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J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis., Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Transcatheter closure of Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is nowadays performed in many catheterization laboratories, not necessarily experienced with congenital and structural heart diseases. Although they share some technical similarities, ASD and PFO transcatheter closure target two very different patient populations with diverse clinical indication, propensity to complications and overall expected results. Multimodality imaging is a key determinant for success in such procedures and is a robust tool to improve patient selection, expedite procedural execution and reduce peri-procedural complications. This review is a practical synopsis of the modern approach in multimodality imaging designed to assist interventionalists dealing with ASD and PFO closure. View this paper.
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Systematic Review
The Effect of Mipomersen in the Management of Patients with Familial Hypercholesterolemia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 82; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070082 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Background: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) lead to significant adverse effects in coronary arteries. Mipomersen is a second-generation antisense oligonucleotide that inhibits the synthesis of apolipoprotein B-100, an essential component of low density lipoprotein (LDL), and thus decreases the production of LDL. We aimed to [...] Read more.
Background: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) lead to significant adverse effects in coronary arteries. Mipomersen is a second-generation antisense oligonucleotide that inhibits the synthesis of apolipoprotein B-100, an essential component of low density lipoprotein (LDL), and thus decreases the production of LDL. We aimed to determine the effect of mipomersen in patients with FH. Methods: We searched Ovid Medline, Ovid EMBASE, WHO ICTRP search portal, ISI database, the reference lists of relevant articles, and also Google Scholar to retrieve articles. All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing patients with FH receiving mipomersen as an add-on and a parallel group receiving a placebo or no intervention were selected. Results: Five studies with more than 500 patients were included. All had low risk of bias. Pooling data showed that mipomersen probably reduces LDL compared with placebo [mean difference: −24.79, 95% CI (−30.15, −19.43)] but with a moderate level of certainty. There was a high level of evidence for injection site reactions [RR = 2.56, CI (1.47–4.44)] and a low level for increased serum alanine transaminase (ALT) > 3 times upper limit of normal (ULN) [RR = 5.19, CI (1.01–26.69)]. Conclusion: A moderate level of evidence in decreasing serum LDL indicates that we are uncertain if this drug provides benefit in any outcome important to patients. Although a low level of evidence for an increase in serum ALT leaves uncertainty about this adverse effect, injection site reactions in 10% or more of patients can be an important concern. Full article
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Article
Supraventricular Runs in 7-Day Holter Monitoring Are Related to Increased Incidence of Atrial Fibrillation in a 3-Year Follow-Up of Cryptogenic Stroke Patients Free from Arrhythmia in a 24 h-Holter
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070081 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Introduction: Silent atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cause of cryptogenic ischemic stroke (CIS). The 24-h-Holter is insufficient to reveal an occult arrhythmic cause of stroke and the strategy to select the patients for long-term monitoring is missing. Objectives: The aim of the [...] Read more.
Introduction: Silent atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cause of cryptogenic ischemic stroke (CIS). The 24-h-Holter is insufficient to reveal an occult arrhythmic cause of stroke and the strategy to select the patients for long-term monitoring is missing. Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate 7-day-Holter monitoring to identify cases with the arrhythmic cause of stroke in CIS patients in whom 24-h-Holter was free from arrhythmia, and to assess the relation between supraventricular (SV) runs in baseline Holter and the incidence of AF in a 3-year follow-up period. Methods: 78 patients (aged 60 ± 9 years, 45 males) with CIS and no arrhythmic findings in 24-h-Holter were enrolled. All patients had 7-day-Holter monitoring after stroke and were followed up for 36 months, and then 7-day Holter was repeated. We assessed SV runs (≥5 QRS) in the initial 7-day Holter and analyzed the relation of the findings with clinical characteristics of novel AF episodes revealed early after stroke and during a 3-year follow-up. Results: Baseline 7-day-Holter revealed SV runs in 36% of patients and AF in 9% of cases. During a 3-year follow-up, 8 additional cases were confirmed, both in standard care and in repeated Holter (a total of 19% of AF cases). There was no difference with regard to CHADS2VASc score (3.6 ± 1.1 vs. 3.4 ± 1.5; p = NS) and left atrium parameters between patients with SV runs and the non-arrhythmic group. Patients with SV runs had a higher incidence of AF both after stroke and in a 3-year follow-up (46% vs. 4%, RR 11.6, p < 0.001). In 8 cases, patent foramen ovale was detected during follow-up. Conclusions: A strategy of baseline 7-day-Holter monitoring after stroke allows for disclosing SV runs in every third case and AF in 9% of stroke survivors. Patients with SV runs have a higher incidence of AF (RR 11.6, p < 0.001) and should be considered for extended continuous ECG monitoring. Full article
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Review
Effects of Statins on Renin–Angiotensin System
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070080 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Statins, a class of drugs for lowering serum LDL-cholesterol, have attracted attention because of their wide range of pleiotropic effects. An important but often neglected effect of statins is their role in the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) pathway. This pathway plays an integral role [...] Read more.
Statins, a class of drugs for lowering serum LDL-cholesterol, have attracted attention because of their wide range of pleiotropic effects. An important but often neglected effect of statins is their role in the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) pathway. This pathway plays an integral role in the progression of several diseases including hypertension, heart failure, and renal disease. In this paper, the role of statins in the blockade of different components of this pathway and the underlying mechanisms are reviewed and new therapeutic possibilities of statins are suggested. Full article
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Article
Superimposed Tissue Formation in Human Aortic Valve Disease: Differences between Regurgitant and Stenotic Valves
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 79; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070079 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 516
Abstract
The formation of superimposed tissue (SIT), a layer on top of the original valve leaflet, has been described in patients with mitral regurgitation as a major contributor to valve thickening and possibly as a result of increased mechanical stresses. However, little is known [...] Read more.
The formation of superimposed tissue (SIT), a layer on top of the original valve leaflet, has been described in patients with mitral regurgitation as a major contributor to valve thickening and possibly as a result of increased mechanical stresses. However, little is known whether SIT formation also occurs in aortic valve disease. We therefore performed histological analyses to assess SIT formation in aortic valve leaflets (n = 31) from patients with aortic stenosis (n = 17) or aortic regurgitation due to aortic dilatation (n = 14). SIT was observed in both stenotic and regurgitant aortic valves, both on the ventricular and aortic sides, but with significant differences in distribution and composition. Regurgitant aortic valves showed more SIT formation in the free edge, leading to a thicker leaflet at that level, while stenotic aortic valves showed relatively more SIT formation on the aortic side of the body part of the leaflet. SIT appeared to be a highly active area, as determined by large populations of myofibroblasts, with varied extracellular matrix composition (higher collagen content in stenotic valves). Further, the identification of the SIT revealed the presence of foldings of the free edge in the diseased aortic valves. Insights into SIT regulation may further help in understanding the pathophysiology of aortic valve disease and potentially lead to the development of new therapeutic treatments. Full article
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Review
Transcatheter Closure of PFO and ASD: Multimodality Imaging for Patient Selection and Perioperative Guidance
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070078 - 03 Jul 2021
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) and secundum type atrial septal defect (ASD) are common transcatheter procedures. Although they share many technical details, these procedures are targeting two different clinical indications. PFO closure is usually considered to prevent recurrent embolic stroke/systemic arterial [...] Read more.
Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) and secundum type atrial septal defect (ASD) are common transcatheter procedures. Although they share many technical details, these procedures are targeting two different clinical indications. PFO closure is usually considered to prevent recurrent embolic stroke/systemic arterial embolization, ASD closure is indicated in patients with large left-to-right shunt, right ventricular volume overload, and normal pulmonary vascular resistance. Multimodality imaging plays a key role for patient selection, periprocedural monitoring, and follow-up surveillance. In addition to routine cardiovascular examinations, advanced neuroimaging studies, transcranial-Doppler, and interventional transesophageal echocardiography/intracardiac echocardiography are now increasingly used to deliver safely and effectively such procedures. Long-standing collaboration between interventional cardiologist, neuroradiologist, and cardiac imager is essential and it requires a standardized approach to image acquisition and interpretation. Periprocedural monitoring should be performed by experienced operators with deep understanding of technical details of transcatheter intervention. This review summarizes the specific role of different imaging modalities for PFO and ASD transcatheter closure, describing important pre-procedural and intra-procedural details and providing examples of procedural pitfall and complications. Full article
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Article
A History of Heart Failure Is an Independent Risk Factor for Death in Patients Admitted with Coronavirus 19 Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 77; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070077 - 30 Jun 2021
Viewed by 810
Abstract
Aims: The association between cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease and hypertension, and worse outcomes in COVID-19 patients has been previously demonstrated. However, the effect of a prior diagnosis of heart failure (HF) with reduced or preserved left ventricular ejection fraction on [...] Read more.
Aims: The association between cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease and hypertension, and worse outcomes in COVID-19 patients has been previously demonstrated. However, the effect of a prior diagnosis of heart failure (HF) with reduced or preserved left ventricular ejection fraction on COVID-19 outcomes has not yet been established. Methods and Results: We retrospectively studied all adult patients with COVID-19 admitted to our institution from March 1st to 2nd May 2020. Patients were grouped based on the presence or absence of HF. We used competing events survival models to examine the association between HF and death, need for intubation, or need for dialysis during hospitalization. Of 4043 patients admitted with COVID-19, 335 patients (8.3%) had a prior diagnosis of HF. Patients with HF were older, had lower body mass index, and a significantly higher burden of co-morbidities compared to patients without HF, yet the two groups presented to the hospital with similar clinical severity and similar markers of systemic inflammation. Patients with HF had a higher cumulative in-hospital mortality compared to patients without HF (49.0% vs. 27.2%, p < 0.001) that remained statistically significant (HR = 1.383, p = 0.001) after adjustment for age, body mass index, and comorbidities, as well as after propensity score matching (HR = 1.528, p = 0.001). Notably, no differences in mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, or renal replacement therapy were observed among HF patients with preserved or reduced ejection fraction. Conclusions: The presence of HF is a risk factor of death, substantially increasing in-hospital mortality in patients admitted with COVID-19. Full article
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Review
Pathology of the Aorta and Aorta as Homograft
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070076 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 768
Abstract
The aorta is not a rigid tube, it is an “organ” with lamellar units, consisting of elastic fibers, extracellular matrix and smooth muscle cells in between as parenchyma. Several diseases may occur in the natural history of the aorta, requiring replacement of both [...] Read more.
The aorta is not a rigid tube, it is an “organ” with lamellar units, consisting of elastic fibers, extracellular matrix and smooth muscle cells in between as parenchyma. Several diseases may occur in the natural history of the aorta, requiring replacement of both semilunar cusps and ascending aorta. They may be congenital defects, such as bicuspid aortic valve and isthmal coarctation with aortopathy; genetically determined, such as Marfan and William syndromes; degenerative diseases, such as atherosclerosis and medial necrosis with aortic dilatation, valve incompetence and dissecting aneurysm; inflammatory diseases such as Takayasu arteritis, syphilis, giant cell and IgM4 aortitis; neoplasms; and trauma. Aortic homografts from cadavers, including both the sinus portion with semilunar cusps and the tubular portion, are surgically employed to replace a native sick ascending aorta. However, the antigenicity of allograft cells, in the lamellar units and interstitial cells in the cusps, is maintained. Thus, an immune reaction may occur, limiting durability. After proper decellularization and 6 months’ implantation in sheep, endogenous cell repopulation was shown to occur in both the valve and aortic wall, including the endothelium, without evidence of inflammation and structural deterioration/calcification in the mid-term. The allograft was transformed into an autograft. Full article
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Article
Early Aberrant Angiogenesis Due to Elastic Fiber Fragmentation in Aortic Valve Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070075 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Elastic fiber fragmentation (EFF) is a hallmark of aortic valve disease (AVD), and neovascularization has been identified as a late finding related to inflammation. We sought to characterize the relationship between early EFF and aberrant angiogenesis. To examine disease progression, regional anatomy and [...] Read more.
Elastic fiber fragmentation (EFF) is a hallmark of aortic valve disease (AVD), and neovascularization has been identified as a late finding related to inflammation. We sought to characterize the relationship between early EFF and aberrant angiogenesis. To examine disease progression, regional anatomy and pathology of aortic valve tissue were assessed using histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy from early-onset (<40 yo) and late-onset (≥40 yo) non-syndromic AVD specimens. To assess the effects of EFF on early AVD processes, valve tissue from Williams and Marfan syndrome patients was also analyzed. Bicuspid aortic valve was more common in early-onset AVD, and cardiovascular comorbidities were more common in late-onset AVD. Early-onset AVD specimens demonstrated angiogenesis without inflammation or atherosclerosis. A distinct pattern of elastic fiber components surrounded early-onset AVD neovessels, including increased emilin-1 and decreased fibulin-5. Different types of EFF were present in Williams syndrome (WS) and Marfan syndrome (MFS) aortic valves; WS but not MFS aortic valves demonstrated angiogenesis. Aberrant angiogenesis occurs in early-onset AVD in the absence of inflammation, implicating EFF. Elucidation of underlying mechanisms may inform the development of new pharmacologic treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Disease)
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Review
Use of Sutureless and Rapid Deployment Prostheses in Challenging Reoperations
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070074 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 513
Abstract
Sutureless and rapid-deployment bioprostheses have been introduced as alternatives to traditional prosthetic valves to reduce cardiopulmonary and aortic cross-clamp times during aortic valve replacement. These devices have also been employed in extremely demanding surgical settings, as underlined in the present review. Searches on [...] Read more.
Sutureless and rapid-deployment bioprostheses have been introduced as alternatives to traditional prosthetic valves to reduce cardiopulmonary and aortic cross-clamp times during aortic valve replacement. These devices have also been employed in extremely demanding surgical settings, as underlined in the present review. Searches on the PubMed and Medline databases aimed to identify, from the English-language literature, the reported cases where both sutureless and rapid-deployment prostheses were employed in challenging surgical situations, usually complex reoperations sometimes even performed as bailout procedures. We have identified 25 patients for whom a sutureless or rapid-deployment prosthesis was used in complex redo procedures: 17 patients with a failing stentless bioprosthesis, 6 patients with a failing homograft, and 2 patients with the failure of a valve-sparing procedure. All patients survived reoperation and were reported to be alive 3 months to 4 years postoperatively. Sutureless and rapid-deployment bioprostheses have proved effective in replacing degenerated stentless bioprostheses and homografts in challenging redo procedures. In these settings, they should be considered as a valid alternative not only to traditional prostheses but also in selected cases to transcatheter valve-in-valve solutions. Full article
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Article
Head to Head Comparison between Different 3-Dimensional Echocardiographic Rendering Tools in the Imaging of Percutaneous Edge-to-Edge Mitral Valve Repair
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 73; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070073 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 521
Abstract
MitraClip (MC) is the most common percutaneous treatment for severe mitral regurgitation (MR). An accurate two-dimensional and three-dimensional echocardiographic (3DTEE) imaging is mandatory for the optimal procedural result. Recently transillumination 3DTEE rendering (3DTr) has been introduced integrating a virtual light source into the [...] Read more.
MitraClip (MC) is the most common percutaneous treatment for severe mitral regurgitation (MR). An accurate two-dimensional and three-dimensional echocardiographic (3DTEE) imaging is mandatory for the optimal procedural result. Recently transillumination 3DTEE rendering (3DTr) has been introduced integrating a virtual light source into the dataset and with the addition of glass effect (3DGl) allows to adjust tissue transparency improving depth perception and anatomical structure delineation in comparison with the standard 3DTEE (3DSt). The aim of this retrospective study in 30 patients undergoing MC, was to compare 3DSt, 3DTr, and 3DGl in mitral valve (MV) evaluation and procedural result assessment. 3DTEE acquisitions obtained before and after MC were processed with 3DSt, 3DTr, and 3DGl rendering. Each reconstruction was scored for quality and for ability to recognize MV anatomy, MR origin, clip position, dimension and grasping. Imaging quality was judged good or optimal in 52%, 76%, and 96% in 3DSt, 3DTr, and 3DGl reconstructions respectively. In 26/30 patients a diagnostic incremental value was found with 3DTr vs. 3DSt and in 15/26 with 3DGl vs. 3DTr and 3DSt. Only 3DGl with perpendicular cropping of the clip allowed to visualize and measure the grasped portion of each mitral leaflets. 3DTEE imaging during MC may be improved by 3DTr and 3DGl providing a better evaluation of MV, of leaflet grasping and of residual MR jets after MC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitral Valve Development and Disease)
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Review
Direct Reprogramming of Cardiac Fibroblasts to Repair the Injured Heart
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(7), 72; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jcdd8070072 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Those that survive acute myocardial infarction are at significant risk of subsequent heart failure due to fibrotic remodelling of the infarcted myocardium. By applying knowledge from the study of embryonic cardiovascular development, [...] Read more.
Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Those that survive acute myocardial infarction are at significant risk of subsequent heart failure due to fibrotic remodelling of the infarcted myocardium. By applying knowledge from the study of embryonic cardiovascular development, modern medicine offers hope for treatment of this condition through regeneration of the myocardium by direct reprogramming of fibrotic scar tissue. Here, we will review mechanisms of cell fate specification leading to the generation of cardiovascular cell types in the embryo and use this as a framework in which to understand direct reprogramming. Driving expression of a network of transcription factors, micro RNA or small molecule epigenetic modifiers can reverse epigenetic silencing, reverting differentiated cells to a state of induced pluripotency. The pluripotent state can be bypassed by direct reprogramming in which one differentiated cell type can be transdifferentiated into another. Transdifferentiating cardiac fibroblasts to cardiomyocytes requires a network of transcription factors similar to that observed in embryonic multipotent cardiac progenitors. There is some flexibility in the composition of this network. These studies raise the possibility that the failing heart could one day be regenerated by directly reprogramming cardiac fibroblasts within post-infarct scar tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiac Development and Regeneration)
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