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עמוד בית
Sun, 21.04.24

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November 2023
Gassan Moady MD, Moanis Serhan MD, Shaul Atar MD, Alexander Shturman MD

Background: The continuity equation (CE) used for evaluating aortic stenosis (AS) is based on values obtained from transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) with the assumption that the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) has a circular shape. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) may be used for accurate measurement of the LVOT cross-sectional area (CSA). Previous studies have focused on fusion from TEE for LVOT-CSA measurement and TTE for velocity time integrals (VTI) calculations.

Objectives: To assess aortic valve area (AVA) using parameters obtained exclusively from TEE as an alternative approach.

Methods: Thirty patients with equivocal AS based on TTE were evaluated using TEE for further assessment.

Results: The mean pressure gradient across the aortic valve (AV) was 38 ± 5.9 and 37.9 ± 7.6 mmHg in TTE and TEE, respectively, P = 0.42. LVOT-CSA was larger in TEE (3.6 ± 0.3 vs. 3.4 ± 0.3 cm2, P = 0.049). VTI over the AVA was similar (98.54 ± 22.8 and 99.52 ± 24.52 cm in TTE and TEE, respectively, P = 0.608), while VTI across the LVOT was higher when measured by TTE (24.06 ± 5.8 vs. 22.03 ± 4.3 cm, P < 0.009). Using the CE, AVA was 0.82 ± 0.3 vs. 0.83 ± 0.17 cm2 in TEE vs. TTE, respectively, P = 0.608. Definitive grading was achieved in all patients (26 patients defined with severe AS and 4 with moderate).

Conclusions: In equivocal cases of AS, full assessment using TEE may be a reliable modality for decision making.

February 2023
Gassan Moady MD MPH, Alexander Shturman MD, Elias Daud MD, Gal Rubinstein MD, Dror Leviner MD, Shaul Atar MD

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) often develops following stressors such as cardiac surgery. It may be fatal in rare cases. Our 70-year-old female patient presented with a rare case of tricuspid valve papillary fibroelastoma, which was complicated by fatal TTS after successful resection. The patient had a right atrial mass that was investigated with computed tomography and transesophageal echocardiography (TTE). She was scheduled for surgery. Pathology findings were consistent with papillary fibroelastoma of the tricuspid valve. Three weeks after successful surgery, the patient was admitted due to cardiogenic shock with echocardiographic findings of apical ballooning and left ventricular outflow tract obstruction consistent with TTS. The patient died one hour after her admission despite optimal medical therapy.

November 2021
Andrei Braester MD, Alexander Shturman MD, Bennidor Raviv MD, Lev Dorosinsky MD, Eyal Rosenthal MD, and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Mean platelet volume (MPV), an essential component of the complete blood count (CBC) indices, is underutilized in common practice. In recent years, MPV has drawn strong interest, especially in clinical research. During inflammation, the MPV has a higher value because of platelet activation.

Objectives: To verify whether high MPV values discovered incidentally in healthy naïve patients indicates the development or the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, particularly metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes.

Methods: A cohort study was used to assess the diagnostic value of high MPV discovered incidentally, in naïve patients (without any known cause of an abnormal high MPV, greater than  upper limit of the normal range, such as active cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome).

Results: The mean MPV value in the patient group was 12.3 femtoliter. There was a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome in our research group than in the general population and a non-significant tendency of pre-diabetes. Family doctors more frequently meet naïve patients with high MPV than a hospital doctor. The results of our study are more relevant for him, who should know the relevance of such a finding and search for a hidden pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: High MPV values discovered incidentally in healthy naïve subjects suggest the development or the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, particularly metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes. No statistically significant association was found between MPV and the presence of cardiovascular disease

March 2021
Gassan Moady MD MPH and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is a non-ischemic cardiomyopathy characterized by an acute reversible left ventricular dysfunction with typical apical ballooning, usually with subsequent complete spontaneous recovery. TTS may be triggered by several physical and emotional stressors. The name Covidsubo was recently adopted to describe this emerging entity. TTS during quarantine may be a reasonable outcome of the overwhelming stress and fear of this pandemic. However, according to the current literature, conflicting results have been reported regarding the incidence of this syndrome during the first wave of the pandemic, and further studies are needed. High index of suspicion is needed to identify patients during the next waves of the pandemic, particularly given the need for minimizing imaging modalities and contact with the patients.

Objectives: To describe two cases of TTS triggered by quarantine during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Methods: Two patients (age 81 years and 70 years) were admitted to our medical center with severe chest pain with normal blood pressure and heart rate.

Results: TTS should always be in the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with chest pain suspected to be from coronary origin. Based on the typical clinical, echocardiographic, and angiographic findings, we assumed TTS.

Conclusions: The only prominent stressor in the two cases in this article was the stress accompanying quarantine.

February 2021
Gassan Moady MD MPH, Shelly Vons MD, and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is a non-ischemic cardiomyopathy characterized by an acute reversible left ventricular dysfunction with typical apical ballooning, usually with subsequent complete spontaneous recovery. TTS shares several features with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), including clinical presentation, ECG changes, and elevated troponin.

Objectives: To identify different features that may help differentiate between TTS and ACS with presentation based on presenting symptoms and physical examination.

Methods: We compared 35 patients who TTS had been diagnosed with 60 age- and sex- matched patients with ACS (both ST and non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction) who were hospitalized in Galilee Medical Center through 2011-2015.Basic characteristics and clinical features of the two groups were compared using appropriate statistical tests.

Results: Of the patients with TTS, 21 (60%) reported an emotional trigger (60%) before admission, although they did not have increased prevalence of psychiatric disease compared to ACS patients (5.7% vs. 5%, P = 0.611). There was no difference in the type of chest pain or accompanied symptoms between the groups. Of notice, ECG changes in the TTS group were prominent in the anterior leads, and the patients presented with higher heart rate (86 ± 17 vs. 79 ± 15, P = 0.029) and lower systolic blood pressure (129 ± 26 vs. 142 ± 30, P = 0.034) on admission compared to the ACS group.

Conclusions: There was no reliable feature that could distinguish TTS from ACS based on clinical presentation. TTS should always be in the differential diagnosis in patients with acute chest pain, especially in elderly women

May 2020
Gassan Moady MD MPH, Elias Daud MD, Ronen Galilee MD, Edmond Sabo MD, Salam Mazareb PhD and Shaul Atar MD
October 2019
Gassan Moady MD, Amitai Bickel MD, Alexander Shturman MD, Muhammad Khader MD and Shaul Atar MD

Background: Pneumatic sleeves (PS) are often used during laparoscopic surgery and for prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients who cannot receive anticoagulation treatment. There is very little information on the hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effect on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in patients with severely reduced left ventricular ejection function (LVEF).

Objectives: To determine the safety and hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effects on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).

Methods: This study comprised 14 patients classified as New York Heart Association (NYHA) II–III with severely reduced LVEF (< 40%). We activated the PS using two inflation pressures (50 or 80 mmHg, 7 patients in each group) at two cycles per minute for one hour. We measured echocardiography, hemodynamic parameters, and BNP levels in each patient prior to, during, and after the PS operation.

Results: The baseline LVEF did not change throughout the activation of PS (31 ± 10% vs. 33 ± 9%, P = 0.673). Following PS activation there was no significant difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure, the pulse measurements, or central venous pressure. BNP levels did not change after PS activation (P = 0.074).

Conclusions: The use of PS, with either low or high inflation pressures, is safe and has no detrimental effects on hemodynamic parameters or BNP levels in patients with severely reduced LVEF following clinical stabilization and optimal medical therapy.

October 2017
Ron Sela MD, Mark Gellerman MD, Shaul Atar MD, and Eli Kalfon MD
April 2017
Alexander Shturman MD, Shira Vardi MD, Amitai Bickel MD and Shaul Atar MD

Background: The very long-term prognostic significance of ventricular late potentials (VLP) in patients post ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is unclear.

Objective: To evaluate the long-term predictive value of VLP for mortality post-STEMI.

Methods: We conducted serial signal-averaged electrocardiography (SAECG) measurements in 63 patients on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd day pre-discharge, and 30 days after STEMI in patients admitted in 2001. We followed the patients for 10 years and correlated the presence of VLP with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

Results: The mean age was 59.9 ± 12.3 years. Thrombolysis was performed in 41 patients (65%). Percutaneous coronary intervention was performed pre-discharge in 40 patients (63%) and coronary artery bypass grafting in 7 (11%). Five consecutive measurements to define the presence of VLP were obtained in 52 patients (21 with VLP and 31 without). We found a higher prevalence of VLP in males compared to females (QRS segment > 114 msec, 51% vs. 12%, P = 0.02, duration of the low amplitude signal < 40 mV) in the terminal portion of the averaged QRS complex > 38 msec, 47% vs. 25%, P = 0.05). Over 10 years of follow-up, 14 (22%) patients died, 10 (70%) due to cardiovascular non-arrhythmic complications, 6 with VLP compared to only 3 without (28.6% vs. 9.7%, P = 0.125, hazard ratio = 2.96, confidence intervals = 0.74–11.84) (are these numbers meant to total 10?).

Conclusions: Over 10 years of follow-up, the presence of VLP in early post-STEMI is not predictive of arrhythmic or non-arrhythmic cardiovascular mortality.

August 2014
August 2012
A. Shturman, A. Bickel and S. Atar

Background: The prognostic value of P-wave duration has been previously evaluated by signal-averaged ECG (SAECG) in patients with various arrhythmias not associated with acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Objectives: To investigate the clinical correlates and prognostic value of P-wave duration in patients with ST elevation AMI (STEMI).

Methods: The patients (n=89) were evaluated on the first, second and third day after admission, as well as one week and one month post-AMI. Survival was determined 2 years after the index STEMI.

Results: In comparison with the upper normal range of P-wave duration (< 120 msec), the P-wave duration in STEMI patients was significantly increased on the first day (135.31 ¡À 29.29 msec, P < 0.001), up to day 7 (127.17 ¡À 30.02 msec, P = 0.0455). The most prominent differences were observed in patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ¡Ü 40% (155.47 ¡À 33.8 msec), compared to LVEF > 40% (128.79 ¡À 28 msec) (P = 0.001). P-wave duration above 120 msec was significantly correlated with increased complication rate namely, sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmia (36%), congestive heart failure (41%), atrial fibrillation (11%), recurrent angina (14%), and re-infarction (8%) (P = 0.012, odds ratio 4.267, 95% confidence interval 1.37¨C13.32). P-wave duration of 126 msec on the day of admission was found to have the highest predictive value for in-hospital complications including LVEF < 40% (area under the curve 0.741, P < 0.001).  However, we did not find a significant correlation between P-wave duration and mortality after multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: P-wave duration as evaluated by SAECG correlates negatively with LVEF post- STEMI, and P-wave duration above 126 msec can be utilized as a non-invasive predictor of in-hospital complications and low LVEF following STEMI.

July 2007
S.Atar, K.Tolstrup, B.Cercek, and R.J. Siegel.

Background: Chlamydia pneumoniae has previously been associated with higher prevalence of valvular and cardiac calcifications.

Objectives: To investigate a possible association of seropositivity for C. pneumoniae and the presence of cardiac calcifications (mitral annular or aortic root calcification, and aortic valve sclerosis).

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed serological data (immunoglobulin G TWAR antibodies) from the AZACS trial (Azithromycin in Acute Coronary Syndromes), and correlated the serological findings according to titer levels with the presence of cardiac calcifications as detected by transthoracic echocardiography.

Results: In 271 patients, age 69 ± 13 years, who underwent both serological and echocardiographic evaluation, we found no significant association between the "calcification sum score" (on a scale of 0–3) in seropositive compared to seronegative patients (1.56 ± 1.15 vs.1.35 ± 1.15, respectively, P = 0.26). The median "calcification sum score" was 1 (interquartile range 0–3) for the seronegative group, and 2 (interquartile range 0–3) for the seropositive group (P = 0.2757). In addition, we did not find a significant correlation of any of the individual sites of cardiac calcification and Chlamydia pneumoniae seropositivity.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that past C. pneumoniae infection may not be associated with the pathogenesis of valvular and cardiac calcifications.
 

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