Natural History of Internal Carotid Artery Stenosis Progression
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:To investigate the natural history of internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis progression. METHODS:This single-institution retrospective cohort study analyzed patients diagnosed with internal carotid artery stenosis of 50% or greater on duplex ultrasound (DUS) from 2015-2022. Subjects were drawn from our institutional IAC-accredited noninterventional vascular laboratory database. Primary outcomes were incidences of disease progression, and stroke or revascularization after index study. Progression was defined as an increase in stenosis classification category. Imaging, demographic, and clinical data was obtained from our institutional EMR via a database mining query. Cases were analyzed at the patient and artery levels, with severity corresponding to the greatest degree of ICA stenosis on index and follow-up studies. RESULTS:Of 577 arteries in 467 patients, mean cohort age was 73.5±8.9 years at the time of the index study and 45.0% (n=210) were female. Patients were followed with DUS for a mean of 42.2±22.7 months. Of 577 arteries, 65.5% (n=378) at the index imaging study had moderate (50-69%) stenosis, 23.7% (n=137) had severe (70-99%) stenosis, and 10.7% (n=62) were occluded. These three groups had significant differences in age, hypertension, hyperlipidemia prevalence, and proportion on best medical therapy. Of the 467 patient cohort, 56.5% (n=264) were on best medical therapy, defined as smoking cessation, treatment with an antiplatelet agent, statin, and antihypertensive and glycemic agents as indicated. Mean time to progression for affected arteries was 28.0±20.5 months. Of those arteries with nonocclusive disease at diagnosis, 21.3% (n=123) progressed in their level of stenosis. Older age, diabetes, and a history of vasculitis were associated with stenosis progression, while antiplatelet agent use trended towards decreased progression rates. Of the 467 patients, 5.6% (n=26) developed symptoms; of those, 38.5% (n=10) had ischemic strokes, 26.9% (n=7) had hemispheric transient ischemic attacks, 11.5% (n=3) had amaurosis fugax, and 23.1% (n=6) had other symptoms. A history of head and neck cancer was positively associated with symptom development. Of 577 affected arteries, 16.6% (n=96) underwent intervention; 81% (n=78) of interventions were for asymptomatic disease and 19% (n=18) were for symptomatic disease. No patient level factors were associated with risk of intervention. CONCLUSIONS:A significant number of carotid stenosis patients experience progression of disease. Physicians should consider long term surveillance on all patients with carotid disease, with increased attention paid to those with risk factors for progression, particularly those with diabetes and a history of vasculitis.
Intraoperative Infusion of Dextran Confers No Additional Benefit after Carotid Endarterectomy but Is Associated with Increased Perioperative Major Adverse Cardiac Events
BACKGROUND:Intraoperative dextran infusion has been associated with reduction of an embolic risk in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Nonetheless, dextran has been associated with adverse reactions, including anaphylaxis, hemorrhage, cardiac, and renal complications. Herein, we aimed to compare the perioperative outcomes of CEA stratified by the use of intraoperative dextran infusion using a large multiinstitutional dataset. METHODS:Patients undergoing CEA between 2008 and 2022 from the Vascular Quality Initiative database were reviewed. Patients were categorized by use of intraoperative dextran infusion, and demographics, procedural data, and in-hospital outcomes were compared. Logistic regression analysis was utilized to adjust for differences in patients while assessing the association between postoperative outcomes and intraoperative infusion of dextran. RESULTS:Of 140,893 patients undergoing CEA, 9,935 (7.1%) patients had intraoperative dextran infusion. Patients with intraoperative dextran infusion were older with lower rates of symptomatic stenosis (24.7% vs. 29.3%; P < 0.001) and preoperative use of antiplatelets, anticoagulants and statins. Additionally, they were more likely to have severe carotid stenosis (>80%; 49% vs. 45%; P < 0.001) and undergo CEA under general anesthesia (96.4% vs. 92.3%; P < 0.001), with a more frequent use of shunt (64.4% vs. 49.5%; P < 0.001). After adjustment, multivariable analysis showed that intraoperative dextran infusion was associated with higher odds of in-hospital major adverse cardiac events (MACE), including myocardial infarction [MI] (odds ratio [OR], 1.76, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.34-2.3, P < 0.001), congestive heart failure [CHF] (OR, 2.15, 95% CI: 1.67-2.77, P = 0.001), and hemodynamic instability requiring vasoactive agents (OR, 1.08, 95% CI: 1.03-1.13, P = 0.001). However, it was not associated with decreased odds of stroke (OR, 0.92, 95% CI: 0.74-1.16, P = 0.489) or death (OR, 0.88, 95% CI: 0.58-1.35, P = 0.554). These trends persisted even when stratified by symptomatic status and degree of stenosis. CONCLUSIONS:Intraoperative infusion of dextran was associated with increased odds of MACE, including MI, CHF, and persistent hemodynamic instability, without decreasing the risk of stroke perioperatively. Given these results, judicious use of dextran in patients undergoing CEA is recommended. Furthermore, careful perioperative cardiac management is warranted in select patients receiving intraoperative dextran during CEA.
Mitochondrial and immune response dysregulation in melanoma recurrence [Letter]
Contaminant Metals and Cardiovascular Health
A growing body of research has begun to link exposure to environmental contaminants, such as heavy metals, with a variety of negative health outcomes. In this paper, we sought to review the current research describing the impact of certain common contaminant metals on cardiovascular (CV) health. We reviewed ten metals: lead, barium, nickel, chromium, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, selenium, zinc, and copper. After a literature review, we briefly summarized the routes of environmental exposure, pathophysiological mechanisms, CV health impacts, and exposure prevention and/or mitigation strategies for each metal. The resulting article discloses a broad spectrum of pathological significance, from relatively benign substances with little to no described effects on CV health, such as chromium and selenium, to substances with a wide-ranging and relatively severe spectrum of CV pathologies, such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead. It is our hope that this article will provide clinicians with a practical overview of the impact of these common environmental contaminants on CV health as well as highlight areas that require further investigation to better understand how these metals impact the incidence and progression of CV diseases.
Uncertainty and the NICU Experience: A Qualitative Evaluation of Family and Provider Perspectives
There is limited information regarding caregiver and provider perspectives on uncertainty across the continuum of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) experience. Open-ended semi-structured interviews were conducted with providers and English- and Spanish-speaking caregivers of infants with a history of admission to a quaternary safety-net NICU. Major themes were generated using inductive-deductive thematic analysis. Seventy-six individuals participated in the study: 47 caregivers and 29 providers. The median gestational age of the infants was 29 weeks and 85% were classified as having chronic complex disease per the Pediatric Medical Complexity Algorithm. Most providers were neonatologists (37%) and nurses (27%) and more than half had over ten years of experience. A conceptual model of caregiver uncertainty was developed and key domains included drivers of uncertainty and its impact, and factors influencing coping and adaptation. Our analysis found a positive association between caregiver information gathering, clinical continuity, support systems, maternal mental health supports, and witnessing a child's progress and the development of adjustment to chronic uncertainty. These results suggest key areas for intervention that can promote parental adaptation to the uncertainty inherent in the NICU experience.
Young patients undergoing carotid stenting procedures have an increased rate of procedural failure at 1-year follow-up
OBJECTIVE:The outcomes of patients with premature cerebrovascular disease (age ≤55 years) who undergo carotid artery stenting are not well-defined. Our study objective was to analyze the outcomes of younger patients undergoing carotid stenting. METHODS:The Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative was queried for transfemoral carotid artery stenting (TF-CAS) and transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) procedures between 2016 and 2020. Patients were stratified based on age ≤55 or >55 years. Primary endpoints were periprocedural stroke, death, myocardial infarction (MI), and composite outcomes. Secondary endpoints included procedural failure (defined as ipsilateral restenosis ≥80% or occlusion) and reintervention rates. RESULTS:Of the 35,802 patients who underwent either TF-CAS or TCAR, 2912 (6.1%) were ≤55 years. Younger patients were less likely than older patients to have coronary disease (30.5% vs 50.2%; P < .001), diabetes (31.5% vs 37.9%; P < .001), and hypertension (71.8% vs 89.8%; P < .001), but were more likely to be female (45% vs 35.4%; P < .001) and active smokers (50.9% vs 24.0%; P < .001) Younger patients were also more likely to have had a prior transient ischemic attack or stroke than older patients (70.7% vs 56.9%; P < .001). TF-CAS was more frequently performed in younger patients (79.7% vs 55.4%; P < .001). In the periprocedural period, younger patients were less likely to have a MI than older patients (0.3% vs 0.7%; P < .001), but there was no significant difference in the rates of periprocedural stroke (1.5% vs 2.0%; P = .173) and composite outcomes of stroke/death (2.6% vs 2.7%; P = .686) and stroke/death/MI (2.9% vs 3.2%; P = .353) between our two cohorts. The mean follow-up was 12 months regardless of age. During follow-up, younger patients were significantly more likely to experience significant (≥80%) restenosis or occlusion (4.7% vs 2.3%; P = .001) and to undergo reintervention (3.3% vs 1.7%; P < .001). However, there was no statistical difference in the frequency of late strokes between younger and older patients (3.8% vs 3.2%; P = .129). CONCLUSIONS:Patients with premature cerebrovascular disease undergoing carotid artery stenting are more likely to be African American, female, and active smokers than their older counterparts. Young patients are also more likely to present symptomatically. Although periprocedural outcomes are similar, younger patients have higher rates of procedural failure (significant restenosis or occlusion) and reintervention at 1-year follow-up. However, the clinical implication of late procedural failure is unknown, given that we found no significant difference in the rate of stroke at follow-up. Until further longitudinal studies are completed, clinicians should carefully consider the indications for carotid stenting in patients with premature cerebrovascular disease, and those who do undergo stenting may require close follow-up.
International Multi-Institutional Experience with Presentation and Management of Aortic Arch Laterality in Aberrant Subclavian Artery and Kommerell's Diverticulum
BACKGROUND:Aberrant subclavian artery (ASA) with or without Kommerell's diverticulum (KD) is a rare anatomic aortic arch anomaly that can cause dysphagia and/or life-threatening rupture. The objective of this study is to compare outcomes of ASA/KD repair in patients with a left versus right aortic arch. METHODS:Using the Vascular Low Frequency Disease Consortium methodology, a retrospective review was performed of patients ≥18 years old with surgical treatment of ASA/KD from 2000 to 2020 at 20 institutions. RESULTS:288 patients with ASA with or without KD were identified; 222 left-sided aortic arch (LAA), and 66 right-sided aortic arch (RAA). Mean age at repair was younger in LAA 54 vs. 58 years (P = 0.06). Patients in RAA were more likely to undergo repair due to symptoms (72.7% vs. 55.9%, P = 0.01), and more likely to present with dysphagia (57.6% vs. 39.1%, P < 0.01). The hybrid open/endovascular approach was the most common repair type in both groups. Rates of intraoperative complications, death within 30 days, return to the operating room, symptom relief and endoleaks were not significantly different. For patients with symptom status follow-up data, in LAA, 61.7% had complete relief, 34.0% had partial relief and 4.3% had no change. In RAA, 60.7% had complete relief, 34.4% had partial relief and 4.9% had no change. CONCLUSIONS:In patients with ASA/KD, RAA patients were less common than LAA, presented more frequently with dysphagia, had symptoms as an indication for intervention, and underwent treatment at a younger age. Open, endovascular and hybrid repair approaches appear equally effective, regardless of arch laterality.
Is epinephrine harmful in volatile substance use-induced cardiac arrest? [Comment]
Young Patients Undergoing Carotid Endarterectomy Have Increased Rates of Recurrent Disease and Late Neurologic Events
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:There is a paucity of data regarding outcomes of patients with premature cerebrovascular disease (age ≤ 55 years) who undergo carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The objective of this study was to analyze the demographics, presentation, perioperative and later outcomes of younger patients undergoing CEA. METHODS:The Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative was queried for CEA cases between 2012-2022. Patients were stratified based on age ≤ 55 or age > 55 years. Primary endpoints were periprocedural stroke, death, myocardial infarction and composite outcomes. Secondary endpoints included restenosis (≥80%) or occlusion, late neurologic events and re-intervention. RESULTS:Of 120,549 patients undergoing CEA, 7,009 (5.5%) were ≤ 55 years old (mean age of 51.3 years). Younger patients were more likely to be African American (7.7% vs 4.5%, p < .001), female (45.2% vs 38.9%, p < .001) and active smokers (57.3% vs 24.1%, p < .001). They were less likely than older patients to have hypertension (82.5% vs 89.7%, p < .001), coronary artery disease (25% vs 27.3%, p < .001) and CHF (7.8% vs 11.4%, p<.001). Younger patients were significantly less likely than older patients to be on aspirin, anti-coagulation, statins, or beta-blockers but were more likely to be taking P2Y12 inhibitors (37.2 vs 33.7%, p <.001). Younger patients were more likely to present with symptomatic disease (35.1% vs 27.6%, p<.001) and were more likely to undergo non-elective CEA (19.2% vs 12.8%; P < .001). Younger and older patients had similar rates of perioperative stroke/death (2% vs 2%, p= NS) and post-operative neurologic events (1.9% vs 1.8%, p = NS). However, younger patients had lower rates of overall postoperative complications compared to their older counterparts (3.7% vs 4.7%, p<.001). 72.6% of patients had recorded follow-up (mean 13 months). During follow-up, younger patients were significantly more likely than older patients to experience a late failure, defined as significant (≥80%) restenosis or complete occlusion of the operated artery (2.4% vs 1.5%, p <.001) and were more likely to experience any neurologic event (3.1% vs 2.3%, p<.001). Re-intervention rates did not significantly differ between the two cohorts. After controlling for co-variates using a logistic regression model, age ≤ 55 years was independently associated with increased odds of late re-stenosis/occlusion (OR 1.591, 95% CI 1.221-2.073, p<.001) as well as late neurologic events (OR 1.304, 95% CI 1.079-1.576, p = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS:Young patients undergoing CEA are more likely to be African American, female, and active smokers. They are more likely to present symptomatically and undergo non-elective CEA. Although perioperative outcomes are similar, younger patients are more likely to experience carotid occlusion or restenosis as well as subsequent neurological events, during relatively short follow-up. These data suggest that younger CEA patients may require more diligent follow-up, and a continued aggressive approach to medical management of atherosclerosis to prevent future events related to the operated artery, given the particularly aggressive nature of premature atherosclerosis.
Aortobifemoral reconstruction in open AAA repair is associated with increased morbidity and mortality
OBJECTIVE:Much attention has been given to the influence of anatomic and technical factors, such as maximum abdominal aortic aneurysm diameter and proximal clamp position, in open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (OSR). However, no studies have rigorously examined the correlation between site of distal anastomosis and OSR outcomes despite conventional wisdom that more proximal sites of anastomosis are preferrable when technically feasible. This study aimed to test the association between sites of distal anastomosis and clinical outcomes for patients undergoing primary elective OSR. METHODS:Our study included 5683 patients undergoing primary elective OSR at 233 centers from 2014 to 2020. Using a variety of statistical methods to account for potential confounders, including multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards modeling, as well as subgroup analysis, we examined the association between site of distal anastomosis and clinical outcomes in elective OSR. Primary outcomes were major in-hospital complication rate, 30-day mortality, and long-term survival. RESULTS:Patients undergoing elective aortobifemoral reconstruction (n = 672) exhibited significantly increased rates of smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and peripheral artery disease in comparison to patients undergoing elective OSR with distal anastomosis to the aorta (n = 2298), common iliac artery (n = 2163), or external iliac artery (n = 550). Patients undergoing aorto-aortic tube grafting were significantly less likely to exhibit iliac aneurysmal disease and significantly more likely to be undergoing elective OSR with a suprarenal or supraceliac proximal clamp position. Using multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards analysis to control for important confounders, such as age, smoking status, and medical history, we found that distal anastomosis to the common femoral artery was associated with increased odds of major in-hospital complications (adjusted odds ratio, 1.79; 95% confidence interval, 1.46-2.18; P < .001) and reduced long-term survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-1.89; P = .010). We observed no significant differences in 30-day mortality across sites of distal anastomosis in our study population. CONCLUSIONS:It is generally accepted that more proximal sites of distal anastomosis should be selected in OSR when technically feasible. Our findings support this hypothesis by demonstrating that distal anastomosis to the common femoral artery is associated with increased perioperative morbidity and reduced long-term survival. Careful diligence regarding optimization of preoperative health status, perioperative care, and long-term follow-up should be applied to mitigate major complications in this patient population.