(Cardio-)Vascular System in Health and Disease: Current Update and Perspectives

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Cardiovascular Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 42569

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With increasing morbidity and mortality associated with the cardiovascular system, there is a need to investigate cardio(vascular) function in healthy persons as well as how it is modified by diseases.

Cardiovascular responses occur very rapidly when the body is confronted with a stressor. Heart rate, blood pressure as well as autonomic responses occur almost immediately, while hormonal responses are seen after a delay. Unsurprisingly, cardiovascular responses are routinely assessed in healthy persons and patients during different perturbations (e.g., during hemorrhage, lower body negative pressure, tilt table, centrifugation, parabolic flights, air pollution) as well as to assess effects of therapy (e.g., exercise, physical therapy in lymphedema patients, effects of bedrest confinement, HIV patients on antiretroviral drugs). Measurements of heart rate variability and blood pressure variability provide details regarding autonomic function (sympathovagal balance). This research topic encourages the submission of articles that involve any of these research areas.

Different approaches can be used to assess endothelial and, therefore, vascular function: This includes flow-mediated dilatation, EndoPAT2000, and pulse wave velocity. Whereas flow-mediated dilatation uses ultrasound to provide insights into vascular reactivity of the brachial artery upon blood flow occlusion, EndoPAT2000 assesses endothelial vasodilator function using probes that measure volume changes in fingertips. Pulse wave velocity is used as a marker for arterial stiffness by applying blood pressure cuffs at two different positions, for example, carotid–femoral or brachial–ankle. Retinal fundoscopy displays a unique possibility to assess the retinal microvasculature, specifically retinal arterioles and venules (arteriolar-to-venous ratio, vessel tortuosity index and vessel diameter). This research topic aims to include papers that have utilized innovative vascular function assessments, such as those outlined above, in health and disease. While data from healthy participants will be included in this research topic, data from patients are particularly encouraged.

Overall, this research topic focuses on cardio(vascular) function in health and disease and across all ages. As important cardiovascular responses are seen across the sexes and, in females, may potentially be influenced by menstrual phases or the intake of oral contraceptive pills, these aspects will also be considered. Finally, as older persons are prone to falls and falls-related injuries, invited in this research topic are also manuscripts that assess cardio(vascular) function in geriatric populations.

Dr. Nandu Goswami
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • heart rate
  • blood pressure
  • autonomic function
  • orthostatic intolerance
  • tilt table
  • preeclampsia
  • sex
  • children
  • older adults
  • coagulation

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Published Papers (26 papers)

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10 pages, 553 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Prescription Pattern and Effectiveness of Antihypertensive Drugs in Non-Operated Aortic Dissection Patients
by Yun-Hui Huang, Kai-Lin Chiu, Chuan-Wei Shen, Ming-Jong Bair and Chung-Yu Chen
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(5), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12051962 - 01 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1377
Abstract
Introduction: Aortic dissection (AD) is a life-threatening disease. However, the effectiveness of different strategies of antihypertensive therapies in non-operated AD patients is still unclear. Materials and methods: Patients were classified into five groups (groups 0–4) based on the number of classes of antihypertensive [...] Read more.
Introduction: Aortic dissection (AD) is a life-threatening disease. However, the effectiveness of different strategies of antihypertensive therapies in non-operated AD patients is still unclear. Materials and methods: Patients were classified into five groups (groups 0–4) based on the number of classes of antihypertensive drugs, including β-blockers, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) agents (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), and the renin-inhibitors), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and other antihypertensive drugs, were prescribed within 90 days after discharge. The primary endpoint was a composite outcome of re-hospitalization associated with AD, referral for aortic surgery, and all-cause death. Results: A total of 3932 non-operated AD patients were included in our study. The most prescribed antihypertensive drugs were CCBs, followed by β-blockers and ARBs. Within group 1, compared to other antihypertensive drugs, patients using RAS agents (aHR, 0.58; p = 0.005) had a significantly lower risk of occurrence of the outcome. Within group 2, the risk of composite outcomes was lower in patients using β-blockers + CCBs (aHR, 0.60; p = 0.004) or CCBs + RAS agents (aHR, 0.60; p = 0.006) than in those using RAS agents + others. Conclusion: For non-operated AD patients, RAS agents, β-blockers, or CCBs should be given in a different strategy of combinations to reduce the hazard of AD-related complications compared to other agents. Full article
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8 pages, 834 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Clinical Care of Peripheral Arterial Disease Patients: A Single-Center Experience
by Elias Noory, Tanja Böhme, Jonas Salm, Ulrich Beschorner, Dirk Westermann and Thomas Zeller
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(3), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12030890 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1230
Abstract
Objective: To better manage the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals, numerous scheduled procedures have been postponed nationwide. Design and Methods: Retrospective analysis of patient characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the period prior to the [...] Read more.
Objective: To better manage the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals, numerous scheduled procedures have been postponed nationwide. Design and Methods: Retrospective analysis of patient characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in the period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (2018 and 2019) and during the pandemic (2020 and 2021). This study assesses the in-hospital outcomes. Main endpoints are Rutherford stages at admission for intervention, incidence of amputation, of total occlusion, and duration of intervention. The data were analyzed descriptively. Results: The total number of interventions due to PAD had decreased in 2020, but not significantly during the pandemic period (n = 5351) compared to the period prior to COVID-19 pandemic (n = 5351) (p = 0.589). The proportion of interventions treated for critical limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI) increased from 2018/2019 (n = 2112) to 2020/2021 (n = 2426) (p < 0.001). However, the proportion of patients with wounds requiring amputation was not higher during the pandemic (n = 191) than before (n = 176) (minor amputations p = 0.2302, major amputations p = 0.9803). The proportion of total occlusions did not differ significantly between the pre-COVID-19 (n = 3082) and the COVID-19 pandemic periods (n = 2996) (p = 0.8207). Multilevel interventions did not increase significantly from 2018/2019 (n = 1930) to 2020/2021 (n = 2071). Between 2018/2019 and 2020/2021, the procedure duration and fluoroscopy duration increased significantly. However, parameters such as contrast agent volume and radiation dose did not differ significantly. The average length of stay was 4.6 days. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the in-patient care of PAD patients in terms of disease stage severity and complexity. However, the amputation rate was not affected. Full article
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15 pages, 1454 KiB  
Article
Troponin in COVID-19: To Measure or Not to Measure? Insights from a Prospective Cohort Study
by Renata Moll-Bernardes, João D. Mattos, Eduardo B. Schaustz, Andréa S. Sousa, Juliana R. Ferreira, Mariana B. Tortelly, Adriana M. L. Pimentel, Ana Cristina B. S. Figueiredo, Marcia M. Noya-Rabelo, Allan R. K. Sales, Denilson C. Albuquerque, Paulo H. Rosado-de-Castro, Gabriel C. Camargo, Olga F. Souza, Fernando A. Bozza, Emiliano Medei and Ronir R. Luiz
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(19), 5951; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11195951 - 09 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
Myocardial injury (MI), defined by troponin elevation, has been associated with increased mortality and adverse outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the role of this biomarker as a risk predictor remains unclear. Data from adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were [...] Read more.
Myocardial injury (MI), defined by troponin elevation, has been associated with increased mortality and adverse outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the role of this biomarker as a risk predictor remains unclear. Data from adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were recorded prospectively. A multiple logistic regression model was used to quantify associations of all variables with in-hospital mortality, including the calculation of odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CI). Troponin measurement was performed in 1476 of 4628 included patients, and MI was detected in 353 patients, with a prevalence of 23.9%; [95% CI, 21.8–26.1%]. The total in-hospital mortality rate was 10.9% [95% CI, 9.8–12.0%]. The mortality was much higher among patients with MI than among those without MI, with a prevalence of 22.7% [95% CI, 18.5–27.3%] vs. 5.5% [95% CI, 4.3–7.0%] and increased with each troponin level. After adjustment for age and comorbidities, the model revealed that the mortality risk was greater for patients with MI [OR = 2.99; 95% CI, 2.06–4.36%], and for those who did not undergo troponin measurement [OR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.62–2.97%], compared to those without MI. Our data support the role of troponin as an important risk predictor for these patients, capable of discriminating between those with a low or increased mortality rate. In addition, our findings suggest that this biomarker has a remarkable negative predictive value in COVID-19. Full article
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11 pages, 558 KiB  
Article
Cardiovascular Function in Different Phases of the Menstrual Cycle in Healthy Women of Reproductive Age
by Malgorzata Kwissa, Tomasz Krauze, Agnieszka Mitkowska-Redman, Beata Banaszewska, Robert Z. Spaczynski, Andrzej Wykretowicz and Przemyslaw Guzik
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(19), 5861; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11195861 - 03 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2706
Abstract
Background: Sex hormones influence the cardiovascular (CV) function in women. However, it is uncertain whether their physiological variation related to the regular menstrual cycle affects the CV system. We studied changes in the hemodynamic profile and body’s water content and their relation to [...] Read more.
Background: Sex hormones influence the cardiovascular (CV) function in women. However, it is uncertain whether their physiological variation related to the regular menstrual cycle affects the CV system. We studied changes in the hemodynamic profile and body’s water content and their relation to sex hormone concentration in healthy women during the menstrual cycle. Material and methods: Forty-five adult women were examined during the early follicular, late follicular, and mid-luteal phases of the same menstrual cycle. The hemodynamic profile was estimated non-invasively by cardiac impedance while water content was estimated by total body impedance. Results were compared with repeated measures ANOVA with post-test, if applicable. Results: There were no significant changes in most hemodynamic and water content parameters between the menstrual cycle phases in healthy women. Left ventricular ejection time differed significantly among phases of the menstrual cycle, with shorter values in the mid-luteal phase (308.4 vs. 313.52 ms, p < 0.05) compared to the late follicular phase. However, the clinical relevance of such small differences is negligible. Conclusions: Changes in sex hormones during the physiological menstrual cycle appear to have no considerable effect on healthy women’s hemodynamic function and water accumulation. Full article
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11 pages, 1621 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Three-Month HIIT and CMT Effects on Left Ventricle Echocardiography Observations in Male Employees
by Hossein Shirvani, Maryam Moshkani Farahani, Mahmoud Ahmadzadeh and Alin Razvan Dinca
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(16), 4795; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11164795 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
The present study aimed to identify changes in echocardiographic parameters before and after three-month high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and continuous moderate-intensity training (CMT) in male employees. For this purpose, using a convenience sampling method, 33 male employees of the Islamic Republic of Iran [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to identify changes in echocardiographic parameters before and after three-month high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and continuous moderate-intensity training (CMT) in male employees. For this purpose, using a convenience sampling method, 33 male employees of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army (office workers with a sedentary lifestyle) aged 30 through 40 were selected. Participants were divided into three groups of HIIT, CMT, and control (11 for each group) including all anthropometric data (body fat percentage, body mass index, height, weight, and VO2 max) with no history of chronic diseases, metabolic syndrome, confirmed heart disease or congenital heart defect, and hospitalization due to chronic diseases or consumption of medication affecting cardiovascular indicators. A one-way ANOVA was conducted to compare the groups. The results demonstrated that the end-systolic volumes (ESVs) (p < 0.01) and relative wall thickness (RWT) in the CMT group (p < 0.01) and the end-diastolic volumes (EDVs) (p < 0.01), stroke volumes (SVs) (p < 0.01), end-systolic and diastolic diameters (ESD, EDD) (p < 0.01), as well as the RWT and left ventricle diastolic function (E/A ratio) in the HIIT group (p < 0.05) were significantly different before and after the 12-week training (Bonferroni correction was used for pairwise comparisons). The results revealed a significant increase in the end-systolic diameters (ESDs) of the HIIT group, whereas no such increase was observed in the ESDs of the CMT group (p < 0.51). Moreover, a significant increase was observed in left ventricular (LV) RWT and aerobic power of both training groups. The significant decrease of ESVs and the significant increase in E/A ratio, ESDs, EDDs following HIIT (two to three sessions per week) may indicate beneficial and optimal LV structural adaptations and improved LV function in nonathletes (even with a sedentary lifestyle). Full article
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12 pages, 2073 KiB  
Article
Effect of Music Intervention on Lung Expansion Exercises after Cardiothoracic Surgery
by Guan-Yi Chen, Lan-Yuen Guo, I-Chun Chuang, Ho-Chang Kuo, Yuh-Chyn Tsai and Shih-Feng Liu
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(6), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11061589 - 13 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1924
Abstract
Background: Music intervention can reduce anxiety. This study analyzed the physiological changes from using music intervention after cardiothoracic surgery. Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to the music group or the control group. The maximal inspiratory pressure/maximal expiratory pressure (MIP/MEP), pulse oximeter oxygen saturation [...] Read more.
Background: Music intervention can reduce anxiety. This study analyzed the physiological changes from using music intervention after cardiothoracic surgery. Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to the music group or the control group. The maximal inspiratory pressure/maximal expiratory pressure (MIP/MEP), pulse oximeter oxygen saturation (SpO2), visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were compared. Results: Compared to the control group (n = 9), the music group (n = 9) had higher MIP and MEP during the overall test (p < 0.05), with significant differences in the changes and time (p < 0.001). However, only MEP was significant in terms of the interaction between music intervention and time (p < 0.001). In terms of the groups, SpO2 and VAS were significant (p < 0.05). SBP, SpO2, and VAS over time showed significant differences between the two groups (p < 0.05). In terms of the interaction between music intervention and time, only SpO2 was significant (p < 0.05). The STAI-S scale decreased by −5.7 ± 5.8 in the music group vs. −0.47 ± 9.37 in control group and the STAI-T scale increased by 4.17 ± 12.31 in the music group vs. 1.9 ± 9.29 in the control group, but showed no significance. Conclusions: Music intervention with nature sounds has a positive physiological impact and can reduce postoperative pain and anxiety in cardiothoracic surgery patients. Full article
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12 pages, 783 KiB  
Article
Access Site Bleeding Complications with NOACs versus VKAs in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation Undergoing Cardiac Implantable Device Intervention
by Enrico Guido Spinoni, Chiara Ghiglieno, Simona Costantino, Eleonora Battistini, Gabriele Dell’Era, Stefano Porcellini, Matteo Santagostino, Federica De Vecchi, Giulia Renda and Giuseppe Patti
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(4), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11040986 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
There are no data on procedure-related bleeding outcome with non-vitamin K antagonist anticoagulants (NOACs) versus vitamin K antagonist anticoagulants (VKAs) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) intervention. Our aim was to evaluate whether NOACs have a safety [...] Read more.
There are no data on procedure-related bleeding outcome with non-vitamin K antagonist anticoagulants (NOACs) versus vitamin K antagonist anticoagulants (VKAs) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) intervention. Our aim was to evaluate whether NOACs have a safety benefit even in terms of fewer hemorrhagic complications at the site of CIED implant. Consecutive AF patients receiving NOACs or VKAs at the time of CIED procedure were included in this observational, retrospective, and monocentric investigation. Primary endpoint was the incidence of post-intervention pocket hematoma. A total of 311 patients were enrolled, 146 on NOACs, and 165 on VKAs. The incidence of pocket hematoma was 3.4% in the NOAC versus 13.3% in the VKA group (p = 0.002). Primary outcome-free survival at 30-days was 96.6% in patients on NOACs and 86.0% in those on VKAs (p = 0.019). Multivariate analysis, adjusted by propensity-score calculation of inverse-probability-weighting, showed a significantly lower occurrence of pocket hematoma in patients receiving NOACs versus VKAs (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.13–0.96, p = 0.042). Such NOACs benefit was confirmed versus patients on VKAs without peri-procedural bridging with low-molecular-weight heparin (HR 0.34, 95% CI 0.11–0.99, p = 0.048). The incidence of pocket infection, surgical pocket evacuation, ischemic events, and major bleeding complications at 30 days (secondary endpoints) was similar in the two groups. In conclusion, our data suggest that, among patients with AF undergoing implantable cardiac defibrillator or pacemaker intervention, the use of NOACs versus VKAs may be associated with significant reduction of post-procedural pocket hematoma, regardless of bridging with low-molecular-weight heparin in the VKA group. These results are hypothesis generating and need to be confirmed in a specific randomized study. Full article
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11 pages, 406 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Serum Kallistatin and Afamin and Anthropometric Factors Associated with Obesity and of Being Overweight in Patients after Myocardial Infarction and without Myocardial Infarction
by Grzegorz Józef Nowicki, Barbara Ślusarska, Maciej Polak, Katarzyna Naylor and Tomasz Kocki
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(24), 5792; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245792 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2446
Abstract
Extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence has linked obesity to a broad spectrum of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including coronary disease, heart failure, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden death. In addition, increasing knowledge of regulatory peptides has allowed an assessment of [...] Read more.
Extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence has linked obesity to a broad spectrum of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including coronary disease, heart failure, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden death. In addition, increasing knowledge of regulatory peptides has allowed an assessment of their role in various non-communicable diseases, including CVD. The study assessed the concentration of kallistatin and afamin in the blood serum of patients after a myocardial infarction and without a cardiovascular event, and determined the relationship between the concentration of kallistatin and afamin and the anthropometric indicators of being overweight and of obesity in these groups. Serum kallistatin and afamin were quantified by ELISA tests in a cross-sectional study of 160 patients who were divided into two groups: study group (SG) (n = 80) and another with no cardiovascular event (CG) (n = 80). Serum kallistatin concentration was significantly higher in the SG (p < 0.001), while the level of afamin was significantly lower in this group (p < 0.001). In addition, a positive correlation was observed in the SG between the afamin concentration and the waist to hip ratio (WHR), lipid accumulation product (LAP) and the triglyceride glucose index (TyG index). In the CG, the concentration of kallistatin positively correlated with the LAP and TyG index, while the concentration of afamin positively correlated with all the examined parameters: body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), waist to hip ratio (WHtR), visceral adiposity index (VAI), LAP and TyG index. Serum kallistatin and afamin concentrations are associated with the anthropometric parameters related to being overweight and to obesity, especially to those describing the visceral distribution of adipose tissue and metabolic disorders related to excessive fatness. Full article
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14 pages, 2485 KiB  
Article
Association of Insulin Resistance with Vascular Ageing in a General Caucasian Population: An EVA Study
by Leticia Gómez-Sánchez, Marta Gómez-Sánchez, Cristina Lugones-Sánchez, Olaya Tamayo-Morales, Susana González-Sánchez, Emiliano Rodríguez-Sánchez, Luis García-Ortiz, Manuel A. Gómez-Marcos and on behalf of the EVA Investigators
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(24), 5748; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10245748 - 08 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1819
Abstract
The data on the relationship between insulin resistance and vascular ageing are limited. The aim of this study was to explore the association of different indices of insulin resistance with vascular ageing in an adult Caucasian population without cardiovascular disease. We selected 501 [...] Read more.
The data on the relationship between insulin resistance and vascular ageing are limited. The aim of this study was to explore the association of different indices of insulin resistance with vascular ageing in an adult Caucasian population without cardiovascular disease. We selected 501 individuals without cardiovascular disease (mean age: 55.9 years, 50.3% women) through random sampling stratified by sex and age. Arterial stiffness was evaluated by measuring the carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and brachial-to-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV). The participants were classified into three groups according to the degree of vascular ageing: early vascular ageing (EVA), normal vascular ageing (NVA) and healthy vascular ageing (HVA). Insulin resistance was evaluated with the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and another five indices. The prevalence of HVA and EVA was 8.4% and 21.4%, respectively, when using cfPWV, and 7.4% and 19.2%, respectively, when using baPWV. The deterioration of vascular ageing, with both measurements, presented as an increase in all the analysed indices of insulin resistance. In the multiple regression analysis and logistic regression analysis, the indices of insulin resistance showed a positive association with cfPWV and baPWV and with EVA. Full article
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11 pages, 1389 KiB  
Article
Results after Repair of Functional Tricuspid Regurgitation with a Three-Dimensional Annuloplasty Ring
by Elda Dzilic, Thomas Guenther, Amel Bouziani, Bernhard Voss, Stephanie Voss, Keti Vitanova, Markus Krane and Ruediger Lange
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(21), 5080; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10215080 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1510
Abstract
Background: Tricuspid valve (TV) repair is the recommended treatment for severe functional tricuspid regurgitation (fTR) in patients undergoing left-sided surgery. For this purpose, a wide range of annuloplasty devices differing in form and flexibility are available. This study reports the results using a [...] Read more.
Background: Tricuspid valve (TV) repair is the recommended treatment for severe functional tricuspid regurgitation (fTR) in patients undergoing left-sided surgery. For this purpose, a wide range of annuloplasty devices differing in form and flexibility are available. This study reports the results using a three-dimensional annuloplasty ring (Medtronic, Contour 3D Ring) for TV repair and analysis of risk factors. Methods: A cohort of 468 patients who underwent TV repair (TVr) with a concomitant cardiac procedure from December 2010 to January 2017 was retrospectively analyzed. Results: At follow-up, 96.1% of patients had no/trivial or mild TR. The 30-day mortality was 4.7%; it significantly differed between electively performed operations (2.7%) and urgent/emergent operations (11.7%). Risk factors for recurrent moderate and severe TR were LVEF < 50%, TAPSE < 16 mm, and moderate mitral valve (MV) regurgitation at follow-up. Preoperatively reduced renal function lead to a higher 30-day and overall mortality. Reoperation of the TV was required in six patients (1.6%). Risk factors for TV related reoperations were preoperative TV annulus over 50 mm and an implanted permanent pacemaker. Conclusions: TVr with the Contour 3D annuloplasty ring shows low TR recurrence and reoperation rates. Risk-factor analysis for the recurrence of TR revealed the importance of left- and right-ventricular function. Full article
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16 pages, 2009 KiB  
Article
Dependence of Heart Rate Variability Indices on the Mean Heart Rate in Women with Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes
by Adriana Robles-Cabrera, José M. Torres-Arellano, Ruben Fossion and Claudia Lerma
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(19), 4386; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10194386 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1888
Abstract
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a method used to evaluate the presence of cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) because it is usually attributed to oscillations in cardiac autonomic nerve activity. Recent studies in other pathologies suggest that HRV indices are strongly related to mean [...] Read more.
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a method used to evaluate the presence of cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) because it is usually attributed to oscillations in cardiac autonomic nerve activity. Recent studies in other pathologies suggest that HRV indices are strongly related to mean heart rate, and this does not depend on autonomic activity only. This study aimed to evaluate the correlation between the mean heart rate and the HRV indices in women patients with well-controlled T2DM and a control group. HRV was evaluated in 19 T2DM women and 44 healthy women during basal supine position and two maneuvers: active standing and rhythmic breathing. Time-domain (SDNN, RMSSD, pNN20) and frequency-domain (LF, HF, LF/HF) indices were obtained. Our results show that meanNN, age, and the maneuvers are the main predictors of most HRV indices, while the diabetic condition was a predictor only for pNN20. Given the known reduced HRV in patients with T2DM, it is clinically important that much of the HRV indices are dependent on heart rate irrespective of the presence of T2DM. Moreover, the multiple regression analyses evidenced the multifactorial etiology of HRV. Full article
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13 pages, 1605 KiB  
Article
Continuous Remote Patient Monitoring Shows Early Cardiovascular Changes in COVID-19 Patients
by Arik Eisenkraft, Yasmin Maor, Keren Constantini, Nir Goldstein, Dean Nachman, Ran Levy, Michael Halberthal, Netanel A. Horowitz, Ron Golan, Elli Rosenberg, Eitan Lavon, Ornit Cohen, Guy Shapira, Noam Shomron, Arik Ben Ishay, Efrat Sand, Roei Merin, Meir Fons, Romi Littman and Yftach Gepner
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(18), 4218; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184218 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4102
Abstract
COVID-19 exerts deleterious cardiopulmonary effects, leading to a worse prognosis in the most affected. This retrospective multi-center observational cohort study aimed to analyze the trajectories of key vitals amongst hospitalized COVID-19 patients using a chest-patch wearable providing continuous remote patient monitoring of numerous [...] Read more.
COVID-19 exerts deleterious cardiopulmonary effects, leading to a worse prognosis in the most affected. This retrospective multi-center observational cohort study aimed to analyze the trajectories of key vitals amongst hospitalized COVID-19 patients using a chest-patch wearable providing continuous remote patient monitoring of numerous vital signs. The study was conducted in five COVID-19 isolation units. A total of 492 COVID-19 patients were included in the final analysis. Physiological parameters were measured every 15 min. More than 3 million measurements were collected including heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, cardiac output, cardiac index, systemic vascular resistance, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, and body temperature. Cardiovascular deterioration appeared early after admission and in parallel with changes in the respiratory parameters, showing a significant difference in trajectories within sub-populations at high risk. Early detection of cardiovascular deterioration of COVID-19 patients is achievable when using frequent remote patient monitoring. Full article
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15 pages, 600 KiB  
Article
A Pilot Study: Hypertension, Endothelial Dysfunction and Retinal Microvasculature in Rheumatic Autoimmune Diseases
by Ahmed Mahdy, Martin Stradner, Andreas Roessler, Bianca Brix, Angelika Lackner, Adam Salon and Nandu Goswami
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(18), 4067; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184067 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2326
Abstract
Background: The etiology of autoimmune rheumatic diseases is unknown. Endothelial dysfunction and premature atherosclerosis are commonly seen in these patients. Atherosclerosis is considered one of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension is considered the most important traditional cardiovascular risk. This case-control study [...] Read more.
Background: The etiology of autoimmune rheumatic diseases is unknown. Endothelial dysfunction and premature atherosclerosis are commonly seen in these patients. Atherosclerosis is considered one of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension is considered the most important traditional cardiovascular risk. This case-control study aimed to investigate the relationship between autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular risk. Methods: This study was carried out in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, RA (n = 10), primary Sjögren syndrome, PSS (n = 10), and healthy controls (n = 10). Mean blood pressure (MBP), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and pulse wave velocity (PWV, an indicator of arterial stiffness) were assessed via a Vicorder device. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) was measured via ELISA. Retinal photos were taken via a CR-2 retinal camera, and retinal microvasculature analysis was carried out. T-tests were conducted to compare the disease and control groups. ANOVA and ANOVA—ANCOVA were also used for the correction of covariates. Results: A high prevalence of hypertension was seen in RA (80% of cases) and PSS (40% of cases) compared to controls (only 20% of cases). Significant changes were seen in MBP (RA 101 ± 11 mmHg; PSS 93 ± 10 mm Hg vs. controls 88 ± 7 mmHg, p = 0.010), SBP (148 ± 16 mmHg in RA vs. 135 ± 16 mmHg in PSS vs. 128 ± 11 mmHg in control group; p = 0.007), DBP (77 ± 8 mmHg in RA, 72 ± 8 mmHg in PSS vs. 67 ± 6 mmHg in control; p = 0.010 in RA compared to the controls). Patients with PSS showed no significant difference as compared to controls (MBP: p = 0.240, SBP: p = 0.340, DBP: p = 0.190). Increased plasma ADMA was seen in RA (0.45 ± 0.069 ng/mL) and PSS (0.43 ± 0.060 ng/mL) patients as compared to controls (0.38 ± 0.059 ng/mL). ADMA in RA vs. control was statistically significant (p = 0.022). However, no differences were seen in ADMA in PSS vs. controls. PWV and retinal microvasculature did not differ across the three groups. Conclusions: The prevalence of hypertension in our cohort was very high. Similarly, signs of endothelial dysfunction were seen in autoimmune rheumatic diseases. As hypertension and endothelial dysfunction are important contributing risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the association of hypertension and endothelial dysfunction should be monitored closely in autoimmune diseases. Full article
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11 pages, 1244 KiB  
Article
Impact of Reduced-Dose Nonvitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants on Outcomes Compared to Warfarin in Korean Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: A Nationwide Population-Based Study
by Sola Han, Young-Hoon Kim, Myung-Yong Lee, Oh Young Bang, Sung-Won Jang, Seongwook Han, Yoo-Jung Park, Seongsik Kang, Young Keun On and Hae Sun Suh
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(17), 3918; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10173918 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2290
Abstract
Reduced-dose nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are commonly prescribed to Asian patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). We aimed to compare the risk of stroke/systemic embolism (S/SE) and major bleeding (MB) between patients treated with reduced-dose NOACs and those treated with warfarin, [...] Read more.
Reduced-dose nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are commonly prescribed to Asian patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). We aimed to compare the risk of stroke/systemic embolism (S/SE) and major bleeding (MB) between patients treated with reduced-dose NOACs and those treated with warfarin, using the claims database in Korea. Patients with NVAF newly initiated on oral anticoagulants (OACs; apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and warfarin) between 1 July 2015 and 30 November 2016 were included. Among all patients with NVAF treated with OACs, 5249, 6033, 7602, and 8648 patients were treated with reduced-dose apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and warfarin, respectively. Patients treated with reduced-dose NOACs were older and had higher CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED scores than those treated with warfarin. Compared to warfarin, all reduced-dose NOACs showed significantly lower risk of S/SE (hazard ratios (95% confidence interval), 0.63 (0.52–0.75) for apixaban; 0.51 (0.42–0.61) for dabigatran; and 0.67 (0.57–0.79) for rivaroxaban) and MB (0.54 (0.45–0.65) for apixaban; 0.58 (0.49–0.69) for dabigatran; 0.73 (0.63–0.85) for rivaroxaban). In the real-world practice among Asians with NVAF, all reduced-dose NOACs were associated with a significantly lower risk of S/SE and MB compared to those of warfarin. Full article
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13 pages, 924 KiB  
Article
Effect of Vibrotherapy on Body Fatness, Blood Parameters and Fibrinogen Concentration in Elderly Men
by Anna Kabata-Piżuch, Agnieszka Suder, Paweł Jagielski, Katarzyna Kubasiak, Paulina Handzlik, Aneta Teległów and Anna Marchewka
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3259; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153259 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
Elderly people need activities that will positively contribute to a satisfactory process of getting older. Vibration training uses mechanical stimulus of a vibrational character that, similarly to other forms of physical activity, affects metabolic processes and conditions of health. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Elderly people need activities that will positively contribute to a satisfactory process of getting older. Vibration training uses mechanical stimulus of a vibrational character that, similarly to other forms of physical activity, affects metabolic processes and conditions of health. The aim of this work was to assess the influence of thirty vibration treatments on body fatness, hematologic and rheologic indexes of blood, and proteinogram and fibrinogen concentration in elderly men’s blood. The study included twenty-one males, aged 60–70 years (mean age 65.3 ± 2.7), who were randomly assigned into a vibrotherapy group (VG) and took part in interventions on mattresses generating oscillatory-cycloid vibrations, and a control group (CG), without interventions. In all patients the following assessments were performed twice: an assessment of body fatness using the bioimpedance method, a complete blood count with a hematology analyzer, and erythrocyte aggregation by a laser-optical rotational cell analyzer; whereas, total plasma protein and fibrinogen values were established, respectively, by biuret and spectrophotometric methods. In order to compare the impact of vibrotherapy on changes in the analyzed variables, analysis of variance (ANOVA) or the Wilcoxon test were used. After applying thirty vibration treatments in the VG, a significant decrease in body fatness parameters was confirmed: BM (∆BM: −2.7 ± 2.0; p = 0.002), BMI (∆BMI: −0.9 ± 0.7; p = 0.002), BF (∆BF: −2.5 ± 2.5; p = 0.013), and %BF (∆%BF: −2.0 ± 2.7; p = 0.041), as well as in RBC (∆RBC: −0.1 ± 0.1; p = 0.035). However, changes in erythrocyte aggregation and proteinogram were not confirmed. It was found that after thirty treatments with VG, a significant decrease of fibrinogen level took place (∆ = −0.3 ± 0.3, p = 0.005). Application of thirty vibrotherapy treatments positively affected body fatness parameters and fibrinogen concentrations in the examined. However, further research should include a greater number of participants. Full article
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9 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
Frailty Assessment in a Cohort of Elderly Patients with Severe Symptomatic Aortic Stenosis: Insights from the FRailty Evaluation in Severe Aortic Stenosis (FRESAS) Registry
by Pablo Solla-Suárez, Pablo Avanzas, Isaac Pascual, Manuel Bermúdez-Menéndez De La Granda, Marcel Almendarez, Jose M. Arche-Coto, Daniel Hernández-Vaquero, Rebeca Lorca, Eva López-Álvarez, Rut Álvarez-Velasco, Carmen Moreno-Planillo, César Morís de la Tassa and José Gutiérrez-Rodríguez
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(11), 2345; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112345 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Background: Precise evaluation of the degree of frailty is a fundamental part of the global geriatric assessment that helps to avoid therapies that could be futile. Our main objective was to determine the prevalence of frailty in a specific consult of patients undergoing [...] Read more.
Background: Precise evaluation of the degree of frailty is a fundamental part of the global geriatric assessment that helps to avoid therapies that could be futile. Our main objective was to determine the prevalence of frailty in a specific consult of patients undergoing aortic valve replacement. Methods: From May 2018 to February 2020, all consecutive patients ≥75 years old, with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, undergoing valve replacement in the Principality of Asturias (Northern Spain) were evaluated. Results: A total of 286 patients were assessed. The mean age was 84 ± 4.01 years old; 175 (61.2%) were female. The short performance physical battery score was 8.5 ± 2.4 and the prevalence of frailty was 19.6% (56 patients). In the multivariable analysis, age, Barthel index and atrial fibrillation were independent predictors of frailty. Conclusions: The prevalence of frailty in our sample patients undergoing aortic valve replacement, evaluated by a standardized protocol, was 19.6%. Full article
13 pages, 747 KiB  
Article
Cardiac Autonomic Response to Active Standing in Calcific Aortic Valve Stenosis
by José M. Torres-Arellano, Juan C. Echeverría, Nydia Ávila-Vanzzini, Rashidi Springall, Andrea Toledo, Oscar Infante, Rafael Bojalil, Jorge E. Cossío-Aranda, Erika Fajardo and Claudia Lerma
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(9), 2004; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10092004 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1912
Abstract
Aortic stenosis is a progressive heart valve disorder characterized by calcification of the leaflets. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis has been proposed for assessing the heart response to autonomic activity, which is documented to be altered in different cardiac diseases. The objective of [...] Read more.
Aortic stenosis is a progressive heart valve disorder characterized by calcification of the leaflets. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis has been proposed for assessing the heart response to autonomic activity, which is documented to be altered in different cardiac diseases. The objective of the study was to evaluate changes of HRV in patients with aortic stenosis by an active standing challenge. Twenty-two volunteers without alterations in the aortic valve (NAV) and twenty-five patients diagnosed with moderate and severe calcific aortic valve stenosis (AVS) participated in this cross-sectional study. Ten minute electrocardiograms were performed in a supine position and in active standing positions afterwards, to obtain temporal, spectral, and scaling HRV indices: mean value of all NN intervals (meanNN), low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) bands spectral power, and the short-term scaling indices (α1 and αsign1). The AVS group showed higher values of LF, LF/HF and αsign1 compared with the NAV group at supine position. These patients also expressed smaller changes in meanNN, LF, HF, LF/HF, α1, and αsign1 between positions. In conclusion, we confirmed from short-term recordings that patients with moderate and severe calcific AVS have a decreased cardiac parasympathetic supine response and that the dynamic of heart rate fluctuations is modified compared to NAV subjects, but we also evidenced that they manifest reduced autonomic adjustments caused by the active standing challenge. Full article
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11 pages, 1247 KiB  
Article
Effects of Acupuncture on Lowering Blood Pressure in Postmenopausal Women with Prehypertension or Stage 1 Hypertension: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis
by Bok-Nam Seo, Ojin Kwon, Siwoo Lee, Ho-Seok Kim, Kyung-Won Kang, In Chan Seol, Chol Shin and Sun-Mi Choi
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(7), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071426 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
Postmenopausal women have a higher prevalence of hypertension compared to premenopausal women. Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, the prevalence of which is ever increasing. This study investigated the effects of long-term acupuncture on lowering the blood pressure of postmenopausal women [...] Read more.
Postmenopausal women have a higher prevalence of hypertension compared to premenopausal women. Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, the prevalence of which is ever increasing. This study investigated the effects of long-term acupuncture on lowering the blood pressure of postmenopausal women with prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension. Participants were 122 postmenopausal women aged less than 65 years, diagnosed with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (systolic blood pressure 120–159 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure 80–99 mmHg). We used a propensity score-matched design. The experimental group (n = 61) received acupuncture for four weeks every six months over a period of two years. The control group (n = 61) received no intervention. An Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed for the primary efficacy analysis. Relative risk ratios were used to compare group differences in treatment effects. Acupuncture significantly reduced the participants’ diastolic blood pressure (−9.92 mmHg; p < 0.001) and systolic blood pressure (−10.34 mmHg; p < 0.001) from baseline to follow-up. The results indicate that acupuncture alleviates hypertension in postmenopausal women, reducing their risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and improving their health and quality of life. Full article
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9 pages, 572 KiB  
Article
Effects of an Innovative Head-Up Tilt Protocol on Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness Changes
by Victor N. Dorogovtsev, Dmitry S. Yankevich and Nandu Goswami
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(6), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10061198 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3169
Abstract
The objective of our study was to identify blood pressure (BP) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) changes during orthostatic loading, using a new the head-up tilt test (HUTT), which incorporates the usage of a standardized hydrostatic column height. Methods: 40 healthy subjects 20–32 [...] Read more.
The objective of our study was to identify blood pressure (BP) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) changes during orthostatic loading, using a new the head-up tilt test (HUTT), which incorporates the usage of a standardized hydrostatic column height. Methods: 40 healthy subjects 20–32 years performed HUTT, which was standardized to a height of the hydrostatic column at 133 cm. Exposure time was 10 min in each of 3 positions: horizontal supine 1, HUTT, and horizontal supine 2. The individual tilt up angle made it possible to set the standard value of the hydrostatic column. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded beat to beat using “Task Force Monitor 3040 i”, pulse-wave velocity (PWV) was measured with a sphygmograph–sphygmomanometer VaSera VS1500N. Results: Orthostatic loading caused a significant increase in heart rate (HR) and a decrease in stroke volume (SV) (p < 0.05) but no significant reductions in cardiac output, changes in total vascular resistance (TVR), or BP. An analysis of personalized data on systolic blood pressure (SBP) changes in tilt up position as compared to horizontal position (ΔSBP) revealed non-significant changes in this index in 48% of subjects (orthostatic normotension group), in 32% there was a significant decrease in it (orthostatic hypotension group) and in 20% there was a significant increase in it (orthostatic hypertension group). These orthostatic changes were not accompanied by any clinical symptoms and/or syncope. During HUTT, all subjects had in the PWV a significant increase of approximately 27% (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The new test protocol involving HUTT standardized to a height of hydrostatic column at 133 cm causes typical hemodynamics responses during orthostatic loading. Individual analysis of the subjects revealed subclinical orthostatic disorders (OSD) in up to 52% of the test persons. During HUTT, all test subjects showed a significant increase in PWV. The new innovative HUTT protocol can be applied in multi-center studies in healthy subjects to detect preclinical forms of orthostatic disorders under standard gravity load conditions. Full article
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12 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Their Relationship with Vascular Dysfunction in South African Children of African Ancestry
by Edna N. Matjuda, Godwill A. Engwa, Samuel Nkeh Chungag Anye, Benedicta N. Nkeh-Chungag and Nandu Goswami
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10020354 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2335
Abstract
Vascular dysfunction is known to be an initiator of the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). However, there is paucity of information on the relationship of vascular dysfunction with cardiovascular risk factors in children of African ancestry. This study investigated the relationship [...] Read more.
Vascular dysfunction is known to be an initiator of the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). However, there is paucity of information on the relationship of vascular dysfunction with cardiovascular risk factors in children of African ancestry. This study investigated the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and vascular function in South African children of African ancestry. A cross-sectional study on 6–9-year-old children in randomly selected rural and urban schools of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa was conducted. General anthropometric indices were measured, followed by blood pressure (BP) measurements. The pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured using a Vicorder. Albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), 8-hydroxy-2deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) were assayed in urine. Children from urban settings (10.8%) had a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity than their rural counterparts (8.5%) while the prevalence of elevated/high blood pressure was higher in rural (23.2%) than urban children (19.0%). Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) increased with increasing PWV (p < 0.05). Body mass index (BMI), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) positively associated (p < 0.05) with PWV. Creatinine, albumin and ACR significantly (p < 0.005) increased with increasing ADMA. ADMA associated positively (p < 0.05) with creatinine and 8-OHdG. In conclusion, vascular dysfunction was associated with obesity, high blood pressure, oxidative stress and microalbuminuria in South African children of African ancestry. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

22 pages, 1481 KiB  
Review
Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Its Cardioprotective Abilities: A Systematic Review
by Ahmed Banibella Abdelmagied Elamin, Kowthar Forsat, Solomon Silas Senok and Nandu Goswami
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(5), 1717; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12051717 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6699
Abstract
Despite the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) being used in neuroscience, it has recently been highlighted that it has cardioprotective functions. However, many studies related to VNS are not mechanistic in nature. This systematic review aims to focus on the role of VNS in [...] Read more.
Despite the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) being used in neuroscience, it has recently been highlighted that it has cardioprotective functions. However, many studies related to VNS are not mechanistic in nature. This systematic review aims to focus on the role of VNS in cardioprotective therapy, selective vagus nerve stimulators (sVNS), and their functional capabilities. A systemic review of the current literature was conducted on VNS, sVNS, and their ability to induce positive effects on arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, and heart failure. Both experimental and clinical studies were reviewed and assessed separately. Of 522 research articles retrieved from literature archives, 35 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Literature analysis proves that combining fiber-type selectivity with spatially-targeted vagus nerve stimulation is feasible. The role of VNS as a tool for modulating heart dynamics, inflammatory response, and structural cellular components was prominently seen across the literature. The application of transcutaneous VNS, as opposed to implanted electrodes, provides the best clinical outcome with minimal side effects. VNS presents a method for future cardiovascular treatment that can modulate human cardiac physiology. However, continued research is needed for further insight. Full article
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21 pages, 1257 KiB  
Review
Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases and Vascular Function: The Concept of Autoimmune Atherosclerosis
by Ahmed M. Hedar, Martin H. Stradner, Andreas Roessler and Nandu Goswami
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(19), 4427; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10194427 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4457
Abstract
Autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRDs) with unknown etiology are increasing in incidence and prevalence. Up to 5% of the population is affected. AIRDs include rheumatoid arthritis, system lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and Sjögren’s syndrome. In patients with autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks structures [...] Read more.
Autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRDs) with unknown etiology are increasing in incidence and prevalence. Up to 5% of the population is affected. AIRDs include rheumatoid arthritis, system lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and Sjögren’s syndrome. In patients with autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks structures of its own body, leading to widespread tissue and organ damage, which, in turn, is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. One third of the mortality associated with autoimmune diseases is due to cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis is considered the main underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases. Currently, because of finding macrophages and lymphocytes at the atheroma, atherosclerosis is considered a chronic immune-inflammatory disease. In active inflammation, the liberation of inflammatory mediators such as tumor necrotic factor alpha (TNFa), interleukine-6 (IL-6), IL-1 and other factors like T and B cells, play a major role in the atheroma formation. In addition, antioxidized, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) antibodies, antinuclear antibodies (ANA), and rheumatoid factor (RF) are higher in the atherosclerotic patients. Traditional risk factors like gender, age, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, however, do not alone explain the risk of atherosclerosis present in autoimmune diseases. This review examines the role of chronic inflammation in the etiology—and progression—of atherosclerosis in autoimmune rheumatic diseases. In addition, discussed here in detail are the possible effects of autoimmune rheumatic diseases that can affect vascular function. We present here the current findings from studies that assessed vascular function changes using state-of-the-art techniques and innovative endothelial function biomarkers. Full article
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14 pages, 1415 KiB  
Review
Aortic Valve Stenosis and Cardiac Amyloidosis: A Misleading Association
by Andrea Bonelli, Sara Paris, Matilde Nardi, Michael Y. Henein, Eustachio Agricola, Giovanni Troise and Pompilio Faggiano
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(18), 4234; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184234 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2512
Abstract
The association between aortic stenosis (AS) and cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is more frequent than expected. Albeit rare, CA, particularly the transthyretin (ATTR) form, is commonly found in elderly people. ATTR-CA is also the most prevalent form in patients with AS. These conditions share [...] Read more.
The association between aortic stenosis (AS) and cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is more frequent than expected. Albeit rare, CA, particularly the transthyretin (ATTR) form, is commonly found in elderly people. ATTR-CA is also the most prevalent form in patients with AS. These conditions share pathophysiological, clinical and imaging findings, making the diagnostic process very challenging. To date, a multiparametric evaluation is suggested in order to detect patients with both AS and CA and choose the best therapeutic option. Given the accuracy of modern non-invasive techniques (i.e., bone scintigraphy), early diagnosis of CA is possible. Flow-charts with the main CA findings which may help clinicians in the diagnostic process have been proposed. The prognostic impact of the combination of AS and CA is not fully known; however, new available specific treatments of ATTR-CA have changed the natural history of the disease and have some impact on the decision-making process for the management of AS. Hence the relevance of detecting these two conditions when simultaneously present. The specific features helping the detection of AS-CA association are discussed in this review, focusing on the shared pathophysiological characteristics and the common clinical and imaging hallmarks. Full article
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15 pages, 320 KiB  
Review
A Perspective on COVID-19 Management
by Krešimir Pavelić, Sandra Kraljević Pavelić, Bianca Brix and Nandu Goswami
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(8), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10081586 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3273
Abstract
A novel coronavirus—Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)—outbreak correlated with the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was declared by the WHO in March 2020, resulting in numerous counted cases attributed to SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. Herein, we discuss current knowledge on the available therapy [...] Read more.
A novel coronavirus—Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)—outbreak correlated with the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was declared by the WHO in March 2020, resulting in numerous counted cases attributed to SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. Herein, we discuss current knowledge on the available therapy options for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Based on available scientific data, we present an overview of solutions in COVID-19 management by use of drugs, vaccines and antibodies. Many questions with non-conclusive answers on the measures for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on health still exist—i.e., the actual infection percentage of the population, updated precise mortality data, variability in response to infection by the population, the nature of immunity and its duration, vaccine development issues, a fear that science might end up with excessive promises in response to COVID-19—and were raised among scientists. Indeed, science may or may not deliver results in real time. In the presented paper we discuss some consequences of disease, its detection and serological tests, some solutions to disease prevention and management, pitfalls and obstacles, including vaccination. The presented ideas and data herein are meant to contribute to the ongoing debate on COVID-19 without pre-selection of available information. Full article

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

7 pages, 1975 KiB  
Case Report
Primary Aldosteronism Masked by Accessory Renal Arteries: A Case Report
by Changqiang Yang, Xiangyu Yang, Si Wang, Xiaoping Chen and Kai Liu
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(21), 6276; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11216276 - 25 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1428
Abstract
Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most frequent form of secondary endocrine hypertension, which is characterized by excessive aldosterone secretion and suppressed renin. The currently recommended diagnostic algorithm is very clear, and the plasma aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR) is considered the first-line screening test. However, [...] Read more.
Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most frequent form of secondary endocrine hypertension, which is characterized by excessive aldosterone secretion and suppressed renin. The currently recommended diagnostic algorithm is very clear, and the plasma aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR) is considered the first-line screening test. However, this indicator is influenced by many factors, some of which may cause false-negative results, consequently leading to underdiagnosed PA. Here, we report the rare case of a 38-year-old man who presented with bilateral accessory renal arteries and aldosterone-producing adenoma but had a negative ARR test result. Full article
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7 pages, 522 KiB  
Brief Report
Ethnic Differences in Serum Levels of microRNAs Potentially Regulating Alcohol Dehydrogenase 1B and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2
by Ichiro Wakabayashi, Harald Sourij, Yoko Sotoda, Takashi Daimon, Klaus Groschner and Peter P. Rainer
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(16), 3678; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163678 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1770
Abstract
Ethnic difference is known in genetic polymorphisms of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B), which cause Asian flushing by blood vessel dilation due to accumulation of acetaldehyde. We investigated ethnic differences in microRNAs (miRNAs) related to ALDH2 and ADH1B. miRNA [...] Read more.
Ethnic difference is known in genetic polymorphisms of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B), which cause Asian flushing by blood vessel dilation due to accumulation of acetaldehyde. We investigated ethnic differences in microRNAs (miRNAs) related to ALDH2 and ADH1B. miRNA levels in serum were totally analyzed by using miRNA oligo chip arrays and compared in Austrian and Japanese middle-aged men. There were no ALDH2- and ADH1B-related miRNAs that had previously been reported in humans and that showed significantly different serum levels between Austrian and Japanese men. With the use of miRNA prediction tools, we identified four and five miRNAs that were predicted to target ALDH2 and ADH1B, respectively, and they had expression levels high enough for comparison. Among the ADH1B-related miRNAs, miR-150-3p, -3127-5p and -4314 were significantly higher and miR-3151-5p was significantly lower in Austrian compared with Japanese men, while no significant difference was found for miR-449b-3p. miR-150-3p and miR-4314 showed relatively high fold changes (1.5 or higher). The levels of ALDH2-related miRNAs (miR-30d-5p, -6127, -6130 and -6133) were not significantly different between the countries. miR-150-3p and miR-4314 are candidates of miRNAs that may be involved in the ethnic difference in sensitivity to alcohol through modifying the expression of ADH1B. Full article
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