Alan Gass

Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, New York, United States

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Publications (55)267.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a phenotypic variant of nonobstructive HCM, in which hypertrophy of the myocardium predominantly involves the left ventricular apex. It is common in Japanese and other Asian populations but is rare in the United States. Apical HCM has a relatively benign prognosis in terms of cardiovascular mortality; however, morbid events such as ventricular aneurysms, apical thrombi, diastolic dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, and myocardial infarction are not uncommon. We report a case of an 18-year-old white man who presented to our hospital after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The patient had a witnessed collapse while playing basketball in the field. He was found to be pulseless and unresponsive by his coach, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was immediately started. Upon arrival of emergency medical services, an automated external defibrillator advised shock and he was defibrillated thrice. Return of spontaneous circulation was achieved in 15 minutes. He was intubated for airway protection and was brought to the hospital. Therapeutic hypothermia was initiated. He demonstrated good neurological status after active rewarming. Subsequent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was suggestive of apical HCM with right ventricular involvement. The patient underwent an implantable cardioverter defibrillator placement for secondary prevention and was subsequently discharged. In conclusion, apical HCM can rarely be associated with adverse cardiovascular events. The diagnosis may be missed on transthoracic 2-dimensional cardiac echocardiogram, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging should be considered to exclude apical HCM in young patients who present after sudden cardiac arrest.
    American Journal of Therapeutics 04/2015; DOI:10.1097/MJT.0000000000000107 · 1.13 Impact Factor
  • Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 04/2015; 8:A169. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of heart failure continues to rise due to the aging population and longer survival of people with conditions that lead to heart failure, e.g. hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. While medical therapy has had an important impact on survival of patients and improving quality of life, heart transplantation remains the definitive therapy for patients that eventually deteriorate. Since the first successful heart transplantation in 1967, significant improvements have been made regarding donor and recipient selection, surgical techniques, and post-operative care. However, the number of potential organ donors has not changed and the growing number of patients in need for transplantation has resulted an increase in waiting list time, and the need for mechanical support. To overcome this issue, the United Network for Organ Sharing implemented an allocation system to prioritize the sickest patients on the list to receive organs. Despite the careful selection of patients, pre-transplant immunological screening, and multi-drug immunosuppressive regimens, acute and chronic rejections occur and potentially limit graft and patient survival. Treatment for rejection largely depends on the type of rejection, the presence of hemodynamic compromise, and time after transplantation. The limiting factor for long-term graft survival is allograft vasculopathy, an immune-mediated process causing diffuse narrowing of the coronary arteries. Percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass surgery are often not an option for this vasculopathy due to the lack of focal lesions, and re-transplantation is the only option in appropriate patients.
    Cardiology in review 03/2015; 23(4). DOI:10.1097/CRD.0000000000000066 · 3.24 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 03/2015; 65(10):A900. DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(15)60900-7 · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The prevalence and contemporary trends of pre–heart transplantation (HT) coagulopathy and associated clinical outcomes have not been studied from a national database.HypothesisPre-HT coagulopathy is associated with increased in-hospital mortality.Methods Among 2454 adult HT recipients from the 2003 to 2010 Nationwide Inpatient Sample databases, 707 (29%) had pre-HT coagulopathy (defined as a comorbidity variable, based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninthe Revision, Clinical Modification and Diagnosis Related Group codes). We used propensity scores for coagulopathy to assemble a matched cohort of 664 pairs of patients with and without coagulopathy balanced in 54 baseline characteristics.ResultsThe prevalence of pre-HT coagulopathy increased from 17% in 2003 to 44% in 2010 (P for trend <0.001). In-hospital mortality occurred in 8.6% and 4.7% of matched HT recipients with and without coagulopathy, respectively (hazard ratio: 1.81; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-2.80; P = 0.008). Coagulopathy was not significantly associated with post-HT graft complications (odds ratio [OR]: 1.20; 95% CI: 0.95-1.52; P = 0.131) but was associated with increased blood transfusions (OR: 1.92; 95% CI, 1.54–2.41; P < 0.001). Coagulopathy and no-coagulopathy groups had no difference in median length of stay (22 days in each group, P = 0.746), but median total hospital charges were higher among patients with coagulopathy compared to those without (US$425 643 vs US$389 656; P = 0.008).Conclusions In this national study of HT recipients, pretransplant coagulopathy was common, increased over time, and was not significantly associated with post-HT graft complications or increased hospital stay. However, it was associated with increased bleeding risk, in-hospital mortality, and total hospital charges. These findings may have implications for the selection of patients for HT.
    Clinical Cardiology 02/2015; 38(5). DOI:10.1002/clc.22391 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Patients with profound cardiovascular compromise have poor prognosis despite inotropic and intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) support. Peripheral venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-A ECMO) offers these patients temporary support as a bridge to various options including the ‘bridge to recovery'. Methods: We studied the outcomes of 135 patients who underwent peripheral V-A ECMO and concomitant IABP implantation in our hospital from 2007 to 2012 for various clinical indications. The ECMO circuit consisted of a centrifugal pump and an oxygenator. Results: V-A ECMO was implanted in the cardiac catheterization laboratory in 51 patients (37.8%), at the bedside in 5 (3.7%) and in the operating room in 79 (58.5%). Mean duration of support was 8.5 ± 7.1 days. Median length of stay was 28 days (interquartile range 14-62). Complications included bleeding at the access site in 14.1%, stroke in 11.1% and vascular complications requiring intervention in 16.3%. Overall inhospital survival was 57.8% with outcomes including heart transplantation (3%), implantable left ventricular assist device (8.1% as bridge to transplantation and 6.7% as destination therapy), surgery (7.4%) and myocardial recovery (40.7%). Prior IABP use and axillary cannulation were independent predictors of reduced inhospital mortality, stroke or vascular injury. Conclusions: Peripheral V-A ECMO with IABP is an effective therapy for patients with severely compromised cardiovascular function. It offers reasonable survival and a spectrum of definitive options from ‘bridge to recovery' to heart transplantation for the management of this critically ill population. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel
    Cardiology 09/2014; 129(3):137-143. DOI:10.1159/000365138 · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Cardiac Failure 08/2014; 20(11). DOI:10.1016/j.cardfail.2014.07.017 · 3.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The reported incidence of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) in the United States varies widely. Furthermore, limited information is available on the temporal trends in incidence and outcomes of PPCM. Methods and Results We queried the 2004‐2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample databases to identify all women aged 15 to 54 years with the diagnosis of PPCM. Temporal trends in incidence (per 10 000 live births), maternal major adverse events (MAE; defined as in‐hospital mortality, cardiac arrest, heart transplant, mechanical circulatory support, acute pulmonary edema, thromboembolism, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator/permanent pacemaker implantation), cardiogenic shock, and mean length of stay were analyzed. From 2004 to 2011, we identified 34 219 women aged 15 to 54 years with PPCM. The overall PPCM rate was 10.3 per 10 000 (or 1 in 968) live births. PPCM incidence increased from 8.5 to 11.8 per 10 000 live births (Ptrend<0.001) over the past 8 years. MAE occurred in 13.5% of patients. There was no temporal change in MAE rate, except a small increase in in‐hospital mortality and mechanical circulatory support (Ptrend<0.05). Cardiogenic shock increased from 1.0% in 2004 to 4.0% in 2011 (Ptrend<0.001). Mean length of stay decreased during the study period. Conclusion From 2004 to 2011, the incidence of PPCM has increased in the United States. Maternal MAE rates overall have remained unchanged while cardiogenic shock, utilization of mechanical circulatory support, and in‐hospital mortality have increased during the study period. Further study of the mechanisms underlying these adverse trends in the incidence and outcomes of PPCM are warranted.
    Journal of the American Heart Association 04/2014; 3(3). DOI:10.1161/JAHA.114.001056 · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 04/2014; 63(12):A879. DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(14)60879-2 · 15.34 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 04/2014; 63(12):A894. DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(14)60894-9 · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Medicaid enrollment and expenditures are projected to increase sharply with the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility expansions. However, the impact of these changes on outcomes after heart transplant procedure has not been studied before. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between payment source and outcomes following heart transplant in a national database. Methods: We used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to evaluate patients who obtained a heart transplant (ICD 9 procedure codes 37.51). Discharge weights were used to obtain nationwide estimates. A total of 2,329 heart transplant procedures were identified in the NIS database, corresponding to an estimated 11,536 nationwide heart transplant procedures between 2005 and 2010. Patients were stratified on the basis of payer status: Medicare (30%), Medicaid (17%), private insurance (52%), and uninsured (1.5%). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the effect of primary payer status on in-hospital mortality. Results: Patients had a mean age of 47 (±19) years, 26% were women and 55% were whites. Among insured patients, compared with private insurance, a higher unadjusted in-hospital mortality rate was found among patients with Medicare (4.3% vs. 6.4%; OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.31-1.89; P <0.001), and Medicaid (5.3%; OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.03-1.63; P=0.028). After controlling for patient demographics, comorbidities, income, hospital features and hospital region, Medicaid (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.09-1.83; P=0.009) and Medicare (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.31-1.96; P<0.0001) payer status were independently associated with higher in-hospital mortality. Length of stay was longest for Medicaid patients (48 ± 52 days) and shortest for Medicare patients (33 ± 38 days, P <0.001). Medicaid patients also accrued the highest unadjusted hospital charges (USD 518,233 ± 314,717, P <0.001). Conclusion: In this national study of hospitalized patients undergoing heart transplant, uninsured payer status was rare. Medicaid or Medicare payer status was associated with increased risk adjusted in-hospital mortality, while Medicaid payer status was also associated with increased length of stay and increased hospital charges. Further prospective studies are needed to elucidate factors that are responsible for such disparities in outcomes by payer status.
    Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 05/2013; 6(3 Supplement):A287. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although commonly reserved as a last line of defense, experienced centers have reported excellent results with pulmonary embolectomy for massive and submassive pulmonary embolism (PE). We present a contemporary surgical series for PE that demonstrates the utility of peripheral extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (pECMO) for high-risk surgical candidates. Between June 2005 and April 2011, 29 patients were treated for massive or submassive pulmonary embolism, with surgical embolectomy performed in 26. Four high-risk patients were placed on pECMO, established by percutaneously cannulating the right atrium through a femoral vein and perfusing by a Dacron graft anastomosed to the axillary artery. A small, extracorporeal, rotary assist device was used, interposing a compact oxygenator in the circuit, and maintaining anticoagulation with heparin. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was weaned in 3 of 4 patients after 5.3 days (5, 5, and 6), with normalization of right ventricular dysfunction and pulmonary artery pressure (44.0 ± 2.0 to 24.5 ± 5.5 mm Hg) by ECHO. Follow-up computed tomographies showed several peripheral, nearly resorbed emboli in 1 case and complete resolution in 2 others. The fourth patient, not improving after 10 days, underwent surgery where an embolic liposarcoma was extracted. For all 29 cases, hospital and 30-day mortality was 0% and all patients were discharged, with average postoperative length of stay of 15 days for embolectomy and 17 days for pECMO. Heparin therapy with pECMO support is a rapid, effective option for patients who might benefit from pulmonary embolectomy but are at high risk for surgery.
    The Annals of thoracic surgery 04/2012; 94(1):104-8. DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.03.052 · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac transplantation, a procedure nearly abandoned in the 1970s, has evolved into the standard of care for appropriate patients with end-stage heart failure. Much of this success has been due to improvements in immunosuppression, including the introduction of a triple-drug regimen. Retrospective reports suggested that single-drug immunosuppression with tacrolimus was feasible. As such, a prospective, randomized trial was conducted to test this approach. One hundred fifty adult de novo heart transplant recipients were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, controlled, open-label trial comparing tacrolimus monotherapy (MONO) with tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil therapy (COMBO). Corticosteroids were used in the early postoperative period but discontinued in all patients over 8 to 9 weeks. The primary end point was the composite biopsy score at 6 months after transplant. Patients were followed for 1 to 5 years. The composite biopsy score was similar between groups at 6 and 12 months: 6-month MONO, 0.70 ± 0.44 (95% confidence interval, 0.60 to 0.80) versus COMBO, 0.65 ± 0.40 (95% confidence interval, 0.55 to 0.74; P=0.44). Allograft vasculopathy was assessed by angiography and intravascular ultrasound, with no significant differences noted. Three-year survival was also similar (92.4% MONO versus 97% COMBO; P=0.58, log-rank). Addition of mycophenolate to single-agent immunosuppression did not provide an advantage over single-agent immunosuppression in terms of rejection, allograft vasculopathy, or 3-year survival. Corticosteroids, which have traditionally been a mainstay of therapy, were successfully discontinued in all patients. These conclusions are tempered by the limited statistical power associated with a sample size of only 150 patients. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: Unique identifier: NCT00299221.
    Circulation Heart Failure 03/2011; 4(2):129-37. DOI:10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.110.958520 · 5.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiogenic shock remains the leading cause of in-hospital death for patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction. For patients with refractory cardiogenic shock, early revascularization and intra-aortic balloon pump support are often inadequate to reverse the persistent circulatory collapse. We report 5 cases in which an extracorporeal oxygenator in series with the TandemHeart system was instituted emergently in patients with refractory cardiogenic shock from acute myocardial infarction. From our experience, we showed that the device can be safely and easily inserted and that it is able to reverse circulatory collapse and provide hemodynamic stability in patients who otherwise have a high mortality rate.
    American journal of therapeutics 02/2011; 20(2). DOI:10.1097/MJT.0b013e3182068db7 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy is characterized by chest pain, electrocardiographic abnormalities mimicking acute myocardial infarction, akinesis or dyskinesis of apical or mid left ventricular segments, and the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease. Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy is usually a potentially reversible form of cardiac dysfunction. A careful literature search revealed no previous report of a patient requiring mechanical circulatory support in tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy. We report a patient with tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy, ventricular fibrillation, and hemodynamic instability requiring a left ventricular assist device (TandemHeart(™)) followed by improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction to 45%.
    12/2010; 6(6):971-5. DOI:10.5114/aoms.2010.19311
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    ABSTRACT: Article Title: A Novel Two-Dimensional Echocardiographic Finding in Cardiac Amyloidosis (Echocardiography 2010;27:1170)
    Echocardiography 11/2010; 27(10). DOI:10.1111/j.1540-8175.2010.01326.x · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: A number of echocardiographic findings characteristic of cardiac amyloidosis (CA) have been described, each with limitations. Methods: A distinctive wall motion pattern of preserved myocardial thickening at left ventricular apex with hypokinesis in basal and midsegments was observed in two patients with biopsy proven CA. Following this observation, endomyocaradial biopsy files beginning in 2007 were reviewed. Seven consecutive patients with documented CA were identified. Two-dimensional (2D) echocardiograms for each were reviewed in consensus by two experienced echocardiographers. Clinical and electrocardiographic data were obtained from chart review. Results: All patients were men with class II–IV heart failure. Six had light chain CA, 1 senile CA. Six patients had coronary angiography. One had a 60% left anterior descending coronary artery stenosis. Five had nonobstructive disease. Echocardiograms for all seven patients demonstrated the distinctive pattern of preserved myocardial thickening at apex with hypokinesis in basal and midsegments. Reduced ejection fraction was present in six and increased wall thickness and myocardial echogenicity in seven. Other echo signs of amyloid were variably present. Three had low voltage on electrocardiogram. Conclusion: A distinctive 2D echocardiographic pattern of preserved segmental wall motion at left ventricular apex with hypokinesis in basal to midsegments was consistently identified in seven consecutive patients with endomyocardial biopsy-proven CA. (Echocardiography 2010;27:1171-1176)
    Echocardiography 10/2010; 27(10):1171 - 1176. DOI:10.1111/j.1540-8175.2010.01238.x · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prior retrospective studies have suggested that tacrolimus monotherapy is an option associated with excellent outcomes and reduced toxicities. We conducted a prospective, randomized, 2-center study of tacrolimus combination therapy vs monotherapy. From April 16, 2004, to September 15, 2005, 58 adult heart transplant patients were studied. All received oral tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and corticosteroids. Patients were then randomized to a group where mycophenolate was maintained (COMBO) or to a group where it was discontinued (MONO) 14 days post-transplant. Corticosteroids were rapidly withdrawn in both groups between 8 and 12 weeks. The primary end point (mean 6-month International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation biopsy score) was 0.44 +/- 0.04 in the MONO group and 0.60 +/- 0.05 in the COMBO group (p = 0.013, unpaired Student's t-test). The freedom from rejection grade of 2R or higher at 6 and 12 months was 93.3% with MONO and 92.9% with COMBO (p = NS). Tacrolimus monotherapy appears to be safe and efficacious in heart transplant recipients and is not associated with excess rejection in the first year post-transplant. Further studies of this approach are warranted.
    The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation 11/2007; 26(10):992-7. DOI:10.1016/j.healun.2007.07.022 · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the impact of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support on survival and quality of life in inotrope-dependent heart failure patients ineligible for cardiac transplantation. The role for LVADs as a bridge to cardiac transplantation has been established, but data supporting their role as permanent therapy in nontransplant candidates are limited. The INTrEPID (Investigation of Nontransplant-Eligible Patients Who Are Inotrope Dependent) trial was a prospective, nonrandomized clinical trial comparing LVAD with optimal medical therapy (OMT). Fifty-five patients with New York Heart Association functional class IV symptoms who failed weaning from inotropic support were offered a Novacor LVAD. Eighteen of these patients did not receive an LVAD owing to patient preference (n = 14) or unavailability of the device (n = 4) but consented to follow-up and constitute a contemporaneous control group. The LVAD and OMT patients were well matched for demographic and disease severity measures, except OMT patients had a lower mean serum sodium (128 mg/dl vs. 134 mg/dl; p = 0.001) and a higher mean blood urea nitrogen concentration (59 vs. 40; p = 0.02). The LVAD-treated patients had superior survival rates at 6 months (46% vs. 22%; p = 0.03) and 12 months (27% vs. 11%; p = 0.02). Adverse event rates were higher in the OMT group. Eighty-five percent of the LVAD-treated patients had minimal or no heart failure symptoms. Five LVAD patients and 1 OMT patient improved sufficiently while on therapy to qualify for cardiac transplantation. Inotrope-dependent heart failure patients who are ineligible for transplantation have a high short-term mortality rate and derive a significant survival advantage from "destination" mechanical circulatory support.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 09/2007; 50(8):741-7. DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2007.03.063 · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic renal failure (CRF) after heart transplantation is common, although risk factors for its development and potential preventive interventions are not well established. In this study we retrospectively assessed the cumulative incidence of CRF and identified independent predictors of CRF in heart transplant recipients between August 1986 and January 2003. Among the 218 patients included in the analysis, the cumulative incidence of CRF was 4.5% at 5 years, and 19.6% at 10 years after transplant. Multivariate Cox modeling revealed that diabetes mellitus prior to transplant was associated with an increased risk of CRF (hazards ratio [HR] 7.11, p < 0.01), whereas factors associated with a reduced risk of CRF included a pre-transplant creatinine clearance > or = 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (HR 0.30, p = 0.01) and treatment with a statin after transplant (HR 0.25, p < 0.01). Patients who developed CRF after transplant were at higher risk of death (HR 8.5, p < 0.01). CRF is common after cardiac transplantation and is associated with substantial mortality. The reduced risk of CRF observed with statin therapy warrants prospective study, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of progression to CRF in this population.
    The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation 03/2007; 26(3):264-72. DOI:10.1016/j.healun.2006.12.003 · 5.61 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

882 Citations
267.37 Total Impact Points


  • 2011–2014
    • Westchester Medical Center
      Valhalla, New York, United States
  • 2010–2014
    • New York Medical College
      • Department of Medicine
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2004–2007
    • Beth Israel Medical Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1998–2007
    • Mount Sinai Medical Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2005
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2003–2004
    • Sinai Hospital
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2002–2003
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York City, New York, United States
    • NYU Langone Medical Center
      • Department of Medicine
      New York, New York, United States
    • Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2001–2002
    • Mount Sinai Hospital
      New York City, New York, United States
    • University of Utah
      • School of Medicine
      Salt Lake City, Utah, United States