients were categorized into low Apo-B (LAB) and high Apo-B (HAB) groups, based on the overall cohort median Apo-B level.

Results

We enrolled 115 patients (median Apo-B, 91 mg/dL, male n = 88) with 57 and 58 patients in the LAB (Apo-B ≤ 90 mg/dL) and HAB (Apo-B ≥ 91 mg/dL) groups, respectively. Vessel, plaque, and %NC volumes were significantly greater in the HAB group than in the LAB group. The %FI, %FF, and %DC volumes were similar in both groups. In all 115 patients, the %NC volume correlated with LDL-C (r = 0.2353, P = 0.0114) and Apo-B (r = 0.2487, P = 0.0074) but not with HDL-C and Apo A-1. The high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level tended to be higher in the HAB group than in the LAB group. Multiple regression analysis showed that being male, Apo-A1, and Apo-B were significant predictors of %NC volume extent.

Conclusions

Elevated Apo-B level was related to the %NC in target coronary artery lesions in SCD patients, suggesting a role of Apo-B as a biomarker of unstable plaque in this population.

]]>
<![CDATA[Coronary calcium scoring with partial volume correction in anthropomorphic thorax phantom and screening chest CT images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254568d5eed0c48442c6c5

Introduction

The amount of coronary artery calcium determined in CT scans is a well established predictor of cardiovascular events. However, high interscan variability of coronary calcium quantification may lead to incorrect cardiovascular risk assignment. Partial volume effect contributes to high interscan variability. Hence, we propose a method for coronary calcium quantification employing partial volume correction.

Methods

Two phantoms containing artificial coronary artery calcifications and 293 subject chest CT scans were used. The first and second phantom contained nine calcifications and the second phantom contained three artificial arteries with three calcifications of different volumes, shapes and densities. The first phantom was scanned five times with and without extension rings. The second phantom was scanned three times without and with simulated cardiac motion (10 and 30 mm/s). Chest CT scans were acquired without ECG-synchronization and reconstructed using sharp and soft kernels. Coronary calcifications were annotated employing the clinically used intensity value thresholding (130 HU). Thereafter, a threshold separating each calcification from its background was determined using an Expectation-Maximization algorithm. Finally, for each lesion the partial content of calcification in each voxel was determined depending on its intensity and the determined threshold.

Results

Clinical calcium scoring resulted in overestimation of calcium volume for medium and high density calcifications in the first phantom, and overestimation of calcium volume for high density and underestimation for low density calcifications in the second phantom. With induced motion these effects were further emphasized. The proposed quantification resulted in better accuracy and substantially lower over- and underestimation of calcium volume even in presence of motion. In chest CT, the agreement between calcium scores from the two reconstructions improved when proposed method was used.

Conclusion

Compared with clinical calcium scoring, proposed quantification provides a better estimate of the true calcium volume in phantoms and better agreement in calcium scores between different subject scan reconstructions.

]]>
<![CDATA[Relationship of body mass index and waist circumference with clinical outcomes following percutaneous coronary intervention]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0afad5eed0c484427095

Background

A biphasic, U-shape relationship has been reported between body mass index (BMI) and clinical outcomes following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, the relationship between waist circumference (WC) and the cardiovascular risk following PCI has not been reported.

Methods

A prospective cohort study was performed. A major adverse cardiac event (MACE) was defined as a composite of cardiac death (CD), nonfatal myocardial infarction (NFMI) and target vessel revascularization (TVR). Patients were evenly divided into 4 groups according to BMI (Q1BMI, Q2BMI, Q3BMI and Q4BMI) and WC (Q1WC, Q2WC, Q3WC and Q4WC).

Results

A total of 1,421 patients were observed for 5 years. The risk of the composite events of CD and NFMI (CD/NFMI) was lower in the Q3WC and Q4WC groups than in the Q1WC group, whereas it was only marginally lower in the Q2BMI group than in the Q1BMI group (ANOVA, p = 0.062). The risk of MACE was highest in the Q1WC group and lowest in the Q3WC group; however, the risk of MACE did not differ among the 4 groups, according to BMI. Multivariate Cox-regression analyses showed that the risk of CD/NFMI gradually decreased with BMI (linear p = 0.030) and with WC (linear p = 0.015). The risks of TVR and MACEs that were driven by TVRs showed a distinguishing biphasic, U-shaped relationship with WC (nonlinear p = 0.009) but not with BMI (nonlinear p = 0.439). Landmark survival analysis showed that the incidences of CD and NFMI were higher in the lower BMI groups and lower WC groups than in the higher BMI groups and higher WC groups, respectively, until 1 year and did not differ afterward. In contrast, the incidence of MACE was highest in Q1WC and lowest in Q3WC (log-rank p = 0.003), whereas the incidence was not different among the groups according to BMI.

Conclusions

Both BMI and WC were associated with a lower risk of early episodes of CD and NFMI after PCI. In the late period after PCI, WC demonstrated a biphasic, U-shaped association between cardiovascular outcomes and adiposity, whereas BMI did not.

]]>
<![CDATA[Prognostic value of dobutamine stress myocardial perfusion echocardiography in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease and normal left ventricular function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe45

Objective

We sought to determine the prognostic value of qualitative and quantitative analysis obtained by real-time myocardial perfusion echocardiography (RTMPE) in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD).

Background

Quantification of myocardial blood flow reserve (MBFR) in patients with CAD using RTMPE has been demonstrated to further improve accuracy over the analysis of wall motion (WM) and qualitative analysis of myocardial perfusion (QMP).

Methods

From March 2003 to December 2008, we prospectively studied 168 patients with normal left ventricular function (LVF) who underwent dobutamine stress RTMPE. The replenishment velocity reserve (β) and MBFR were derived from RTMPE. Acute coronary events were: cardiac death, myocardial infarction and unstable angina with need for urgent coronary revascularization.

Results

During a median follow-up of 34 months (5 days to 6.9 years), 17 acute coronary events occurred. Abnormal β reserve in ≥2 coronary territories was the only independent predictor of events hazard ratio (HR) = 21, 95% CI = 4.5–99; p<0.001). Both, abnormal β reserve and MBFR added significant incremental value in predicting events over qualitative analysis of WM and MP (χ2 = 6.6 and χ2 = 24.6, respectively; p = 0.001 and χ2 = 6.6 and χ2 = 15.5, respectively; p = 0.012, respectively). When coronary angiographic data was added to the multivariate analysis model, β reserve remained the only predictor of events with HR of 21.0 (95% CI = 4.5–99); p<0.001.

Conclusion

Quantitative dobutamine stress RTMPE provides incremental prognostic information over clinical variables, qualitative analysis of WM and MP, and coronary angiography in predicting acute coronary events.

]]>
<![CDATA[Development of Accelerated Coronary Atherosclerosis Model Using Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor Knock-Out Swine with Balloon Injury]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba5784

Background

Several animal models have facilitated the evaluation and pathological understanding of atherosclerosis, but a definitive animal model of coronary atherosclerosis is not available. We therefore developed low density lipoprotein receptor knockout (LDLR-KO) pigs with hypercholesterolemia, a model which rapidly developed coronary atherosclerosis following balloon injury.

Methods and Results

We deleted LDLR exon regions from cultured porcine fetal fibroblasts and cloned LDLR knockout (LDLR-KO) embryos microinjecting fetal fibroblast nuclei into enucleated oocytes. Twelve LDLR-KO pigs were fed a 2.0% cholesterol and 20% fat diet. Baseline serum LDL cholesterol level was 510.0±86.1 mg/dL. Balloon injury was created in 46 coronary segments and necropsy were obtained 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks later. Coronary artery sections were reviewed to evaluate lesion progression. We found lipid accumulation with foam cells and inflammatory cells beginning four weeks after balloon injury. The mean ratio of macrophages to plaque area was significantly higher in the four- weeks and eight-week animals compared with those at 2-weeks (8.79% ± 5.98% and 17.00% ± 10.38% vs. 1.14% ± 1.88%, P < 0.0001). At 12 weeks the ratio decreased toward the level at 2 week level (4.00% ± 4.56%, P = 0.66 vs. baseline). Advanced coronary atherosclerotic lesions contained lipid pools at eight-weeks with fibrous components beginning at 12 weeks.

Conclusions

We developed a model of rapid coronary atherosclerosis using LDLR KO pigs with balloon injury. This model may be useful for preclinical evaluation of medication or devices, and may also help investigate mechanisms of plaque progression.

]]>
<![CDATA[Coronary Stent Artifact Reduction with an Edge-Enhancing Reconstruction Kernel – A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study with 256-Slice CT]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac5ab0ee8fa60bb2272

Purpose

Metallic artifacts can result in an artificial thickening of the coronary stent wall which can significantly impair computed tomography (CT) imaging in patients with coronary stents. The objective of this study is to assess in vivo visualization of coronary stent wall and lumen with an edge-enhancing CT reconstruction kernel, as compared to a standard kernel.

Methods

This is a prospective cross-sectional study involving the assessment of 71 coronary stents (24 patients), with blinded observers. After 256-slice CT angiography, image reconstruction was done with medium-smooth and edge-enhancing kernels. Stent wall thickness was measured with both orthogonal and circumference methods, averaging thickness from diameter and circumference measurements, respectively. Image quality was assessed quantitatively using objective parameters (noise, signal to noise (SNR) and contrast to noise (CNR) ratios), as well as visually using a 5-point Likert scale.

Results

Stent wall thickness was decreased with the edge-enhancing kernel in comparison to the standard kernel, either with the orthogonal (0.97 ± 0.02 versus 1.09 ± 0.03 mm, respectively; p<0.001) or the circumference method (1.13 ± 0.02 versus 1.21 ± 0.02 mm, respectively; p = 0.001). The edge-enhancing kernel generated less overestimation from nominal thickness compared to the standard kernel, both with the orthogonal (0.89 ± 0.19 versus 1.00 ± 0.26 mm, respectively; p<0.001) and the circumference (1.06 ± 0.26 versus 1.13 ± 0.31 mm, respectively; p = 0.005) methods. The edge-enhancing kernel was associated with lower SNR and CNR, as well as higher background noise (all p < 0.001), in comparison to the medium-smooth kernel. Stent visual scores were higher with the edge-enhancing kernel (p<0.001).

Conclusion

In vivo 256-slice CT assessment of coronary stents shows that the edge-enhancing CT reconstruction kernel generates thinner stent walls, less overestimation from nominal thickness, and better image quality scores than the standard kernel.

]]>
<![CDATA[Simplified Models of Non-Invasive Fractional Flow Reserve Based on CT Images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da30ab0ee8fa60b840f4

Invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR) is the gold standard to assess the functional coronary stenosis. The non-invasive assessment of diameter stenosis (DS) using coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) has high false positive rate in contrast to FFR. Combining CTA with computational fluid dynamics (CFD), recent studies have shown promising predictions of FFRCT for superior assessment of lesion severity over CTA alone. The CFD models tend to be computationally expensive, however, and require several hours for completing analysis. Here, we introduce simplified models to predict noninvasive FFR at substantially less computational time. In this retrospective pilot study, 21 patients received coronary CTA. Subsequently a total of 32 vessels underwent invasive FFR measurement. For each vessel, FFR based on steady-state and analytical models (FFRSS and FFRAM, respectively) were calculated non-invasively based on CTA and compared with FFR. The accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 90.6% (87.5%), 80.0% (80.0%), 95.5% (90.9%), 88.9% (80.0%) and 91.3% (90.9%) respectively for FFRSS (and FFRAM) on a per-vessel basis, and were 75.0%, 50.0%, 86.4%, 62.5% and 79.2% respectively for DS. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.963, 0.954 and 0.741 for FFRSS, FFRAM and DS respectively, on a per-patient level. The results suggest that the CTA-derived FFRSS performed well in contrast to invasive FFR and they had better diagnostic performance than DS from CTA in the identification of functionally significant lesions. In contrast to FFRCT, FFRSS requires much less computational time.

]]>
<![CDATA[Diagnostic Performance of First-Pass Myocardial Perfusion Imaging without Stress with Computed Tomography (CT) Compared with Coronary CT Angiography Alone, with Fractional Flow Reserve as the Reference Standard]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b65a59

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) in combination with first-pass CT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) has a better diagnostic performance than CCTA alone, compared with invasive coronary angiography as the reference standard. The aim of this study was to investigate the additional diagnostic value of first-pass CT-MPI without stress for detecting hemodynamic significance of coronary stenosis, compared with invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR). We recruited 53 patients with suspected coronary artery disease undergoing both CCTA and first-pass CT-MPI without stress and invasive FFR, and 75 vessels were analyzed. We used the same raw data for CCTA and CT-MPI. First-pass CT-MPI was reconstructed by examining the diastolic signal densities as a bull’s eye map. Invasive FFR <0.8 was considered as positive. On per-vessel analysis, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for CCTA plus first-pass CT-MPI and CCTA alone was 0.81 (0.73–0.90) and 0.70 (0.61–0.81), respectively (P = 0.036). CCTA plus first-pass CT-MPI without stress showed 0.73 sensitivity, 0.74 specificity, 0.53 positive predictive value, and 0.87 negative predictive value for detecting hemodynamically significant coronary stenosis. First-pass CT-MPI without stress correctly reclassified 38% of CCTA false-positive vessels as true negative. First-pass CT-MPI without stress combined with CCTA demonstrated excellent diagnostic accuracy, compared with invasive FFR as the reference standard. This technique could complement CCTA for diagnosis of coronary artery disease.

]]>
<![CDATA[Pericoronary Adipose Tissue as Storage and Supply Site for Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein in Human Coronary Plaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8fab0ee8fa60b9f46d

Objectives

It is generally believed that low-density lipoprotein enters the vascular wall from its lumen and oxidized (oxLDL), after which it plays an important role in atherosclerosis. Because voluminous epicardial adipose tissue is a risk factor for coronary events, there is a possibility that the pericoronary adipose tissue (PCAT), which is a part of epicardial adipose tissue, acts as a risk factor by supplying oxLDL to the coronary arterial wall. The present study was performed whether PCAT stores and supplies oxLDL to the coronary wall.

Methods

Localization of oxLDL in PCAT and its relation to plaque morphology were examined by immunohistochemical techniques in 27 epicardial coronary arteries excised from 9 human autopsy cases.

Results

OxLDL deposited in all PCAT of the studied cases. The percent (%) incidence of oxLDL in the intima of 25 normal segment, 19 white plaques, 15 yellow plaques without necrotic core (NC) and 10 yellow plaques with NC, was 32, 84, 93 (p<0.05 vs normal segments and yellow plaques with NC), and 30, respectively. OxLDL deposited either in dotted or diffuse pattern. Double immunohistochemical staining revealed that the dotted oxLDL was that contained in CD68(+)-macrophages. The oxLDL-containing macrophages were observed in the interstitial space but not inside of the vasa vasorum, and they traversed PCAT, adventitia, external and internal elastic laminae, suggesting their migration towards the intima. Diffuse oxLDL deposits were observed in 17 preparations, the majority of which were co-localized with the vasa vasorum in outer or in both inner and outer halves of intima, and rarely in the inner half alone.

Conclusions

The results suggested that PCAT is a supply source of oxLDL to coronary intima and acts as a risk factor for coronary events, that oxLDL increasingly deposits in the intima with plaque growth and decreases after plaque maturation, and therefore molecular therapies targeting the PCAT before plaque growth could be effective in preventing human coronary atherosclerosis.

]]>
<![CDATA[Morphological features of the left atrial appendage in consecutive coronary computed tomography angiography patients with and without atrial fibrillation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbdef

The majority of intracardiac thrombi form in the left atrial appendage (LAA). Enlargement of this structure, together with certain morphological features, may indicate a predisposition to the formation of thrombi and subsequent cardioembolic stroke. Thus far, studies on LAA morphology have largely focused on those patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Taking a different approach, we investigated the variation in LAA morphology in a consecutive patient population with and without AF. We evaluated 808 consecutive patients (529 females; mean age 52.5±9.9 years) who underwent coronary artery computed tomography angiography (CCTA), the majority of whom (749) had no history of AF. We assessed the length, lobe number, and morphological classification of their LAAs. Demographic data and medical histories were collated from medical records and then correlated with LAA morphology. The proportions of each of the four morphological classes of LAA for the overall vs. non-AF population were: WindSock, 62.3/61.5%; Cactus, 18.6/18.8%; ChickenWing, 10.0/10.0%; and CauliFlower, 9.2/9.6%. Age (p<0.001; r = 0.156) and female gender (p<0.001) were both found to be associated with an increased body surface area (BSA)-related LAA length. Male patients were more likely to manifest multi-lobed (p = 0.003) LAAs, and overweight patients with a greater number of multi-lobed LAA morphological classes (p = 0.010). No associations with morphological LAA features could be found for patients with diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia. Nor did the size of the left atrium exhibit any correlation with BSA-related LAA length. In the overall and non-AF populations, aging and female gender were associated with longer BSA-indexed LAAs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Modeling of Mechanical Stress Exerted by Cholesterol Crystallization on Atherosclerotic Plaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db45ab0ee8fa60bd82fd

Plaque rupture is the critical cause of cardiovascular thrombosis, but the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. Recent studies have found abundant cholesterol crystals in ruptured plaques, and it has been proposed that the rapid expansion of cholesterol crystals in a limited space during crystallization may contribute to plaque rupture. To evaluate the effect of cholesterol crystal growth on atherosclerotic plaques, we modeled the expansion of cholesterol crystals during the crystallization process in the necrotic core and estimated the stress on the thin cap with different arrangements of cholesterol crystals. We developed a two-dimensional finite element method model of atherosclerotic plaques containing expanding cholesterol crystals and investigated the effect of the magnitude and distribution of crystallization on the peak circumferential stress born by the cap. Using micro-optical coherence tomography (μOCT), we extracted the cross-sectional geometric information of cholesterol crystals in human atherosclerotic aorta tissue ex vivo and applied the information to the model. The results demonstrate that (1) the peak circumference stress is proportionally dependent on the cholesterol crystal growth; (2) cholesterol crystals at the cap shoulder impose the highest peak circumference stress; and (3) spatial distributions of cholesterol crystals have a significant impact on the peak circumference stress: evenly distributed cholesterol crystals exert less peak circumferential stress on the cap than concentrated crystals.

]]>
<![CDATA[Quantification of left coronary bifurcation angles and plaques by coronary computed tomography angiography for prediction of significant coronary stenosis: A preliminary study with dual-source CT]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc966

Purpose

To evaluate the diagnostic performance of left coronary bifurcation angles and plaque characteristics for prediction of coronary stenosis by dual-source CT.

Methods

106 patients suspected of coronary artery disease undergoing both coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) and invasive coronary angiography (CAG) within three months were included. Left coronary bifurcation angles including the angles between the left anterior descending artery and left circumflex artery (LAD-LCx), left main coronary artery and left anterior descending artery (LM-LAD), left main coronary artery and left circumflex artery (LM-LCx) were measured on CT images. CCTA plaque parameters were calculated by plaque analysis software. Coronary stenosis ≥ 50% by CAG was defined as significant.

Results

106 patients with 318 left coronary bifurcation angles and 126 vessels were analyzed. The bifurcation angle of LAD-LCx was significantly larger in left coronary stenosis ≥ 50% than stenosis < 50%, and significantly wider in the non-calcified plaque group than calcified. Multivariable analyses showed the bifurcation angle of LAD-LCx was an independent predictor for significant left coronary stenosis (OR = 1.423, P = 0.002). In ROC curve analysis, LAD-LCx predicted significant left coronary stenosis with a sensitivity of 66.7%, specificity of 78.4%, positive predictive value of 85.2% and negative predictive value of 55.8%. The lipid plaque volume improved the diagnostic performance of CCTA diameter stenosis (AUC: 0.854 vs. 0.900, P = 0.045) in significant coronary stenosis.

Conclusions

The bifurcation angle of LAD-LCx could predict significant left coronary stenosis. Wider LAD-LCx is related to non-calcified lesions. Lipid plaque volume could improve the diagnostic performance of CCTA for coronary stenosis prediction.

]]>
<![CDATA[MicroRNA-32 promotes calcification in vascular smooth muscle cells: Implications as a novel marker for coronary artery calcification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf1c

Cardiovascular calcification is one of the most severe outcomes associated with cardiovascular disease and often results in significant morbidity and mortality. Previous reports indicated that epigenomic regulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) might play important roles in vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) calcification. Here, we identified potential key miRNAs involved in vascular calcification in vivo and investigated the role of miR-32-5p (miR-32). According to microarray analysis, we observed increased expression of miR-125b, miR-30a, and miR-32 and decreased expression of miR-29a, miR-210, and miR-320 during the progression of vascularcalcification. Additionally, gain- and loss-of-function studies of miR-32 confirmed promotion of VSMC calcification in mice through the enhanced expression of bonemorphogenetic protein-2, runt-related transcription factor-2(RUNX2), osteopontin, and the bone-specific phosphoprotein matrix GLA protein in vitro. Moreover, miR-32 modulated vascularcalcification progression by activating phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)signaling and increasing RUNX2 expression and phosphorylation by targeting the 3′-untranslated region of phosphatase and tensin homolog Mrna (PTEN) in mouse VSMCs. Furthermore, we detected higher miR-32 levels in plasmafrom patients with coronary artery disease with coronary artery calcification (CAC) as compared with levels observed in non-CAC patients (P = 0.016), further confirming miR-32 as a critical modulator and potential diagnostic marker for CAC.

]]>
<![CDATA[Assessment of Inter-Expert Variability and of an Automated Segmentation Method of 40 and 60 MHz IVUS Images of Coronary Arteries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcee1

The objectives were to compare the performance of a segmentation algorithm, based on the minimization of an uncertainty function, to delineate contours of external elastic membrane and lumen of human coronary arteries imaged with 40 and 60 MHz IVUS, and to use values of this function to delineate portions of contours with highest uncertainty. For 8 patients, 40 and 60 MHz IVUS coronary data acquired pre- and post-interventions were used, for a total of 68,516 images. Manual segmentations of contours (on 2312 images) performed by experts at three core laboratories were the gold-standards. Inter-expert variability was highest on contour points with largest values of the uncertainty function (p < 0.001). Inter-expert variability was lower at 60 than 40 MHz for external elastic membrane (p = 0.013) and lumen (p = 0.024). Average differences in plaque (and atheroma) burden between algorithmic contours and experts’ contours were within inter-expert variability (p < 0.001).

]]>
<![CDATA[Remote Liver Ischemic Preconditioning Protects against Sudden Cardiac Death via an ERK/GSK-3β-Dependent Mechanism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b85f49

Background

Preconditioning stimuli conducted in remote organs can protect the heart against subsequent ischemic injury, but effects on arrhythmogenesis and sudden cardiac death (SCD) are unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of remote liver ischemia preconditioning (RLIPC) on ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death (SCD) in vivo, and determined the potential role of ERK/GSK-3βsignaling.

Methods/Results

Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomized to sham-operated, control, or RLIPC groups. RLIPC was induced by alternating four 5-minute cycles of liver ischemia with 5-minute intermittent reperfusions. To investigate I/R-induced arrhythmogenesis, hearts in each group were subsequently subjected to 5-minute left main coronary artery ligation followed by 20-minute reperfusion. RLIPC reduced post-I/R ventricular arrhythmias, and decreased the incidence of SCD >threefold. RLIPC increased phosphorylation of cardiac ERK1/2, and GSK-3β Ser9 but not Tyr216 post-I/R injury. Inhibition of either GSK-3β (with SB216763) or ERK1/2 (with U0126) abolished RLIPC-induced antiarrhythmic activity and GSK-3β Ser9 and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, leaving GSK-3β Tyr216 phosphorylation unchanged.

Conclusions

RLIPC exerts a powerful antiarrhythmic effect and reduces predisposition to post-IR SCD. The underlying mechanism of RLIPC cardioprotection against I/R-induced early arrhythmogenesis may involve ERK1/2/GSK-3β Ser9-dependent pathways.

]]>
<![CDATA[Lack of Genetic Interaction between Tbx18 and Tbx2/Tbx20 in Mouse Epicardial Development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da08ab0ee8fa60b76953

The epicardium, the outermost layer of the heart, is an essential source of cells and signals for the formation of the cardiac fibrous skeleton and the coronary vasculature, and for the maturation of the myocardium during embryonic development. The molecular factors that control epicardial mobilization and differentiation, and direct the epicardial-myocardial cross-talk are, however, insufficiently understood. The T-box transcription factor gene Tbx18 is specifically expressed in the epicardium of vertebrate embryos. Loss of Tbx18 is dispensable for epicardial development, but may influence coronary vessel maturation. In contrast, over-expression of an activator version of TBX18 severely impairs epicardial development by premature differentiation of epicardial cells into SMCs indicating a potential redundancy of Tbx18 with other repressors of the T-box gene family. Here, we show that Tbx2 and Tbx20 are co-expressed with Tbx18 at different stages of epicardial development. Using a conditional gene targeting approach we find that neither the epicardial loss of Tbx2 nor the combined loss of Tbx2 and Tbx18 affects epicardial development. Similarly, we observed that the heterozygous loss of Tbx20 with and without additional loss of Tbx18 does not impact on epicardial integrity and mobilization in mouse embryos. Thus, Tbx18 does not function redundantly with Tbx2 or Tbx20 in epicardial development.

]]>
<![CDATA[Three-Dimensional Visualization and Imaging of the Entry Tear and Intimal Flap of Aortic Dissection Using CT Virtual Intravascular Endoscopy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f0ab0ee8fa60b6e2d9

Aims

Conventional computed tomography (CT) approaches provides limited visualization of the entire endoluminal changes of aortic dissection (AD), which is essential for its treatment. As an important supplement, three-dimensional CT virtual intravascular endoscopy (VIE) can show relevant details. This study aims to determine the value of VIE in displaying the entry tear and intimal flap of AD.

Methods and Results

Among 127 consecutive symptomatic patients with suspected AD who underwent CT angiography (CTA), 84 subjects were confirmed to have AD and were included in the study. Conventional CT and VIE images were observed and evaluated. From the 92 entry tears revealed via conventional CT, 88 (95.7%) tears appeared on VIE with round (n = 26), slit-shaped (n = 9), or irregular (n = 53) shapes, whereas the intimal flaps were sheetlike (n = 34), tubular (n = 34), wavelike (n = 13), or irregular (n = 7) in shape. The VIE also showed the spatial relationship between the torn flap and adjacent structures. Among 58 entry tears with multiple-line type flap shown on conventional CT, 41 (70.7%) appeared with an irregular shape on VIE, whereas among 30 tears with single-line type flap, 17 (56.7%) appeared as round or slit-shaped on VIE. These results demonstrated a significant difference (P < 0.05). The poor display of tears on VIE was related to the low CT attenuation values in lumen or in neighboring artifacts (P < 0.01).

Conclusion

CT VIE presents the complete configurations and details of the intimal tears and flaps of AD better than conventional CT approaches. Accordingly, it should be recommended as a necessary assessment tool for endovascular therapy and as part of strategy planning in pre-surgical patients.

]]>
<![CDATA[Chest-MRI under pulsatile flow ventilation: A new promising technique]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5eab0ee8fa60be0af8

Objectives

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the chest has long suffered from its sensitivity to respiratory and cardiac motion with an intrinsically low signal to noise ratio and a limited spatial resolution. The purpose of this study was to perform chest MRI under an adapted non invasive pulsatile flow ventilation system (high frequency percussive ventilation, HFPV®) allowing breath hold durations 10 to 15 times longer than other existing systems.

Methods

One volunteer and one patient known for a thymic lesion underwent a chest MRI under ventilation percussion technique (VP-MR). Routinely used sequences were performed with and without the device during three sets of apnoea on inspiration.

Results

VP-MR was well tolerated in both cases. The mean duration of the thoracic stabilization was 10.5 min (range 8.5–12) and 5.8 min (range 5–6.2) for Volunteer 1 and Patient 1, respectively. An overall increased image quality was seen under VP-MR with a better delineation of the mediastinal lesion for Patient 1. Nodules discovered in Volunteer 1 were confirmed with low dose CT.

Conclusion

VP-MR was feasible and increased spatial resolution of chest MRI by allowing acquisition at full inspiration during thoracic stabilization approaching prolonged apnoea. This new technique could be of benefit to numerous thoracic disorders.

]]>