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Coronary artery calcification is common on nongated chest computed tomography imaging

Balakrishnan, Revathi; Nguyen, Brian; Raad, Roy; Donnino, Robert; Naidich, David P; Jacobs, Jill E; Reynolds, Harmony R
BACKGROUND: Coronary artery calcification as assessed by computed tomography (CT) is a validated predictor of cardiovascular risk, whether identified on a dedicated cardiac study or on a routine non-gated chest CT. The prevalence of incidentally detected coronary artery calcification on non-gated chest CT imaging and consistency of reporting have not been well characterized. HYPOTHESIS: Coronary calcification is present on chest CT in some patients not taking statin therapy and may be under-reported. METHODS: Non-gated chest CT images dated 1/1/2012 to 1/1/2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographics and medical history were obtained from charts. Patients with known history of coronary revascularization and/or pacemaker/defibrillator were excluded. Two independent readers with cardiac CT expertise evaluated images for the presence and anatomical distribution of any coronary calcification, blinded to all clinical information including CT reports. Original clinical CT reports were subsequently reviewed. RESULTS: Coronary calcification was identified in 204/304 (68%) chest CTs. Patients with calcification were older and had more hyperlipidemia, smoking history, and known coronary artery disease. Of patients with calcification, 43% were on aspirin and 62% were on statin medication at the time of CT. Coronary calcification was identified in 69% of reports when present. CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of coronary calcification was found in non-gated chest CT scans performed for non-cardiac indications. In one-third, coronary calcification was not mentioned in the clinical report when actually present. In this population of patients with cardiac risk factors, standard reporting of the presence of coronary calcification may provide an opportunity for risk factor modification.
PMID: 28300293
ISSN: 1932-8737
CID: 2490052

Life after Stroke in an Urban Minority Population: A Photovoice Project

Balakrishnan, Revathi; Kaplan, Benjamin; Negron, Rennie; Fei, Kezhen; Goldfinger, Judith Z; Horowitz, Carol R
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States and disproportionately affects minority populations. We sought to explore the quality of life in urban, minority stroke survivors through their own photos and narratives. Using the Photovoice method, seventeen stroke survivors were instructed to take pictures reflecting their experience living with and recovering from stroke. Key photographs were discussed in detail; participants brainstormed ways to improve their lives and presented their work in clinical and community sites. Group discussions were recorded, transcribed, and coded transcripts were reviewed with written narratives to identify themes. Participants conveyed recovery from stroke in three stages: learning to navigate the initial physical and emotional impact of the stroke; coping with newfound physical and emotional barriers; and long-term adaptation to physical impairment and/or chronic disease. Participants navigated this stage-based model to varying degrees of success and identified barriers and facilitators to this process. Barriers included limited access for disabled and limited healthy food choices unique to the urban setting; facilitators included presence of social support and community engagement. Using Photovoice, diverse stroke survivors were able to identify common challenges in adapting to life after stroke and important factors for recovery of quality of life.
PMID: 28287467
ISSN: 1660-4601
CID: 2488492

Prevalence of unrecognized diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention

Balakrishnan, Revathi; Berger, Jeffrey S; Tully, Lisa; Vani, Anish; Shah, Binita; Burdowski, Joseph; Fisher, Edward; Schwartzbard, Arthur; Sedlis, Steven; Weintraub, Howard; Underberg, James A; Danoff, Ann; Slater, James A; Gianos, Eugenia
BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus (DM) and metabolic syndrome are important targets for secondary prevention in cardiovascular disease. However, the prevalence in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is not well defined. We aimed to analyze the prevalence and characteristics of patients undergoing PCI with previously unrecognized prediabetes, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. METHODS: Data were collected from 740 patients undergoing elective PCI between November 2010 and March 2013 at a tertiary referral center. Prevalence of DM and prediabetes was evaluated using Hemoglobin A1c (A1c >/= 6.5% for DM, A1c 5.7-6.4% for prediabetes). A modified definition was used for metabolic syndrome [3 or more of the following criteria: body mass index (BMI) >/=30 kg/m2; triglycerides >/= 150 mg/dL; high density lipoprotein <40 mg/dL in men and <50 mg/dL in women; systolic blood pressure >/= 130 mmHg and/or diastolic >/= 85 mmHg; A1c >/= 5.7% or on therapy]. RESULTS: Mean age was 67 years, median BMI was 28.2 kg/m2 , and 39% had known DM. Of those without known DM, 8.3% and 58.5% met A1c criteria for DM and for prediabetes at time of PCI. Overall, 54.9% met criteria for metabolic syndrome (69.2% of patients with DM and 45.8% of patients without DM). CONCLUSION: Among patients undergoing elective PCI, a substantial number were identified with new DM, prediabetes, and/or metabolic syndrome. Routine screening for an abnormal glucometabolic state at the time of revascularization may be useful for identifying patients who may benefit from additional targeting of modifiable risk factors
PMID: 25728823
ISSN: 1520-7552
CID: 1480312

Congenital Absence of the Left Atrial Appendage Visualized by 3D Echocardiography in Two Adult Patients

Saleh, Mona; Balakrishnan, Revathi; Kontak, Leticia Castillo; Benenstein, Ricardo; Chinitz, Larry A; Donnino, Robert; Saric, Muhamed
Congenital absence of left atrial appendage (LAA) is an extremely rare condition and its physiological consequences are unknown. We present two cases of incidental finding of a congenitally absent LAA in a 79-year-old male who presented for routine transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) to rule out intracardiac thrombus prior to placement of biventricular implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and a 54-year old female who presented for TEE prior to radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation. Characterization of patients with such an absence is important because congenitally absent LAA may be confused with flush thrombotic occlusion of the appendage. There are very few published reports of congenital absence of LAA. To our knowledge, our report is the first to demonstrate the congenital absence of LAA by 3D transesophageal echocardiography.
PMID: 25586693
ISSN: 0742-2822
CID: 1436272

Suboptimal risk factor control in patients undergoing elective coronary or peripheral percutaneous intervention

Tully, Lisa; Gianos, Eugenia; Vani, Anish; Guo, Yu; Balakrishnan, Revathi; Schwartzbard, Arthur; Slater, James; Stein, Richard; Underberg, James; Weintraub, Howard; Fisher, Edward; Berger, Jeffrey S
BACKGROUND: The American Heart Association recommends targeting 7 cardiovascular (CV) health metrics to reduce morbidity and mortality. Control of these targets in patients undergoing CV intervention is uncertain. METHODS: We prospectively studied patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary or peripheral intervention from November 2010 to May 2012. We recorded data on patient demographics, clinical characteristics, and social history. Risk factor control was categorized as ideal, intermediate, or poor according to the 7 American Heart Association-defined CV health metrics (smoking status, body mass index, physical activity, diet, cholesterol, blood pressure, and metabolic control). Linear regression model was used to evaluate the association between baseline characteristics and poor CV health. RESULTS: Among 830 consecutive patients enrolled, mean age is 67.3 +/- 10.8 years, 74.2% are male, and 62.1% are white. The adequacy of achievement of ideal CV health is suboptimal in our cohort; the mean number of ideal CV metrics is 2.15 +/- 1.06. Less than 1 in 10 (9.7%) met >/=4 ideal CV health metrics. After multivariate analysis, male sex (P = .04), nonwhite race (P = .01), prior coronary artery disease (P < .01), prior peripheral arterial disease (P < .01), and history of depression (P = .01) were significantly associated with poor CV health. CONCLUSIONS: Among patients referred for elective CV intervention, achievement of ideal CV health is poor. Elective interventions represent an opportunity to identify and target CV health for risk factor control and secondary prevention.
PMID: 25173542
ISSN: 0002-8703
CID: 1162852

Correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder in stroke survivors

Goldfinger, Judith Z; Edmondson, Donald; Kronish, Ian M; Fei, Kezhen; Balakrishnan, Revathi; Tuhrim, Stanley; Horowitz, Carol R
BACKGROUND: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after life-threatening events, including illness, but correlates of PTSD after stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) have not been well described. METHODS: We measured the prevalence of stroke-induced PTSD with the PTSD Checklist Specific for stroke (PCL-S) in adults who had a stroke or TIA within 5 years. A PCL-S score of 50 or more indicated likely PTSD. We tested for potential predictors of stroke-associated PTSD, including demographics, stroke history, disability, medical comorbidities, depression, and emotional support and then examined the association between poststroke PTSD and measures of physical and mental health. RESULTS: Of 535 participants, 95 (18%) had a PCL-S score of 50 or more; the mean score was 35.4 +/- 13.7 (range 17-80 of 85). In logistic regression analysis, low income (odds ratio [OR] 1.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-3.61), recurrent stroke or TIA (OR 1.86, 1.10-3.16), more disability (OR 1.79, 1.43-2.23), and increased comorbidities (OR 1.90, 1.05-3.45) were independently associated with PTSD. Older age (OR .93, .90-.95), marriage or partnership (OR .52, .28-.98), and having emotional support (OR .25, .11-.54) were protective against developing PTSD. Participants with likely PTSD had worse physical and mental health. CONCLUSIONS: In this racially and ethnically diverse cohort of stroke and TIA survivors, stroke-induced PTSD was associated with younger age, recurrent strokes, greater disability, and comorbidities. PTSD was associated with a substantially increased physical, mental, and quality of life burden in this already vulnerable population. Having social support was protective, suggesting a potential target for intervention.
PMID: 24144593
ISSN: 1052-3057
CID: 1344342


Alviar, Carlos L.; Kumar, Vivek; Burdowski, Joseph; Gianos, Eugenia; Berger, Jeffrey; Balakrishnan, Revathi; Vani, Anish; Guo, Yu; Xu, Jinfeng; Schwartzbard, Arthur; Sedlis, Steven; Slater, James; Shah, Binita
ISSN: 0735-1097
CID: 3574132

Choosing postoperative echocardiograms wisely: harmonization of the guidelines [Letter]

Balakrishnan, Revathi; Skolnick, Adam H; Saric, Muhamed
PMID: 24296211
ISSN: 0003-4975
CID: 658862

Risk Factors Associated With Depression in Patients Undergoing Elective Percutaneous Coronary or Peripheral Intervention [Meeting Abstract]

Balakrishnan, Revathi; Berger, Jeffrey; Ullah, Omad; Tully, Lisa; Vani, Anish; Schwartzbard, Arthur; Weintraub, Howard; Fisher, Edward; Gianos, Eugenia
ISSN: 1524-4539
CID: 1015542

Histopathology of renal failure after heart transplantation: a diverse spectrum

Pinney, Sean P; Balakrishnan, Revathi; Dikman, Steven; Nair, Ajith; Hammond, Kimmarie; Domanski, Michael; Anyanwu, Anelechi C; Deboccardo, Graciela
BACKGROUND: Chronic kidney disease occurs frequently after heart transplantation and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Herein we describe the histopathology associated with renal failure in a cohort of heart transplant recipients. METHODS: Over a 4-year period all patients with an estimated GFR <30 ml/min/1.73 m(2) or significant proteinuria were referred to the kidney transplant clinic for clinical evaluation. A percutaneous renal biopsy was performed as part of a standardized evaluation. RESULTS: Eighteen patients underwent renal biopsy 5.8 +/- 4.1 years after transplantation. Hypertension (88.9%), Type 2 diabetes (55.6%) and allograft vasculopathy (38.9%) were prevalent. All patients were receiving calcineurin inhibitors. Mean creatinine was 2.9 +/- 1.2 mg/dl with an estimated GFR 27.9 +/- 9.1 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Eight patients (44%) had proteinuria >1 g per 24 hours. The major histologic findings were nephrosclerosis plus diabetic glomerulopathy (50%), nephrosclerosis and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (22.2%) and nephrosclerosis alone (22.2%). One patient had direct CNI toxicity consisting of nodular sub-adventitial hyalinosis. Eleven patients (61.1%) had glomerular disease and 11 patients (61.1%) had moderate or severe tubular atrophy. During follow-up, 5 patients (27.8%) started hemodialysis, 4 (22.2%) died, and 2 (11.1%) received a renal transplant. CONCLUSIONS: We observed diverse histologic patterns in this series of renal biopsies suggesting that chronic kidney disease after heart transplantation has a complex and varied pathologic basis. Further defining the renal injuries that precede heart transplantation and predispose to the progression of kidney disease after transplant may assist in treating this population.
PMID: 21945725
ISSN: 1053-2498
CID: 1344352