Publications by authors named "Ralph Wessel"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

New Precordial T wave Inversions in Hospitalized Patients.

Am J Med 2021 Nov 20. Epub 2021 Nov 20.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of California San Francisco, Fresno, California.

Background: The incidence of precordial T changes has been described in athletes and in specific populations, while the etiology in a large patient population admitted to the hospital has not previously been reported.

Methods: All ECGs read by the same physician with new (compared to prior ECGs) or presumed new (no prior ECGs) precordial T wave inversions of >1 mm (0.1 mV) in multiple precordial leads were retrospectively reviewed and various ECG, patient-related and imaging parameters assessed. 226 patients and their ECGs were initially selected for analysis. Of these, 35 were eliminated leaving 191 for the final analysis.

Results: Patients and their ECGs were divided into 5 groups based on diagnosis and incidence including Wellens' syndrome, takotsubo, type 2 myocardial infarction, other (including multiple diagnoses) and unknown. While subtle differences including number of T inversion leads, depth of T waves, QTc intervals and other variables were present between some groups, diagnosis in individual cases required appropriate clinical, laboratory and/or imaging studies. For example, although Wellens' syndrome was identified in <20% of cases, a presenting history of chest discomfort with precordial T changes either on the admission or next day ECG was highly sensitive and specific for this diagnosis. In some cases, Type 2 myocardial infarction can also have a Wellens' like ECG phenotype without significant left anterior descending disease.

Conclusions: Precordial T wave changes in hospitalized patients have various etiologies and, in individual cases, the changes on the ECG alone cannot easily distinguish the presumptive diagnosis and additional data are required.
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November 2021

Increased E/A Ratio is a Risk Factor for the Formation of Pleural Effusion in Heart Failure.

Lung 2020 02 18;198(1):229-233. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

VA Medical Center, UCSF Fresno, 2615 E. Clinton Ave, Fresno, CA, 9370-2223, USA.

Purpose: Pleural effusion is a common finding in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). The pathogenesis of pleural effusion in heart failure is multifactorial. However, the role of right and left ventricular function assessed by ECHO cardiogram has not been studied. Therefore, we explored the association between right and left ventricular parameters on echocardiogram in patients with heart failure with and without pleural effusion diagnosed using CT scan of chest.

Methods: A case-control study was utilized to explore the objectives. Using strict exclusion criteria, patients admitted with a single diagnosis of acute CHF were stratified into those with and without pleural effusion using CT scan of chest done at admission. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify significant factors associated with pleural effusion.

Results: Among the 70 patients, 36 (51%) had pleural effusions. The mean E/A ratio in patients with effusion (2.53 ± 1.1) was significantly higher than in patients without effusion (1.15 ± 0.9), p < 0.01. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that elevated E/A ratio was significantly associated with pleural effusion, OR 3.26 (95% CI 1.57-6.77, p < 0.009). Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), septal E', lateral E', and medial E/E' ratio were not significantly different in patients with and without pleural effusion.

Conclusion: Elevated E/A ratio is a risk factor for the formation of pleural effusion in patients with heart failure.
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February 2020

Femoral micropuncture or routine introducer study (FEMORIS).

Cardiology 2014 9;129(1):39-43. Epub 2014 Jul 9.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, Fresno, Calif., USA.

Objectives: The Micropuncture® 21-gauge needle may reduce complications related to vessel trauma from inadvertent venous or posterior arterial wall puncture.

Methods: This was a single-center, multiple-user trial. Four hundred and two patients undergoing possible or definite percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) were randomized 1:1 to an 18-gauge versus a 21-gauge needle. Patients and personnel pulling the sheaths and performing the follow-up were blinded. The primary end point was a composite of access bleeding. Events were tabulated following sheath removal, ≤ 24 h after the procedure and at the follow-up (at 1-2 weeks). End points were blindly adjudicated.

Results: The event rate overall was 12.4% and did not differ significantly between groups, although the 21-gauge needle was found to reduce events by more than one third. An exploratory subgroup analysis of prespecified variables indicated that: patients who did not undergo PCI or elective procedures, female patients and those with a final sheath size of ≤ 6 Fr all had a significant or near-significant reduction of complications with Micropuncture.

Conclusions: Although no significant differences between the use of the 18- and 21-gauge needles were observed, there was a 50-75% reduction with Micropuncture in several subgroups. The study was terminated prematurely. Access site complications may be reduced by the use of the 21-gauge needle, particularly when the risk of bleeding is not high. Further multicenter data will be required to confirm these hypothesis-generating observations.
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May 2015

Frequency of elevated troponin I and diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction.

Am J Cardiol 2009 Jul 4;104(1):9-13. Epub 2009 May 4.

Division of Cardiology, UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, Fresno, CA, USA.

This study evaluated the incidence and type of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a consecutive population with increased troponin I (TnI). AMI has recently been redefined and subclassified. Incidence, demographic data, angiographic findings, and hospital mortality of patients with various AMI subtypes or an increased TnI in the absence of AMI have not been previously reported in a prospective study. Over a 3-month period, all patients admitted from an emergency room or from in-patient services with >1 TnI level >0.04 ng/ml were evaluated and subclassified in AMI subgroups. In-hospital or recent coronary angiograms were reviewed. In-hospital mortality was noted. Of 2,944 patients with serial TnI measurements, 728 had an increased TnI and 701 (23.8%) were evaluated. Two hundred sixteen (30.8% with increased TnI and 42.7% with "rule-out MI" on admission) met criteria for AMI. One hundred forty-three (20.4%) had type 1, 64 (9.1%) had type 2, whereas 461 (65.8%) did not meet criteria for AMI. On multivariate analysis, use of angiography, peak TnI level, hyperlipidemia, and illicit drug use were independently associated with the diagnosis of AMI. TnI of 0.28 ng/ml had a 70% sensitivity and specificity for AMI diagnosis. In conclusion, a minority admitted with increased TnI have AMI by the universal definition. Type 1 is the most common AMI and is associated with higher TnI values and these patients are more likely to undergo angiography. Type 2 AMI is often associated with illicit drug use.
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July 2009