Special Issue "Cardiovascular Disease: Management, Treatment Recommendations, and Future Research"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Cardiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Tomasz Zieliński
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Guest Editor
Department of Heart Failure and Transplantology, National Institute of Cardiology, Alpejska 42, 04-628, Warszawa, Poland
Interests: heart failure; mechanical circulatory support; cardiac transplantation; risk models; atherosclerosis; hypertension; vascular ultrasound

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advances in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in recent decades have been stunning. New ideas on diagnosis, including new imaging modalities, possibilities of genetic and molecular diagnosis, and new markers and tools for prognosis and individualized therapy have been developed and successfully implemented in medical practice. We take part in this success story through the immediate revascularization in heart and brain infarction for the best preservation of organ function, through advances in cardiac surgery, electrotherapy, and new drugs developed successfully for supporting the diseased or failing heart, and last but not least, with new methods of mechanical cardiac support and multiorgan transplantation for the most advanced forms of heart failure. In view of new challenges for cardiovascular medicine during and after the COVID-19 epidemic, wider use of telemedicine tools for diagnosis, rehabilitation, and communication is mandatory. It is my privilege to cordially invite researchers and practitioners to share their experience and expertise and submit new ideas and recent hot results to this unique Special Issue dedicated to “Cardiovascular Disease: Management, Treatment Recommendations, and Future Research”.

Prof. Dr. Tomasz Zieliński
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diagnosis, therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Drugs
  • Electrotherapy
  • Heart failure
  • Heart transplantation
  • Cardiac surgery

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Previous Catheter Ablation Predicts In-Hospital Restoration of Sinus Rhythm in Patients Presenting with Recent-Onset Atrial Fibrillation—The Retrospective HAMBURG-AF Study
Medicina 2021, 57(8), 776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57080776 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 236
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrythmia of the human heart. Patients mostly present highly symptomatic with dyspnea and tachycardia and have a disproportionate risk of developing heart failure or stroke events. We aimed to evaluate the determinants of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrythmia of the human heart. Patients mostly present highly symptomatic with dyspnea and tachycardia and have a disproportionate risk of developing heart failure or stroke events. We aimed to evaluate the determinants of early conversion into sinus rhythm during initial stay at the emergency department of a large tertiary care center. Materials and Methods: A total of 1384 subjects with recent-onset AF were recruited between October 2014 and April 2017. Patients with longstanding AF were excluded, resulting in a total of 935 patients for the present analysis. Results: In multivariate adjusted logistic regression analyses, previous catheter ablation therapy was a strong predictor of conversion in sinus rhythm during the stay in the emergency department, with an odds ratio (OR) of 3.87 (95% CI 2.40, 6.54; p < 0.001). In contrast, existing antiarrhythmic medication showed no association with facilitated conversion [OR 0.89 (95%CI 0.65, 1.20); p = 0.44]. Likewise, conventional cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes) were also not associated with conversion during hospital stay. Conclusion: This is the first report on the relevance of previous ablation therapy for early restoration of sinus rhythm in recent-onset AF. Although catheter ablation is associated with relevant risk of late recurrence of atrial fibrillation, it seems to have a large benefit for patients with recent-onset AF. Full article
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Article
N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide and Right Ventricular Diameter Are Related to Aspirin Resistance in Coronary Artery Disease Patients
Medicina 2021, 57(7), 706; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57070706 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 314
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Resistance to ASA (ASAres) is a multifactorial phenomenon defined as insufficient reduction of platelet reactivity through incomplete inhibition of thromboxane A2 synthesis. The aim is to reassess the prevalence and predictors of ASAres in a contemporary cohort of coronary artery [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Resistance to ASA (ASAres) is a multifactorial phenomenon defined as insufficient reduction of platelet reactivity through incomplete inhibition of thromboxane A2 synthesis. The aim is to reassess the prevalence and predictors of ASAres in a contemporary cohort of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients (pts) on stable therapy with ASA, 75 mg o.d. Materials and Methods: We studied 205 patients with stable CAD treated with daily dose of 75 mg ASA for a minimum of one month. ASAres was defined as ARU (aspirin reaction units) ≥550 using the point-of-care VerifyNow Aspirin test. Results: ASAres was detected in 11.7% of patients. Modest but significant correlations were detected between ARU and concentration of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (r = 0.144; p = 0.04), body weight, body mass index, red blood cell distribution width, left ventricular mass, and septal end-systolic thickness, with trends for left ventricular mass index and prothrombin time. In multivariate regression analysis, log(NT-proBNP) was identified as the only independent predictor of ARU—partial r = 0.15, p = 0.03. Median concentrations of NT-proBNP were significantly higher in ASAres patients (median value 311.4 vs. 646.3 pg/mL; p = 0.046) and right ventricular diameter was larger, whereas mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration was lower as compared to patients with adequate response to ASA. Conclusions: ASAres has significant prevalence in this contemporary CAD cohort and NT-proBNP has been identified as the independent correlate of on-treatment ARU, representing a predictor for ASAres, along with right ventricular enlargement and lower hemoglobin concentration in erythrocytes. Full article
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Article
Clinical Outcome of Rotational Atherectomy in Calcified Lesions in Korea-ROCK Registry
Medicina 2021, 57(7), 694; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57070694 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Data is still limited regarding clinical outcomes of rotational atherectomy (RA) after percutaneous coronary intervention. We sought to evaluate clinical outcomes of RA. Materials and Methods: This multi-center registry enrolled patients who underwent RA during PCI from nine tertiary [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Data is still limited regarding clinical outcomes of rotational atherectomy (RA) after percutaneous coronary intervention. We sought to evaluate clinical outcomes of RA. Materials and Methods: This multi-center registry enrolled patients who underwent RA during PCI from nine tertiary centers in Korea between January 2010 and October 2019. The primary endpoint was target-vessel failure (TVF; the composite outcome of cardiac death, target-vessel spontaneous myocardial infarction, or target-vessel revascularization). Results: Of 540 patients (583 lesions), the mean patient age was 71.4 ± 0.4 years, 323 patients (59.8%) were men, and 305 patients (56.5%) had diabetes mellitus. Technical success rate was 96.4%. In-hospital major adverse cerebral and cardiac events occurred in 63 cases (10.8%). At 1.5 years, 72 (16.0%) of TVFs were occurred. We evaluated independent predictors of TVF, which included current smoker (hazard ratio (HR), 1.92; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.17–3.16; p = 0.01), chronic renal disease (HR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.14–3.08; p = 0.013), history of cerebrovascular attack (HR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.24-3.68; p = 0.006), left ventricle ejection fraction (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.97–0.999; p = 0.037), and left main disease (HR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.11–3.37; p = 0.019). Conclusions: From this registry, we demonstrated acceptable success rates, in-hospital and mid-term clinical outcomes of RA in the DES era. Full article
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Article
Long-Term Effects of Renal Artery Denervation
Medicina 2021, 57(7), 662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57070662 - 27 Jun 2021
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Renal artery denervation (RDN) procedure is a broadly discussed method in the treatment of resistant hypertension. Many studies report short-term (3–12 months) results for blood pressure and arterial stiffness. The primary endpoints were changes in 24 h mean systolic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Renal artery denervation (RDN) procedure is a broadly discussed method in the treatment of resistant hypertension. Many studies report short-term (3–12 months) results for blood pressure and arterial stiffness. The primary endpoints were changes in 24 h mean systolic blood pressure (BP) and office systolic BP 48 months after RDN. The secondary endpoints were changes in aortic pulse wave velocity and impact of polypharmacy on these variables. Materials and Methods: Renal artery denervation was performed in 73 patients treated for resistant hypertension; 49 patients remained in final analysis. Patient examination was carried out before the procedure, and subsequently at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 months later. Patients’ antihypertensive and overall medication regimens were carefully analysed. Results: Mean 24 h arterial blood pressure lowered and was sustained at lower levels for up to 48 months; median (interequartile range—IQR) from 158(23.5)/100(14.2) to 140(26.5)/86(16.2) mmHg. Mean reduction in 24 h ambulatory systolic BP was −11 ± 25 mmHg (95% CI, −20 to −2; p < 0.001), while office systolic BP reduced by −7 ± 23 mmHg (95%CI, −24 to −1; p < 0.02). A significant reduction in median aortic pulse wave velocity 12 months after the procedure (drop from baseline 11.2 [3.15] m/s (95%CI 6.1 to 16.2) to 9.8 [2.1] m/s (95%CI 6.1 to 13.7; p = 0.002)). After 48 months, there was no worsening compared to the baseline level of 10.3 [4.0] m/s (95% CI 6.9 to 17.8) (p > 0.05). The total mean number of antihypertensive drugs remained unchanged: 5.97(±1.1) vs. 5.24 (±1.45). A higher number of pills after 48 months was associated with higher aortic pulse wave velocity (1–5 pill group: 8.1 ± 1.6 m/s; 6–10 pill group: 10.9 ± 1.8 m/s; >11 pill group: 15.1 ± 2.6 m/s) (p = 0.003). Conclusions: Antihypertensive effect after renal denervation lasts up to 48 months with no worsening of arterial stiffness compared to baseline. In our study, polypharmacy was associated with increased arterial stiffness 48 months after the procedure. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Personal Thoracic Impedance on Electrical Cardioversion in Patients with Atrial Arrhythmias
Medicina 2021, 57(6), 618; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57060618 - 13 Jun 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Direct current cardioversion (DCCV) is a safe and useful treatment for atrial tachyarrhythmias. In the past, the energy delivered in DCCV was decided upon empirically, based only on the type of tachyarrhythmia. This conventional method does not consider individual [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Direct current cardioversion (DCCV) is a safe and useful treatment for atrial tachyarrhythmias. In the past, the energy delivered in DCCV was decided upon empirically, based only on the type of tachyarrhythmia. This conventional method does not consider individual factors and may lead to unnecessary electrical damage. Materials and Methods: We performed DCCV in patients with atrial tachyarrhythmias. The impedance and electrical current at the moment of shock were measured. The human thoracic impedance between both defibrillator patches and the electric current that was used were measured. Results: A total of 683 DCCVs were performed on 466 atrial tachyarrhythmia patients. The average impedance was 64 ± 11 Ω and the average successful current was 23 ± 6 mA. The magnitude of the electrical current that was successful depended upon the human impedance (linear regression, B = −0.266, p < 0.001) and the left atrial diameter (B = 0.092, p < 0.001). Impedance was directly proportional to body mass index (BMI) (B = 1.598, p < 0.001) and was higher in females than in males (77 ± 15 Ω vs. 63 ± 11 Ω, p < 0.001). Notably, the high-impedance (>70 Ω) group had a higher BMI (27 ± 4 kg/m2 vs. 25 ± 3 kg/m2, p < 0.001) and a higher proportion of females (37% vs. 9%, p < 0.001) than the low-impedance group (<70 Ω). However, thoracic impedance was not an independent predictor for successful DCCV. Conclusions: Human thoracic impedance was one of the factors that impacted the level of electrical current required for successful DCCV in patients with atrial arrhythmias. In the future, it will be helpful to consider individual predictors, such as BMI and gender, to minimize electrical damage during DCCV. Full article
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Article
Association between miR-146a and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-α) in Stable Coronary Artery Disease
Medicina 2021, 57(6), 575; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57060575 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is proatherogenic and associated with the risk of acute ischemic events, although the mechanisms that regulate TNF-α expression in stable coronary artery disease (SCAD) are not fully understood. We investigated whether metabolic, inflammatory, and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is proatherogenic and associated with the risk of acute ischemic events, although the mechanisms that regulate TNF-α expression in stable coronary artery disease (SCAD) are not fully understood. We investigated whether metabolic, inflammatory, and epigenetic (microRNA (miRNA)) markers are associated with TNF-α expression in SCAD. Materials and Methods: Patients with SCAD were prospectively recruited and their metabolic and inflammatory profiles were assessed. TNF-α levels were assessed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The relative expression of six circulating miRNAs associated with the regulation of inflammation and/or atherosclerosis was determined. Results: Of the 24 included patients with the mean age of 65 (9) years, 88% were male, and 54% were diabetic. The TNF-α levels were (median (interquartile range)) 1.0 (0.7–1.1) pg/mL. The percentage of glycosylated hemoglobin (r = 0.418, p = 0.042), serum triglyceride levels (r = 0.429, p = 0.037), and C-reactive protein levels (r = 0.407, p = 0.048) were positively correlated with TNF-α levels. Of the candidate miRNAs, miR-146a expression levels were negatively correlated with TNF-α levels (as indicated by r = 0.500, p = 0.035 for correlation between delta cycle threshold (ΔCt) miR-146a and TNF-α levels). In multivariate analysis, serum triglyceride levels and miR-146a expression levels were independently associated with TNF-α levels. miR-146 expression levels were not associated with metabolic or other inflammatory parameters and were negatively correlated with the number of coronary vessels with obstructive disease (as indicated by r = 0.556, p = 0.017 for correlation between ΔCt miR-146a and number of diseased vessels). Conclusions: miR-146a expression levels were negatively correlated with TNF-α levels in patients with SCAD, irrespective of other metabolic or inflammatory markers, and with the severity of coronary artery disease. The results add to the knowledge on the role of miR-146a in TNF-α-based inflammation in SCAD and support future research on the potential therapeutic use of miR-146a in such a clinical scenario. Full article
Article
Non-Targeted Self-Measurement of Blood Pressure: Association with Self-Medication, Unscheduled Emergency Visits and Anxiety
Medicina 2021, 57(1), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57010075 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Background and Objective: The routine practice of self-medication of blood pressure (BP) not oriented with pulse devices may not be precisely useful in the control of BP and can lead the patient to self-medicate in error. Thus, we need to evaluate the non-oriented [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: The routine practice of self-medication of blood pressure (BP) not oriented with pulse devices may not be precisely useful in the control of BP and can lead the patient to self-medicate in error. Thus, we need to evaluate the non-oriented self-assessment of BP in real-life circumstances in hypertensive patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate in hypertensive patients the association of BP self-measurement with its control, as well as the presence of anxiety disorders, the occurrence of unscheduled visits to the emergency room, and self-medication. Materials and Methods: An observational study was carried out with 1000 hypertensive volunteers (age: 61.0 ± 12.5). Using a questionnaire, sociodemographic and clinical data on BP control were collected. Anxiety was assessed by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Results: The group that performed non-oriented self-measurement of BP, showed that they had higher frequencies of self-medication (57.9%, p < 0.05) and more unscheduled visits to the emergency room (68%, p < 0.05). In addition, a lower level of BP control (46.8%, p < 0.05) was associated with higher levels of anxiety (52.3%, p < 0.05) in the group that performed non-oriented self-measurements of BP. Conclusion: The practice of non-oriented self-assessment of BP was associated with negative factors such as high levels of anxiety and higher frequencies of self-medication and unscheduled emergency visits. Full article
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Article
Early Hemodynamics after Aortic Valve Replacement
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56120674 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 472
Abstract
Background and objectives: The aims of this study were to investigate changes in the hemodynamics associated with different types of aortic prostheses and to evaluate patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM) at rest and after exercise. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 150 patients [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The aims of this study were to investigate changes in the hemodynamics associated with different types of aortic prostheses and to evaluate patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM) at rest and after exercise. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 150 patients who presented with indications for aortic valve replacement (AVR) with/without concomitant surgery from March 2019 to January 2020. The study population included 90 (60%) men and 60 (40%) women (mean age, 67.33 ± 10.22 years; range, 37–88 years). Echocardiography data such as peak and mean transprosthetic pressure gradients (Gmax, Gmean), velocity (V), effective orifice area (EOA), and indexed EOA (iEOA) were derived at rest and after exercise at baseline and before discharge. The study patients performed the six-minute walk test (6MWT) on the 5th–7th postoperative day. Results: Stented tissue valves showed excellent performance at rest and after exercise in comparison with mechanical valves, which showed favorable hemodynamics at rest only. At the time of discharge, moderate PPM was observed in 7/74 patients (9.5%) at rest and 5/98 (3.3%) patients after exercise. None of the patients showed severe PPM. EOA and iEOA were not significantly different between the groups. However, the stented group showed more pronounced changes in EOA and iEOA after exercise, whereas the changes in the mechanical valve group did not reach significance. Conclusions: In the early postoperative period, mechanical valves and stented valves showed favorable resting hemodynamics. The PPM rate measured after exercise was lower than that at rest. Full article
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Review

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Review
Diagnosis of Cardiac Abnormalities in Muscular Dystrophies
Medicina 2021, 57(5), 488; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57050488 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Muscular disorders are mainly characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness. There are several aspects that can be monitored, which are used to differentiate between the types of muscular disorders, ranging from the targeted muscle up to the mutated gene. An aspect that holds [...] Read more.
Muscular disorders are mainly characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness. There are several aspects that can be monitored, which are used to differentiate between the types of muscular disorders, ranging from the targeted muscle up to the mutated gene. An aspect that holds critical importance when managing muscular dystrophies is that most of them exhibit cardiac abnormalities. Therefore, cardiac imaging is an essential part of muscular disorder monitoring and management. In the first section of the review, several cardiac abnormalities are introduced; afterward, different muscular dystrophies’ pathogenesis is presented. Not all muscular dystrophies necessarily present cardiac involvement; however, the ones that do are linked with the cardiac abnormalities described in the first section. Moreover, studies from the last 3 years on muscular disorders are presented alongside imaging techniques used to determine cardiac abnormalities. Full article
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