Publications by authors named "Daniel Staub"

117 Publications

18F-FDG PET/CT compared with ultrasound and biopsy for detection of vasculitis of the temporal artery branches.

Swiss Med Wkly 2021 Jun 23;151:w20512. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.

Aims: To describe the feasibility and diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) of the temporal artery compared with temporal artery ultrasound and histology of the temporal artery in patients with suspicion of having giant cell arteritis (GCA).

Materials And Methods: Patients with suspected GCA were included. PET/CT standard uptake value ratios and the compression sign on ultrasound were assessed for the trunk, and parietal and frontal branches of the temporal artery. Temporal artery biopsies were systematically re-assessed, if available.

Results: In 17/34 patients, GCA was confirmed. Temporal artery PET/CT confirmed vasculitis in 9/17 patients and was negative in all 17 controls. Nineteen of 34 subjects had a temporal artery biopsy, which was positive in 7 patients. Five of these seven were negative in the preceding PET/CT. Ultrasound confirmed vasculitis in 9/17 patients and was negative in 16/17 controls. In 7/17 patients, PET/CT and ultrasound were positive for temporal arteritis. Two patients had positive findings only on temporal artery PET/CT and two patients showed vasculitis only on temporal artery ultrasound. No temporal artery segments <1.4 mm were positive on PET/CT. The parietal branches were PET/CT-positive in two patients only. In contrast, on ultrasound vasculitic findings were equally distributed amongst all branches. Sensitivity and specificity for identification of temporal artery involvement was 53% and 100% for PET/CT, and 53% and 94% for ultrasound, respectively.

Conclusions: Assessment of the temporal artery with PET/CT is a valuable extension in the diagnostic workup for GCA. PET/CT and ultrasound have comparable diagnostic accuracy, but differ on a segment and a patient level and may thus be used as complementary tests. PET/CT has a lower sensitivity for the parietal branch than ultrasound and histology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4414/smw.2021.20512DOI Listing
June 2021

Progress in aorta and peripheral cardiovascular disease research.

Cardiovasc Res 2021 Jul;117(9):2045-2053

Department of Cardiology, Dupuytren-2 University Hospital, and Inserm 1094 & IRD, Limoges University, Limoges, France.

Although coronavirus disease 2019 seems to be the leading topic in research number of outstanding studies have been published in the field of aorta and peripheral vascular diseases likely affecting our clinical practice in the near future. This review article highlights key research on vascular diseases published in 2020. Some studies have shed light in the pathophysiology of aortic aneurysm and dissection suggesting a potential role for kinase inhibitors as new therapeutic options. A first proteogenomic study on fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) revealed a promising novel disease gene and provided proof-of-concept for a protein/lipid-based FMD blood test. The role of NADPH oxidases in vascular physiology, and particularly endothelial cell differentiation, is highlighted with potential for cell therapy development. Imaging of vulnerable plaque has been an intense field of research. Features of plaque vulnerability on magnetic resonance imaging as an under-recognized cause of stroke are discussed. Major clinical trials on lower extremity peripheral artery disease have shown added benefit of dual antithrombotic (aspirin plus rivaroxaban) treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvab144DOI Listing
July 2021

Thromboprophylaxis practice after outpatient endovenous thermal ablation.

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2021 Jul 22;9(4):916-924. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Department of Angiology, University Hospital and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Gefässpraxis am See - Lakeside Vascular Center, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Objective: The use of endovenous thermal ablation (ETA) for the treatment of truncal varicose veins has been increasing worldwide; however, uncertainty remains regarding the need for thromboprophylaxis and follow-up of patients undergoing this minimally invasive procedure. A nationwide survey of among physicians performing ETA was conducted to assess the thromboprophylaxis practice and follow-up protocols after ETA in Switzerland.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all ETA-certified physicians (n = 193) in Switzerland. The survey covered procedure type, thromboprophylaxis (including pharmacologic and compression therapy), duplex ultrasound follow-up examinations, and the management of endovenous heat-induced thrombosis (EHIT).

Results: Overall, 121 responses were received, for a response rate of 62.7%. Of the 121 respondents, 71 were vascular medicine specialists (58.7%) and 46 were general or vascular surgeons (38.0%), representing the two largest groups of specialists, followed by 2 dermatologists (1.7%) and 2 interventional radiologists (1.7%). Pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis after ETA was always used by 86 physicians (71.1%), nearly always by 8 (6.6%), frequently used by 5 (4.1%), rarely used by 21 (17.4%), and never by 1 physician (0.8%). A direct oral anticoagulant drug was the preferred type of thromboprophylaxis used by 92 physicians (77.3%). The first dose of thromboprophylaxis was mostly administered immediately after intervention by 53 physicians (53.7%). The duration of postablation thromboprophylaxis ranged from 1 to 21 days, with 7 to 10 days used by 57 physicians. Compression therapy was used by all physicians, with large variation in duration ranging from 1 to 42 days after a single ETA session and after ETA with concomitant phlebectomy. Postablation duplex ultrasonography was performed routinely by 120 respondents (99.2%), and 84 respondents (69.4%) performed two to three duplex ultrasound scans. Management of EHIT depended on the EHIT class and differed widely among the physicians.

Conclusions: Our nationwide survey on thromboprophylaxis practices after ETA of truncal varicose veins in Switzerland showed that most physicians use pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis, with a direct oral anticoagulant drug the preferred agent. However, the timing of the first dose and the duration of thromboprophylaxis varied widely among the respondents, reflecting the uncertainty in this domain owing to the absence of high-quality evidence-based guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2020.10.007DOI Listing
July 2021

Carotid Intraplaque Neovascularization on Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Correlates with Cardiovascular Events and Poor Prognosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Ultrasound Med Biol 2021 02 17;47(2):167-176. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Medical Ultrasound, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. Electronic address:

The goal of this meta-analysis is to investigate whether carotid intraplaque neovascularization (IPN) on contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) correlates with past cardiovascular events (CVEs) and prognosis. The present meta-analysis included 22 studies involving 3232 patients. The pooled analysis revealed that the presence of IPN was significantly associated with a higher incidence of future CVEs (pooled relative risk = 3.28, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.28-4.73) and a lower event-free probability (pooled hazard ratio = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.48-4.27). The presence of IPN was significantly associated with higher rates of past cardiac events (odds ratio = 4.25, 95% CI: 2.48-7.29) and past cerebrovascular accidents (odds ratio = 4.83, 95% CI: 2.66-8.78). Our results suggest that carotid IPN on CEUS significantly correlates with past cardiac events and cerebrovascular accidents and can predict future CVEs. Carotid CEUS is useful in CVE risk stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.10.013DOI Listing
February 2021

Vessel Wall-Imaging Biomarkers of Carotid Plaque Vulnerability in Stroke Prevention Trials: A viewpoint from The Carotid Imaging Consensus Group.

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging 2020 11;13(11):2445-2456

Department of Radiology and Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmg.2020.07.046DOI Listing
November 2020

Contrast imaging ultrasound for the detection and characterization of carotid vulnerable plaque.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2020 Aug;10(4):965-981

Department of Angiology, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Not only the degree of luminal narrowing but also the plaque morphology and composition play an important role in risk stratification of carotid atherosclerotic lesions. During the last few years, carotid contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) has emerged as a valuable imaging tool to assess such vulnerable carotid plaques. This review article discussed the use of CEUS for the detection of carotid plaque irregularities and ulcerations as well as the quantification of intraplaque neovascularization and its correlation with histology and inflammatory biomarkers. Apart from evaluating for markers of vulnerable carotid plaques, CEUS enhancement is directly associated with past cerebrovascular events. More importantly, preliminary evidence has shown that CEUS could be used to predict future cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events. Despite the progress in CEUS imaging for carotid atherosclerotic disease, past studies still suffer from the retrospective nature, small sample size, and a lack of matched, well controlled prospective studies. In the future, large multi-center prospective studies addressing the relationship between CEUS findings and patient clinical outcomes in carotid atherosclerotic disease are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt.2020.01.08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7487408PMC
August 2020

Inferior vena cava filter - comprehensive overview of current indications, techniques, complications and retrieval rates.

Vasa 2020 Oct 14;49(6):449-462. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Section of Interventional Radiology, Imaging Institute, Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter has been used to manage patients with pulmonary embolism and deep venous thrombosis. Its ease of use and the expansion of relative indications have led to a dramatic increase in IVC filter placement. However, IVC filters have been associated with a platitude of complications. Therefore, there exists a need to examine the current indications and identify the patient population at risk. In this paper, we comprehensively reviewed the current indications and techniques of IVC filter placement. Further, we examined the various complications associated with either permanent or retrievable IVC filters. Lastly, we examined the current data on filter retrieval.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000887DOI Listing
October 2020

The Prospective Studies of Atherosclerosis (Proof-ATHERO) Consortium: Design and Rationale.

Gerontology 2020 1;66(5):447-459. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of Clinical Medicine, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Atherosclerosis - the pathophysiological mechanism shared by most cardiovascular diseases - can be directly or indirectly assessed by a variety of clinical tests including measurement of carotid intima-media thickness, carotid plaque, -ankle-brachial index, pulse wave velocity, and coronary -artery calcium. The Prospective Studies of Atherosclerosis -(Proof-ATHERO) consortium (https://clinicalepi.i-med.ac.at/research/proof-athero/) collates de-identified individual-participant data of studies with information on atherosclerosis measures, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and incidence of cardiovascular diseases. It currently comprises 74 studies that involve 106,846 participants from 25 countries and over 40 cities. In summary, 21 studies recruited participants from the general population (n = 67,784), 16 from high-risk populations (n = 22,677), and 37 as part of clinical trials (n = 16,385). Baseline years of contributing studies range from April 1980 to July 2014; the latest follow-up was until June 2019. Mean age at baseline was 59 years (standard deviation: 10) and 50% were female. Over a total of 830,619 person-years of follow-up, 17,270 incident cardiovascular events (including coronary heart disease and stroke) and 13,270 deaths were recorded, corresponding to cumulative incidences of 2.1% and 1.6% per annum, respectively. The consortium is coordinated by the Clinical Epidemiology Team at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. Contributing studies undergo a detailed data cleaning and harmonisation procedure before being incorporated in the Proof-ATHERO central database. Statistical analyses are being conducted according to pre-defined analysis plans and use established methods for individual-participant data meta-analysis. Capitalising on its large sample size, the multi-institutional collaborative Proof-ATHERO consortium aims to better characterise, understand, and predict the development of atherosclerosis and its clinical consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000508498DOI Listing
July 2020

Mortality and pathophysiology of acute kidney injury according to time of occurrence in acute heart failure.

ESC Heart Fail 2020 10 24;7(5):3219-3224. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Cardiovascular Research Institute Basel (CRIB), University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Aims: Acute kidney injury (AKI) during acute heart failure (AHF) is common and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The underlying pathophysiological mechanism appears to have prognostic relevance; however, the differentiation of true, structural AKI from hemodynamic pseudo-AKI remains a clinical challenge.

Methods And Results: The Basics in Acute Shortness of Breath Evaluation Study (NCT01831115) prospectively enrolled adult patients presenting with AHF to the emergency department. Mortality of patients was prospectively assessed. Haemoconcentration, transglomerular pressure gradient (n = 231) and tubular injury patterns (n = 253) were evaluated to investigate pathophysiological mechanisms underlying AKI timing (existing at presentation vs. developing during in-hospital period). Of 1643 AHF patients, 755 patients (46%) experienced an episode of AKI; 310 patients (19%; 41% of AKI patients) presented with community-acquired AKI (CA-AKI), 445 patients (27%; 59% of AKI patients) developed in-hospital AKI. CA-AKI but not in-hospital AKI was associated with higher mortality compared with no-AKI (adjusted hazard ratio 1.32 [95%-CI 1.01-1.74]; P = 0.04). Independent of AKI timing, haemoconcentration was associated with a lower two-year mortality. Transglomerular pressure gradient at presentation was significantly lower in CA-AKI compared to in-hospital AKI and no-AKI (P < 0.01). Urinary NGAL ratio concentrations were significantly higher in CA-AKI compared to in-hospital AKI (P < 0.01) or no-AKI (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: CA-AKI but not in-hospital AKI is associated with increased long-term mortality and marked by decreased transglomerular pressure gradient and tubular injury, probably reflecting prolonged tubular ischemia due to reno-venous congestion. Adequate decongestion, as assessed by haemoconcentration, is associated with lower long-term mortality independent of AKI timing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12788DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524105PMC
October 2020

Feasibility and safety of flush endovenous laser ablation of the great saphenous vein up to the saphenofemoral junction.

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2020 11 10;8(6):1006-1013. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Department of Angiology, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Gefässpraxis am See, Lakeside Vascular Center, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Objective: The optimal ablation distance from the catheter tip to the common femoral vein during endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) of the great saphenous vein (GSV) is a matter of debate. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility and safety of flush ablation (fEVLA) of the GSV.

Methods: This single-center, retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data included all consecutive fEVLA interventions of the GSV between September 2017 and October 2018. Interventions were performed with a 1470-nm radially emitting fiber. Primary end points were technical feasibility of fEVLA and endovenous heat-induced thrombosis (EHIT) class 2 to class 4. Secondary end points were procedure-related complications; anatomic success at week 6; and flush occlusion at day 1, day 10, and week 6.

Results: A total of 135 consecutive intended fEVLA procedures were performed in 113 patients (86 female, 27 male). The average body mass index was 24.9 ± 4.3 kg/m. The Clinical, Etiology, Anatomy, and Pathophysiology (CEAP) clinical class for these patients was C2 in 78 (57.8%), C3 in 48 (35.6%), C4 in 8 (5.9%), and C5 in 1 (0.7%). The GSV diameter at the saphenofemoral junction was 9.4 ± 2.7 mm with a maximum of 16 mm. In 126 cases (93.3%), concomitant treatment of tributaries with phlebectomy or foam sclerotherapy was performed. In 127 cases (94.1%), fEVLA was technically feasible; in 8 cases (5.9%), appropriate catheter tip placement was not possible. In these cases, "standard" GSV ablation 10 to 20 mm distal to the saphenofemoral junction was performed. In the remaining 127 cases, one (0.8%) EHIT class 2 and one (0.8%) EHIT class 3 developed at day 10. After a 2- to 3-week course of anticoagulation with rivaroxaban, these EHIT cases resolved without sequelae. Furthermore, one (0.8%) superficial vein thrombosis and one (0.8%) calf vein thrombosis at the site of phlebectomy were observed. No local groin complication occurred. Flush occlusion was observed in 94.5%, 95.3%, and 88.2% of the cases at day 1, day 10, and week 6, respectively. Multivariate regression analysis revealed no significant association between flush ablation at day 1 and age, body mass index, CEAP class, fiber type, maximum vein diameter, or applied joules per centimeter.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that fEVLA of the GSV using a radial emitting laser is feasible and seems to be safe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvsv.2020.01.017DOI Listing
November 2020

Elevated HbA1c is not associated with recurrent venous thromboembolism in the elderly, but with all-cause mortality- the SWEETCO 65+ study.

Sci Rep 2020 02 12;10(1):2495. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Department of Internal Medicine, Cantonal Hospital of Baden, Baden, Switzerland.

The association of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) with venous thromboembolism (VTE) and death in the elderly is unknown. In the SWEETCO 65+ study we analyzed prospectively a Swiss Cohort of Elderly Patients with Venous Thromboembolism (SWITCO 65+). 888 patients were enrolled for the SWEETCO 65+ analysis. HbA1c was determined at baseline and divided into three categories (HbA1c < 5.7%, normal range; 5.7-6.49%, pre-diabetic range; and >6.5%, diabetic range). Median follow-up was 2.5 years. The primary endpoint was recurrent VTE. Secondary endpoints included all-cause mortality and major bleeds. The total prevalence of diabetes was 22.1%. The risk of recurrent VTE was similar in patients with HbA1c with pre-diabetes (adjusted subhazard ratio (aSHR) 1.07 [0.70 to 1.63]) and diabetes (aSHR 0.73 [0.39 to 1.37]) as compared to those with a HbA1c in the normal range. However, a HbA1c ≥ 6.5% (median IQ range 7.0 [6.70;7.60]) was significantly associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.83 [1.21 to 2.75]). In summary we found no association between HbA1c and major bleeding. Elevated HbA1c levels are not associated with recurrent VTE but with increased all-cause mortality in an elderly population with acute VTE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59173-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7016100PMC
February 2020

Duration of pharmacological thromboprophylaxis after outpatient endovenous laser ablation: a propensity score-matched analysis.

Swiss Med Wkly 2019 Dec 23;149:w20166. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Department of Angiology, University Hospital and University of Basel, Switzerland / Gefässpraxis am See - Lakeside Vascular Centre, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Aim Of The Study: The objective of this study was to identify the optimal duration of pharmacological thromboprophylaxis after outpatient endovenous laser ablation (EVLA).

Methods: In this multicentre retrospective study in a university hospital, regional hospital and private practices, we collected the demographic, procedural and outcome data of all consecutive patients with varicose veins class C2 to C6 undergoing outpatient EVLA of truncal and accessory veins between February 2009 and December 2015. The cumulative primary efficacy endpoint consisted of endovenous heat-induced thrombosis (EHIT) class 2–4, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) diagnosed with duplex ultrasound or computed tomography angiography after 1 and 4 weeks of follow-up. Cumulative secondary endpoints were complete ablation of the treated veins and major bleeding, skin burns and infection.

Results: A total of 864 patients were treated with EVLA as an outpatient procedure. Of those, 35 patients were omitted because of therapeutic anticoagulation or dual antiplatelet therapy. Another 36 cases were excluded as the patients received pharmacological thromboprophylaxis for 5 days. A total of 793 were included in the final analysis. Of those, 225 patients (28.4%) received fondaparinux 2.5 mg s.c. for 3 days, 166 patients (20.9%) received rivaroxaban 10 mg p.o. for 3 days and 402 patients (50.7%) received rivaroxaban 10 mg for 10 days. The incidence of EHIT class 2–4 was 0.8% (n = 6) in total, 1.3% (n = 6) in group 1 (treated for 3 days) and 0.3% (n = 1) in group 2 (treated for 10 days) (odds ratio [OR] 0.19, confidence interval [CI] 0.02–1.66, p = 0.133). The cumulative primary composite endpoint at 4-week follow-up was 1.1% (n = 9) and was 2.1% (n = 8) in group 1 and 0.3% (n = 1) in group 2 (OR 0.0.12, CI 0.01–0.96, p = 0.046). Propensity score-matched analysis revealed no significant difference in the composite primary endpoint (CI −0.074 to 0.26). Complete occlusion rate was 99.2% in group 1 and 98.8% in group 2 (OR 0.61, CI 0.15–2.59, p = 0.506). No PE or major bleeding events occurred in either group. Propensity score-matched analysis showed no significant difference in the secondary endpoints.

Conclusion: Using propensity score-matched analysis we showed that pharmacological thromboprophylaxis after EVLA seems to be equally effective with 3 days or 10 days of treatment with a similar success rate and safety profile. Undoubtedly, a large randomised control trial, ideally including a group without pharmacological thromboprophylaxis, is needed to draw more definitive conclusions on the optimal duration of pharmacological post-EVLA thromboprophylaxis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4414/smw.2019.20166DOI Listing
December 2019

Perforator vein endovenous heat induced thrombosis after laser ablation of the great saphenous vein.

Vasa 2020 Jun 6;49(4):330-332. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

Department of Angiology, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Endovenous heat induced thrombosis at the sapheno-femoral or sapheno-popliteal junction is a well-known complication after superficial truncal vein endovenous laser ablation (EVLA). This report describes a rare thigh perforator vein thrombus propagation into the femoral vein after EVLA of the great saphenous vein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000837DOI Listing
June 2020

Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound to Assess Carotid Intraplaque Neovascularization.

Ultrasound Med Biol 2020 03 29;46(3):466-478. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

Section of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is increasingly being used to identify patients with carotid plaques that are vulnerable to rupture, so-called vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques, by assessment of intraplaque neovascularization. A complete overview of the strengths and limitations of carotid CEUS is currently not available. The aim of this systematic review was to provide a complete overview of existing publications on the role of CEUS in assessment of carotid intraplaque neovascularization. The systematic review of the literature yielded 52 studies including a total of 4660 patients (mean age: 66 y, 71% male) who underwent CEUS for the assessment of intraplaque neovascularization. The majority of the patients (76%) were asymptomatic and had no history of transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke. The assessment of intraplaque neovascularization was mostly performed using a visual scoring system; several studies used time-intensity curves or dedicated quantification software to optimize analysis. In 17 studies CEUS was performed in patients before carotid surgery (endarterectomy), allowing a comparison of pre-operative CEUS findings with histologic analysis of the tissue sample that is removed from the carotid artery. In a total of 576 patients, the CEUS findings were compared with histopathological analysis of the plaque after surgery. In 16 of the 17 studies, contrast enhancement was found to correlate with the presence and degree of intraplaque neovascularization on histology. Plaques with a larger amount of contrast enhancement had significantly increased density of microvessels in the corresponding region on histology. In conclusion, CEUS is a readily available imaging modality for the assessment of patients with carotid atherosclerosis, providing information on atherosclerotic plaques, such as ulceration and intraplaque neovascularization, which may be clinically relevant. The ultimate clinical goal is the early identification of carotid atherosclerosis to start early preventive therapy and prevent clinical complications such as TIA and stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2019.10.020DOI Listing
March 2020

Imaging of Carotid Plaque Neovascularization by Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound and Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Cerebrovasc Dis 2019 29;48(3-6):140-148. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Hospital of San Giovanni, Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Background: Carotid plaque neovascularization (vasa vasorum [VV]) may be useful for detecting high-risk atherosclerotic plaques. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) are 2 commonly used techniques for imaging VV of the carotid plaque, yet the relationship between their measurements remains unknown.

Objectives: We aimed to blindly evaluate the correlation between CEUS and DCE-MRI in measuring carotid plaque VV.

Methods: We recruited subjects with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (≥50%). VV was graded by CEUS, based on richness of contrast signal, according to 3 different methods named CEUS_A, CEUS_B and CEUS_C on different point scales (the higher the values, the higher the estimated VV). A 3.0 T MRI scanner was used for VV quantification by DCE-MRI using gadolinium contrast kinetic modelling for computing the fractional plasma volume (vp) and transfer constant (Ktrans).

Results: The analysis included 30 patients. A significant correlation between CEUS and DCE-MRI findings was observed when CEUS_C was used for neovessel grading and DCE-MRI was used to determine adventitial (r = 0.460, p = 0.010) and plaque (r = 0.374, p = 0.042) Ktrans values. CEUS_B (r = 0.416, p = 0.022) and CEUS_C (r = 0.443, p = 0.014) grading showed a significant correlation with regard to the maximal Ktrans.

Conclusions: We found a positive but weak correlation and a moderate diagnostic agreement between neovessels as visually graded by CEUS and adventitial neovessels assessed by DCE-MRI Ktrans in carotid atherosclerosis. These findings may help in understanding how VV density, flow, and permeability influence in vivo measurements by CEUS and DCE-MRI as well as in selecting the most appropriate variables and imaging method in future research and potentially in clinical settings. Further confirmative studies are necessary to confirm our results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000504042DOI Listing
May 2020

A Multi-Year Examination of Gardening Experience and Fruit and Vegetable Intake During College.

Nutrients 2019 Sep 4;11(9). Epub 2019 Sep 4.

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0370, USA.

Gardening has been positively associated with fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption based on short-term studies among children, but long-term data among adolescents and young adults are lacking. This investigation sought to elucidate the association between gardening experience and FV intake among college students over a two-year period. Students ( = 593) from eight universities were assessed at the end of their freshman (Y1) and sophomore (Y2) years during the springs of 2016 and 2017, respectively. At each time point, participants completed the NCI FV Screener and questions related to gardening experience and FV-related attitudes and behaviors. Students were then categorized into four groups based on gardening experience: Gardened only during the first or second year (Y1 only and Y2 only gardeners), gardened both years (Y1+Y2 gardeners), and non-gardeners. While both Y1 only and Y1+Y2 gardeners reported significantly higher FV intake relative to non-gardeners at Y1 (2.3 ± 0.9 and 2.6 ± 0.7 versus 1.9 ± 0.6 cup equivalents (CE)/day, respectively; < 0.01), only Y1+Y2 gardeners differed from non-gardeners at Y2 (2.4 ± 0.6 versus 1.8 ± 0.5 CE/day; < 0.001). Additionally, Y1+Y2 gardeners reported more frequent engagement of several FV-related behaviors, including shopping at farmers' markets, eating locally grown foods, and cooking from basic ingredients; and were five times more likely to have gardened during childhood (OR: 5.2, 95%, CI: 3.5-8.8; < 0.001). Findings suggest that while isolated gardening experiences during college are associated with FV intake, reoccurring experience may be essential for sustained benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11092088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770305PMC
September 2019

[18F]FDG positron emission tomography and ultrasound in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis: congruent or complementary imaging methods?

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 04;59(4):772-778

Department of Rheumatology, Basel, Switzerland.

Objectives: [18F]Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET/CT and US are both well established for diagnosing GCA. The present study investigates their accuracy and whether they provide overlapping or complementary information in a cohort of patients presenting with suspicion of GCA.

Methods: We selected consecutive patients from our cohort of suspected GCA cases that underwent both extended vascular US and PET/CT for diagnostic work-up between December 2006 and August 2012.

Results: A total of 102 patients were included. Diagnosis of GCA was confirmed in 68 patients and excluded in 34 patients (controls). Vasculitic changes in US were most often found in the temporal artery with 32 positive findings on each side, followed by the popliteal artery (10 right, 9 left) and the subclavian/axillary artery (7 right, 8 left). By contrast, PET/CT showed vasculitis most frequently in the vertebral (23 right, 33 left) and common carotid arteries (32 right, 24 left), followed by the subclavian arteries (16 right, 18 left), and the thoracic (17) and abdominal aorta (23). In 37/68 GCA patients PET/CT and US both revealed vasculitic findings, 11/68 had positive findings in US only and 14/68 in PET/CT only. Specificity of US was higher (one false-positive vs five false-positive in PET/CT). On a single segment level, only 20 of 136 positive segments were positive in both imaging modalities.

Conclusion: PET/CT measuring vessel wall metabolism and US vessel wall morphology showed a comparable diagnostic accuracy for GCA. However PET/CT and US were often discrepant within single vascular regions. Thus PET/CT and US should be considered as complementary methods, with a second imaging modality increasing the diagnostic yield by 16-20%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez362DOI Listing
April 2020

Endovenous Laser Ablation for Treatment of a Partially Thrombosed Proximal Great Saphenous Vein.

Case Rep Vasc Med 2019 12;2019:1726978. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Gefässpraxis am See, Hirslanden Clinic St. Anna, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Introduction: Superficial vein thrombosis of the great saphenous vein near to the saphenofemoral junction is generally treated with anticoagulation or surgically.

Report: We present the case of a 70-year-old man with varicosities and a partially thrombosed great saphenous vein near to the saphenofemoral junction, treated with endovenous laser ablation of the great saphenous vein.

Discussion: The case illustrates an alternative treatment option for superficial vein thrombosis of the great saphenous vein, which permits avoiding a prolonged anticoagulation or surgical procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/1726978DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594284PMC
June 2019

Risk stratification of elderly patients with acute pulmonary embolism.

Eur J Clin Invest 2019 Sep 16;49(9):e13154. Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Department of Cardiology, University Heart Center, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Combining high-sensitivity cardiac Troponin T (hs-cTnT), NT-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) may improve risk stratification of patients with pulmonary embolism (PE) beyond the PESI risk score.

Methods: In the prospective multicentre SWITCO65+ study, we analysed 214 patients ≥ 65 years with a new submassive PE. Biomarkers and clinical information for the PESI risk score were ascertained within 1 day after diagnosis. Associations of hs-TnT, NT-proBNP, hs-CRP and the PESI risk score with the primary endpoint defined as 6-month mortality were assessed. The discriminative power of the PESI risk score and its combination with hs-cTnT, NT-proBNP and hs-CRP for 6-month mortality was compared using integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) index and net reclassification improvement (NRI).

Results: Compared with the lowest quartile, patients in the highest quartile had a higher risk of death during the first 6 months for hs-cTnT (adjusted HR 10.22; 95% CI 1.79-58.34; P = 0.009) and a trend for NT-proBNP (adjusted HR 4.3; 95% CI 0.9-20.41; P = 0.067) unlike hs-CRP (adjusted HR 1.97; 95% CI 0.48-8.05; P = 0.344). The PESI risk score (c-statistic 0.77 (95% CI 0.69-0.84) had the highest prognostic accuracy for 6-month mortality, outperforming hs-cTnT, NT-proBNP and hs-CRP (c-statistics of 0.72, 0.72, and 0.54), respectively. Combining all three biomarkers had no clinically relevant impact on risk stratification when added to the PESI risk score (IDI = 0.067; 95% CI 0.012-0.123; P = 0.018; NRI = 0.101 95% CI -0.099-0.302; P = 0.321).

Conclusions: In elderly patients with PE, 6-month mortality can adequately be predicted by the PESI risk score alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eci.13154DOI Listing
September 2019

Safety and efficacy of outpatient endovenous laser ablation in patients 75 years and older: a propensity score-matched analysis.

Swiss Med Wkly 2019 May 2;149:w20083. Epub 2019 Jun 2.

Department of Angiology, University Hospital and University of Basel, Switzerland / Gefässpraxis am See - Lakeside Vascular Centre, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Aims Of The Study: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) in patients 75 years and older in an outpatient setting.

Methods: In this multicentre retrospective study, we collected the demographic, procedural and outcome data of all consecutive patients with varicose veins class C2 to C6 undergoing EVLA of truncal and accessory saphenous veins. The primary efficacy endpoint was complete ablation of the treated veins diagnosed with duplex ultrasound at 4-week follow up. The primary safety endpoint was endothermal heat-induced thrombosis (EHIT) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) at 4-week follow up as diagnosed by duplex ultrasound. A secondary endpoint was minor or major bleeding.

Results: Between February 2009 and December 2015, a total of 829 patients were treated with EVLA of the truncal and accessory saphenous veins. Among them, 747 were <75 years old (group 1) and 82 were ≥75 years old (group 2). The primary efficacy outcome was reached in 739 patients (98.9%) in group 1 and in 80 patients (97.6%) in group 2 (odd ratio [OR] 0.43, confidence interval [CI] 0.09–2.07; p = 0.295). The number of patients with EHIT type 2 and DVT were 4 (0.5%) and 2 (0.3%), respectively, in group 1, and 2 (2.4%) and 1 (1.2%), respectively, in group 2 (OR 4.64, CI 0.83–25.75; p = 0.079 and OR 4.59, CI 0.41–51.27; p = 0.215, respectively). Minor bleeding events occurred in 36 patients (4.8%) in group 1 and 7 patients (8.9%) in group 2 (OR 1.84, CI 0.79-4.29; p = 0.155). No major bleeding occurred in either group. Propensity score-matched analysis revealed no significant difference in efficacy and safety outcomes.

Conclusion: EVLA performed as an outpatient procedure seems to be effective and safe in the elderly population as compared to the younger age group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4414/smw.2019.20083DOI Listing
May 2019

Bedside hand vein inspection for noninvasive central venous pressure assessment.

Am J Emerg Med 2020 02 26;38(2):247-251. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

Department of Angiology, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Gefässpraxis am See - Lakeside Vascular Center, Clinic St. Anna, Lucerne, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Rapid estimates of the central venous pressure (CVP) can be helpful to administer early fluid therapy or to manage cardiac preload in intensive care units, operating rooms or emergency rooms in order to start and monitor an adequate medical therapy. Invasive CVP measurements have inherent and non-negligible complication rates as well as great expenditures. Several noninvasive methods of CVP measurements, like ultrasound-guided techniques, are available, but require trained skills and special equipment which might not be at hand in all situations. Our purpose was to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of CVP estimates assessed upon the height of hand veins collapse (HVC) using invasively measured CVP as the gold standard. The HVC was determined by slowly lifting the patient's hand while watching the dorsal hand veins to collapse. The vertical distance from the dorsal hand to a transducer air zero port was noted and converted to mmHg. The observer was blinded to the simultaneously measured CVP values, which were categorized as low (<7 mmHg), normal (7-12 mmHg) and high (>12 mmHg). Measurements were performed in 82 patients who had a median [IQR] age of 67 [60;74]. Median CVP was 12 [8;15] mmHg and the median absolute difference between the measured HVC and CVP was 4 [2;7] mmHg. The Spearman correlation coefficient between CVP and HVC was 0.55, 95%-CI [0.35;0.69]. Overall CVP categorization was correct in 45% of the cases. HVC had a sensitivity of 92% for a low CVP with a negative predictive value of 98%. A high HVC had a sensitivity of 29% but a high specificity of 94% for a high CVP. The overall performance of observing the hand vein collapse to estimate CVP was only moderate in the intensive care setting. However, the median difference to the CVP was low and HVC identifies a low CVP with a high sensitivity and excellent negative predictive value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2019.04.044DOI Listing
February 2020

Role of multi-parametric ultrasound in transient perivascular inflammation of the carotid artery syndrome.

Ultrasound 2019 May 29;27(2):77-84. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Department of Vascular Medicine/Angiology, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Introduction: The term "carotidynia" has been used to describe a symptom or a nosologic entity characterized by pain in the lateral neck region and over the carotid bifurcation. Recent advances in diagnostic imaging and the introduction of diagnostic criteria have led to the adoption of term "Transient perivascular inflammation of the carotid artery" (TIPIC) syndrome.

Method: A retrospective analysis of the Radiology Department's database was performed to identify cases with the diagnosis of TIPIC syndrome. The purpose was to identify ultrasound images including B-mode technique, colour, power Doppler technique and contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS).

Findings: In total, five patients with the diagnosis of TIPIC syndrome are presented in this review. TIPIC syndrome is a clinic-radiologic entity characterized by pain over the carotid area, a symptom referring to a wide differential diagnosis where imaging plays a crucial role for proper diagnosis and treatment. Characteristic imaging findings on conventional ultrasound and CEUS are presented in this review.

Discussion: TIPIC syndrome can be investigated with virtually any imaging modality. Ultrasound typically reveals perivascular infiltration and a hypoechoic intimal plaque, while no significant luminal narrowing is appreciated. Computed tomography angiography and magnetic resonance angiography also demonstrate these vascular wall changes primarily affecting the distal common carotid artery, the carotid bulb and possibly the internal carotid artery proximal part. Contrast enhancement is a very characteristic and constant finding of TIPIC lesions, suggestive of the inflammatory nature of the disease and can be appreciated on computed tomography angiography and magnetic resonance angiography. CEUS has been recently used and successfully observed contrast enhancement of the lesions, similar to computed tomography angiography and magnetic resonance angiography.

Conclusion: Ultrasound remains the first-line modality for the evaluation of TIPIC syndrome, capable of providing all the information needed, especially if supplemented with the administration of microbubbles so that the enhancement of lesions can be evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1742271X18822658DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6475971PMC
May 2019

A high Gas6 level in plasma predicts venous thromboembolism recurrence, major bleeding and mortality in the elderly: a prospective multicenter cohort study.

J Thromb Haemost 2019 02;17(2):306-318

Department of Hematology and Central Hematology Laboratory, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Essentials Predictive ability of pro-hemostatic Gas6 for recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) is unknown. We measured Gas6 levels in 864 patients with VTE over 3 years. High Gas6 (> 157%) at diagnosis is associated with VTE recurrence, major bleeding and mortality. Gas6 plasma levels measured 12 months after the index VTE are discriminatory for VTE recurrence. SUMMARY: Background Growth arrest-specific gene 6 (Gas6) is a prohemostatic protein with an unknown predictive ability for recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE). In the elderly, VTE results in higher mortality but does not have a higher rate of recurrence than in younger patients. Consequently, anticoagulation management in the elderly is challenging. Objective To prospectively investigate the performance of Gas6 in predicting VTE recurrence, major bleeding and mortality in the elderly. Methods Consecutive patients aged ≥ 65 years with acute VTE were followed for a period of 3 years. Primary outcomes were symptomatic VTE recurrence, major bleeding, and mortality. Plasma Gas6 was measured with ELISA. Results Gas6 levels were measured in 864 patients at the time of the index VTE (T1) and, in 70% of them, also 12 months later (T2). The Gas6 level at T1 was discriminatory for VTE recurrence (C-statistic, 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51-0.62), major bleeding (0.60, 95% CI 0.55-0.65) and mortality (0.69, 95% CI 0.65-0.73) up to 36 months. VTE recurrence up to 24 months after T2 was discriminated by the Gas6 level at T2 (0.62, 95% CI 0.54-0.71). High Gas6 levels (> 157%) and continuous Gas6 levels at T1 were associated with VTE recurrence up to 6 months and 12 months, respectively. Conclusions In elderly patients, a high Gas6 level is associated with higher risks of VTE recurrence, major bleeding, and death. These findings support further studies to assess the performance of Gas6 in adjusting the length of anticoagulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.14365DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6850608PMC
February 2019

Vessel wall plasticity in large vessel giant cell arteritis: an ultrasound follow-up study.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2019 05;58(5):792-797

Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Objectives: To assess changes of arterial vessel wall morphology in large vessel GCA patients (LV-GCA) by repeated US.

Methods: Patients with LV-GCA on US examination were followed up 6, 12 and 24 months after diagnosis by US of the temporal, vertebral, carotid (common, internal, external), subclavian, axillary, femoral (deep, superficial and common) and popliteal arteries. Clinical and laboratory data were assessed at each visit. Vessel wall thickening was classified as moderate, marked or arteriosclerotic.

Results: A total of 42 patients (26 female) with a median age of 75 years at diagnosis had in median 2 (range 1-3) US follow-up exams. Twenty-eight had both LV and temporal artery involvement and 14 had LV-GCA only. The common carotid, subclavian, axillary, popliteal and/or superficial femoral artery were most commonly involved. Reduction of LV wall thickening occurred in 45% of patients during follow-up, corresponding to 71 of the 284 (25%) initially 'vasculitic' LV segments. In contrast, a reduction of vessel wall thickening in the temporal artery was found in 85% of patients. Of the LVs, the vertebral, axillary, subclavian and deep femoral arteries were most likely to improve. There was no difference in relapses or the received cumulative steroid dose between patients with or without a reduction of vessel wall thickening (temporal artery or LV) during follow-up.

Conclusion: Regression of wall thickening within the LV is significantly less common than in the temporal artery and irrespective of clinical remission. Morphological regression does not seem to be a useful predictor for relapses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/key383DOI Listing
May 2019

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound of the abdominal aorta - current status and future perspectives.

Vasa 2019 Mar 16;48(2):115-125. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

5 Section of Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Ultrasound has been established as an important diagnostic tool in assessing vascular abnormalities. Standard B-mode and Doppler techniques have inherent limitations with regards to detection of slow flow and small vasculature. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a complementary tool and is useful in assessing both the macro- and microvascular anatomy of the aorta. CEUS can also provide valuable physiological information in real-time scanning sessions due to the physical and safety profiles of the administered microbubbles. From a macrovascular perspective, CEUS has been used to characterize aortic aneurysm rupture, dissection and endoleaks post-EVAR repair. With regard to microvasculature CEUS enables imaging of adventitial vasa vasorum thereby assessing aortic inflammation processes, such as monitoring treatment response in chronic periaortitis. CEUS may have additional clinical utility since adventitial vasa vasorum has important implications in the pathogenesis of aortic diseases. In recent years, there have been an increasing number of studies comparing CEUS to cross-sectional imaging for aortic applications. For endoleak surveillance CEUS has been shown to be equal or in certain cases superior in comparison to CT angiography. The recent advancement of CEUS software along with the ongoing development of drug-eluting contrast microbubbles has allowed improved targeted detection and real-time ultrasound guided therapy for aortic vasa vasorum inflammation and neovascularization in animal models. Therefore, CEUS is uniquely suited to comprehensively assess and potentially treat aortic vascular diseases in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000749DOI Listing
March 2019

Non-invasive ultrasound-based imaging of atherosclerosis.

Vasa 2019 Mar 16;48(2):126-133. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

1 University Clinic for Angiology, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland.

Early detection of vascular damage in atherosclerosis and accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk factors are the basis for appropriate treatment strategies in cardiovascular medicine. The current review focuses on non-invasive ultrasound-based methods for imaging of atherosclerosis. Endothelial dysfunction is an accepted early manifestation of atherosclerosis. The most widely used technique to study endothelial function is non-invasive, flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery under high-resolution ultrasound imaging. Although an increased intima-media thickness value is associated with future cardiovascular events in several large population studies, systematic use is not recommended in clinical practice for risk assessment of individual persons. Carotid plaque analysis with grey-scale median, 3-D ultrasound or contrast-enhanced ultrasound are promising techniques for further scientific work in prevention and therapy of generalized atherosclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526/a000747DOI Listing
March 2019

The clinical benefit of imaging in the diagnosis and treatment of giant cell arteritis.

Swiss Med Wkly 2018 Aug 22;148:w14661. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.

Historically, giant cell arteritis (GCA) was considered to be synonymous with temporal arteritis. However, the disease spectrum of GCA extends much further, and includes vasculitis of the aorta and its branches with or without involvement of the temporal arteries. Imaging is crucial for the diagnosis and follow-up of GCA patients. Large vessel GCA (LV-GCA) often presents as an inflammatory syndrome and is only detected by imaging modalities such as: colour duplex sonography (CDS), computed tomography (CT) / CT angiography (CTA), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) / CT. Deciding which imaging modality to use in different clinical situations remains a matter of debate. CDS and MRI enable assessment of the temporal arteries with a presumably higher sensitivity than histology. In the context of a typical presentation, CDS can replace a biopsy. In about a third of patients, the temporal arteries are not involved, thus PET/CT, MRI, CT, or CDS of larger arteries is needed to diagnose GCA. The sensitivity of all modalities is affected by glucocorticoid therapy. Therefore, without delaying therapy, imaging should be performed within a few days of treatment initiation. The use of PET/CT for the work-up of inflammatory syndromes in the elderly reveals vasculitis in approximately 20% of examined patients and uncover relevant diagnoses in the majority of remaining patients. The aorta should be routinely assessed in all GCA patients at diagnosis and during follow-up. MRA or CTA are best suited to characterise structural damage of larger arteries. The role of imaging in monitoring GCA disease activity still needs to be further defined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4414/smw.2018.14661DOI Listing
August 2018

Evolving clinical applications of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in the abdominal aorta.

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther 2018 Apr;8(Suppl 1):S118-S130

Department of Vascular Medicine, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Ultrasound (US) represents the initial modality in the workup of abdominal aortic pathology based on the plethora of advantages including widespread availability, low cost, safety profile and repeatability. However, US has inherent limitations including limited spatial information of pathologic processes to neighboring structures, lower sensitivity to slow blood flow and aortic luminal irregularities. For evaluation of aortic pathology angiography has long been considered the gold standard. Non-invasive cross-sectional imaging techniques like computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) have gradually replaced interventional angiography for the evaluation of aorta, currently being regarded as the diagnostic imaging modalities of choice for diagnosis of virtually every aortic disease. Interventional angiography is currently primarily performed for treatment purposes of aortic pathology. The introduction of microbubbles as ultrasonographic contrast agents has rendered contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) an evolving valuable complementary technique with markedly increased diagnostic accuracy for certain aortic applications. CEUS is characterized by the potential to be performed in patients with impaired renal function. Due to its superior spatial and temporal resolution, ability for prolonged scanning and dynamic and real-time imaging, it provides clinically significant additional information compared to the standard Duplex US. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the currently available literature regarding abdominal aortic applications of CEUS, briefly elaborate on CEUS technique and safety and present cases in order to illustrate the added value in aortic pathologies. Conditions discussed include abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), aneurysm rupture, aneurysm surveillance after endovascular repair, dissection and aortitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cdt.2017.09.09DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5949595PMC
April 2018
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