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עמוד בית Wed, 26.06.19

April 2007

R. Beigel, S. Matetzky, P. Fefer, D. Dvir and H. Hod
Heart Faliure and Cardiomyopathy
M. Garty, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, M. Mittelman, A. Porath, B.S. Lewis, E. Grossman, S. Behar, J. Leor, M. S. Green, R. Zimlichman and A. Caspi

Background: Despite improved management of heart failure patients, their prognosis remains poor.

Objectives: To characterize hospitalized HF[1] patients and to identify factors that may affect their short and long-term outcome in a national prospective survey.

Methods: We recorded stages B-D according to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association definition of HF patients hospitalized in internal medicine and cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in Israel.

Results: During March-April 2003, 4102 consecutive patients were recorded. Their mean age was 73 ± 12 years and 57% were males; 75.3% were hypertensive, 50% diabetic and 59% dyslipidemic; 82% had coronary artery disease, 33% atrial fibrillation, 41% renal failure (creatinine ³ 1.5 mg/dl), and 49% anemia (hemoglobin £ 12 g/dl). Mortality rates were 4.7% in-hospital, 7.6% at 30 days, 18.7% at 6 months and 28.1% at 12 months. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that increased 1 year mortality rate was associated with New York Heart Association III–IV (odds ratio 2.07, 95% confidence interval 1.78–2.41), age (for 10 year increment) (OR[2] 1.41, 95% CI[3] 1.31–1.52), renal failure (1.79, 1.53–2.09), anemia (1.50, 1.29–1.75), stroke (1.50, 1.21–1.85), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1.25, 1.04–1.50) and atrial fibrillation (1.20, 1.02–1.40).

Conclusions: This nationwide heart failure survey indicates a high risk of long-term mortality and the urgent need for the development of more effective management strategies for patients with heart failure discharged from hospitals.


[1] HF = heart failure

[2] OR = odds ratio

[3] CI = confidence interval

B. S. Lewis, A. Shotan, S. Gottlieb, S. Behar, D. A. Halon, V. Boyko, J. Leor, E. Grossman, R. Zimlichman, A. Porath, M. Mittelman, A. Caspi and M. Garty

Background: Heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function is a major cause of cardiac disability.

Objectives: To examine the prevalence, characteristics and late clinical outcome of patients hospitalized with HF-PSF[1] on a nationwide basis in Israel.

Methods: The Israel nationwide HF survey examined prospectively 4102 consecutive HF patients admitted to 93 internal medicine and 24 cardiology departments in all 25 public hospitals in the country. Echocardiographic LV function measurements were available in 2845 patients (69%). The present report relates to the 1364 patients who had HF-PSF (LV ejection fraction ≥ 40%).

Results: Mortality of HF-PSF patients was high (in-hospital 3.5%, 6 months 14.2%, 12 months 22.0%), but lower than in patients with reduced systolic function (all P < 0.01). Mortality was higher in patients with HF as the primary hospitalization diagnosis (16.0% vs. 12.5% at 6 months, P = 0.07 and 26.2% vs. 18.0% at 12 months, P = 0.0002). Patients with HF-PSF who died were older (78 ± 10 vs. 71 ± 12 years, P < 0.001), more often female (P = 0.05) and had atrial fibrillation more frequently (44% vs. 33%, P < 0.01). There was also a relationship between mortality and pharmacotherapy: after adjustment for age and co-morbid conditions, mortality was lower in patients treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (P = 0.0003) and angiotensin receptor blockers (P = 0.002) and higher in those receiving digoxin (P = 0.003) and diuretic therapy (P = 0.009).

Conclusions: This nationwide survey highlights the very high late mortality rates in patients hospitalized for HF without a decrease in systolic function. The findings mandate a focus on better evidence-based treatment strategies to improve outcome in HF-PSF patients.


[1] HF-PSF = heart failure with preserved systolic left ventricular function

A. Keren, M. Poteckin, B. Mazouz, A. Medina, S. Banai, A. Chenzbraun, Z. Khoury and G. Levin

Background: Left ventricular outflow gradient is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Alcohol septal ablation is the alternative to surgery in cases refractory to drug therapy. The implication of LVOG[1] measured 1 week post-ASA[2] for prediction of outcome is unknown.

Objective: To observe the pattern of LVOG course and prediction of long-term clinical and hemodynamic outcome of ASA.

Methods: Baseline clinical and echocardiographic parameters were prospectively recorded in 14 consecutive patients with a first ASA, at the time of ASA, 3 and 7 days after ASA (in-hospital) and 3 and 12 months after ASA (last follow-up).

Results: There was improvement in NYHA class, exercise parameters and LVOG in 11 of 14 patients (P < 0.005 in all). Maximal creatine kinase level was lower than 500 U/L in those without such improvement and 850 U/L or higher in successful cases. LVOG dropped from 79 ± 30 to 19 ± 6 mmHg after the ASA. LVOG was 50 ± 21 mmHg on day 3, 39 ± 26 on day 7, 32 ± 26 at 3 months and 24 ± 20 mmHg at last follow-up. LVOG identified 27% sustained procedural successes on day 3 and 73% on day 7. The overall predictive accuracy of the test for sustained success and failure was 36% on day 3 and 71% on day 7. Combination of maximal CK[3] and LVOG on day 7 showed four distinct outcome patterns: "early success" with low LVOG and high CK (73% of successful cases), "late success" with high LVOG and high CK, and "early failure" and "late failure" with both low CK and high or low LVOG, respectively
Conclusion: LVOG measurement 7 days post-ASA combined with maximal CK levels predicts late procedural outcome in the majority of patients

[1] LVOG = left ventricular outflow gradient

[2] ASA = alcohol septal ablation

[3] CK = creatine kinase

Coranary Artery Disease
N. Uriel,G. Moravsky, A. Blatt, A. Tourovski, Z. Gabara, I. Yofik, V. Danicek, A. Hendler, R. Braunstein, R. Krakover, Z. Vered and E. Kaluski

Background: Spontaneous coronary reperfusion occurs in 7–27% of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction, and is an independent predictor of myocardial salvage, percutaneous coronary intervention success, and improved outcome.

Objectives: To determine the optimal PCI[1] time for patients admitted to the hospital due to STEMI[2] with SCR[3].

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients admitted to the coronary care unit between July 2002 and November 2004 with a diagnosis of STEMI with SCR.

Results: The study group comprised 86 patients. There was not a single reinfarction episode during an observation period of 6579 patient hours. Cardiac catheterization was executed early (< 24 hours from pain onset) in 26 patients and late (> 24 hours) in 55. Pre-PCI angiographic TIMI flow 2–3 was seen in > 95% in both groups. PCI was performed more frequently in the “early” group (P = 0.024), while multi-vessel coronary artery disease (P = 0.094) requiring coronary bypass surgery (P = 0.056) was observed more frequently in the “late catheterization” group. Myocardial infarction and angina pectoris at 30 days occurred more frequently in the early catheterization group (P = 0.039), however no difference in any major adverse cardiac events was detected during long-term follow-up (491 ± 245 days).

Conclusions: Reinfarction after STEMI with SCR is a rare event. Early PCI in patients with STEMI and SCR, even when executed with aggressive anti-platelet therapy, seems to result in an excess of early MACE, without any long-term advantage. Prospective randomized trials should determine the optimal PCI timing for these patients.

[1] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

[2] STEMI = ST elevation myocardial infarction

[3] SCR = spontaneous coronary reperfusion

A. Shiran, S. Adawi, I. Dobrecky-Mery, D. A. Halon, and Basil S. Lewis

Background: Echocardiographic ventricular function predicts prognosis and guides management in patients with acute coronary syndromes. In elderly patients, interpretation of echocardiographic measurements may be difficult, especially regarding assessment of diastolic left ventricular function.

Objectives: To examine the usefulness of echocardiographic systolic and echocardiographic diastolic LV[1] function measurements as predictors of long-term outcome in elderly patients with ACS[2].

Methods: We studied 142 consecutive elderly patients (≥ 70 years old, mean age 80 ± 6 years) with ACS who had an echocardiogram at index hospitalization and were in sinus rhythm. LV ejection fraction and diastolic mitral inflow pattern were examined as predictors of survival and repeat hospitalization over a period of 18–24 months.

Results: During the 2 year mean follow-up period 35/142 patients died (25%). Survival was lower in patients with EF[3] < 40% (n=42) as compared to EF ≥ 40% (n=100) (2 year survival rate 61% vs. 81%, P = 0.038). Patients with severe diastolic dysfunction (a restrictive LV filling pattern, n=7) had a lower survival rate than those without (43 vs. 76%, P = 0.009). The most powerful independent predictor of mortality was a restrictive filling pattern (hazard ratio 4.6, 95% confidence interval 1.6–13.5), followed by a clinical diagnosis of heart failure on admission and older age. Rate of survival free of repeat hospitalization was low (33% at 18 months) but repeat hospitalization was not predicted either by EF or by a restrictive filling pattern.

Conclusions: As in the young, echocardiographic measurements of systolic and diastolic LV function predicted long-term survival in elderly patients with ACS. A restrictive filling pattern was the strongest independent predictor of mortality.


[1] LV = left ventricular

[2] ACS = acute coronary syndromes

[3] EF = ejection fraction

A. Laish-Farkash, S. Matetzky, S. Kassem, H. Haj-Iahia and H. Hod

Background: Unconscious adults with spontaneous circulation after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest should be cooled to 32–34ºC (ILCOR recommendations, 2003) when the initial rhythm is ventricular fibrillation.

Objectives: To assess the technique, safety and efficacy of mild induced hypothermia in patients after OHCA[1] due to VF[2].

Methods: Patients were cooled using the MTRE CritiCoolÔ external cooling system. Cold intravenous fluids were added to achieve faster cooling in 17 patients. Data were collected prospectively and patients were analyzed according to their neurological outcome on discharge, defined by their cerebral performance category.

Results: From February 2002 to September 2006, 51 comatose VF patients with OHCA underwent MIH[3]. Treatment was discontinued early in five because of hemodynamic instability; goal temperature was reached in 98% and maintained for an average of 19.5 hours; 61% had a favorable outcome (CPC[4] 1–2) and 37% died. Improved outcome was observed with longer hypothermia time and possibly when time from collapse to return of spontaneous circulation was < 25 minutes.

Conclusions: MIH, using an external cooling system, is simple and feasible, reduces mortality and protects neurological function. Four major factors seem to influence outcome: age, co-morbidities, duration of hypothermia, and possibly the length of time from collapse to ROSC[5].

[1] OHCA = out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

[2] VF = ventricular fibrillation

[3] MIH = mild induced hyperthermia

[4] CPC = cerebral performance category

[5] ROSC = return of spontaneous circulation

E. Markusohn, A. Roguin, A. Sebbag, D. Aronson, R. Dragu, S. Amikam, M. Boulus, E. Grenadier, A. Kerner, E. Nikolsky, W. Markiewicz, H. Hammerman and M. Kapeliovich

Background: The decision to perform primary percutaneous coronary intervention in unconscious patients resuscitated after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is challenging because of uncertainty regarding the prognosis of recovery of anoxic brain damage and difficulties in interpretation of ST segment deviations. In ST elevation myocardial infarction patients after OHCA[1], primary PCI[2] is generally considered the only option for reperfusion. There are few published studies and no randomized trial has yet been performed in this specific group of patients.

Objectives: To define the demographic, clinical and angiographic characteristics, and the prognosis of STEMI[3] patients undergoing primary PCI after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of medical records and used the prospectively acquired information from the Rambam Primary Angioplasty Registry (PARR) and the Rambam Intensive Cardiac Care (RICCa) databases.

Results: During the period March1998 to June 2006, 25 STEMI patients (21 men and 4 women, mean age 56 ± 11years) after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were treated with primary PCI. The location of myocardial infarction was anterior in 13 patients (52%) and non-anterior in 12 (48%). Cardiac arrest was witnessed in 23 patients (92%), but bystander resuscitation was performed in only 2 patients (8%). Eighteen patients (72%) were unconscious on admission, and Glasgow Coma Scale > 5 was noted in 2 patients (8%). Cardiogenic shock on admission was diagnosed in 4 patients (16%). PCI procedure was successful in 22 patients (88%). In-hospital, 30 day, 6 month and 1 year survival was 76%, 76%, 76% and 72%, respectively. In-hospital, 30 day, 6 month and 1 year survival without severe neurological disability was 68%, 68%, 68% and 64%, respectively.

Conclusions: In a selected group of STEMI patients after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, primary PCI can be performed with a high success rate and provides reasonably good results in terms of short and longer term survival.


[1] OHCA = out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

[2] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

[3] STEMI = ST elevation myocardial infarction

M. Suleiman, L. Gepstein, A. Roguin, R. Beyar and M. Boulos

Background: Catheter ablation is assuming a larger role in the management of patients with cardiac arrhythmias. Conventional fluoroscopic catheter mapping has limited spatial resolution and involves prolonged fluoroscopy. The non-fluoroscopic electroanatomic mapping technique (CARTO) has been developed to overcome these drawbacks.

Objectives: To report the early and late outcome in patients with different arrhythmias treated with radiofrequency ablation combined with the CARTO mapping and navigation system.

Methods: The study cohort comprised 125 consecutive patients with different cardiac arrhythmia referred to our center from January 1999 to July 2005 for mapping and/or ablation procedures using the CARTO system. Forty patients (32%) had previous failed conventional ablation or mapping procedures and were referred by other centers. The arrhythmia included atrial fibrillation (n=13), atrial flutter (n=38), atrial tachycardia (n=25), ventricular tachycardia (n=24), arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (n=9), and supraventricular tachycardia (n=16).

Results: During the study period, a total of 125 patients (mean age 49 ± 19 years, 59% males) underwent electrophysiological study and electroanatomic mapping of the heart chambers. Supraventricular arrhythmias were identified in 92 patients (73 %) and ventricular arrhythmias in 33 (27%). Acute and late success rates, defined as termination of the arrhythmia without anti-arrhythmic drugs, were 87% and 76% respectively. One patient (0.8%) developed a clinically significant complication.

Conclusions: The CARTO system advances our understanding of arrhythmias, and increases the safety, efficacy and efficiency of radiofrequency ablation.


B. Belhassen, O. Rogowski, A. Glick, S. Viskin, M. Ilan, R. Rosso and M. Eldar

Background: Radiofrequency ablation has been suggested as first-line therapy in the management of accessory pathways. There are limited data on the results of ablation over years of experience.

Objectives: To assess the results and complications following RFA[1] of APs[2] performed in our institution over a 14 year period.

Methods: RFA was performed using deflectable electrode catheters positioned at the mitral or tricuspid annulus. The site of the AP was localized by electrophysiological study and radiofrequency energy was applied via the tip of the catheter

Results: The study cohort comprised 508 consecutive patients (64.2% males, mean age 33.6 ± 15.1 years) who underwent 572 RFA procedures for ablating 534 APs. A single AP was found in 485 (95.5%) patients while multiple APs were noted in 23 patients (4.5%). The APs were manifest, concealed or intermittent in 46.8%, 44.4% and 8.8% of cases, respectively. AP distribution was as follows: left free wall (56.6%), posteroseptal (23%), right anteroseptal (7.9%), right free wall (6.2%), midseptal (3.4%) and right atriofascicular (3.0%). Acute successful rates for a first or multiple ablation attempts were 93.1% and 95.3%, respectively. At a first ablation attempt, acute success and failure rates were the highest for midseptal (100%) and right atriofascicular (12.5%) APs respectively. Right anteroseptal APs were associated with the highest rate (23.9%) of discontinued or non-attempted procedures. Recurrent conduction in an AP after an initial successful ablation was observed in 9.9% of cases; it was the highest (24.2%) for right free wall APs and the lowest (5.0%) for left free wall APs. During follow-up (85 ± 43 months), definite cure of the AP was achieved in 94.9% of cases following a single or multiple procedures: midseptal (100%), left free wall (98%), right free wall (97%), posteroseptal (92.7%), right atriofascicular (87.5%) and right anteroseptal (78.5%). A non-fatal complication occurred in 18 patients (3.5%), more frequently in females (6.6%) than in males (1.8%) (P < 0.01). The two major complications (pericardial effusion and myocardial ischemic events) mainly occurred during RFA of a left free wall AP using a retrograde aortic approach. Catheter-induced mechanical trauma to APs was observed in 56 cases (10.5%). Mechanical trauma mainly involved right atriofascicular (43.8%) and right anteroseptal (38.1%) APs and contributed to the low success rate of RFA at these AP locations. During the 14 year period, our learning curve was achieved quickly in terms of success rate, although the most significant complications were observed at the beginning of our experience.

Conclusions: The results of this study confirm the efficacy and safety of RFA and suggest that it is a reasonable first-line therapy for the management of APs at any location.

[1] RFA = radiofrequency ablation

[2] AP = accessory pathway

Imaging and Diagnostic Methods
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

A. Eisen, A. Tenenbaum, N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne, J. Shemesh, A. Golan, E. Z. Fisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal and Y. Adler

Background: Coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults, and cerebrovascular disease is associated with the presence of symptomatic and asymptomatic CHD[1]. Several studies noted an association between coronary calcification and thoracic aorta calcification by several imaging techniques, but this association has not yet been examined in stable angina pectoris patients with the use of spiral computed tomography.

Objectives: To examine by spiral CT the association between the presence and severity of CC[2] and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with stable angina pectoris.

Methods: The patients were enrolled in ACTION (A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine GITS) in Israel. The 432 patients (371 men and 61 women aged 40–89 years) underwent chest CT and were evaluated for CC and aortic calcification.

Results: CC was documented in 90% of the patients (n=392) and aortic calcification in 70% (n=303). A significant association (P < 0.05) was found between severity of CC and severity of aortic calcification (as measured by area, volume and slices of calcification). We also found an association between the number of coronary vessels calcified and the presence of aortic calcification: 90% of patients with triple-vessel disease (n=157) were also positive for aortic calcification (P < 0.05). Age also had an effect: 87% of patients ≥ 65 years (n=219) were positive for both coronary and aortic calcification (P = 0.005) while only 57% ≤ 65 (n=209) were positive for both (P = 0.081).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a strong association between the presence and severity of CC and the presence and severity of calcification of thoracic aorta in patients with stable angina pectoris as detected by spiral CT.


[1] CHD = coronary heart disease

[2] CC = coronary calcification

M. Leitman, P. Lysyansky, J. Gurevich, MD, Z. Friedman, E. Sucher, S. Rosenblatt, E. Kaluski, R. Krakover, T. Fuchs and Z. Vered

Background: Echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular function includes calculation of ejection fraction and regional wall motion analysis. Recently, speckle imaging was introduced for quantification of left ventricular function.

Objectives: To assess LVEF[1] by speckle imaging and compare it with Simpson’s method, and to assess the regional LV strain obtained by speckle imaging in relation to conventional echocardiographic scores.

Methods: Thirty consecutive patients, 28 with regional LV dysfunction, underwent standard echocardiographic evaluation. LV end-diastolic volume, LV end-systolic volume and EF were calculated independently by speckle imaging and Simpson’s rule. The regional peak systolic strain presented by speckle imaging as a bull's-eye map was compared with the conventional visual estimate of echo score.

Results: Average EDV[2] obtained by speckle imaging and by Simpson’s method were 85.1 vs. 92.7 ml (P = 0.38), average ESV[3] was 49.4 vs. 48.8 ml (P = 0.94), calculated EF was 43.9 vs. 50.5% (P = 0.08). The correlation rate with Simpson’s rule was high: 0.92 for EDV, 0.96 for ESV, and 0.89 for EF. The peak systolic strain in two patients without wall motion abnormality was 17.3 ± 4.7; in normal segments of patients with regional dysfunction, peak systolic strain (13.4 ± 4.9) was significantly higher than in hypokinetic segments  (10.5 ± 4.5) (P < 0.000001). The strain in hypokinetic segments was significantly higher than in akinetic segments (6.2 ± 3.6) (P < 0.000001).

Conclusions: Speckle imaging can be successfully used for the assessment of LV volumes and EF. Bull's-eye strain map, created by speckle imaging, can achieve an accurate real-time segmental wall motion analysis.


[1] LV = left ventricular ejection fraction

[2] EDV = end-diastolic volume

[3] ESV = end-systolic volume

M. Gorenberg and A. Marmor

Background: Electrocardiography has a very low sensitivity in detecting dobutamine-induced myocardial ischemia.

Objectives: To assess the added diagnostic value of a new cardiac performance index (dP/dtejc) measurement, based on brachial artery flow changes, as compared to standard 12-lead ECG, for detecting dobutamine-nduced myocardial ischemia, using Tc99m-Sestamibi single-photon emission computed tomography as the gold standard of comparison to assess the presence or absence of ischemia.

Methods: The study group comprised 40 patients undergoing Sestamibi-SPECT[1]/dobutamine stress test. Simultaneous measurements of ECG and brachial artery dP/dtejc were performed at each dobutamine level. In 19 of the 40 patients perfusion defects compatible with ischemia were detected on SPECT. The increase in dP/dtejc during infusion of dobutamine in this group was severely impaired as compared to the non-ischemic group. dP/dtejc outcome was combined with the ECG results, giving an ECG-enhanced value, and compared to ECG alone.

Results: The sensitivity improved dramatically from 16% to 79%, positive predictive value increased from 60% to 68% and negative predictive value from 54% to 78%, and specificity decreased from 90% to 67%.
Conclusions: If ECG alone is used for specificity, the combination with dP/dtejc improved the sensitivity of the test and could be a cost-savings alternative to cardiac imaging or perfusion studies to detect myocardial ischemia, especially in patients unable to exercise

[1] SPECT = single-photon emission computed tomography

R. Durst, C. Lotan, H. Nassar, M. Gotsman, E. Mor, B. Varshitzki, P. Greganski, R. Jabara, D. Admon, D. Meerkin and M. Mosseri

Background: Femoral artery vascular complications are the most common adverse events following cardiac catheterization. Smaller diameter introducer sheaths and catheters are likely to lower the puncture site complication rate but may hinder visualization.

Objectives: To evaluate the safety and angiographic quality of 4 French catheters.

Methods: The study was designed to simulate real-life operator-based experience. Diagnostic angiography was performed with either 4F or 6F diagnostic catheters; the size of the catheter used in each patient was predetermined by the day of the month. Patients undergoing 4F and 6F diagnostic angiography were ambulated after 4 and 6 hours, respectively. The following technical parameters were recorded by the operator: ease of introducer sheath insertion, ease of coronary intubation, ease of injection, coronary opacification, collateral flow demonstration, and overall assessment. Adverse events were recorded in all patients and included minor bleeding, major bleeding (necessitating blood transfusion), minor hematoma, major hematoma, pseudo-aneurysm formation and arteriovenous fistula.

Results: The study group included 177 patients, of whom 91 were in the 4F arm and 86 in the 6F arm. Demographic and procedural data were similar in both groups. Seventy-seven percent of 6F and 50% of 4F procedures were evaluated as excellent (P < 0.05). This difference was attributed to easier intubation of the coronary ostium and contrast material injection, increased opacification of the coronary arteries, and demonstration of collateral flow with 6F catheters. Complications occurred in 22% of patients treated with 6F catheters and 10% of those treated with 4F catheters (P = 0.11). Of the 50 patients who switched from 4F to 6F 12% had complications. In patients undergoing diagnostic angiography, the complication rate was 10% vs. 27% (most of them minor) in the 4F and 6F groups, respectively (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Patients catheterized with 4F have fewer complications compared with 6F diagnostic catheters even when ambulated earlier. Although 4F had a reduced quality compared to 6F angiographies, they were evaluated as satisfactory or excellent in quality 85% of the time. 4F catheters have a potential for reduced hospitalization stay and are a good option for primary catheterization in patients not anticipated to undergo coronary intervention

Cardiac Surgery
G. Sahar, A. Meir, MD, A. Battler, Y. Shapira, B. A. Vidne and I. Ben-Dor

Background: The use of the bilateral internal mammary arteries has been reserved mainly for younger and low risk patients.

Aim: To assess the safety and efficacy of BIMA[1] grafting in older patients ( 70 years).

Methods: We reviewed the records of all consecutive patients 70 years old who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery with a BIMA graft in our institute over a 2 year period. Demographic data, operative data, perioperative morbidity and mortality were recorded. Findings were compared with a matched-size group of patients who underwent CABG[2] with a left internal mammary artery graft to left anterior descending artery.

Results: The study sample included 136 patients, of whom 68 underwent BIMA grafting and 68 LIMA[3] grafting. Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics were similar in the two groups. There was no significant difference in operative mortality between the BIMA and LIMA groups (1.5% vs. 0%, P = 0.3) or in mortality during follow-up at a mean of 16 months (4.4% vs. 2.9%, P = 0.4, respectively). There was no difference between the groups in the incidence of perioperative complications, re-admission and re-intervention rates during follow-up. Significant between-group differences were noted for mean cardiopulmonary bypass time (93.2 ± 34.7 BIMA vs. 108.8 ± 40.7 LIMA min, P = 0.02) and for red blood cell transfusion (1.9 ± 1.9 vs. 4.3 ± 2.8 packed cells/patient, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The performance of mainly arterial revascularization with BIMA grafting in patients 70 years or older is as safe as LIMA grafting, with the added advantage of being a better conduit than saphenous vein graft, requiring fewer blood transfusions, and shorter cardiopulmonary bypass time.


[1] BIMA = bilateral internal-mammary artery

[2] CABG = coronary artery bypass graft

[3] LIMA = left internal mammary artery

Y. Shapira, D. E. Weisenberg, M. Vaturi, E. Sharoni, E. Raanani, G. Sahar, B. A. Vidne, A. Battler and A. Sagie

Backgound: The use of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiogram in patients with infective endocarditis is usually reserved for cases of inadequate preoperative testing or suspected extension to perivalvular tissue.

Objectives: To explore the impact of routine intraoperative TEE[1] in patients with infective endocarditis.

Methods: The impact of intraoperative TEE on the operative plan, anatomic-physiologic results, and hemodynamic assessment or de-airing was analyzed in 59 patients (38 males, 21 females, mean age 57.7 ± 16.8 years, range 20–82) operated for active infective endocarditis over 56 months.

Results: Immediate pre-pump echocardiography was available in 52 operations (86.7%), and changed the operative plan in 6 of them (11.5%). Immediate post-pump study was available in 59 patients (98.3%) and accounted for second pump-run in 6 (10.2%): perivalvular leak (3 cases), and immobilized leaflet, significant mitral regurgitation following vegetectomy, and failing right ventricle requiring addition of vein graft (1 case each). Prolonged de-airing was necessary in 6 patients (10.2%). In 5 patients (8.5%) the postoperative study aided in the evaluation and treatment of difficult weaning from the cardiopulmonary bypass pump. In 21 patients (35.6%) the application of intraoperative TEE affected at least one of the four pre-specified parameters.
Conclusions: Intraoperative TEE has an important role in surgery for infective endocarditis and should be routinely implemented

[1] TEE = transesophageal echocardiogram

D. Spiegelstein, P.l Ghosh, L. Sternik, S. Tager, A. Shinfeld and E. Raanani

Background: During the last decade new surgical techniques for mitral valve repair were developed. We have been using those techniques in order to widen the spectrum of patients eligible for MV[1] repair.

Objectives: To assess the operative and mid-term results a wide variety of surgical techniques.

Methods: From January 2004 through December 2006, 213 patients underwent MV repair in our institution. Valve pathology was degenerative in 123 patients (58%), ischemic in 37 (17%), showed annular dilatation in 25 (12%), endocarditis in 16 (8%), was rheumatic in 13 (6%), and due to other causes in 14 (7%). Preoperative New York Heart Association score was 2.35 ± 0.85 and ejection fraction 53 ± 12%. Isolated MV repair was performed in 90 patients (42%) and 158 concomitant procedures were done in 123 patients (58%). A wide variety of surgical techniques was used in order to increase the number of repairs compared to valve replacement.

Results: There were 7 in-hospital deaths (3.3%). NYHA[2] class improved from 2.19 ± 0.85 to 1.4 ± 0.6, and freedom from reoperation was 100%. Echocardiography follow-up of patients with degenerative MV revealed that 93% of the patients (115/123) were free of mitral regurgitation greater than 2+ grade. In patients operated by a minimal invasive approach there were no conversions to sternotomy, no late deaths, none required reoperation, and 96% were free of MR[3] greater than 2+ grade. The use of multiple surgical techniques enabled the repair of more than 80% of pure MR cases.

Conclusions: MV repair provides good perioperative and mid-term results, and supports the preference for MV repair over replacement, when feasible. Multiple valve repair techniques tailored to different pathologies increases the feasibility of mitral repair.

[1] MV = mitral valve

[2] NYHA = New York Heart Association

[3] MR = mitral regurgitation

Risk Factors - Psychology
N. Lipovetzky, H. Hod, A. Roth, Y. Kishon, S. Sclarovsky and M. S. Green

Background: Previous studies found some factors such as physical exertion, anger and heavy meals to be triggers for acute coronary syndrome.

Objectives: To estimate the relative risk of an ACS[1] episode associated with positive and negative emotional experiences and anger as potential work-related triggers.

Methods: A total of 209 consecutive patients were interviewed a median of 2 days after a cardiac event that occurred at work or up to 2 hours later. The case-crossover design was used. Positive and negative emotional experiences and anger episodes in the hours immediately before the onset of ACS were compared with episodes in the comparable hours during the previous workday. For anger the episodes were compared with the usual frequency at work during the previous year. Positive and negative emotional experiences were assessed by the PANAS questionnaire (Positive and Negative Affect Scale), and anger by the Onset Anger Scale.

Results: The relative risks of an acute coronary event during the first hour after exposure to negative and positive emotional experiences were RR[2] = 14.0 (95% confidence interval 1.8–106.5) and RR = 3.50 (95% CI[3], 0.7–16.8) respectively and RR = 9.0 (95% CI, 1.1–71) for an episode of anger. Using conditional logistic regression analysis, the highest relative risk was associated with negative emotional experiences.

Conclusions: Negative emotional experiences and anger at work can trigger the onset of an ACS episode. This could have implications for recognizing a cardiac event as a work accident. The implementation of stress-reduction programs in the workplace or use of preventive medications in workers at high risk for coronary heart disease should be investigated.

[1] ACS = acute coronary syndrome

[2] RR = relative risk

[3] CI = confidence interval

R. Jabara, S. Namouz, J. D. Kark and C. Lotan

Background: There is little published information on the coronary risk characteristics of Palestinian women. However, there are documented lifestyle differences as well as socioeconomic inequalities between Arab and Jewish women in Israel.

Objectives: To compare the risk factor characteristics of coronary heart disease patients in Palestinian and Israeli women.

Methods: This study included 546 women (444 Jews and 102 Arabs) aged 35-74, all residents of Jerusalem, who underwent cardiac catheterization at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center between 2000 and 2003, and were confirmed to have coronary artery disease; Data on multiple risk factors were obtained from patient interviews and files.

Results: Compared with Jewish women, Arab women had a higher prevalence of diabetes, had borne more children/were younger, had a lower socioeconomic status, consumed jess alcohol and more olive oil, suffered more passive smoking and were less physically active. On the other hand, fewer Arab women had dyslipidemia, used hormone replacement therapy and had a family history of CHD.

Conclusions: Compared to Jewish women, Palestinian Arab women in Jerusalem appear to have more diabetes and exhibit lifestyle factors that generally increase the risk for CHD. Greater attention to primary prevention in this ethnic group is needed. This study suggests the need to investigate determinants of the metabolic syndrome and the possible role of passive smoking in Arab women as well as modes of intervention via health promotion and risk factor management in this population.

Molecular Medicine
S. Alroy, M. Preis, M. Barzilai, A. Cassel, L. Lavie, D. A. Halon, O. Amir, B. S. Lewis and M. Y. Flugelman

Background: The etiology of chest pain with normal epicardial coronary arteries (cardiac syndrome X) seems to be related to endothelial cell dysfunction. Multiple factors are implicated in the pathophysiology, including evelated levels of homocysteine in the blood. Mutations in the MTHFR gene are associated with evelated levels of homocysteine.

Objectives: To test whether abnormal homocysteine metabolism is associated with syndrome X.

Methods: Forty-two women with chest pain, positive stress test and normal coronary arteries (syndrome X) and 100 asymptomatic women (controls) were studied for the C677T mutation. Vitamin B12, folic acid, and plasma levels of homocysteine were also measured. Endothelial cell function was studied in 10 patients with syndrome X and homozygosity for C677T mutation, and in 10 matched healthy controls. Folic acid (5 mg daily) was prescribed to syndrome X patients after initial measurements of ECF[1]. Following 13 weeks of treatment, ECF and blood tests were repeated and compared to baseline measurements.

Results: Homozygosity for C677T mutation was doubled in syndrome X vs. control (33%, 14/42 vs. 16%, 16/100, P < 0.02), and homocysteine levels were increased (9.16 ± 2.4 vs. 8.06 ± 2.6 μmol/L, P = 0.02). In the 10 homozygous patients, homocysteine levels decreased significantly after treatment with 5 mg/day folic acid (10 ± 3.3 vs. 5.4 ± 1.1 µmol/L, P = 0.004). Abnormal baseline ECF improved after treatment with folic acid: flow-mediated dilatation was greater (11.3 ± 7.9% vs. 0.7 ± 4.5%, P < 0.002), as was nitroglycerin-mediated dilatation (15.2 ± 9.0% vs. 5.6 ± 6.4%, P < 0.003). Frequency of chest pain episodes was significantly reduced after 13 weeks of folic acid treatment.

Conclusion: Our findings establish the association between the C677T mutation, endothelial cell dysfunction and cardiac syndrome X, and provide a novel and simple therapy for a subset of patients with syndrome X and homozygosity for the C677T mutation.

[1] ECF = endothelial cell function

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