[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The absence of coronary calcification is associated with an excellent prognosis. However, a calcium score of zero does not exclude the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) or the possibility of future cardiovascular events. Our aim was to study the prevalence and predictors of coronary artery disease in patients with a calcium score of zero. Prospective registry consisted of 3,012 consecutive patients that underwent cardiac CT (dual source CT). Stable patients referred for evaluation of possible CAD that had a calcium score of zero (n = 864) were selected for this analysis. The variables that were statistically significant were included in a multivariable logistic regression model. From 864 patients with a calcium score of zero, 107 (12.4 %) had coronary plaques on the contrast CT (10.8 %, n = 93 with nonobstructive CAD and 1.6 %, n = 14 with obstructive CAD). By logistic regression analysis, the independent predictors of CAD in this population were age >55 years [odds ratio (OR) 1.63 (1.05-2.52)], hypertension [OR 1.64 (1.05-2.56)] and dyslipidemia [OR 1.54 (1.00-2.36)]. In the presence of these 3 variables, the probability of having coronary plaques was 21 %. The absence of coronary artery calcification does not exclude the presence of coronary artery disease, but the prevalence of obstructive disease is very low. In this population, the independent predictors of CAD in the setting of a calcium score of zero were hypertension, dyslipidemia, and age above 55 years. In the presence of these 3 predictors, the probability of having CAD was almost 2 times higher than in the general population.
The international journal of cardiovascular imaging 07/2013; · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac computed tomography (CT) documents the presence of coronary artery disease, regardless of the degree of stenosis. The prognostic value of non-obstructive coronary artery disease documented by cardiac CT has recently been validated. However, there are still no clear guidelines on the management of such patients, particularly concerning initiation of more aggressive pharmacological measures for primary prevention. The approach to these patients remains controversial, especially in cases in which there is a discrepancy between cardiovascular risk and the atherosclerotic burden as documented by cardiac CT. The authors describe the case of a patient with a discrepancy between the extent of documented coronary atherosclerosis and that estimated according to pretest probability and cardiovascular risk scores. As this individual had more severe coronary atherosclerosis than expected (calcium score above the 90th percentile and non-obstructive coronary artery disease on cardiac CT) but was a competitive athlete and otherwise asymptomatic and without risk factors or cardiovascular history, with a very low estimated cardiovascular risk, it was difficult to decide on the risks and benefits of pharmacological primary prevention.
Revista portuguesa de cardiologia : orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology : an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology. 06/2013;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The relation between body mass index (BMI) and coronary artery disease (CAD) extension remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between BMI and CAD extension documented by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). METHODS AND RESULTS: Prospective registry including 1706 consecutive stable patients that performed CCTA (dual source scanner) for the evaluation of CAD. The population was stratified by BMI: normal 530 (31.1%), overweight 802 (47.0%) and obesity 374 (21.9%). BMI was significantly higher in patients with CAD (27.7 ± 4.3 vs 26.8 ± 4.3 kg/m(2), p < 0.001); these patients were also older, more often male and had higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia. By multivariate analysis (logistic regression) BMI remains an independent predictor of CAD (odds ratio (OR) 1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.06; p = 0.012). Regarding the severity of CAD, BMI was not significantly different among patients with and without obstructive CAD (27.7 ± 4.3 vs 27.2 ± 4.3 kg/m(2), p = 0.120). In 319 patients (4516 segments; 4077 evaluable), a detailed atherosclerotic burden was evaluated and compared among BMI classes, defined according to the presence of plaque and the degree of stenosis. Obstructive CAD was identified in 16.9% of the patients and 45.1% had non-obstructive CAD. The discriminative threshold for high burden, established by the segment involvement score (SIS), was >5 segments with plaque (15.4% patients). The prevalence of SIS >5 among the BMI classes was: 18.7%, 13.7% and 13.6% for normal, overweight and obesity respectively (p values for the specific classes versus all other patients: 0.241, 0.450 and 0.663). CONCLUSIONS: In this population of stable patients undergoing CCTA for suspected CAD, BMI was an independent predictor of its presence, but was not correlated with the coronary disease severity.
European journal of preventive cardiology. 06/2013;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe a coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA)-adapted Leaman score (CT-LeSc) as a tool to quantify total coronary atherosclerotic burden with information regarding localization, type of plaque and degree of stenosis and to identify clinical predictors of a high coronary atherosclerotic burden as assessed by the CT-LeSc. Single center prospective registry including a total of 772 consecutive patients undergoing CCTA (Dual-source CT) from April 2011 to March 2012. For the purpose of this study, 581 stable patients referred for suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) without previous myocardial infarction or revascularization procedures were included. Pre-test CAD probability was determined using both the Diamond-Forrester extended CAD consortium method (DF-CAD consortium model) and the Morise score. Cardiovascular risk was assessed with the HeartScore. The cut-off for the 3rd tercile (CT-LeSc ≥8.3) was used to define a population with a high coronary atherosclerotic burden. The median CT-LeSc in this population (n = 581, 8,136 coronary segments evaluated; mean age 57.6 ± 11.1; 55.8 % males; 14.6 % with diabetes) was 2.2 (IQR 0-6.8). In patients with CAD (n = 341), the median CT-LeSc was 5.8 (IQR 3.2-9.6). Among patients with nonobstructive CAD, most were classified in the lowest terciles (T1, 43.0 %; T2, 36.1 %), but 20.9 % were in the highest tercile (T3). The majority of the patients with obstructive CAD were classified in T3 (78.2 %), but 21.8 % had a CT-LeSc in lower terciles (T1 or T2). The independent predictors of a high CT-LeSc were: Male sex (OR 1.73; 95 % CI 1.04-2.90) diabetes (OR 2.91; 95 % CI 1.61-5.23), hypertension (OR 2.54; 95 % CI 1.40-4.63), Morise score ≥16 (OR 1.97; 95 % CI 1.06-3.67) and HeartScore ≥5 (OR 2.42; 95 % CI 1.41-4.14). We described a cardiac CT adapted Leaman score as a tool to quantify total (obstructive and nonobstructive) coronary atherosclerotic burden, reflecting the comprehensive information about localization, degree of stenosis and type of plaque provided by CCTA. Male sex, hypertension, diabetes, a HeartScore ≥5 % and a Morise score ≥16 were associated with a high coronary atherosclerotic burden, as assessed by the CT-LeSc. About one fifth of the patients with nonobstructive CAD had a CT-LeSc in the highest tercile, and this could potentially lead to a reclassification of the risk profile of this subset of patients identified by CCTA, once the prognostic value of the CT-LeSc is validated.
The international journal of cardiovascular imaging 05/2013; · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (1) To study the prevalence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD) in diabetic patients. (2) To provide a detailed characterization of the coronary atherosclerotic burden, including the localization, degree of stenosis and plaque composition by coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Single center prospective registry including a total of 581 consecutive stable patients (April 2011-March 2012) undergoing CCTA (Dual-source CT) for the evaluation of suspected CAD without previous myocardial infarction or revascularization procedures. Different coronary plaque burden indexes and plaque type and distribution patterns were compared between patients with (n = 85) and without diabetes (n = 496). The prevalence of CAD (any plaque; 74.1 vs. 56 %; p = 0.002) and obstructive CAD (≥50 % stenosis; 31.8 vs. 10.3 %; p < 0.001) were significantly higher in diabetic patients. The remaining coronary atherosclerotic burden indexes evaluated (plaque in LM-3v-2v with prox. LAD; SIS; SSS; CT-LeSc) were also significantly higher in diabetic patients. In the per segment analysis, diabetics had a higher percentage of segments with plaque in every vessel (2.6/13.1/7.5/10.5 % for diabetics vs. 1.4/7.1/3.3/4.4 % for nondiabetics for LM, LAD, LCx, RCA respectively; p < 0.001 for all) and of both calcified (19.3 vs. 9.2 %, p < 0.001) and noncalcified or mixed types (14.4 vs. 7.0 %; p < 0.001); the ratio of proximal-to-distal relative plaque distribution (calculated as LM/proximal vs. mid/distal/branches) was lower for diabetics (0.75 vs. 1.04; p = 0.009). Diabetes was an independent predictor of CAD and was also associated with more advanced CAD, evaluated by indexes of coronary atherosclerotic burden. Diabetics had a significantly higher prevalence of plaques in every anatomical subset and for the different plaque composition. In this report, the relative geographic distribution of the plaques within each subgroup, favored a more mid-to-distal localization in the diabetic patients.
The international journal of cardiovascular imaging 12/2012; · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treadmill exercise testing has low specificity for the detection of significant epicardial coronary artery disease (CAD). A possible mechanism to explain some of the false positives is transient subendocardial ischemia induced by intraventricular gradients (IVG) during stress. The development of IVG during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) occurs in 8-38% of non-selected populations.
To determine: 1. the prevalence of IVG in a selected population of false positives on treadmill stress testing; 2. whether this prevalence is different from that described for non-selected populations; 3. whether patient characteristics are related to the presence of IVG; 4. the relation between the presence of IVG and the occurrence of ECG abnormalities, symptoms and blood pressure.
We evaluated 50 consecutive patients with false positive treadmill stress tests (normal CT coronary angiography, nuclear perfusion tests or angiography) with DSE (2D and Doppler evaluation). All DSE exams were negative for ischemia. Stress-induced IVG was seen in 34 of the 50 patients (68%) and 16 patients (32%) did not develop IVG (p<0.05). The prevalence of IVG in our selected population (68%) was significantly higher than that described for non-selected populations (8-38%) (p<0.001). Most patient characteristics (gender, age, risk factors for CAD, treatment with beta-blockers/calcium antagonists, significant valvular disease/left ventricular hypertrophy [LVH], symptoms, and blood pressure during stress) were not statistically associated with the prevalence of IVG (p>0.05). However, the presence of IVG was associated with the occurrence of ischemic ST depression during dobutamine stress echo (p<0.05).
1. The prevalence of IVG during dobutamine stress echocardiography in a selected population of false positives on treadmill stress testing is very high, occurring in more than two-thirds of patients. 2. This prevalence is significantly higher than that described for non-selected populations. 3. Age, gender, risk factors for CAD, treatment with beta-blockers/calcium channel antagonists, significant valvular disesase/LVH, symptoms and blood pressure during stress were not associated with the presence or absence of IVG. 4. The presence of IVG is associated with the occurrence of ischemic ST changes during dobutamine stress echocardiography.
Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 06/2012; 31(7-8):485-92. · 0.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence, complexity, clinical importance, heterogeneity and unpredictability of inherited cardiovascular diseases make the development of inherited cardiovascular disease centers an inevitability, with the ultimate goal of reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with these conditions. An inherited cardiovascular disease center may be seen as a subunit of a cardiology department, with health professionals specializing in these types of disorders, organized to provide excellence in all related areas, including diagnosis, treatment, followup, prevention, risk stratification and prognosis. Among its objectives are the development of action protocols and the creation of databases that enable patients to be included in national and international research networks. To achieve these objectives these centers should include functional units of clinical and basic sciences, research, training and education, acting in harmony in a holistic approach to patients and their families. As most experience on inherited cardiovascular diseases is based on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and on "hypertrophic cardiomyopathy centers", these centers represent an excellent opportunity to learn how to set up inherited cardiovascular disease centers. European centers will differ from country to country, reflecting the heterogeneity of national health systems, but will share a common core, presented in this document. Though we are aware that this ambitious project is not at all easy and may be difficult to implement in its entirety--in fact we consider it a major step--our position is that all the efforts to achieve it are worthwhile, considering that the main goal will always be the well-being of those affected by these particular disorders.
Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 10/2011; 30(11):829-35. · 0.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The application of a translational medicine approach to the study of diseases enables personalized clinical diagnosis and prognosis. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease that can benefit from such an approach, since it combines a variable clinical presentation with a genetic heterogeneity denoted by 640 known mutations, in more than 20 genes. This is a relatively common genetic myocardial disorder and the most frequent cause of sudden cardiac death in young people and athletes. This article presents a novel semantic model representing the integration of phenotype and genotype data, mandatory for the characterization of HCM. The model, developed in OWL Lite, comprises three connected modules: HCM Clinical Evaluation, Genotype Analysis and Medical Classifications. The RDF/XML representation of each module is available at https://sites.google.com/site/ hcmsemanticmodel/home-1. The lexicon of the model was based on controlled vocabularies, namely SNOMED CT, NCI Thesaurus and OCRe, with a total of 78% linked concepts. The model will provide the basic framework for a biomedical system that will improve the diagnosis and prognosis of HCM. This improvement will be accomplished through the utilization of data mining techniques that will identify associations between the presence of certain mutations and the resulting physical traits.
Bioinformatics and Biomedicine Workshops (BIBMW), 2010 IEEE International Conference on; 01/2011
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of a new miniaturized echocardiographic system (MS) to perform bedside echocardiography in initial outpatient cardiology consultations, in addition to physical examination.
One hundred eighty-nine patients referred for initial cardiology outpatient consultations at two tertiary hospitals in two countries were studied. Each patient was submitted to physical examination followed by MS assessment. Scanning time, the number of examinations with abnormal results after physical examination and the MS, and the information obtained by physical examination alone and followed by the MS (in terms of its importance in reaching a diagnosis, in the necessity of performing routine echocardiography, and in the decision to release the patient from the outpatient clinic) were assessed.
The scanning time with the MS was 180 ± 86 seconds. Its use after physical examination led to diagnoses in 141 patients (74.6%) and to an additional 37 patients (19.6%) being released from the outpatient clinic. After physical examination followed by MS assessment, only 64 patients (33.9%) were sent to the echocardiography lab. The MS modified the decision of whether to send a patient to the echocardiography lab, with referral determined by the MS in 27 patients (14.3%) and no referral determined by the MS in 58 patients (30.7%).
The new MS caused a negligible increase in the duration of consultations. It showed additive clinical value over physical examination, increasing the number of diagnoses, reducing the use of unnecessary routine echocardiography, increasing the number of adequate echocardiographic studies, and determining a large number of releases from the outpatient clinic.
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 11/2010; 24(2):117-24. · 2.98 Impact Factor
Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 09/2010; 29(9):1437-9. · 0.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thromboembolism is a major cause of death in cancer patients. The association between paraneoplastic hypercoagulability of oncological patients and long-term central venous catheters (CVC) may result in CVC associated thrombosis. Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), especially when associated with atrial septal aneurysm (ASA) is a risk factor for paradoxical embolism. We report a case of paradoxical embolism with stroke in an oncological patient with a huge CVC thrombus playing "ping-pong" with an hypermobile ASA with a PFO. We review the management of hypercoagulability in oncologic patients and discuss the potential role of routine transthoracic echocardiography before the implantation of long term central venous catheters to identify predisposing conditions to paradoxical embolism and select patients for anticoagulant therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An asymptomatic 40-year-old man with no conventional risk factors for coronary artery disease had a positive treadmill stress test based on ECG criteria. Coronary CT angiography showed a small plaque in the left anterior descending artery and dobutamine-atropine stress echocardiography was negative for myocardial ischemia but showed a significant outflow gradient (100 mmHg) during pharmacological stress.
Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 01/2009; 28(7-8):859-66. · 0.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a frequent genetic cardiac disease and the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young individuals. Most of the currently known HCM disease genes encode sarcomeric proteins. Previous studies have shown an association between CSRP3 missense mutations and either dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or HCM, but all these studies were unable to provide comprehensive genetic evidence for a causative role of CSRP3 mutations. We used linkage analysis and identified a CSRP3 missense mutation in a large German family affected by HCM. We confirmed CSRP3 as an HCM disease gene. Furthermore, CSRP3 missense mutations segregating with HCM were identified in four other families. We used a newly designed monoclonal antibody to show that muscle LIM protein (MLP), the protein encoded by CSRP3, is mainly a cytosolic component of cardiomyocytes and not tightly anchored to sarcomeric structures. Our functional data from both in vitro and in vivo analyses suggest that at least one of MLP's mutated forms seems to be destabilized in the heart of HCM patients harbouring a CSRP3 missense mutation. We also present evidence for mild skeletal muscle disease in affected persons. Our results support the view that HCM is not exclusively a sarcomeric disease and also suggest that impaired mechano-sensory stress signalling might be involved in the pathogenesis of HCM.
Human Molecular Genetics 07/2008; 17(18):2753-65. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an allelic cardiac disorder characterized by increased ventricular wall mass and sudden cardiac death. A variety of dominant single-gene mutations in sarcomeric genes have been identified, indicating a highly heterogeneous genetic etiology. MYOZ2 encodes for sarcomeric calsarcin-1 located in the myocardial z-disc, a focal point of HCM disease genes. Very recently mutations in MYOZ2 were reported as a cause for HCM. To assess the prevalence of MYOZ2 mutations among European HCM patients, coding exons weree analyzed for genetic variants in 438 patients.
Four hundred thirty-eight patients with HCM in four European cardiovascular centers were recruited. The coding region of MYOZ2 was directly sequenced in all the HCM subjects.
Two non-synonymous polymorphisms in exon 2 (rs17851524) and exon 5 (rs7687613) of MYOZ2 were identified in eight and twenty-two patients, respectively. However, no disease-causing mutations could be identified in this large cohort of HCM patients.
Although a large cohort of more than 400 patients with familial HCM was screened, a disease-associated mutation in MYOZ2 was not identified. When these results are combined with previous reports, it can be concluded that MYOZ2 mutations are rare causes of familial HCM.
Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 07/2008; 14(7):CR372-4. · 1.36 Impact Factor
Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 01/2008; 26(12):1425-7. · 0.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Left ventricular outflow tract obstruction is an independent predictor of adverse outcome in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The classical quantification of intraventricular obstruction is performed in resting conditions in supine position, but this assessment does not reflect what happens in HCM patients (pts) in their daily activities, neither during effort nor during orthostatic recovery.
To assess intraventricular gradients with echocardiography during treadmill exercise and in the recovery period in upright position, in HCM pts.
We studied 17 HCM pts (9 males, mean age 53 +/- 16 years, 11 with obstructive HCM). Each pt had 2 echocardiographic evaluations at rest (left lateral decubitus (LLD) and orthostatic position). The pts then underwent a treadmill exercise test and intraventricular gradients were measured at peak exercise and during recovery in orthostatic position.
3 pts with non-obstructive HCM at rest developed intraventricular gradients during exercise. 1 pt developed this gradient only during orthostatic recovery. The mean intraventricular gradient in LLD was 49 +/- 24 mmHg; in orthostatic position was 62 +/- 29 mmHg (p < 0.001 versus in LLD); at peak exercise was 83 +/- 35 mmHg (p < 0.001 versus supine rest); during recovery it was 96 +/- 35 mmHg (p < 0.001 versus peak exercise)
In HCM pts the intraventricular gradient increases in orthostatic position, increases significantly during treadmill exercise and continues increasing in the recovery period in orthostatic position. This type of evaluation can help us to better understand the physiopathology, the symptoms and the efficacy of different therapeutic modalities in this disease and should be routinely used in the assessment of HCM pts.
Revista portuguesa de cardiologia: orgao oficial da Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia = Portuguese journal of cardiology: an official journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology 10/2007; 26(9):947-8. · 0.59 Impact Factor