[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Novel oral anticoagulants have been tested against warfarin for atrial fibrillation, yet no direct comparison is available. We thus aimed to perform pair-wise (direct) and warfarin-adjusted network (i.e. indirect) meta-analyses of novel oral anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation.
Databases were searched for randomized warfarin-controlled trials of novel anticoagulants for non-valvular atrial fibrillation. The primary end-point was long-term stroke/systemic embolism. Odds ratios (95% intervals) were computed with RevMan and WinBUGS.
Seven trials (52701 patients) were included, focusing on apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban and rivaroxaban. Pair-wise meta-analysis showed that after a weighted average of 23 months these novel anticoagulants lead to significant reductions in the risk of stroke/systemic embolism (odds ratio=0.81 [0.71-0.92], I2=23%) and all cause death (odds ratio=0.88 [0.82-0.95], I2=0%) in comparison to warfarin. Network meta-analysis showed that apixaban and dabigatran proved similarly superior to warfarin in preventing stroke/systemic embolism (odds ratio=0.78 [0.62-0.96] for apixaban vs warfarin; odds ratio=0.66 [0.52-0.84] for high-dose dabigatran vs warfarin; odds ratio for apixaban vs high-dose dabigatran=1.17 [0.85-1.63]), but apixaban was associated with fewer major bleedings (odds ratio=0.73 [0.57-0.93]) and drug discontinuations (odds ratio=0.64 [0.52-0.78]) than dabigatran. Rivaroxaban did not reduce stroke/systemic embolism (odds ratio=0.87 [0.71-1.07]) or major bleedings in comparison to warfarin (odds ratio=0.87 [0.71-1.07]) and was associated with more major bleedings in comparison to apixaban (odds ratio=1.52 [1.19-1.92]). Data for edoxaban were inconclusive.
Novel oral anticoagulants appear as a very promising treatment option for atrial fibrillation.
HSR proceedings in intensive care & cardiovascular anesthesia. 01/2013; 5(1):40-54.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess cardiac mortality in patients with reduced ejection fraction (EF< or =45%) and anemia (Hb< or =12 g/dL) undergoing coronary stenting and to investigate whether iron-deficiency anemia influenced outcome when compared to non-anemic patients or patients with other types of anemia.
One hundred twenty consecutive patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) between April 2003 and December 2005 were identified and followed for a median of 30 months. Patients were divided into 2 groups, anemic (Hb< or =12 g/dL) and non-anemic. Anemic patients were then divided into 3 sub-groups based on laboratory analysis and anemia work-up: iron-deficiency, malignancy-associated, and anemia of chronic disease (including chronic kidney disease). Mortality rates and cause of death were retrieved using both the Social Security database and the hospital records.
Thirty-one percent of patients had iron deficiency, 24% had a malignancy-associated anemia and 45% had anemia of chronic disease. Overall mortality was 12% of which 29% was cardiac death. All-cause and cardiac mortality were significantly higher in anemic vs. non-anemic patients, (31% vs. 6%, P<0.001, and 10% vs. 1%, P=0.016, respectively). Iron-deficiency anemia strongly predicted cardiac mortality (33% vs. 1% in non-anemic patients, P<0.001), while malignancy-associated anemia was the strongest predictor of non-cardiac death (57% vs. 4% in non-anemic patients, P<0.001). Anemia of chronic disease neither predicted cardiac nor non-cardiac death.
To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to show that iron-deficiency anemia is a strong predictor of cardiac death when compared to patients with other types of anemia or to non-anemic patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pexelizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody inhibiting C5 complement. It has been postulated to improve outcomes in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery and urgent reperfusion therapy for ST elevation myocardial infarction. We aimed at evaluating the risk/benefit profile of pexelizumab (bolus + infusion) versus placebo on top of current approaches in the management of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction or undergoing coronary artery bypass.
We conducted a search of BioMedCentral, CENTRAL, mRCT, and PubMed without language restrictions (updated October 2007) for randomized controlled trials. Outcomes of interest were the risk of major adverse events (the composite of all-cause death, myocardial infarction, and thromboembolic stroke), the risk of single end points, and heart failure.
Seven trials were included (15,196 patients: 7019 patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction and 8177 undergoing coronary bypass surgery). No benefit of adding pexelizumab was found in the overall analysis for major adverse events (OR 0.91 [0.76-1.09]; P = .29], death (OR 0.79 [0.61-1.03], P = .11], myocardial infarction (OR 1.04 [0.89-1.22]; P = .14), stroke (OR 0.95 [0.66-1.38]; P = .8), heart failure (OR1.0 [0.82-1.22]; P = .99), nor in the settings of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction treated with mechanical or pharmacologic reperfusion therapy. Pexelizumab was associated with a 26% reduction of the risk of death in the setting of coronary artery bypass (OR 0.74 [0.58-0.94]; P = .01). The number needed to treat was 100.
Our data ruled out the hypothesis of any benefit of adding pexelizumab on top of currently available therapies for ST elevation myocardial infarction. However, pexelizumab reduces the risk of death in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.
The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 11/2008; 136(4):884-93. · 3.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-lymphocyte activation within atherosclerotic plaque, and widespread to the myocardium, has been shown in patients with acute coronary syndromes.
To investigate the presence of T-lymphocyte infiltrate at different stages of acute coronary syndromes by studying patients with sudden coronary death, acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and healed infarction, in comparison with patients with myocarditis and patients with non-ischaemic heart failure.
72 cases were studied at autopsy: 12 dying of sudden coronary death (group 1), 12 dying <4 weeks (group 2) and 12 dying >4 months after AMI (group 3), 12 with active lymphocytic myocarditis (group 4), 12 with hypertensive heart disease (group 5), and 12 control subjects (group 6). Light microscopy was performed to measure the number of activated T-lymphocytes (CD3+/DR+) in the myocardium and coronary artery wall, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression in the myocardium.
Activated T-lymphocyte infiltrates and ICAM-1 myocardial expression in both remote and peri-infarction regions and activated T-lymphocytes within the epicardial coronary artery wall of both the infarct- and non-infarct-related arteries were found in groups 1, 2 and 3, whereas myocardial, but not coronary, infiltrates were found in groups 4 (p<0.001 vs groups 1, 2 and 3 for coronary infiltrates). Groups 5 and 6 had no evidence of myocardial or coronary inflammation (p<0.001 vs groups 1, 2 and 3).
The study shows the presence of a lymphocytic infiltrate in both coronary arteries and myocardium and a proinflammatory phenotype shift in the myocardium associated with acute coronary thrombosis in patients dying suddenly, shortly, or even late after coronary thrombosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite proven advantages of primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), thrombolysis remains the first line treatment for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) worldwide. Management of patients with failed thrombolysis is still debated, and data from existing randomized controlled trials are conflicting.
To compare the risk/benefit profile of repeat thrombolysis (RT) vs. rescue PCI in patients with failed thrombolysis.
Search of BioMedCentral, CENTRAL, mRCT and PubMed for randomized controlled trials comparing rescue PCI vs. conservative therapy and/or RT vs. conservative therapy. Outcomes of interest assessed by adjusted indirect meta-analysis: major adverse events (MAE, defined as the composite of overall mortality and re-infarction), stroke, congestive heart failure (CHF), major bleeds (MB), and minor bleeds. Overall mortality and re-infarction have been also analysed individually.
Eight trials were included (1318 patients). Follow-up ranged from 'in-hospital' to 6 months. No significant difference was found for the risk of MAE [OR 0.93(0.26-3.35), P = 0.4], overall mortality [OR 1.01(0.52-1.95), P = 0.15], stroke [OR 5.03(0.64-39.1), P = 0.58] and CHF [OR 0.74(0.28-1.96), P = 0.6]. Compared with conservative therapy, rescue PCI was associated with a 70% reduction in the risk of re-infarction [OR 0.32(0.14-0.74), P = 0.008], number needed to treat 17. No difference in terms of MB was found [OR 0.5(0.1-2.5), P = 0.09], while a greater risk of minor bleeds was observed with rescue PCI [OR 2.48(1.08-5.7), P = 0.04], number needed to harm 50.
Although the observed benefit is modest, these data support the use of PCI after failed thrombolysis.
QJM: monthly journal of the Association of Physicians 06/2008; 101(5):387-95. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anthracycline (ANT) chemotherapy for breast cancer, while associated with high response rates, is fraught by risks of irreversible cardiotoxicity. Unfortunately means to detect such cardiotoxicity early on and at a sublinical stage are lacking. We evaluated the role of systolic tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) in appraising postchemotherapy left ventricular (LV) remodelling.
Patients undergoing ANT-chemotherapy for breast cancer were enrolled, and underwent baseline and >6-months echocardiography (standard and TDI). According to the pattern of LV-TDI systolic remodelling from baseline to follow-up, patients were stratified in: group 1 (no LV-TDI worsening), group 2 (minor LV-TDI worsening), and group 3 (major LV-TDI worsening). Fifty-six patients were included (follow-up 9+/-6 months).
At baseline, no patient had abnormal LV ejection fraction (LVEF), LV-TDI systolic dysfunction or New York Heart Association (NYHA) >1. Follow-up overall analysis showed significant deterioration in LVEF, end-diastolic diameter (EDD) end-systolic diameter (ESD), and TDI-systolic parameters (all P<0.05). Specifically, 29 (51.8%) patients showed no adverse LV-TDI systolic remodelling, while 17 (30.4%) were in group 2, and 10 (17.9%) in group 3. All groups shared similar conditions at baseline. Patients with adverse LV-TDI remodelling had significant increases in EDD and ESD, as well as a significantly decreased LVEF (all P<0.05). No patient in group 1 had abnormal LVEF at follow-up, while 1 patient in group 2 and 2 patients in group 3 had abnormal LVEF (P<0.05).
Subclinical systolic dysfunction occurs in almost 50% of patients early after chemotherapy for breast cancer, with a more adverse by LV-TDI remodelling implying a more pronounced deterioration of standard echocardiographic parameters.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumours metastatic to the heart (cardiac metastases) are among the least known and highly debated issues in oncology, and few systematic studies are devoted to this topic. Although primary cardiac tumours are extremely uncommon (various postmortem studies report rates between 0.001% and 0.28%), secondary tumours are not, and at least in theory, the heart can be metastasised by any malignant neoplasm able to spread to distant sites. In general, cardiac metastases are considered to be rare; however, when sought for, the incidence seems to be not as low as expected, ranging from 2.3% and 18.3%. Although no malignant tumours are known that diffuse preferentially to the heart, some do involve the heart more often than others--for example, melanoma and mediastinal primary tumours. This paper attempts to review the pathophysiology of cardiac metastatic disease, epidemiology and clinical presentation of cardiac metastases, and pathological characterisation of the lesions.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 02/2007; 60(1):27-34. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a death in a hospital wardrobe of a 40-year-old male suffering from HIV infection and lobar pneumonia. On the basis of circumstantial evidence and autopsy findings we conclude that the cause of death was asphyxia in a confined space as a result of several pathomechanical factors. As well as establishing the cause and manner of death, the interpretation of the case involves the evaluation of the professional responsibility of the medical personnel. This report discusses different aspects concerning the cause, mechanism, and manner of death and illustrates various problems encountered in forensic pathology.
Medicine, science, and the law 01/2007; 47(2):165-170. · 0.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that impaired coronary and myocardial blood flow are linked with increased myocyte apoptosis, thus establishing a link between pressure overload and left ventricular (LV) remodelling.
Peak diastolic coronary blood flow velocity (CBFV) was evaluated at transthoracic Doppler echocardiography, and signal intensity (SI) and the rate of SI rise (beta) were measured at myocardial contrast echocardiography in 11 patients with severe aortic stenosis and LV hypertrophy. In the same patients, biopsies were obtained from the anterolateral LV free wall during surgery and analysed for cardiomyocyte apoptosis. LV mass corrected CBFV (CBFVI) was significantly lower in patients than in controls (median 0.100 cm.g/s (interquartile range 0.07-0.115) v 0.130 cm.g/s (0.130-0.160), p = 0.002). Similarly, SI*beta was significantly lower in patients than in controls (11 1/s (8-66) v 83 1/s (73-95), p = 0.001). Apoptotic rate was increased in aortic stenosis more than 100-fold versus controls (1.2% (0.8-1.4) v 0.01% (0.01-0.01), p < 0.001) and inversely correlated with lower CBFVI and SI*beta (r = -0.77, p = 0.001 for both).
Patients with severe aortic stenosis and LV hypertrophy have impaired myocardial perfusion, which is associated with enhanced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Impaired myocardial perfusion and the ensuing oxygen demand-supply imbalance may, at least partially, be responsible for increased apoptosis and possible transition to heart failure, thus establishing a link between pressure overload, LV remodelling, and heart failure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is a key feature in postinfarction remodelling leading to progressive myocyte loss. Both proapoptotic and antiapoptotic factors contribute to the delicate balance between death and survival. The survivin pathway has emerged as essential in the control of apoptosis, although its role in heart disease is unknown.
To evaluate survivin expression after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Survivin expression was assessed immunohistochemically in the peri-infarct and remote viable myocardium in 17 consecutive patients who died 1-30 weeks after AMI and in four control hearts.
Survivin was expressed by myocytes in the peri-infarct area in eight patients and in the remote region in 13 patients. The rate of survivin expression after AMI was significantly higher in the remote versus peri-infarct regions and compared with control hearts. Its expression was inversely associated with the presence of dilated cardiopathy and of apoptosis, independently from the gross pathology infarct size.
Survivin myocardial expression after AMI may be associated with the survival of at risk myocardium and may be indicative of more favourable remodelling after AMI. These findings identify a potential new target for the treatment of postinfarction remodelling.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 01/2005; 57(12):1321-4. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clopidogrel is an established alternative to ticlopidine in addition to aspirin after coronary stenting because of its hematologic safety, but its efficacy in comparison to ticlopidine is debated. We thus systematically reviewed randomized trials comparing clopidogrel vs ticlopidine after coronary stenting.
Medline (1/1986-10/2003), BioMed Central, Central, Current Contents, LILACS and mRCT were searched. Fixed-effect relative risks (RR [95% CI]) were computed, and the primary end-point was death. Heterogeneity tests and subgroup analyses were performed according to loading vs non-loading clopidogrel scheme.
Five trials were retrieved (2 962 patients, average follow-up 7.4 months). In 3 studies both clopidogrel and ticlopidine were started with a loading dose, in 1 trial clopidogrel was administered without loading, and in 1 trial clopidogrel could be administered with or without loading. Overall analysis (p for heterogeneity=0.12) showed a non-significant trend toward increased mortality in patients treated with clopidogrel (38/1 649 [2.3%]) vs ticlopidine (22/1 313 [1.7%], RR=1.64 [0.94-2.86], p=0.080). After stratification, clopidogrel with loading was associated with non-significantly lower mortality rates than ticlopidine (9/959 [0.9%] vs 13/798 [1.6%], RR=0.68 [0.29-1.63], p=0.39). Instead, clopidogrel without any loading yielded a highly significantly 3-fold increased risk of death than ticlopidine (29/690 [4.2%] vs 9/515 [1.7%], RR=2.9 [1.45-6.1], p=0.0029). Similar results were obtained for the rate of death or non-fatal myocardial infarction.
This meta-analysis suggests that clopidogrel treatment including a loading regimen is equivalent or may even be superior to ticlopidine after coronary stenting. However, current evidence shows conversely that clopidogrel therapy in the absence of a loading dose is associated with a significantly higher risk of death or myocardial infarction.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) is induced in cardiomyocytes only in response to stress, such as ischaemia.
To assess COX-2 expression at the site of recent myocardial infarction.
COX-2 expression was evaluated by specific immunostaining in cardiomyocytes from 23 subjects who died 10-60 days after acute myocardial infarction. The relation between COX-2 myocardial expression and apoptotic rate was investigated. Cardiomyocyte apoptotic rate was defined as the number of cells co-expressing in situ end labelling of DNA fragmentation (TUNEL) and immunostaining for activated caspase-3.
COX-2 expression was found in cardiomyocytes at the site of infarction in nine of 23 cases (39%). It was associated with fivefold higher apoptotic rates (median 17.9% (interquartile range 11.0-25.4%) v 3.7% (0.6-12.8%); p = 0.016), and apoptotic rate increased progressively from mild to intense COX-2 staining (p for trend 0.009). COX-2 expression co-localised with TUNEL nuclear staining in myocytes, and there was a high concordance between COX-2 and hypoxia induced factor 1-alpha staining (78%, p = 0.021) and between COX-2 and bax (83%, p = 0.014). Subjects showing myocardial COX-2 expression were more likely to have enlarged hearts (p = 0.050), and intense COX-2 staining was strictly associated with symptomatic heart failure (p = 0.035).
COX-2 is expressed in cardiomyocytes in nearly 40% of cases at the site of recent acute myocardial infarction, even late after the index event. Its expression was associated with extremely high apoptotic rates. These findings suggest a potential cause-effect link between COX-2 expression and enhanced myocardial apoptosis in ischaemic cardiomyopathy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac remodelling after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is characterised by molecular and cellular mechanisms involving both left and right ventricles, and biventricular failure identifies patients with an extremely unfavourable prognosis.
To assess whether a link exists between increased myocardial apoptotic rates (AR) at sites of recent infarction and patterns of unfavourable cardiac remodelling, such as biventricular enlargement after left ventricular (LV) infarction.
Twelve patients with recent AMI involving the LV and not the right ventricle (RV) and with permanent infarct related artery occlusion were selected at necropsy. Gross pathological characteristics, such as LV and RV dilatation, and AR at site of infarction were assessed. Potential false positive results (DNA synthesis and RNA splicing) were excluded from the cell count.
RV enlargement, defined as a tricuspidal ring greater than 120 mm, was found in five cases and was associated with LV dilatation. These patients showed significantly higher AR than the others. When the subjects were divided into three groups according to progressive cardiac remodelling (absence of cardiac dilatation, isolated LV dilatation, and biventricular enlargement), the last group had significantly higher ARs than the other two groups, showing that myocardiocyte apoptosis is increased in more unfavourable forms of cardiac remodelling.
Patients with severely unfavourable cardiac remodelling, such as biventricular enlargement, have extremely high myocardiocyte apoptosis at necropsy, even late after LV myocardial infarction, supporting the role of myocardiocyte loss in determining post-infarction adverse remodelling.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 10/2003; 56(9):672-6. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infarct-related artery (IRA) patency after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is associated with a more favourable clinical course, in particular in patients with high-risk features. As it has been recently reported that IRA patency is associated with a reduced postinfarction apoptotic rate (AR), the aim of our study was to assess whether IRA status late after AMI had a different impact on AR in high- vs. low-risk patients.
Co-localization of TUNEL and caspase-3 was used to calculate the AR at the site of infarction at the time of death in 30 subjects. The Norris coronary prognostic index (NI) was calculated (computing age, presence of pulmonary congestion, heart size and history of previous additional AMI) in order to define the patients' individual risk at the time of hospitalization. According to the NI (< or =7 vs. >7), subjects were divided into low and high risk, as NI >7 carries an approximate threefold higher risk of death. The NI was significantly correlated with the AR at the time of death both in infarct and remote areas. Twenty subjects had IRA occlusion at the time of death, and in these patients AR was significantly higher both in infarct and remote areas (P<0.001 and P=0.009 vs. the others, respectively). However the impact of IRA occlusion on AR was significantly different comparing high- vs. low-risk subjects. In particular, AR at the infarct site was 10-fold higher in the high-risk subjects with IRA occlusion (26.1%[20.4-28.7%]) vs. those with open IRA (2.3%[0.6-3.5%]; P=0.002) and was nonsignificantly different in the low-risk subjects vs. those without IRA occlusion (8.2%[2.5-17.5%] vs. 5.4%[1.5-7.9%]; P=0.48). Similarly, in the high-risk subjects, AR in remote areas was significantly greater in cases with occluded vs. open IRA (0.7%[0.4-0.9%] vs. 0.3%[0.3-0.32%]; P=0.009).
A significantly higher AR is associated with IRA occlusion late post AMI in subjects with high-risk clinical features, and not in low-risk patients. The diverse impact of IRA occlusion on AR in subjects with different risk profiles may explain the greater benefit associated with coronary reperfusion in high-risk subjects. The overall lower AR in low-risk subjects, independently from the IRA status, may be correlated with the better long-term prognosis after AMI in this case.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 08/2003; 33(8):662-8. · 3.37 Impact Factor