A 59-year-old male with a history of unstable angina was diagnosed with a myocardial bridge of the left anterior descending artery (LAD) and apical variant hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (AHCM). He underwent unroofing of the myocardial bridge and a left ventricular apical myectomy. Intraoperatively, epicardial ultrasound was used to identify the myocardial bridge with systolic compression of the LAD and confirm resolution of this compression postoperatively. Furthermore, epicardial ultrasound was used for guiding the degree of apical resection of the decompressed heart. This novel use of intraoperative epicardial ultrasound can help guide surgeons preoperatively and confirm results immediately after an operation.
The brain is the most cholesterol rich organ in the body containing about 25% of the body’s free cholesterol. Cholesterol cannot pass the blood brain barrier and be imported or exported directly, instead it is synthesised in situ and metabolised to oxysterols, oxidised forms of cholesterol, which can pass the blood brain barrier. 24S-Hydroxycholesterol is the dominant oxysterol in brain after parturition but during development a myriad of other oxysterols are produced which persist as minor oxysterols after birth. During both development and in later life, oxysterols and other sterols interact with a variety of different receptors, including nuclear receptors e.g. liver X receptors; membrane bound G protein-coupled receptors e.g. smoothened; the endoplasmic reticulum resident proteins e.g. INSIG (insulin induced gene), or the cholesterol sensing protein SCAP (SREBP cleavage activating protein); and the ligand-gated ion channel N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors found in nerve cells. In this review we summaries the different oxysterols (neuro-oxysterol) and sterols (neuro-sterols) found in the central nervous system whose biological activity is transmitted via these different classes of protein receptors.
Introduction Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is common in older age and in diabetes (DM). Phosphodiesterase type 5-inhibitors (PDE5-is) are the first-line for ED. We investigated how type of diabetes and age of males affects the PDE5-i use in the primary care setting. Methods 2018-19 general practice level quantity of all PDE5-i agents were taken from the GP Prescribing Data set in England. The variation in outcomes across practices was examined across one year, and for the same practice against the previous year. Results We included 5,761 larger practices supporting 25.8million men of whom 4.2million≥65 years old. Of these, 1.4million had T2DM, with 0.8million of these>65. 137,000 people had T1DM. 28.8million tablets of PDE5-i were prescribed within the 12 months (2018-19) period in 3.7million prescriptions (7.7 tablets/prescription), at total costs of £15.8million (£0.55/tablet). The NHS ED limit of 1 tablet/user/week suggests that 540,000 males are being prescribed a PDE5-i at a cost of £29/year each. With approximately 30,000 GPs practising, this is equivalent to one GP providing 2.5 prescriptions/week to overall 18 males. There was a 3x variation between the highest decile of practices (2.6 tablets/male/year) and lowest decile (0.96 tablets/male/year). The statistical model captured 14% of this variation and showed T1DM males were the largest users, while men age<65 with T2DM were being prescribed 4 times as much as non-DM. Those T2DM>65 were prescribed 80% of the non-DM amount. Conclusion There is wide variation in use of PDE5-is. With only 14% variance capture, other factors including wide variation in patient awareness, prescribing rules of local health providers, and recognition of the importance of male sexual health by GP prescribers might have significant impact.
Pericardial cysts are considered rare incidental findings, which are generally asymptomatic in nature. Occasionally, patients may represent with chest discomfort, dyspnea or palpitations. Pericarditis related to a ruptured pericardial cyst has not been previously reported in the literature. Here, we report the case of a 62-year-old male who developed acute pericarditis as a result of a ruptured enlarging pericardial cyst.
The SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has been established to gain access to the human cell via the ACE2 receptor similar to its familial coronavirus SARS-CoV which led to the outbreak in 2003. A concern with the newer 2019 coronavirus is its 10-20-fold higher affinity to the ACE2 receptor that of SARS-CoV, aiding its effective human-to-human transmission which has led to this pandemic. ACE2 receptor expression is thought to be upregulated in use with ACE inhibitors. As ACE inhibitors are known to be a used extensively in the treatment of hypertension it was a concern regarding the risk of using these medications alongside a SARS-COV-2 infection. ACE inhibitors are also used in the treatment regime of other common conditions including diabetes and Cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is worth noting that ACE2 expression has found to be upregulated by the use of thiazolidinediones and ibuprofen too. Consequently, the increased expression of ACE2 would facilitate infection with COVID-19. Therefore, it would hypothesise that diabetes and hypertension treatment with ACE2-stimulating drugs would increase the risk of developing severe and fatal COVID-19.
Initiation of statin treatment is suggested to increase the international normalised ratio (INR) among warfarin users. However, available data is limited and conflicting. We conducted a register-based cohort study to evaluate the drug-drug interaction between warfarin and statins. By linking data on INR measurements and filled prescriptions, we identified warfarin users 2000-2015 initiating simvastatin (n=1,363), atorvastatin (n=165), or rosuvastatin (n=23). Simvastatin initiation led to an increase in mean INR from 2.40 to 2.71, with INRs peaking after 4 weeks, corresponding to a mean change of 0.32 (95%CI 0.25-0.38). High-dose and low-dose simvastatin led to comparable changes (mean change 0.33 vs 0.29). Initiation of atorvastatin and rosuvastatin lead to INR increases of 0.27 (95%CI 0.12-0.42) and 0.30 (95%CI -0.09-0.69). In conclusion, initiation of simvastatin, atorvastatin, or rosuvastatin among warfarin users led to a minor increase in INR. The magnitude of this change is for most patients likely of limited clinical relevance.
Biofilms commonly develop in flowing aqueous environments, where the flow causes the biofilm to deform. Because biofilm deformation affects the flow regime, and because biofilms behave as complex heterogeneous viscoelastic materials, few models are able to predict biofilm deformation. In this study, a phase field continuum model coupled with the Oldroyd-B constitutive equation was developed and used to simulate biofilm deformation. The accuracy of the model was evaluated using two types of biofilms: a synthetic biofilm, made from alginate mixed with bacterial cells, and a Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm. Shear rheometry was used to experimentally determine the mechanical parameters for each biofilm, as inputs for the model. Biofilm deformation under fluid flow was monitored experimentally using optical coherence tomography. The fit between the experimental and modeling geometries after fluid-driven deformation was very good, with relative errors of 12.8% for synthetic biofilm and 22.2% for homogenized P. aeruginosa biofilm. This is the first demonstration of the effectiveness of a viscoelastic phase field biofilm model. This model provides an important tool for predicting biofilm viscoelastic deformation. It also can benefit the design and control of biofilms in engineering systems.
Background: Despite improved survival and morbidity after durable left ventricular assist device (dLVAD), outcomes for cardiogenic shock patients are suboptimal. Temporary mechanical circulatory support (tMCS) can permit optimization prior to dLVAD. Excellent outcomes have been observed using minimally-invasive dLVAD implantation. However, some feel tMCS contraindicates this approach. To evaluate whether left thoracotomy/hemisternotomy (LTHS) dLVAD placement is safe in this setting, we compared patients who did and did not require tMCS. Methods: Outcomes for patients receiving dLVADs via LTHS were compared among those bridged with ECMO, IABP, or no tMCS. We evaluated demographics, comorbidities, laboratory and hemodynamic data, and intra- and postoperative outcomes. Results: Eighty-three patients underwent LTHS dLVAD placement. Fifty did not require tMCS, while 22 (26%) required IABP, and 11 (13%) ECMO. Non-tMCS patients were primarily INTERMACS 3 (56%), while IABP recipients were mainly INTERMACS 2 (45%). All ECMO patients were INTERMACS 1. Patients with tMCS had worse end-organ function. Operative outcomes were similar except more concomitant procedures and red-cell transfusions in ECMO patients. ICU and hospital length of stay and inotrope duration were also similar. There were no differences in bleeding, stroke, and infection rates. Three- and twelve-month survival were: No tMCS: 94%, 86%; IABP: 100%, 88%; ECMO: 81%, 81% (p=0.45). Conclusions: Patients with cardiogenic shock can safely undergo LTHS dLVAD implantation after stabilization with ECMO or IABP. Outcomes and complications in these patients were comparable to a less severely ill cohort without tMCS.
Background Post-Cardiotomy ECMO (PC-ECMO) represents a unique subset of critically ill patients, with a paucity of data regarding long-term survival, and characteristics correlated with short and long-term outcomes. We present a retrospective cohort PC patients supported with ECMO at a single institution, with outcomes at 1 and 3-year follow-up. Methods Data was collected retrospectively for all patients requiring ECMO within 72 hours of index cardiac operation, excluding assist devices and heart transplantation. Operative data, frozen mediastinum status, cannulation site, postoperative hemorrhage, and timing of cannulation (immediate versus delayed) were all collected and examined. Primary outcomes were ability to wean from ECMO, hospital survival, and long-term survival. Results 33 patients required PC ECMO, representing a total of 179 days of ECMO support. Overall survival data were: ability to wean 61%, hospital survival 55%, one month survival 45%. The estimated 12 and 36 month survival for all PC ECMO patients was 40% and 33% respectively. Twelve and 36 month survival for all hospital survivors was 66% and 60% respectively. Operative times, type of operation performed, open chest status, reoperation for hemorrhage and cannulation location (central/peripheral) were all compared. There were no statistically significant relationships of these variables short or long-term survival. Conclusions Overall 12 month survival for PC-ECMO patients was 40%, and was 33% at 36 months. For hospital survivors, 1 year survival was 66%, and was 60% at 36 months. These data support PC-ECMO as a reasonable salvage strategy, with mid-term survival comparable to other surgically treated diseases.
The pandemic outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December 2019. The COVID-19 was caused by the novel coronavirus, namely severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It took 30 days to spread to all provinces of China . Recently, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported from about 200 countries or regions on March 30, 2020, and killed almost 30 thousand people . Efficient identification of the infection by SARS-CoV-2 has been one of the most important tasks to facilitate all the following counter measurements in dealing with infectious disease. In Taiwan, a COVID-19 Open Science Platform adhering to the spirit of open science: sharing sources, data, and methods to promote progress in academic research while corroborating findings from various disciplines has established in mid-February 2020, for collaborative research in support of the development of detection methods, therapeutics, and a vaccine for COVID-19. Research priorities include infection control, epidemiology, clinical characterization and management, detection methods (including viral RNA detection, viral antigen detection, and serum antibody detection), therapeutics (neutralizing antibody and small molecule drugs), vaccines, and SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. In addition, research on social ethics and the law are included to take full account of the impact of the COVID-19 virus.
We present a patient with a rare ectopic retrosternal goitre that underwent a right hemithyroidectomy via an open cervical and video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). This case report reviews the work-up and radiological features of retrosternal goitre(RSG) and provides an update on the management of RSG.
Abstract: The objective of this study was to identify patient and hospitalization characteristics associated with in-hospital mortality in infants with truncus arteriosus. We conducted a retrospective analysis of a large administrative database, the National Inpatient Sample dataset of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project for the years 2002–2017. We also sought to evaluate the resource utilization in the subgroup of subjects with truncus arteriosus and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Neonates with truncus arteriosus were identified by ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. Hospital and patient factors associated with inpatient mortality were analyzed. Overall, 3009 neonates met inclusion criteria; a total of 326 patients died during the hospitalization (10.8%). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation utilization was 7.1 %. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors for in-hospital mortality. Independent risk factors for mortality were prematurity (aOR = 2.43, 95% CI: 1.40–4.22, p = 0.002), diagnosis of stroke (aOR = 26.2, 95% CI: 10.1–68.1, p < 0.001), necrotizing enterocolitis (aOR = 3.10, 95% CI: 1.24–7.74, p = 0.015) and presence of venous thrombosis (aOR = 13.5, 95% CI: 6.7–27.2, p < 0.001). Patients who received ECMO support or had cardiac catheterization procedure during the hospitalization had increased odds of mortality (aOR = 82.0, 95% CI: 44.5–151.4, p < 0.001, and aOR = 1.65, 95% CI: 0.98–2.77, p = 0.060, respectively). 22q11.2 deletion syndrome was associated with an inverse risk of death despite having more non-cardiac comorbidities; this patient subpopulation also had a higher length of stay and increased cost of hospitalization.
Introduction: The clinical efficacy and safety of hot balloon ablation (HBA) for treatment of persistent AF (PerAF) remain unclear. We aimed to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of HBA vs. cryoballoon ablation (CBA) as treatment for PerAF. Methods: Of 195 consecutive patients who underwent initial catheter ablation for PerAF (AF lasting >7 days but <12 months), 158 propensity score-matched (79 HBA and 79 CBA) patients were included in our study. All patients who underwent HBA received applications of energy to the upper posterior LA wall with a larger balloon in addition to single shots to each pulmonary vein (PV) ostium, whereas those who underwent CBA received simple single-shot applications. The electrically isolated surface area (ISA), including the PV antrum and part of the posterior LA wall, was assessed by high-resolution mapping. Results: Success of the PV isolation with balloon shots alone did not differ between HBA and CBA (81% vs. 85%; P = 0.52). The ISA was generally wide in both groups and significantly larger in the HBA group than in the CBA group (61 ± 16% vs. 51 ± 12%, P < 0.001). The incidence of procedure-related complications did not differ significantly (HBA 4% vs. CBA 1%; P = 0.62) nor did the arrhythmia recurrence rate (HBA 11% vs. CBA 18% at 18 months; P = 0.26). Conclusion: Despite the difference in protocols, HBA and CBA performed for PerAF appear comparable in terms of wide antral lesion creation, clinical efficacy, and safety.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a unique signaling molecule in the mammalian species. NO is produced by a variety of cell types to elicit distinct physiological actions. In the vascular system, NO is produced by the endothelium, a single layer of cells forming the inner lining of all blood vessels. Endothelium-derived NO has several different functions, one of which is vascular smooth muscle relaxation, resulting in vasodilation and a consequent decrease in blood pressure and increase in local blood flow. In the erectile tissue, NO is released as a neurotransmitter from the nerves innervating the corpus cavernosum during sexual stimulation, and causes profound smooth muscle relaxation and increased blood flow to the erectile tissue. This results in engorgement with blood and consequent penile erection.The uniqueness of NO as a signaling molecule derives, at least in part, by the fact that it is a gaseous molecule in its native state. However, despite being a gas, NO, like oxygen (O2), elicits its pharmacological effects as a solute in aqueous solution. Another unique characteristic of NO is its fleeting action because of its highly unstable chemical nature and reactivity. Unlike many other signaling molecules, NO elicits its wise array of physiological effects by distinct mechanisms. For example, vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle relaxation, and inhibition of platelet function are mediated by intracellular cyclic GMP (cyclic 3’, 5’-guanosine monophosphate). NO elicits many cyclic GMP-independent effects as well. For example, nitric oxide is a reactive free radical that can covalently modify protein function. One good example is protein S-nitrosylation, which can result in both regulatory and aberrant effects. By this and a variety of other mechanisms, NO also reacts with other molecules, such as reactive oxygen species, in invading cells such as bacteria, parasites and viruses to kill them or inhibit their replication or spread.The first pharmacological action of nitric oxide, demonstrated several years before it’s production in mammals was actually discovered, was vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle relaxation. One of many examples of the latter is the smooth muscle enveloping the sinusoidal cavities within the corpus cavernosum. Another important example is the airway smooth muscle in the trachea and bronchioles of the lungs. Indeed, inhalation of NO gas causes bronchodilation and increased delivery of air into the lungs. However, perhaps more significant than the bronchodilator effect of inhaled NO is its vasodilator effect. In fact, advantage was taken of the vasodilator action of NO in the lungs by Warren Zapol, MD, from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who discovered that inhalation of very small amounts of NO gas by newborn babies with life-threatening, persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) results in a dramatic and permanent reversal of pulmonary vasoconstriction. Inhaled NO (INO) literally turned blue babies into pink babies. Without INO, most babies would have died while others would have required highly invasive procedures (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; ECMO) to oxygenate their lungs, and may not have survived.Regarding its antiviral action, NO has been shown to increase the survival rate of mammalian cells infected with SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome caused by coronavirus). In an in vitrostudy, NO donors (i.e., S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine) greatly increased the survival rate of SARS-CoV-infected eukaryotic cells, suggesting direct antiviral effects of NO (1). In this study, NO significantly inhibited the replication cycle of SARS CoV in a concentration-dependent manner. NO also inhibited viral protein and RNA synthesis. Furthermore, NO generated by inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibited the SARS CoV replication cycle. The coronavirus responsible for SARS-CoV shares most of the genome of COVID- 19 indicating potential effectiveness of inhaled NO therapy in these patients.In 2004, during the SARS-CoV outbreak in China, the administration of inhaled NO reversed pulmonary hypertension, improved severe hypoxia and shortened the length of ventilatory support as compared to matched control patients with SARS-CoV (2). The mechanism of action was thought to be pulmonary vasodilation and consequent improved oxygenation in the blood of the lungs, thereby killing the virus, which does not do well in a high oxygen environment. In addition, however, I would offer the opinion that the NO also interacts directly with the virus to kill it and/or inhibit its replication, as shown in a prior study (1).Although studies have not yet been reported with COVID-19, NO has been shown to have an antiviral effect on several DNA and RNA virus families (3). The NO-mediated S-nitrosylation of viral molecules might be an intriguing general mechanism for the control of the virus life cycle. In this regard, it is conceivable that NO could nitrosylate cysteine-containing enzymes and proteins, including nucleocapsid proteins and glycoproteins, present in the coronavirus.In view of the knowledge gained by treating SARS-CoV patients with INO, it follows that INO might be effective in patients with the current SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection. Indeed, a clinical trial of inhaled nitric oxide in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 with pneumonia and under assisted ventilatory support recently received IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Warren Zapol is director of this project. This trial has now been expanded to include at least two additional hospitals in the U.S. In the successful treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns, the amount of NO inhaled is generally one ppm (part per million). In the clinical trial using COVID-19 patients, the amount of NO will be approximately 100-fold higher, about 100 ppm. This is a safe dose of INO, which could prove to be effective in killing the virus and allowing recovery of the patient. The effective use of INO would also lessen the need for oxygen, ventilators, and beds in the ICU.One thing I urge everyone to practice during this coronavirus pandemic is to breathe or inhale through your NOSE and exhale through your mouth. Swedish investigators at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have shown that the cells and tissues in the nasal sinusoids, but not the mouth, constantly and continuously produce nitric oxide, which is a gas, and can be easily detected in the exhaled breath. The physiological significance of this is that nasally-derived NO, when inhaled through the nose, improves oxygen delivery into the lungs by causing bronchodilation. This physiological action of inhaled NO is well-known by competitive athletes, especially runners. Moreover, when inhaling through the nose, your nasal nitric oxide is inhaled into your lungs where it stands a chance of meeting up with the coronavirus particles and killing them or inhibiting their replication. Inhaling through your mouth will NOT accomplish this. By the same token, exhaling through your nose is highly wasteful in that you would be expelling the NO away from the lungs, where it is needed most.“INHALE THROUGH YOUR NOSE, AND EXHALE THROUGH YOUR MOUTH!”
We report a case of 41-year-old woman who presented with chest tightness and shortness of breath. Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) showed left ventricular (LV) pseudo-aneurysm of the inferior wall with preserved LV systolic function. Coronary angiogram was normal. Surgical repair of the pseudo-aneurysm with a pericardial patch was performed, and pathological results confirmed rupture of an isolated congenital LV diverticulum.as the most likely etiology.
The complement system is a well-characterised cascade of extracellular serum proteins that is activated by pathogens and unwanted waste material. Products of activated complement signal to host cells via cell-surface receptors, illicting responses such as removal of the stimulus by phagocytosis. The complement system therefore functions as a warning system, resulting in removal of unwanted material. This review describes how extracellular activation of the complement system can also trigger autophagic responses within cells, upregulating protective homeostatic autophagy in response to perceived stress, but also intiating targeted anti-microbial autophagy in order to kill intracellular cyto-invasive pathogens. In particular, we will focus on recent discoveries that complement may also have roles in detection and autophagy-mediated disposal of unwanted materials within the intracellular environment. We therefore summarize the current evidence for complement involvement in autophagy, both by transducing signals across the cell membrane, as well as roles within the cellular environment.