Publications by authors named "Antoniu Petris"

37 Publications

Myocardial Infarction with Non-Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease: The Labyrinth of Investigations. Case Report and Review of the Literature.

Life (Basel) 2021 Nov 4;11(11). Epub 2021 Nov 4.

Interventional Cardiology Laboratory, Interventional Cardiology Compartment, Cardiology Clinic, Emergency Clinical Hospital "Sf. Spiridon", Bd. Independenței nr. 1, 700111 Iași, Romania.

Myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary artery disease (MINOCA) accounts for approximately 5-15% of acute myocardial infarctions (MI). This infarction type raises a series of questions about the underlying mechanism of myocardial damage, the diagnostic pathway, optimal therapy, and the outcomes of these patients when compared to MI associated with obstructive coronary artery disease. We present the case of a 60-year-old patient with multiple cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities who is admitted in an emergency setting. The patient is known with a conservatively treated inferior myocardial infarction which occurred 3 months prior, with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Emergency coronary angiography revealed normal epicardial coronary arteries, which led to further investigations of the underlying cause. Considering the absence of epicardial and microvascular spasm, CMR (cardiac magnetic resonance) confirmation of two transmural myocardial infarctions in the territories tributary to coronary arteries, and a high index of myocardial resistance in culprit arteries, we concluded the diagnosis of MINOCA due to the microvascular endothelial dysfunction. Although the concept of MINOCA was devised almost a decade ago, and these patients are an important part of MI presentations, it still represents a diagnostic challenge with multiple explorations required to establish the precise etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life11111181DOI Listing
November 2021

Comparable Efficacy in Ischemic and Non-Ischemic ICD Recipients for the Primary Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death.

Biomedicines 2021 Nov 2;9(11). Epub 2021 Nov 2.

Department of Cardiology, Emergency Clinical Hospital "Sf. Spiridon", 700111 Iași, Romania.

(1) Background: In patients suffering from heart failure, the main causes of death are either hemodynamic failure, or ventricular arrhythmias. The only tool to significantly reduce arrhythmic sudden death is the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), but not all patients benefit to the same extent from these devices. (2) Methods: The primary outcome of this single-center study was defined as cardiovascular death in patients with ischemic and non-ischemic heart failure who have benefited from ICD therapy. The secondary outcomes were death from any cause, sudden cardiac death, ICD-related therapies (appropriate antitachycardia pacing or shock therapy for ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation) and recurrences of ventricular tachyarrhythmias. (3) Results: A total of 403 consecutive ICD recipients-symptomatic heart failure patients with ICD for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death-were included retrospectively: 59% ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICMP) and 41% non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (NICMP) patients. Within a median follow-up period of 36 months, the incidence of cardiovascular mortality was not significantly different in patients with NICMP and ICMP: the primary outcome had occurred in 9 patients (5.4%) in the NICMP group and in 14 patients (5.9%) in the ICMP group (hazard ratio 1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45 to 2.28; = 0.97). All-cause mortality occurred in 14 of 166 patients (8.4%) in the NICMP group and 18 of 237 patients (7.6%) in the ICMP group. Sudden cardiac death occurred in two patients (1.2%) in the NICMP group and in four patients (1.7%) in the ICMP group (hazard ratio 0.71; 95% CI, 0.13 to 3.88; = 0.69). The rate of appropriate device therapies was comparable in both groups. (4) Conclusions: In this study, ICD implantation for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in patients with symptomatic systolic heart failure was associated with similar rates of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in patients with ischemic heart disease, and in patients with heart failure from other causes. NICMP and ICMP showed comparable rates of recurrent ventricular tachyarrhythmias and appropriate ICD therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9111595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8615246PMC
November 2021

A Novel Paradigm Based on ST2 and Its Contribution towards a Multimarker Approach in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Heart Failure: A Prospective Study during the Pandemic Storm.

Life (Basel) 2021 Oct 13;11(10). Epub 2021 Oct 13.

Department of Morpho-Functional Sciences (II), Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Gr. T. Popa", 700115 Iasi, Romania.

Background: Acute heart failure (HF) represents an increasingly common and challenging presentation in the emergency room, also inducing a great socio-economic burden. Extensive research was conducted toward finding an ideal biomarker of acute HF, both in terms of sensitivity and specificity, but today practicians' interest has shifted towards a more realistic multimarker approach. Natriuretic peptides (NPs) currently represent the for diagnosing HF in routine clinical practice, but novel molecules, such as sST2, emerge as potentially useful biomarkers, providing additional diagnostic and prognostic value.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, single-center study that included 120 patients with acute HF and 53 controls with chronic HF. Of these, 13 patients (eight with acute HF, five from the control group) associated the coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19). The diagnosis of HF was confirmed by a complete clinical, biological and echocardiographic approach.

Results: The serum levels of all studied biomarkers (sST2, NT-proBNP, cardiac troponin) were significantly higher in the group with acute HF. By area under the curve (AUC) analysis, we noticed that NT-proBNP (AUC: 0.976) still had the best diagnostic performance, closely followed by sST2 (AUC: 0.889). However, sST2 was a significantly better predictor of fatal events, showing positive correlations for both in-hospital and at 1-month mortality rates. Moreover, sST2 was also associated with other markers of poor prognosis, such as the use of inotropes or high lactate levels, but not with left ventricle ejection fraction, age, body mass index or mean arterial pressure. sST2 levels were higher in patients with a positive history of COVID-19 as compared with non-COVID-19 patients, but the differences were statistically significant only within the control group. Bivariate regression showed a positive and linear relationship between NT-proBNP and sST2 ((120) = 0.20, < 0.002).

Conclusions: we consider that sST2 has certain qualities worth integrating in a future multimarker test kit alongside traditional biomarkers, as it provides similar diagnostic value as NT-proBNP, but is emerging as a more valuable prognostic factor, with a better predictive value of fatal events in patients with acute HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/life11101080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8539225PMC
October 2021

Management of antithrombotic therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation and acute coronary syndromes.

Rev Cardiovasc Med 2021 Sep;22(3):659-675

Cardiology Clinic, "St. Spiridon" County Emergency Hospital, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Grigore T. Popa", 700115 Iaşi, Romania.

If atrial fibrillation (AF) and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) coexist, they should be treated with combined antithrombotic therapy. To reduce the risk of bleeding while maintaining the desired antithrombotic effect, choices should be made for each patient according to the balance between the bleeding and the thrombotic risk. There are many ways to select the type and dose of the oral anticoagulant (OAC) and P2Y12 inhibitors. As a rule of thumb, aspirin and P2Y12 inhibitors should be recommended to all patients. The duration of this combination therapy is a matter of debate; available data promote an initial period of one to four weeks of triple antithrombotic association with aspirin and P2Y12 inhibitors (clopidogrel in the absence of high ischaemic risk) and preferable direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). On discontinuing aspirin, double therapy with P2Y12 inhibitors and a DOAC provides similar efficacy and superior safety for many patients on ACS medical or interventional treatment, especially if the risk of bleeding is high and that of thrombosis is low. Further studies are needed to clarify the concerns for a slight augmentation in the number of ischaemic cases (myocardial infarction and stent thrombosis) with double antithrombotic regimen in patients at high ischaemic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.31083/j.rcm2203076DOI Listing
September 2021

Reduced-Dose Intravenous Thrombolysis for Acute Intermediate-High-risk Pulmonary Embolism: Rationale and Design of the Pulmonary Embolism International THrOmbolysis (PEITHO)-3 trial.

Thromb Haemost 2021 Sep 24. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

AP-HP, hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou, Service de Pneumologie et de Soins Intensifs, APHP.Centre - Université de Paris, Paris, France.

Intermediate-high-risk pulmonary embolism (PE) is characterized by right ventricular (RV) dysfunction and elevated circulating cardiac troponin levels despite apparent hemodynamic stability at presentation. In these patients, full-dose systemic thrombolysis reduced the risk of hemodynamic decompensation or death but increased the risk of life-threatening bleeding. Reduced-dose thrombolysis may be capable of improving safety while maintaining reperfusion efficacy. The Pulmonary Embolism International THrOmbolysis (PEITHO)-3 study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04430569) is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter, multinational trial with long-term follow-up. We will compare the efficacy and safety of a reduced-dose alteplase regimen with standard heparin anticoagulation. Patients with intermediate-high-risk PE will also fulfill at least one clinical criterion of severity: systolic blood pressure ≤110 mm Hg, respiratory rate >20 breaths/min, or history of heart failure. The primary efficacy outcome is the composite of all-cause death, hemodynamic decompensation, or PE recurrence within 30 days of randomization. Key secondary outcomes, to be included in hierarchical analysis, are fatal or GUSTO severe or life-threatening bleeding; net clinical benefit (primary efficacy outcome plus severe or life-threatening bleeding); and all-cause death, all within 30 days. All outcomes will be adjudicated by an independent committee. Further outcomes include PE-related death, hemodynamic decompensation, or stroke within 30 days; dyspnea, functional limitation, or RV dysfunction at 6 months and 2 years; and utilization of health care resources within 30 days and 2 years. The study is planned to enroll 650 patients. The results are expected to have a major impact on risk-adjusted treatment of acute PE and inform guideline recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1653-4699DOI Listing
September 2021

Early switch to oral anticoagulation in patients with acute intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism (PEITHO-2): a multinational, multicentre, single-arm, phase 4 trial.

Lancet Haematol 2021 Sep 4;8(9):e627-e636. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Internal and Subintensive Medicine Department, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Ancona, Italy.

Background: Current guidelines recommend a risk-adjusted treatment strategy for the management of acute pulmonary embolism. This is a particular patient category for whom optimal treatment (anticoagulant treatment, reperfusion strategies, and duration of hospitalisation) is currently unknown. We investigated whether treatment of acute intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism with parenteral anticoagulation for a short period of 72 h, followed by a switch to a direct oral anticoagulant (dabigatran), is effective and safe.

Methods: We did a multinational, multicentre, single-arm, phase 4 trial at 42 hospitals in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain. Adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with symptomatic intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism, with or without deep-vein thrombosis, were enrolled. Patients received parenteral low-molecular-weight or unfractionated heparin for 72 h after diagnosis of pulmonary embolism before switching to oral dabigatran 150 mg twice per day following a standard clinical assessment. The primary outcome was recurrent symptomatic venous thromboembolism or pulmonary embolism-related death within 6 months. The primary and safety outcomes were assessed in the intention-to-treat population. The study was terminated early, as advised by the data safety and monitoring board, following sample size adaptation after the predefined interim analysis on Dec 18, 2018. This trial is registered with the EU Clinical Trials Register (EudraCT 2015-001830-12) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02596555).

Findings: Between Jan 1, 2016, and July 31, 2019, 1418 patients with pulmonary embolism were screened, of whom 402 were enrolled and were included in the intention-to-treat analysis (median age was 69·5 years [IQR 60·0-78·0); 192 [48%] were women and 210 [52%] were men). Median follow-up was 217 days (IQR 210-224) and 370 (92%) patients adhered to the protocol. The primary outcome occurred in seven (2% [upper bound of right-sided 95% CI 3]; p<0·0001 for rejecting the null hypothesis) patients, with all events occurring in those with intermediate-high-risk pulmonary embolism (seven [3%; upper bound of right-sided 95% CI 5] of 283). At 6 months, 11 (3% [95% CI 1-5]) of 402 patients had at least one major bleeding event and 16 (4% [2-6]) had at least one clinically relevant non-major bleeding event; the only fatal haemorrhage occurred in one (<1%) patient before the switch to dabigatran.

Interpretation: A strategy of early switch from heparin to dabigatran following standard clinical assessment was effective and safe in patients with intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism. Our results can help to refine guideline recommendations for the initial treatment of acute intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism, optimising the use of resources and avoiding extended hospitalisation.

Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, University Medical Center Mainz, and Boehringer Ingelheim.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00203-9DOI Listing
September 2021

Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis: a review of the nuclear imaging findings with emphasis on the radiotracers mechanisms.

Ann Nucl Med 2021 Sep 17;35(9):967-993. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

Nuclear Medicine Laboratory, County Emergency Hospital "Sf. Spiridon", Iași, Romania.

Cardiac amyloidosis is a protein deposition disease characterized by the infiltration of the myocardium and coronary arteries resulting in a progressive thickening of both ventricles, interatrial septum and atrioventricular valves, eventually leading to organ failure. It is a disease hard to diagnose, due to the lack of diagnostic investigations. However, development of new and more accurate examinations is undergoing. Endomyocardial biopsy is the gold standard investigation for this disease, but it has its limitations (invasive and not widely available). Other investigations may be able to detect the presence of cardiac amyloidosis but cannot specify the type involved. To that end, nuclear medicine through bone scanning offers a simple, non-invasive solution to detect, differentiate and diagnose transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis (ATTR) from other types of cardiac amyloidosis. In order to demonstrate the importance of bone scanning we will present a few methods of image processing based on literature and a personalized method, followed by a few important examples of positive cases. The aim of this review was to present the current methods of ATTR detection with emphasis on nuclear medicine bone scanning and its important place in the decision algorithm of the cardiologist for a personalized approach to this pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12149-021-01650-3DOI Listing
September 2021

Evaluation of Laboratory Predictors for In-Hospital Mortality in Infective Endocarditis and Negative Blood Culture Pattern Characteristics.

Pathogens 2021 May 2;10(5). Epub 2021 May 2.

Department of Microbiology, "Grigore T. Popa" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 6 University Street, 700115 Iasi, Romania.

Objective: This study aimed to identify possible differences between blood culture-negative and blood culture-positive groups of infective endocarditis (IE), and explore the associations between biological parameters and in-hospital mortality.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients hospitalized for IE between 2007 and 2017. Epidemiological, clinical and paraclinical characteristics, by blood culture-negative and positive groups, were collected. The best predictors of in-hospital mortality based on the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and AUC (area under the curve) results were identified.

Results: A total of 126 IE patients were included, 54% with negative blood cultures at admission. Overall, the in-hospital mortality was 28.6%, higher in the blood culture-negative than positive group (17.5% vs. 11.1%, = 0.207). A significant increase in the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease Excluding International Normalized Ratio (MELD-XI) score was observed in the blood culture-negative group ( = 0.004), but no baseline characteristics differed between the groups. The best laboratory predictors of in-hospital death in the total study group were the neutrophil count (AUC = 0.824), white blood cell count (AUC = 0.724) and MELD-XI score (AUC = 0.700).

Conclusion: Classic laboratory parameters, such as the white blood cell count and neutrophil count, were associated with in-hospital mortality in infective endocarditis. In addition, MELD-XI was a good predictor of in-hospital death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050551DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8147437PMC
May 2021

The Novel Perspectives Opened by ST2 in the Pandemic: A Review of Its Role in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Patients with Heart Failure and COVID-19.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jan 26;11(2). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Morpho-Functional Sciences (II), Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Gr. T. Popa", 700115 Iasi, Romania.

The increasing incidence of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and its polymorphic clinical manifestations due to local and systemic inflammation represent a high burden for many public health systems. Multiple evidence revealed the interdependence between the presence of cardiovascular comorbidities and a severe course of COVID-19, with heart failure (HF) being incriminated as an independent predictor of mortality. Suppression of tumorigenicity-2 ST2 has emerged as one of the most promising biomarkers in assessing the evolution and prognosis of patients with HF. The uniqueness of ST2 is determined by its structural particularities. Its transmembrane isoform exerts cardioprotective effects, while the soluble isoform (sST2), which is detectable in serum, is associated with myocardial fibrosis and poor outcome in patients with HF. Some recent data also suggested the potential role of sST2 as a marker of inflammation, while other studies highlighted it as a valuable prognostic factor in patients with COVID-19. In this review, we summarized the pathways by which sST2 is related to myocardial injury and its connection to the severity of inflammation in patients with COVID-19. Also, we reviewed possible perspectives of using it as a dual cardio-inflammatory biomarker, for both early diagnosis, risk stratification and prognosis assessment of patients with concomitant HF and COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911622PMC
January 2021

A Rare Entity-Percutaneous Lead Extraction in a Very Late Onset Pacemaker Endocarditis: Case Report and Review of Literature.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jan 9;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Department of Cardiology, Emergency Clinical Hospital "Sf. Spiridon", 700111 Iași, Romania.

The number of infections related to cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) has increased as the number of devices implanted around the world has grown exponentially in recent years. CIED complications can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and manage, as in the case of lead-related infective endocarditis. We present the case of a 48-year-old male diagnosed with Staphylococcus aureus device-related infective endocarditis, 12 years after the implant of a single chamber pacemaker. A recent history of the patient includes two urinary catheterizations due to obstructive uropathy in the context of a prostatic adenoma, 2 months previously, both without antibiotic prophylaxis; no other possible entry sites were found and no history of other invasive procedures. After initiation of antibiotic therapy according to antibiotic susceptibility testing, we decided to remove the right ventricular passive fixation lead along with the vegetation and pacemaker generator; because of severe lead adhesions in the costoclavicular region, and especially in the right ventricle, we needed mechanical sheaths to remove the abundant fibrous tissue that encompassed the lead. After a difficult, but successful, lead extraction along with a large vegetation and 6 weeks' antibiotic therapy, the clinical and biological evolution was favorable, without reappearance of symptoms. While very late lead endocarditis is a rarity, late lead-related infective endocarditis (more than 12 months elapsed since implant) is not an exception; this is why we find that endocarditis prophylaxis should be reconsidered in certain patient categories, our patient being proof that procedures with neglectable endocarditis risk according to the guidelines can lead to bacterial endocarditis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11010096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827933PMC
January 2021

Implantation of a Dual-Chamber Automatic Cardioverter Defibrillator in a Patient with Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava: Case Report and Brief Literature Review.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2020 Dec 10;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Cardiology, Emergency Clinical Hospital "Sf. Spiridon", Iași 700111, Romania.

Persistence of the left superior vena cava (PLSVC) is a congenital anomaly reported in 0.3-0.5% of patients. Due to the multiple and complex anatomical variations, transvenous lead placement can become challenging. We report the case of a 47-year-old patient diagnosed with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF-27%), who was referred to our clinic for implantation of a dual-chamber cardioverter defibrillator for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death. During the procedure we encountered an abnormal guidewire trajectory and after venographic examination we established the diagnosis of persistent left superior vena cava. After difficult implantation of a 7F defibrillation lead through the coronary sinus, we managed to place the atrial lead through a narrow brachiocephalic vein into the right atrial appendage. In this paper, we aim to illustrate the medical and technical implications of implanting a cardioverter defibrillator in patients with PLSVC, highlighting the benefit of identifying and utilizing both the innominate vein, and the left superior vena cava and coronary sinus for placement of multiple leads, which would otherwise have been impossible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10121071DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763180PMC
December 2020

Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava with Absent Right Superior Vena Cava and Discrete Subaortic Stenosis Diagnosed in a Patient with Sick Sinus Syndrome: A Case Report and Brief Review of the Literature.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2020 Oct 19;10(10). Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Cardiology, Emergency Clinical Hospital "Sf. Spiridon", Bd. Independenței nr. 1, 700111 Iași, Romania.

A persistent left superior vena cava (PLSVC) is the most frequent anomaly of the venous drainage system. While both a right and left superior vena cava (SVC) are usually present, a unique, left-sided SVC, also known as an isolated PLSVC, accounts for only 10-20% of cases. It is frequently associated with arrhythmias and other congenital cardiac anomalies. Though it is usually an asymptomatic condition, it may pose significant problems whenever central venous access is needed. We report a case of an isolated PLSVC that was diagnosed incidentally during pacemaker implantation for sinus node dysfunction. The venous anomaly was associated with subvalvular aortic stenosis determined by a subaortic membrane; this particular association of congenital cardiovascular anomalies is a rare finding, with only a few cases reported in the literature. We aim to highlight the clinical and practical implications of this condition, as well as to discuss the embryonic development and diagnostic methods of this congenital defect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10100847DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589949PMC
October 2020

Biomarker Utility for Peripheral Artery Disease Diagnosis in Real Clinical Practice: A Prospective Study.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2020 Sep 20;10(9). Epub 2020 Sep 20.

Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Emergency Hospital "Sfantul Spiridon", 700106 Iasi, Romania.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common manifestation of generalized atherosclerosis, which affects more than 200 million patients worldwide. Currently, there is no ideal biomarker for PAD risk stratification and diagnosis. The goal of this research was to investigate the levels of inflammation biomarkers and cystatin C and to explore their utility for the diagnosis of PAD. The study included 296 participants, distributed in two groups: 216 patients diagnosed with PAD and 80 patients without PAD as controls. All studied biomarker levels (C-reactive protein, CRP; fibrinogen; erythrocyte sedimentation rate, ESR; neopterin; beta 2-microglobulin, B2-MG; and cystatin C) were significantly higher in the PAD group and indirectly correlated with the ankle-brachial index (ABI). The final logistic regression model included an association of neopterin, fibrinogen, and cystatin C as the most efficient markers for the prediction of PAD diagnosis. When comparing the area under the curve (AUC) for all biomarkers, the value for neopterin was significantly higher than those of all the other analyzed biomarkers. In agreement with previous studies, this research shows that markers such as fibrinogen, CRP, ESR, B2-MG, and cystatin C have significant value for the diagnosis of PAD, and also clearly underlines the accuracy of neopterin as a leading biomarker in PAD prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10090723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555404PMC
September 2020

The Effect of Vitamin Supplementation on Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Patients without Manifest Cardiovascular Diseases: Never-ending Hope or Underestimated Effect?

Molecules 2020 Apr 9;25(7). Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Department of Cardiology, Clinical Emergency Hospital "Sf. Spiridon", 700111 Iasi, Romania.

Micronutrients, especially vitamins, play an important role in the evolution of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). It has been speculated that additional intake of vitamins may reduce the CVD burden by acting on the inflammatory and oxidative response starting from early stages of atherosclerosis, when the vascular impairment might still be reversible or, at least, slowed down. The current review assesses the role of major vitamins on subclinical atherosclerosis process and the potential clinical implications in patients without CVD. We have comprehensively examined the literature data for the major vitamins: A, B group, C, D, and E, respectively. Most data are based on vitamin E, D and C supplementation, while vitamins A and B have been scarcely examined for the subclinical atherosclerosis action. Though the fundamental premise was optimistic, the up-to-date trials with vitamin supplementation revealed divergent results on subclinical atherosclerosis improvement, both in healthy subjects and patients with CVD, while the long-term effect seems minimal. Thus, there are no conclusive data on the prevention and progression of atherosclerosis based on vitamin supplementation. However, given their enormous potential, future trials are certainly needed for a more tailored CVD prevention focusing on early stages as subclinical atherosclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071717DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7181162PMC
April 2020

Prospective Study of Pulmonary Embolism Presenting as Syncope.

Am J Ther 2019 May/Jun;26(3):e301-e307

Transilvania University, Faculty of Medicine, Brasov, Romania.

Background: Syncope represents a common condition among the general population. It is also a frequent complaint of patients in the emergency department (ED). Pulmonary embolism (PE) considers a differential diagnosis, particularly in a case of syncope without chest pain.

Study Question: What is the prevalence of PE among patients who presented an episode of syncope to the ED and among those hospitalized for syncope in a tertiary care hospital?

Study Design: From January 2012 to December 2017, we conducted a prospective observational study among adult patients presenting themselves to the ED consecutively or admitted for syncope.

Measures And Outcomes: Syncope and PE were defined by professional guidelines. PE was ruled out in patients who had a low pretest clinical probability, as per Wells score and a negative D-dimer assay. In other patients, computed tomography pulmonary angiography was performed.

Results: Seventeen thousand eight-two patients (mean age 71.3 ± 13.24 years) visited the ED for syncope. PE was detected in 45 patients (mean age 65.75 ± 9.45 years): 4 with low risk, 26 with intermediate risk, and 15 with high risk. The prevalence of PE in those hospitalized with syncope was 11.47%, which is 45 of 392 (confidence interval 95% 8.48-15.04), and was 2.52%, 45 of 1782 (confidence interval 95% 1.8-3.3), in patients presenting with syncope to the ED. The location of the embolus was bilateral in 24 patients (53.33%), in a main pulmonary artery in 10 (22.22%), in a lobar artery in 10 (22.22%), and in a segmental artery in 1 (2.22%).

Conclusions: The occurrence of syncope, if not explained otherwise, should alert one to consider PE as a differential diagnosis. PE rate, presenting as syncope, is the highest in patients with large thrombi, which is responsible for bilateral or proximal obstruction in a main or lobar pulmonary artery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0000000000000825DOI Listing
November 2019

Therapeutic Advances in Emergency Cardiology: Acute Pulmonary Embolism.

Am J Ther 2019 Mar/Apr;26(2):e248-e256

County Emergency Hospital, Baia Mare, Romania.

Background: Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) requires rapid diagnosis and early and appropriate treatment, often under conditions of hemodynamic instability. The therapeutic strategy should optimally integrate the therapeutic arsenal in a multidisciplinary but unitary approach.

Areas Of Uncertainty: The short list of the major uncertainties associated with acute PE should include limited general public awareness on venous thromboembolism, acute hemodynamic support not based on evidence from randomized clinical trials, with few updates lately, mainly linked to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, thrombolytic therapy having firm indications only in high-risk PE, without clear strategies for particular clinical situations (ie, stroke, tumors, thrombi in transit, and cardiac arrest), using old therapeutic agents with old administration regimens, lack of evidence from large-volume trials on the optimal interventional approach, and relatively imprecise indications for surgical treatment.

Data Sources: We reviewed current data on the diagnosis and therapeutic approach of acute PE.

Therapeutic Advances: A collaborative idea has been reached: apply the multidisciplinary expertise of a rapid response heart team to patients with PE in Pulmonary Embolism Response Teams. Optimization of acute hemodynamic support involves the cautious use of volume expansion; diuretic treatment may provide early improvement in normotensive patients with acute PE and RV failure, and during massive PE, we may use the venoarterial extracorporeal membrane. Until new data accumulate, rescue reperfusion should be performed only if hemodynamic decompensation develops despite adequate anticoagulation. Only EkoSonic catheter is approved by the FDA in the interventional treatment of acute PE, without the routine use of retrievable inferior vena cava filters. Outcomes of pulmonary embolectomy after an early triage of patients with hemodynamically unstable PE are acceptable. In selected low-risk patients, an ambulatory treatment of PE with DOAC is effective and safe.

Conclusions: Nowadays, evidence and ideas have been gathered that can significantly improve the outcome of patients with PE with varying degrees of severity, remaining to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of this advanced therapeutic approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0000000000000917DOI Listing
June 2019

Current Perspectives in Facilitated Angioplasty.

Am J Ther 2019 Mar/Apr;26(2):e208-e212

Cardiology Department, "Victor Babeş" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timişoara, Romania.

Background: Ischemic heart disease represents the most important cause of mortality worldwide, and the management of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) still remains a great challenge. For a great number of patients who do not have immediate access to primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), facilitated angioplasty may be a reasonable therapeutic option.

Areas Of Uncertainty: The goal of reperfusion therapy is achieving repermeabilization of the infarct-related artery. However, the restoration of normal epicardial flow is not always followed by microvascular tissue perfusion and the presence of myocardial blush. Early studies assessing the benefits of facilitated angioplasty over primary PCI encountered disappointing results, with an increased number of bleeding complications. The invasive strategy following fibrinolysis mainly consists in angiography and PCI of the infarct-related artery between 2 and 24 hours after successful fibrinolysis or rescue PCI in failed fibrinolysis, hemodynamic, electrical instability, or worsening ischemia. Currently, a strategy of routine early angiography after fibrinolysis is recommended, taking into account studies that have demonstrated a reduced rate of reinfarction and recurrent ischemia, without an increased risk of stroke or major bleeding complications.

Therapeutic Advances: After evaluating 1892 patients with STEMI within 3 hours after the onset of symptoms and revealing, beyond clear benefit of fibrinolysis, an increased risk of bleeding complications, the STREAM trial was the one that led to halving the tenecteplase dose for patients aged >75 years. A safety profile of adjusted-dose fibrinolytic therapy in elderly patients with STEMI will be further investigated by the ongoing STREAM-2 trial.

Conclusions: With the current increased burden of acute coronary syndromes and the lack of immediate primary PCI facilities for all patients with STEMI, facilitated angioplasty seems a feasible therapeutic option. Another benefit of facilitated angioplasty may be represented by a major contribution of thrombolytic therapy in re-establishing microvascular myocardial blood flow.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0000000000000914DOI Listing
June 2019

Anticoagulation in Acute Coronary Syndrome: Review of Major Therapeutic Advances.

Am J Ther 2019 Mar/Apr;26(2):e184-e197

Cardiology Clinic, "St. Spiridon" County Emergency Hospital, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Grigore T. Popa" Iaşi, Romania.

Background: In patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a persistent hypercoagulable state has been demonstrated and antithrombin therapy in addition to platelet inhibition has been proposed.

Areas Of Uncertainty: Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) were used as oral anticoagulant (OAC) therapy and produced mixed results whereas trials are still ongoing with non-vitamin K OACs (NOACs).

Data Sources: A literature search regarding benefits and risks of different OAC therapies in ACS was conducted through MEDLINE and EMBASE (last 20 years until September 2018).

Therapeutic Advances: Patients receiving dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) in combination with NOAC are to be considered at high bleeding risk. Rivaroxaban 2.5 mg BID in triple therapy with DAPT, rivaroxaban 15 mg, or dabigatran 110/150 mg BID in dual therapy with P2Y12 inhibitor (mainly clopidogrel) is safer in terms of bleeding risk than triple therapy with VKA plus DAPT. The reduction in ischemic events by NOACs was most promising when added to single antiplatelet therapy. Ongoing trials with apixaban and edoxaban could clarify whether dual therapy NOACs with P2Y12 inhibitor sufficiently protect against stent thrombosis or myocardial infarction and are safer in terms of bleeding risk than a dual therapy with a VKA and clopidogrel. In the absence of randomized trials, it is unknown whether dual therapy with NOAC and aspirin could be an alternative to NOAC and a P2Y12 inhibitor. Thus, the overall benefit of adding NOAC to antiplatelet treatment after ACS in patients without clear indication for long-term OAC is still unknown.

Conclusions: Different OACs have been tested as antithrombotic therapy after ACS in combination with single or DAPT and led to a modest reduction in ischemic events. Further studies evaluating NOACs in combination with single antiplatelet therapy or shorter duration of triple antithrombotic therapy are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0000000000000913DOI Listing
June 2019

Holt-Oram Syndrome With Multiple Cardiac Abnormalities.

Cardiol Res 2018 Oct 7;9(5):324-329. Epub 2018 Oct 7.

Medical Genetics Department, "Grigore T. Popa" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania.

Holt-Oram syndrome (HOS) is a rare monogenic disorder characterized by upper limb abnormalities, congenital heart defects and/or conduction abnormalities. It is determined by mutations of gene and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Penetrance is complete, but variable expressivity is present, which gives sometimes diagnostic difficulties. Our case is a young adult with a personal history of preaxial polydactyly operated in infancy, multiple cardiac malformations (atrial septal defect, bicuspid aortic valve, left ventricular non-compaction) and radiologic findings consistent with HOS. Family history is negative for HOS. In conclusion, we present a case of HOS diagnosed in the adult period to highlight the diagnostic problems for the proband and the family and the importance of an early diagnostic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/cr767wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6188042PMC
October 2018

Role of Optimal Medication Given to Patients with Hypertension and Ischemic Heart Disease Prior to an Acute Coronary Syndrome.

Heart Int 2017 Jan-Dec;12(1). Epub 2017 Oct 14.

Cardiology Clinic, "St. Spiridon" County Emergency Hospital, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Grigore T. Popa", Iași - Romania.

Introduction: Administering optimal cardiovascular medication (OCM) to patients with hypertension (HBP) and ischemic heart disease (IHD) lowers cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.The main objective of this study was to compare in-hospital cardiac mortality among patients with HBP and/or IHD, treated or untreated with OCM, who developed a first episode of acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Methods: The study was carried out retrospectively and included patients admitted with a first episode of ACS between 2013 and 2016. The patients were divided into three groups: those with HBP, IHD, and a history of HBP + IHD. Patients were then divided into two subgroups: subgroup A consisted of patients undergoing optimal anti-ischemic and/or antihypertensive therapy, while subgroup B consisted of patients without OCM.

Results: This analysis comprised 1096 patients. Mean age was 64.3 ± 18 years. There were 581 patients in subgroup A - 53%, and 515 patients in subgroup B - 47%. Total cardiac mortality was 9.98%, different depending on the groups and subgroups studied: HBP group total - 7%, subgroup A - 5.1%, significantly lower compared to subgroup B - 9.4% (p = 0.05); IHD group total - 12.2%, subgroup A - 9.07%, significantly lower compared to subgroup B - 15.8% (p = 0.05); HBP + IHD group total - 14.35%, subgroup A - 9.9%, significantly lower compared to subgroup B - 18.8% (p = 0.05).

Conclusions: The lack of OCM in patients with HBP and/or IHD is correlated to a significant increase in in-hospital cardiac mortality among patients who develop a first-episode ACS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5301/heartint.5000237DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6159667PMC
October 2017

Does Phantom Tumor Really Exist?!

Maedica (Bucur) 2017 Dec;12(4):281-285

Department of Pneumology, Clinical Hospital of Pneumophtisiology, Iasi, Romania.

Localized interlobar effusion in congestive heart failure (known as phantom tumor or vanishing tumor of the lung) is an uncommon entity. We report a case of a 61-year-old man who presented to the Emergency Departament with a two week history of dyspnoea, palpitations, dry cough and intermitent anterior chest pain. A posteroanterior chest radiography showed a nodular mass in the medium third of the right hemithorax suggestive of a pulmonary tumor. With this supposition of diagnosis, the patient was admitted to the Pneumology Departament for further investigations. Left ventricular systolic dysfunction was identified on the echocardiographic examination, in the presence of atrial flutter with 2 to 1 block. Lateral chest X-ray confirmed the presence of a pleural effusion with complete regression of "the lung tumor" after ten days of congestive heart failure treatment, avoiding other expensive and unnecessary investigations.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879589PMC
December 2017

Dabigatran after Short Heparin Anticoagulation for Acute Intermediate-Risk Pulmonary Embolism: Rationale and Design of the Single-Arm PEITHO-2 Study.

Thromb Haemost 2017 12 6;117(12):2425-2434. Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Center for Thrombosis and Hemostasis, University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

Patients with intermediate-risk pulmonary embolism (PE) may, depending on the method and cut-off values used for definition, account for up to 60% of all patients with PE and have an 8% or higher risk of short-term adverse outcome. Although four non-vitamin K-dependent direct oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been approved for the treatment of venous thromboembolism, their safety and efficacy as well as the optimal anticoagulation regimen using these drugs have not been systematically investigated in intermediate-risk PE. Moreover, it remains unknown how many patients with intermediate-high-risk and intermediate-low-risk PE were included in most of the phase III NOAC trials. The ongoing Pulmonary Embolism International Thrombolysis 2 (PEITHO-2) study is a prospective, multicentre, multinational, single-arm trial investigating whether treatment of acute intermediate-risk PE with parenteral heparin anticoagulation over the first 72 hours, followed by the direct oral thrombin inhibitor dabigatran over 6 months, is effective and safe. The primary efficacy outcome is recurrent symptomatic venous thromboembolism or death related to PE within the first 6 months. The primary safety outcome is major bleeding as defined by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Secondary outcomes include all-cause mortality, the overall duration of hospital stay (index event and repeated hospitalizations) and the temporal pattern of recovery of right ventricular function over the 6-month follow-up period. By applying and evaluating a contemporary risk-tailored treatment strategy for acute PE, PEITHO-2 will implement the recommendations of current guidelines and contribute to their further evolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1160/TH17-06-0434DOI Listing
December 2017

Vitamin K Antagonists Versus Novel Oral Anticoagulants for Elective Electrical Cardioversion of Atrial Fibrillation.

Am J Ther 2017 Sep/Oct;24(5):e553-e558

1Faculty of Medicine, "Transilvania" University, Braşov, Romania; 2ICCO Clinics, Braşov, Romania; 3"Grigore T. Popa" University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iaşi, Iaşi, Romania; and 4Cardiology Department, Cardiology Clinic, "St. Spiridon" County Emergency Hospital, Iaşi, Romania.

Background: The management strategy for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is often very complex, electrical cardioversion (EC) being often used to restore sinus rhythm in those patients. The increased risk of thromboembolic complications was lowered using anticoagulation therapy. Usually, the anticoagulation was achieved using vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), but over the last years we witnessed a wide implementation of the novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs).

Study Question: Study question was to compare the efficacy of NOACs versus VKAs in patients undergoing elective EC for persistent AF, by assessing the presence of left atrial spontaneous contrast and left atrial thrombi (LACS), as well as the occurrence of the thromboembolic events in the first month after the procedure.

Study Design: A prospective study, including patients with persistent AF enrolled between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016, was conducted in 2 tertiary cardiology clinics. In all these patients, a management strategy based on EC was considered for the treatment of the disease. All patients received anticoagulant therapy for at least 3 weeks before cardioversion. The data of 103 patients were analyzed.

Results: The patients were divided into 2 groups: group A-VKAs treated-included 45 patients (43.68%), mean age 65.3 ± 12.47, 36% women; group B-NOACs treated-included 58 patients (56.31%), mean age 66.4 ± 9.79, 46% women. There was a trend toward higher incidence of left atrial thrombi in group B (16.28%) versus group A (7.69%), but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.5). The incidence of LACS was 40% in group A and 29% in group B, (P = 0.54).

Conclusion: There are no statistically significant differences between the transesophageal echocardiography characteristics of left atrium and left atrial appendage examinations in the patients who received anticoagulation with VKAs as compared to patients who received anticoagulation with NOACs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0000000000000590DOI Listing
May 2018

Subclinical cardiovascular disease assessment and its relationship with cardiovascular risk SCORE in a healthy adult population: A cross-sectional community-based study.

Clin Investig Arterioscler 2017 May - Jun;29(3):111-119. Epub 2017 Apr 1.

Gr. T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 16 University Street, Iaşi, Romania.

Introduction: The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship and the accuracy of SCORE (Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation Project) risk correlated to multiple methods for determining subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a healthy population.

Material And Methods: This cross-sectional study included 120 completely asymptomatic subjects, with an age range 35-75 years, and randomly selected from the general population. The individuals were evaluated clinically and biochemical, and the SCORE risk was computed. Subclinical atherosclerosis was assessed by various methods: carotid ultrasound for intima-media thickness (cIMT) and plaque detection; aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV); echocardiography - left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and aortic atheromatosis (AA); ankle-brachial index (ABI).

Results: SCORE mean value was 2.95±2.71, with 76% of subjects having SCORE <5. Sixty-four percent of all subjects have had increased subclinical CVD changes, and SCORE risk score was correlated positively with all markers, except for ABI. In the multivariate analysis, increased cIMT and aPWV were significantly associated with high value of SCORE risk (OR 4.14, 95% CI: 1.42-12.15, p=0.009; respectively OR 1.41, 95% CI: 1.01-1.96, p=0.039). A positive linear relationship was observed between 3 territories of subclinical CVD (cIMT, LVMI, aPWV) and SCORE risk (p<0.0001). There was evidence of subclinical CVD in 60% of subjects with a SCORE value <5.

Conclusions: As most subjects with a SCORE value <5 have subclinical CVD abnormalities, a more tailored subclinical CVD primary prevention program should be encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arteri.2016.10.004DOI Listing
September 2018

"You can also save a life!": children's drawings as a non-verbal assessment of the impact of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training.

Intern Emerg Med 2017 Apr 27;12(3):365-369. Epub 2016 May 27.

Faculty of Medicine, "Transilvania" University Braşov, ICCO Clinics Braşov, Romania, Strada Universităţii 1, 500068, Braşov, Romania.

Drawings made by training children into cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during the special education week called "School otherwise" can be used as non-verbal means of expression and communication to assess the impact of such training. We analyzed the questionnaires and drawings completed by 327 schoolchildren in different stages of education. After a brief overview of the basic life support (BLS) steps and after watching a video presenting the dynamic performance of the BLS sequence, subjects were asked to complete a questionnaire and make a drawing to express main CPR messages. Questionnaires were filled completely in 97.6 % and drawings were done in 90.2 % cases. Half of the subjects had already witnessed a kind of medical emergency and 96.94 % knew the correct "112" emergency phone number. The drawings were single images (83.81 %) and less cartoon strips (16.18 %). Main themes of the slogans were "Save a life!", "Help!", "Call 112!", "Do not be indifferent/insensible/apathic!" through the use of drawings interpretation, CPR trainers can use art as a way to build a better relation with schoolchildren, to connect to their thoughts and feelings and obtain the highest quality education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-016-1469-8DOI Listing
April 2017

An entrapped in flagranti thrombus.

J Thromb Thrombolysis 2016 May;41(4):684-5

Cardio-vascular Surgery Clinic, "Prof. Dr. George I. M. Georgescu" Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases Iaşi, B-dul Carol I, nr. 50, 700503, Iaşi, Romania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11239-016-1339-2DOI Listing
May 2016

Outcome of patients with right heart thrombi: the Right Heart Thrombi European Registry.

Eur Respir J 2016 Mar 21;47(3):869-75. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Dept of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, The Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Our aim was the assessment of the prognostic significance of right heart thrombi (RiHT) and their characteristics in pulmonary embolism in relation to established prognostic factors.138 patients (69 females) aged (mean±sd) 62±19 years with RiHT were included into a multicenter registry. A control group of 276 patients without RiHT was created by propensity scoring from a cohort of 963 contemporary patients. The primary end-point was 30-day pulmonary embolism-related mortality; the secondary end-point included 30-day all-cause mortality. In RiHT patients, pulmonary embolism mortality was higher in 31 patients with systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg than in 107 normotensives (42% versus 12%, p=0.0002) and was higher in the 83 normotensives with right ventricular dysfunction (RVD) than in the 24 normotensives without RVD (16% versus 0%, p=0.038). In multivariable analysis the simplified Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index predicted mortality (hazard ratio 2.43, 95% CI 1.58-3.73; p<0.0001), while RiHT characteristics did not. Patients with RiHT had higher pulmonary embolism mortality than controls (19% versus 8%, p=0.003), especially normotensive patients with RVD (16% versus 7%, p=0.02).30-day mortality in patients with RiHT is related to haemodynamic consequences of pulmonary embolism and not to RiHT characteristics. However, patients with RiHT and pulmonary embolism resulting in RVD seem to have worse prognosis than propensity score-matched controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.00819-2015DOI Listing
March 2016
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