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עמוד בית
Fri, 12.07.24

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November 2011
G. Vashitz, J. Meyer, Y. Parmet, Y. Henkin, R. Peleg, N. Liebermann and H. Gilutz

Background: There is a wide treatment gap between evidence-based guidelines and their implementation in primary care.

Objective: To evaluate the extent to which physicians "literally" follow guidelines for secondary prevention of dyslipidemia and the extent to which they practice "substitute" therapeutic measures.

Methods: We performed a post hoc analysis of data collected in a prospective cluster randomized trial. The participants were 130 primary care physicians treating 7745 patients requiring secondary prevention of dyslipidemia. The outcome measure was physician "literal" adherence or "substitute" adherence. We used logistic regressions to evaluate the effect of various clinical situations on “literal” and “substitute” adherence.

Results: "Literal" adherence was modest for ordering a lipoprotein profile (35.1%) and for pharmacotherapy initiations (26.0%), but rather poor for drug up-titrations (16.1%) and for referrals for specialist consultation (3.8%). In contrast, many physicians opted for "substitute" adherence for up-titrations (75.9%) and referrals for consultation (78.7%). Physicians tended to follow the guidelines “literally” in simple clinical situations (such as the need for lipid screening) but to use "substitute" measures in more complex cases (when dose up-titration or metabolic consultation was required). Most substitute actions were less intense than the actions recommended by the guidelines.

Conclusions: Physicians often do not blindly follow guidelines, but rather evaluate their adequacy for a particular patient and adjust the treatment according to their assessment. We suggest that clinical management be evaluated in a broader sense than strict guideline adherence, which may underestimate physicians' efforts.
 

D. Rosengarten, M.R. Kramer, G. Amir, L. Fuks and N. Berkman

Pulmonary epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (PEH), previously known as "intravascular bronchoalveolar tumor," is a rare vascular malignancy with an unpredictable prognosis. Treatment can vary from observation in asymptomatic patients to surgery in patients with resectable disease or chemotherapy in patients with disseminated disease. This report describes the clinical, radiological and pathological features of three cases of PEH and a review of the current literature.
 

June 2011
J. Freire de Carvalho, V. Santos Trindade Viana, E. Ferreira Borba Neto, R. Dias Santos and E. Bonfa

Background: Anti-lipoprotein lipase antibodies have been described in rare cases of patients with hypertriglyceridemia. However, no systematic study evaluating these antibodies in patients with this lipid abnormality has been undertaken.

Objectives: To analyze the correlation of anti-lipoprotein lipase (anti-LPL) antibodies with other laboratory findings in patients with hypertriglyceridemia but no autoimmune disease.

Methods: We evaluated 44 hypertriglyceridemic patients without autoimmune disease. Clinical and laboratory evaluations included analyses of co-morbidities, fasting lipid profile and anti-LPL antibodies.

Results: Mean patient age was 55 ± 10 years; 46% of the patients were female and 64% were Caucasian. The mean disease duration was 94.4 months and mean body mass index 28.7 ± 3.6 kg/m2; 34.0% were diabetic, 25.0% were obese, 72.7% had systemic arterial hypertension, 75% were sedentary, 15.9% were smokers, 56.8% had a family history of dyslipidemia, 45.5% had a family history of coronary insufficiency, 20.5% had acute myocardial infarction, 9.0% had undergone revascularization and 11.0% angioplasty, 79.5% were being treated with statins and 43.2% were taking fibrates. Median triglyceride levels were 254 mg/dl (range 100-3781 mg/dl), and total cholesterol level was 233 ± 111 mg/dl. High-density lipoprotein was 42.6 ± 15.4 mg/dl, low-density lipoprotein 110.7 ± 42.4 mg/dl and very low-density lipoprotein 48 ± 15 mg/dl. Anti-LPL antibodies were identified in 2 patients (4.5%), both of whom had a family history of dyslipidemia, coronary insufficiency and acute myocardial infarction; one had undergone myocardial revascularization and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, and both were using fibrates and had normal triglyceride levels.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate a correlation between the immune response and dyslipoproteinemia in hypertriglyceridemic patients, suggesting that autoimmune disease contributes to the dyslipidemia process.
 

May 2011
L. Shen, Y. Matsunami, N. Quan, K. Kobayashi, E. Matsuura and K. Oguma

Background: Several murine models are susceptible to atherosclerosis, such as low density-lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLR-/-) and apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mice, and are used for studying pathophysiological mechanisms. Atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic valve and thoracic/abdominal aorta are commonly associated with hyperlipidemia. We recently demonstrated the development of large atherosclerotic plaques in Helicobacter pylori-infected heterozygous LDLR+/- apoE+/- mice.

Objectives: To measure novel biomarkers related to atherosclerosis, blood coagulation, and oxidative stress in order to investigate their possible pathogenic roles in atherosclerosis-prone mice.

Methods: Mice were fed with a normal chow diet or high-fat diet and sacrificed at different age intervals to measure aortic plaque size. Plasma cholesterol was enzymatically measured. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure oxidized LDL (oxLDL)/beta-2-glycoprotein I (β2GPI) complexes, immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies against native LDL, oxLDL, or oxLDL/β2GPI, and urine 11-dehydro-thromboxane B2 (11-dhTxB2) or 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine.

Results: There was a parallel increase in plaque size, plasma cholesterol, and urinary 11-dhTxB2 in atherosclerosis-prone mice. In contrast to atherosclerosis-prone strains, an elevation of urinary 11-dhTxB2 with no significant plaque generation was observed in LDLR+/- apoE+/- mice. The atherogenic autoantigen oxLDL/β2GPI complex was detected only in LDLR-/- mice. These levels seem to depend on plaque size. IgM antibodies against oxLDL in apoE-/- mice were found, accompanied by atherosclerotic progression.

Conclusions: Progression of atherosclerotic lesions was associated not only with cholesterolemia but also with platelet activation and natural autoimmune-mediated regulatory mechanism(s) in murine models.
 

April 2011
A. Lubovich, H. Hamood, S. Behar and U. Rosenschein

Background: Rapid reperfusion of an infarct-related artery is crucial for the successful treatment of ST elevation myocardial infarction. Every effort should be made to shorten door-to-balloon time.

Objectives: To investigate whether bypassing the emergency room (ER) has a positive influence on door-to-balloon time in patients presenting with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and whether the reduction in door-to-balloon time improves patients’ clinical outcome.

Methods: We analyzed data of 776 patients with STEMI[1] from the 2004 and the 2006 Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Survey (ACSIS) registry. The ACSIS[2] is a biennial survey on acute myocardial infarction performed in all 25 intensive cardiac care units in Israel during a 2-month period. Twenty-five percent of patients (193 of 776) arrived directly to the intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU) and 75% (583 of 776) were assessed first in the ER[3]. We compared door-to-balloon time, ejection fraction, 30 days MACE (major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events) and 30 days mortality in the two study groups.

Results: There was significantly shorter door-to-balloon time in the direct ICCU group as compared with the ER group (45 vs. 79 minutes, P < 0.002). Patients in the direct ICCU group were more likely to have door-to-balloon time of less than 90 minutes in accordance with ACC/AHA guidelines (88.7% vs. 59.2%, P < 0.0001). Moreover, patients in the direct ICCU group were less likely to have left ventricular ejection fraction < 30% (5.4% vs. 12.2%, P = 0.045) and less likely to have symptoms of overt congestive heart failure. Lastly, 30 days MACE[4] was significantly lower in the direct ICCU group (22 vs. 30%, P < 0.004).

Conclusions: There is significant reduction of the door-to-balloon time in the direct ICCU admission strategy. This reduction translates into improvement in clinical outcome of patients. It is reasonable to apply the direct ICCU strategy to patients with STEMI.






[1] STEMI = ST elevation myocardial infarction



[2] ACSIS = Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Survey



[3] ER = emergency room



[4] MACE = major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events


March 2011
G. Kerekes, P. Soltész, G. Szűcs, S. Szamosi, H. Dér, Z. Szabó, L. Csáthy, A. Váncsa, P. Szodoray, G. Szegedi and Z. Szekanecz

Background: Increased cardiovascular morbidity has become a leading cause of mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) inhibitors may influence flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, common carotid intima-media thickness (ccIMT) and arterial stiffness indicated by pulse-wave velocity (PWV) in RA.

Objectives: To assess the effects of adalimumab treatment on FMD[1], ccIMT[2] and PWV[3] in early RA[4].

Methods: Eight RA patients with a disease duration ≤ 1 year received 40 mg adalimumab subcutaneously every 2 weeks. Ultrasound was used to assess brachial FMD and ccIMT. PWV was determined by arteriograph. These parameters were correlated with C-reacive protein, vonWillebrand factor (vWF), immunoglobulin M (IgM)-rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-CCP levels and 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28).

Results: Adalimumab therapy successfully ameliorated arthritis as it decreased CRP[5] levels (P = 0.04) and DAS28[6] (P < 0.0001). Endothelial function (FMD) improved in comparison to baseline (P < 0.05). ccIMT decreased after 24 weeks, indicating a mean 11.9% significant improvement (P = 0.002). Adalimumab relieved arterial stiffness (PWV) after 24 weeks. Although plasma vWF[7] levels decreased only non-significantly after 12 weeks of treatment, an inverse correlation was found between FMD and vWF (R = -0.643, P = 0.007). FMD also inversely correlated with CRP (R = -0.596, P = 0.015). CRP and vWF also correlated with each other (R = 0.598, P = 0.014). PWV and ccIMT showed a positive correlation (R = 0.735, P = 0.038).

Conclusions: Treatment with adalimumab exerted favorable effects on disease activity and endothelial dysfunction. It also ameliorated carotid atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in patients with early RA. Early adalimumab therapy may have an important role in the prevention and management of vascular comorbidity in RA.






[1] FMD = flow-mediated vasodilation



[2] ccIMT = common carotid intima-media thickness



[3] PWV = pulse-wave velocity



[4] RA = rheumatoid arthritis



[5] CRP = C-reactive protein



[6] DAS28 = 28-joint Disease Activity Score



[7] vWF = vonWillebrand factor


July 2010
L. Barski, R. Nevzorov, J. Horowitz and S. Horowitz

Background: Clinical and epidemiologic features of coronary heart disease may not be explained solely by established risk factors. The role of infectious pathogens in the development and rupture of atherosclerotic plaques remains elusive but an association between Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and CHD[1] has been previously reported

Objectives: To determine whether there is an association between mycoplasmal infections and CHD.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort analysis of 150 consecutive hospitalized patients with CHD (85 with acute coronary syndrome and 65 admitted for unrelated reasons) and 98 healthy blood donors. Antibody titers for Mycoplasma pneumoniae, M. fermentans, M. hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum were measured with the agglutination test or specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in all three groups of patients.

Results: Analysis of the antibody titers did not reveal any significant difference in the presence of mycoplasmal antibodies between the patients with ACS[2], patients with known stable CHD hospitalized for non-CHD reasons, and healthy blood donors.

Conclusions: Determination of specific antibodies did not reveal a significant association among different types of mycoplasmal infection and CHD.





[1] CHD = coronary heart disease

[2] ACS = acute coronary syndrome

December 2009
November 2008
I. Greenberg-Wolff et al

Background: Cardiac computed tomography scans influde several extra-cardiac structures such as mediastinum, lung parenchyma and upper abdominal organs. A variety of abnormalities in those structures might be clinically important and in some cases might explain the patient's complaints.

Objectives: To analyze consecutive cardiac computed tomography examinations for the prevalence and clinical significance of extra-cardiac findings.

Methods: Cardiac CT scans of 134 sequential patients (104 males, 30 females) aged 20–77 years (mean 54 years) with suspected coronary artery disease were prospectively and independently reviewed by a consensus of two radiologists for the presence of lung, mediastinal, pleural, upper abdominal and skeletal abnormalities. CT scans with extra-cardiac abnormalities were divided into two groups: group A – defined as "clinically significant" or "potentially significant findings" – consisted of patients requiring further evaluation or follow-up, and group B – "clinically non-significant findings."

Results: Extra-cardiac abnormalities were found in 103 of the 134 patients (76.8%). Group A abnormalities were found in 52/134 patients (39%), while group B abnormalities were seen in 85/134 (63%). The most common abnormalities in group A were non-calcified lung nodules (> 4 mm) noted in 17/134 patients (13%), followed by enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes (> 10 mm) in 14/134 (10%), diaphragmatic hernia (2 cm) in 12/134 (9%), moderate or severe degenerative spine disease in 12/134 (9%), and emphysema and aortic aneurysm in 6 patients each (4.5%). A malignant lung tumor was noted in one patient.

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of non-cardiac abnormalities in patients undergoing CCT[1]. Clinically significant or potentially significant findings can be expected in 40% of patients who undergo CCT, and these will require further evaluation and follow-up. The reporting radiologist should be experienced in chest imaging and aware of the large variety of non-cardiac findings in CCT that might explain the patient's complaints. 






[1] CCT = coronary computed tomography


September 2008
R. Kornowski, G. N. Bachar, D. Dvir, S. Fuchs and E. Atar

Background: Cardiac computed tomography angiography is a relatively new imaging modality to detect coronary atherosclerosis.

Objectives: To explore the diagnostic value of CTA[1] in assessing coronary artery disease among asymptomatic patients.

Methods: In this retrospective single-centered analysis, 622 consecutive patients underwent CTA of coronary arteries between November 2004 and May 2006 at the Mor Institute for Cardiovascular Imaging in Bnei Brak, Israel. All patients were asymptomatic but had at least one risk factor for atherosclerotic CAD[2]. The initial 244 patients were examined with the 16-slice Brilliance CT scanner (Philips, Cleveland, OH, USA), and in the remaining 378 patients the 64-slice scanner (GE Healthcare, The Netherlands) with dedicated cardiac reconstruction software and electrocardiography triggering was used. Scanning was performed in the cranio-caudal direction. Images reconstructed in different phases of the cardiac cycle using a retrospective ECG-gated reconstruction algorithm were transferred to a dedicated workstation for review by experienced CT radiologists and cardiologists.

Results: Of 622 patients, 52 (8.4%) had severe obstructive atherosclerosis (suspected ≥ 75% stenosis) according to CTA interpretation. Invasive coronary angiography was performed in 48 patients while 4 patients had no further procedure. A non-significant CAD (e.g., diameter stenosis < 70%) was identified in 6 of 48 patients (12%) by selective coronary angiography. Forty-two patients showed severe CAD with at least one lesion of ≥ 70% stenosis. Percutaneous coronary intervention was performed in 35 patients and coronary artery bypass grafting surgery in the other 4 patients. Angioplasty procedures were successful in all 35 patients and stents were utilized in all cases without complications. No further complications occurred among the study cohort undergoing either PCI[3] or surgery. The 6 month survival rate in these patients was 100%.

Conclusions: Non-invasive coronary CTA appears to be a reliable technique, with reasonably high accuracy, to detect obstructive atherosclerosis in asymptomatic high risk patients for atherosclerotic CAD.






[1] CTA = computed tomography angiography

[2] CAD = coronary artery disease

[3] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention


April 2007
M. Shechter, I. Marai, S. Marai, Y. Sherer, B-A. Sela, M. S. Feinberg, A. Rubinstein and Y. Shoenfeld

Background: Endothelial dysfunction is recognized as a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis and it has a prognostic value.

Objectives: To detect the long-term association of peripheral vascular endothelial function and clinical outcome in healthy subjects and patients with cardiovascular disease.

Methods: We prospectively assessed brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in 110 consecutive subjects (46 CVD[1] patients and 64 healthy controls), mean age 57 ± 11 years; 68 were men. After an overnight fast and discontinuation of all medications for ≥ 12 hours, percent improvement in FMD and nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation were assessed using high resolution ultrasound.

Results: %FMD[2] but not %NTG[3] was significantly lower in CVD patients (9.5 ± 8.0% vs. 13.5 ± 8.0%, P = 0.012) compared to healthy controls (13.4 ± 8.0% vs. 16.7 ± 11.0%, P = 0.084; respectively). In addition, an inverse correlation between %FMD and the number of traditional CVD risk factors was found among all study participants (r = -0.23, P = 0.015) and healthy controls (r = -0.23, P = 0.036). In a mean follow-up of 15 ± 2 months, the composite CVD endpoints (all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure or angina pectoris, stroke, coronary artery bypass grafting and percutaneous coronary interventions) were significantly more common in subjects with FMD < 6% compared to subjects with FMD > 6% (33.3% vs. 12.1%, P < 0.03, respectively).
Conclusions: Thus, brachial artery %FMD provides important prognostic information in addition to that derived from traditional risk factor assessment







[1] CVD = cardiovascular disease



[2] %FMD = percent improvement in flow-mediated dilation



[3] %NTG = percent improvement in nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation


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