[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Atrioesophageal fistula (AEF) is a rare but serious adverse event of atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation.
Objective To identify the clinical characteristics of AEF following ablation procedures for AF and determine the associated mortality.
Methods A systematic review of observational cases of AEF following ablation procedures for AF was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement protocol.
Results 53 cases were identified. Mean age was 54±13 years; 73% (39/53) of cases occurred in males. Mean interval between procedure and presentation was 20±12 days, ranging from 2 to 60 days. AEF was observed in 12 patients who underwent surgical radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and in 41 patients with percutaneous RFA. Fever was the most common presenting symptom (n=44) followed by neurological deficits (n=27) and haematemesis (n=19). CT of the chest (n=27) was the preferred diagnostic test. Patients who did not receive a primary esophageal repair were more likely to have a deadly outcome (34% vs 83%; p<0.05). No difference in mortality rate was found between patients who underwent surgical RFA when compared with percutaneous RFA (58% vs 56%; p=0.579). No association was found between onset of symptoms and mortality (19±10 vs 23±14 days; p=0.355).
Conclusions AEF following ablation procedures for AF is a serious complication with high mortality rates. Presenting symptoms most often include a triad of fever, neurological deficit and/or haematemesis within 60 days of procedure. The preferred diagnostic test is CT of the chest. The treatments of choice is surgical repair.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are frequently used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. These patients are often also on aspirin or other antiplatelet agents. It is possible that treatment with both NOACs and aspirin or other antiplatelet drug may be effective in decreasing stroke, but data are sparse regarding the efficacy and safety of using both agents for stroke prevention. To address these issues, data were pooled from the four recent randomized controlled trials of NOACs apixaban, rivaroxaban, dabigatran and edoxaban, which included 42,411 patients; 14,148 (33.4%) were also on aspirin or other antiplatelet drug. The number of thromboembolic events among participants on NOAC and aspirin/antiplatelet was compared to the number of events in patients on NOAC alone. Bleeding rates were also compared among those on NOAC + aspirin/antiplatelet to NOAC alone. These results were compared to thromboembolic and bleeding events in the warfarin + aspirin/antiplatelet vs. warfarin alone. No greater risk for thromboembolism was seen in patients on NOACs compared to patients on both NOACs and aspirin/antiplatelet drug. In this non-randomized comparison, there was initially a signal towards higher thromboembolic rates among NOAC users also on aspirin/antiplatelet drugs (RR 1.16; 95% CI 1.05, 1.29) compared to NOAC alone. This likely reflected the higher CHADS2 scores of those on aspirin/antiplatelet drugs. When the analysis was limited to studies that included aspirin rather than other antiplatelet drugs, no difference was seen for thromboembolic rates comparing dual therapy to NOAC alone (RR 1.02; 95% CI 0.90, 1.15). Higher rates of bleeding were seen with aspirin/antiplatelet drug in conjunction with NOAC. In this meta-analysis and nonrandomized comparison of aspirin/antiplatelet users and nonusers also on anticoagulation, there was no additional benefit seen of anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy for stroke 4 prevention compared to anticoagulation alone. There was, however, an increased risk of bleeding. Careful assessment of the indications for antiplatelet drugs in patients with atrial fibrillation who are also receiving oral anticoagulation is warranted, and future randomized comparisons are needed. Copyright
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cardiology in Review
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives The aim of this study was to describe the role of contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in the workup of patients with aborted sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and in the prediction of long-term outcomes. Background Myocardial fibrosis is a key substrate for SCA, and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) on a CMR study is a robust technique for imaging of myocardial fibrosis. Methods We performed a retrospective review of all survivors of SCA who were referred for CMR studies and performed follow-up for the subsequent occurrence of an adverse event (death and appropriate defibrillator therapy). Results After a workup that included a clinical history, electrocardiogram, echocardiography, and coronary angiogram, 137 patients underwent CMR for workup of aborted SCA (66% male; mean age 56 ± 11 years; left ventricular ejection fraction 43 ± 12%). The presenting arrhythmias were ventricular fibrillation (n = 105 [77%]) and ventricular tachycardia (n = 32 [23%]). Overall, LGE was found in 98 patients (71%), with an average extent of 9.9 ± 5% of the left ventricular myocardium. CMR imaging provided a diagnosis or an arrhythmic substrate in 104 patients (76%), including the presence of an infarct-pattern LGE in 60 patients (44%), noninfarct LGE in 21 (15%), active myocarditis in 14 (10%), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 3 (2%), sarcoidosis in 3, and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy in 3. In a median follow-up of 29 months (range 18 to 43 months), there were 63 events. In a multivariable analysis, the strongest predictors of recurrent events were the presence of LGE (adjusted hazard ratio: 6.7; 95% CI: 2.38 to 18.85; p < 0.001) and the extent of LGE (hazard ratio: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.11 to 1.19; p < 0.001). Conclusions Among patients with SCA, CMR with contrast identified LGE in 71% and provided a potential arrhythmic substrate in 76%. In follow-up, both the presence and extent of LGE identified a group at markedly increased risk of future adverse events.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · JACC. Cardiovascular imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) patients are at increased risk for sudden death. Isolated CS is rare and can be difficult to diagnose.
In this multicenter retrospective review, patients with CS and an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) were identified.
Of 235 patients with CS and ICD, 13 (5.5 %) had isolated CS, including 7 (3.0 %) with definite isolated CS (biopsy or necropsy-proven) and 6 (2.6 %) with suspected isolated CS based on a constellation of clinical, ECG, and imaging findings. Among 13 patients with isolated CS, 10 (76.9 %) were male, mean age was 53.8 ± 7.6 years, and mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 38.3 ± 16.5. Diagnosis was made by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) (n = 2), biopsy (n = 3), CMR and biopsy (n = 2), CMR and positron emission tomography (PET) (n = 2), PET (n = 1), late enhanced cardiac CT (n = 1), pathology at heart transplant (n = 1), and autopsy (n = 1). Eight of 13 (61.5 %) patients with isolated CS had a secondary prevention indication (VT in 6 and VF in 2) vs. 80 of 222 (36.0 %) with sarcoidosis in other organs (p = 0.04). Over a mean of 4.2 years, 9 of 13 (69.2 %) patients with isolated CS received appropriate ICD therapy, including anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) and/or shock, compared with 75 of 222 (33.8 %) patients with cardiac and extracardiac sarcoidosis (p = 0.0150). Six of 7 (85.7 %) patients with definite isolated CS received appropriate ICD intervention, compared with 78 of 228 patients (34.2 %) without definite isolated CS (p = 0.0192.) CONCLUSIONS: In this retrospective study, patients with isolated CS had very high rates of appropriate ICD therapy. Prospective, long-term follow-up of consecutive patients with isolated CS is needed to determine the true natural history and rates of ventricular arrhythmias in this rare and difficult-to-diagnose disease.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The ability to identify peri-procedural complications or predict short and long-term adverse outcomes in patients undergoing cardiac or peripheral angiography is imperfect.
A prospective single-center trial, 1251 subjects undergoing coronary and peripheral angiographic procedures ± intervention between 2008 and 2011 were enrolled to evaluate the use of cardiac and renal biomarkers for identifying peri-procedural events and predicting short and long-term events. Blood samples were taken immediately before and after the procedure. Clinical and angiographic characteristics were recorded. The primary end point is peri-procedural combined end point of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE: death, myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure (HF), stroke, transient ischemic attack, peripheral arterial complication and cardiac arrhythmia). Secondary end points are assessed at peri-procedural, 30-day and 1-year, and include MACE and individual end points as well as renal complications including acute kidney injury (AKI) and worsening of chronic kidney disease. Extended follow-up to 6 years has also been completed.
Data from the first 491 patients have been obtained with 190 patients experiencing at least one MACE at 1-year follow up with the following number of patients experiencing at least one specified event; 80 deaths, 39 MI, 73 HF, 21 neurological events, 37 peripheral arterial complications and 59 arrhythmias; additionally there were 55 patients with AKI.
The CASABLANCA Study will examine the role of novel biomarkers and metabolomics for predicting a wide range of cardiovascular, neurologic, and renal complications in patients undergoing angiography. Full results are expected in the latter half of 2014(Clinical Trials.Gov # NCT00842868).
Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · IJC Metabolic and Endocrine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
We sought to evaluate the effect of application of the revised 2010 Task Force Criteria (TFC) on the prevalence of major and minor Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) criteria for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) versus application of the original 1994 TFC. We also assessed the utility of MRI to identify alternative diagnoses for patients referred for ARVC evaluation.
968 consecutive patients referred to our institution for CMR with clinical suspicion of ARVC from 1995 to 2010, were evaluated for the presence of major and minor CMR criteria per the 1994 and 2010 ARVC TFC. CMR criteria included right ventricle (RV) dilatation, reduced RV ejection fraction, RV aneurysm, or regional RV wall motion abnormalities. When quantitative measures of RV size and function were not available, and in whom abnormal size or function was reported, a repeat quantitative analysis by 2 qualified CMR physicians in consensus.
Of 968 patients, 220 (22.7%) fulfilled either a major or a minor 1994 TFC, and 25 (2.6%) fulfilled any of the 2010 TFC criterion. Among patients meeting any 1994 criteria, only 25 (11.4%) met at least one 2010 criterion. All patients who fulfilled a 2010 criteria also satisfied at least one 1994 criterion. Per the 2010 TFC, 21 (2.2%) patients met major criteria and 4 (0.4%) patients fulfilled at least one minor criterion. Eight patients meeting 1994 minor criteria were reclassified as satisfying 2010 major criteria, while 4 patients fulfilling 1994 major criteria were reclassified to only minor or no criteria under the 2010 TFC.Eighty-nine (9.2%) patients had alternative cardiac diagnoses, including 43 (4.4%) with clinically significant potential ARVC mimics. These included cardiac sarcoidosis, RV volume overload conditions, and other cardiomyopathies.
Application of the 2010 TFC resulted in reduction of total patients meeting any diagnostic CMR criteria for ARVC from 22.7% to 2.6% versus the 1994 TFC. CMR identified alternative cardiac diagnoses in 9.2% of patients, and 4.4% of the diagnoses were potential mimics of ARVC.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the clinical presentation of lead-associated endocarditis (LAE) is related to the size of lead vegetations and how size is related to bacteriology and clinical outcomes.
Cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) infection may present as either local pocket infection or bloodstream infection with or without LAE. LAE is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
The clinical presentation and course of LAE were evaluated by the MEDIC (Multicenter Electrophysiologic Device Cohort) registry, an international registry enrolling patients with CIED infection. Consecutive LAE patients enrolled in the MEDIC registry between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012 were analyzed. The clinical features and outcomes of 2 groups of patients were compared based on the size of the lead vegetation detected by echocardiography (> or <1 cm in diameter).
There were 129 patients with LAE enrolled into the MEDIC registry. Of these, 61 patients had a vegetation <1 cm in diameter (Group I) whereas 68 patients had a vegetation ≥1 cm in diameter (Group II). Patients in Group I more often presented with signs of local pocket infection, whereas Group II patients presented with clinical evidence of systemic infection. Staphylococcus aureus was the organism most often responsible for LAE, whereas infection with coagulase-negative staphylococci was associated with larger vegetations. Outcomes were improved among those who underwent complete device removal. However, major complications were associated with an open surgical approach for device removal.
The clinical presentation of LAE is influenced by the size of the lead vegetation. Prompt recognition and management of LAE depends on obtaining blood cultures and echocardiography, including transesophageal echocardiography, in CIED patients who present with either signs of local pocket or systemic infection.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · JACC. Cardiovascular imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are frequently used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. These patients are often also on aspirin or other antiplatelet agents. It is possible that treatment with both NOACs and aspirin or other antiplatelet drug may be effective in decreasing stroke, but data are sparse regarding the efficacy and safety of using both agents for stroke prevention.To address these issues, data were pooled from the four recent randomized controlled trials of NOACs apixaban, rivaroxaban, dabigatran and edoxaban, which included 42,411 patients; 14,148 (33.4%) were also on aspirin or other antiplatelet drug. The number of thromboembolic events among participants on NOAC and aspirin/antiplatelet was compared to the number of events in patients on NOAC alone. Bleeding rates were also compared among those on NOAC + aspirin/antiplatelet to NOAC alone. These results were compared to thromboembolic and bleeding events in the warfarin + aspirin/antiplatelet vs. warfarin alone. No greater risk for thromboembolism was seen in patients on NOACs compared to patients on both NOACs and aspirin/antiplatelet drug. In this non-randomized comparison, there was initially a signal towards higher thromboembolic rates among NOAC users also on aspirin/antiplatelet drugs (RR 1.16; 95% CI 1.05, 1.29) compared to NOAC alone. This likely reflected the higher CHADS2 scores of those on aspirin/antiplatelet drugs. When the analysis was limited to studies that included aspirin rather than other antiplatelet drugs, no difference was seen for thromboembolic rates comparing dual therapy to NOAC alone (RR 1.02; 95% CI 0.90, 1.15). Higher rates of bleeding were seen with aspirin/antiplatelet drug in conjunction with NOAC. In this meta-analysis and nonrandomized comparison of aspirin/antiplatelet users and nonusers also on anticoagulation, there was no additional benefit seen of anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy for stroke 4 prevention compared to anticoagulation alone. There was, however, an increased risk of bleeding. Careful assessment of the indications for antiplatelet drugs in patients with atrial fibrillation who are also receiving oral anticoagulation is warranted, and future randomized comparisons are needed.
Preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcatheter treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) is a complex intervention performed in patients who are at inherently increased risk of a thromboembolic complication, including stroke. It is therefore not surprising that cerebrovascular accidents have been among the most feared complications since the inception of AF ablation. While improvements have been made to limit the incidence of thromboembolic events during catheter ablation of AF, the optimal strategy to minimize such complications has yet to be determined. It is hoped that larger trials using periprocedural anticoagulation strategies can be undertaken to definitively address these important concerns.
No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Cardiac electrophysiology clinics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) pocket infections are often related to recent CIED placement or manipulation, but these infections are not well characterized. The clinical presentation of CIED pocket infection, based on temporal onset related to last CIED procedure, deserves further study.Methods
The MEDIC (Multicenter Electrophysiologic Device Infection Cohort) prospectively enrolled subjects with CIED infection. Subjects were stratified into those whose infection occurred <12 months (early) or ≥12 months (late) since their last CIED-related procedure.ResultsThere were 132 subjects in the early group and 106 in the late group. There were more females (P = 0.009) and anticoagulation use (P = 0.039) in the early group. Subjects with early infections were more likely to have had a generator change or lead addition as their last procedure (P = 0.03) and had more prior CIED procedures (P = 0.023). Early infections were more likely to present with pocket erythema (P < 0.001), swelling (P < 0.001), and pain (P = 0.007). Late infections were more likely to have pocket erosion (P = 0.005) and valvular vegetations (P = 0.009). In bacteremic subjects, early infections were more likely healthcare-associated (P < 0.001). In-hospital and 6-month mortality were equivalent.ConclusionA total of 45% of patients with CIED pocket infection presented >12 months following their last CIED-related procedure. Patients with early infection were more likely to be female, on anticoagulation, and present with localized inflammation, whereas those with late infection were more likely to have CIED erosion or valvular endocarditis.
No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, invasive techniques to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) including catheter-based and surgical procedures have evolved along with our understanding of the pathophysiology of this arrhythmia. Surgical treatment of AF may be performed on patients undergoing cardiac surgery for other reasons (concomitant surgical ablation) or as a stand-alone procedure. Advances in technology and technique have made surgical intervention for AF more widespread. Despite improvements in outcome of both catheter-based and surgical treatment for AF, recurrence of atrial arrhythmias following initial invasive therapy may occur.Atrial arrhythmias may occur early or late in the post-operative course after surgical ablation. Early arrhythmias are generally treated with prompt electrical cardioversion with or without antiarrhythmic therapy and do not necessarily represent treatment failure. The mechanism of persistent or late occurring atrial arrhythmias is complex, and these arrhythmias may be resistant to antiarrhythmic drug therapy. The characterization and management of recurrent atrial arrhythmias following surgical ablation of AF are discussed below.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to Dr. Feld's valid concerns. As stated in the article, the ablation strategy was altered when heating was encountered along the posterior wall. Specifically, in addition to limiting power to 25 watts and duration to 30 seconds, the catheter was moved away from the esophagus along with a further decrease in power and/or duration of ablation lesions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AimsPrior work has demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) strain can separate necrotic/stunned myocardium from healthy myocardium in the left ventricle (LV). We surmised that high-resolution MRI strain, using navigator-echo-triggered DENSE, could differentiate radiofrequency ablated tissue around the pulmonary vein (PV) from tissue that had not been damaged by radiofrequency energy, similarly to navigated 3D myocardial delayed enhancement (3D-MDE).Methods and resultsA respiratory-navigated 2D-DENSE sequence was developed, providing strain encoding in two spatial directions with 1.2 × 1.0 × 4 mm3 resolution. It was tested in the LV of infarcted sheep. In four swine, incomplete circumferential lesions were created around the right superior pulmonary vein (RSPV) using ablation catheters, recorded with electro-anatomic mapping, and imaged 1 h later using atrial-diastolic DENSE and 3D-MDE at the left atrium/RSPV junction. DENSE detected ablation gaps (regions with >12% strain) in similar positions to 3D-MDE (2D cross-correlation 0.89 ± 0.05). Low-strain (<8%) areas were, on average, 33% larger than equivalent MDE regions, so they include both injured and necrotic regions. Optimal DENSE orientation was perpendicular to the PV trunk, with high shear strain in adjacent viable tissue appearing as a sensitive marker of ablation lesions.Conclusions
Magnetic resonance imaging strain may be a non-contrast alternative to 3D-MDE in intra-procedural monitoring of atrial ablation lesions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study sought to determine whether the extent of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) can provide additive prognostic information in patients with a nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDC) with an indication for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD).
Data suggest that the presence of LGE is a strong discriminator of events in patients with NIDC. Limited data exist on the role of LGE quantification.
The extent of LGE and clinical follow-up were assessed in 162 patients with NIDC prior to ICD insertion for primary prevention of SCD. LGE extent was quantified using both the standard deviation-based (2-SD) method and the full-width half-maximum (FWHM) method.
We studied 162 patients with NIDC (65% male; mean age: 55 years; left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF]: 26 ± 8%) and followed up for major adverse cardiac events (MACE), including cardiovascular death and appropriate ICD therapy, for a mean of 29 ± 18 months. Annual MACE rates were substantially higher in patients with LGE (24%) than in those without LGE (2%). By univariate association, the presence and the extent of LGE demonstrated the strongest associations with MACE (LGE presence, hazard ratio [HR]: 14.5 [95% confidence interval (CI): 6.1 to 32.6; p < 0.001]; LGE extent, HR: 1.15 per 1% increase in volume of LGE [95% CI: 1.12 to 1.18; p < 0.0001]). Multivariate analyses showed that LGE extent was the strongest predictor in the best overall model for MACE, and a 7-fold hazard was observed per 10% LGE extent after adjustments for patient age, sex, and LVEF (adjusted HR: 7.61; p < 0.0001). LGE quantitation by 2-SD and FWHM both demonstrated robust prognostic association, with the highest MACE rate observed in patients with LGE involving >6.1% of LV myocardium.
LGE extent may provide further risk stratification in patients with NIDC with a current indication for ICD implantation for the primary prevention of SCD. Strategic guidance on ICD therapy by cardiac magnetic resonance in patients with NIDC warrants further study.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · JACC. Cardiovascular imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Radiofrequency (RF) ablation in the posterior left atrium has risk of thermal injury to the adjacent esophagus. Increased intraluminal esophageal temperature has been correlated with risk of esophageal injury. The objective of this study was to compare esophageal temperature monitoring (ETM) using a multi-sensor temperature probe with 12 sensors to a single-sensor probe during catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methods and results:
We compared the detection of intraluminal esophageal temperature rises in 543 patients undergoing RF ablation for AF with ETM. Esophageal endoscopy (EGD) was performed on all patients with maximum esophageal temperature ≥ 39°C. Esophageal lesions were classified by severity as mild or severe ulcerations. Four hundred fifty-five patients underwent RF ablation with single-sensor ETM and 88 patients with multi-sensor ETM. Thirty-nine percent of patients with single-sensor versus 75% with multi-sensor ETM reached a maximum detected esophageal temperature ≥ 39°C (P < 0.0001). Esophageal injury was detected by EGD in 29% of patients with maximum temperature ≥ 39°C by single-sensor versus 46% of patients with multi-sensor ETM (P = 0.021). Thirty-nine percent of patients with lesions in the single-sensor probe group had severe ulcerations compared to 33% of patients in the multi-sensor probe group (P = 0.641).
Intraluminal esophageal temperature ≥ 39°C is detected more frequently by the multi-sensor temperature probe versus the single-sensor probe, with more frequent esophageal injury and with comparable severity of injury. Despite detecting esophageal temperature rises in more patients, the multi-sensor probe may not have any measurable benefit compared to a single-sensor probe.
No preview · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology