Comparison of Clinical and Electrocardiographic Predictors of Ischemic and Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy During the Initial Evaluation of Patients With Reduced (=40%) Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction
Invasive coronary angiography is routinely performed during the initial evaluation of patients with suspected cardiomyopathy with reduced left ventricular function. Clinical and electrocardiographic (ECG) data may accurately predict ischemic cardiomyopathy (IC). Medical records of adults referred for coronary angiography for evaluation of left ventricular ejection fraction =40% from 2010 to 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with myocardial infarction (MI), previous coronary revascularization, cardiac surgery, or left-sided valvular disease were excluded. IC was defined as >/=70% diameter stenosis of the left main, proximal left anterior descending, or involvement of >/=2 epicardial coronary arteries. A risk model was developed from logistic regression coefficients, with a dichotomous cut-point based on the maximal Youden's index from the receiver-operating characteristic curve. A total of 273 patients met study inclusion criteria. Mean age was 56.8 +/- 11.6 and 68.1% were men. IC was identified in 41 patients (15%). Patients with IC were more likely to have ECG evidence of Q-wave MI (34% vs 13%, p <0.001) and less likely to have left bundle branch block (2% vs 15%, p = 0.03) than non-IC. A model including age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, ECG evidence of ST or T-wave abnormalities concerning for ischemia, and previous Q-wave MI, yielded a 95% negative predictive value for IC. In conclusion, at an urban referral hospital, the prevalence of IC was low. Left bundle branch block on electrocardiography was rarely associated with IC. A risk score incorporating clinical and ECG abnormalities identified patients at a low likelihood for IC.
Electrophysiologic similarities of overdose between digoxin and bufadienolides found in a Chinese aphrodisiac
Classically derived from toad venom, bufadienolides are a group of cardioactive steroids with properties similar to digoxin. Some traditional Chinese medications, including several aphrodisiacs, contain bufadienolides. Owing to their physiologic similarities to digoxin, bufadienolides have been shown to produce a toxic profile similar to that of digoxin and there have been multiple case reports of the use of these aphrodisiacs resulting in death. This report will describe a case that illustrates the electrophysiologic similarities between bufadienolide toxicity and digoxin toxicity as well as the treatment of bufadienolide toxicity.
Electrocardiographic features of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most common cause of epilepsy-related mortality. We hypothesized that electrocardiography (ECG) features may distinguish SUDEP cases from living subjects with epilepsy. Using a matched case-control design, we compared ECG studies of 12 consecutive cases of SUDEP over 10 years and 22 epilepsy controls matched for age, sex, epilepsy type (focal, generalized, or unknown/mixed type), concomitant antiepileptic, and psychotropic drug classes. Conduction intervals and prevalence of abnormal ventricular conduction diagnosis (QRS >/=110 msec), abnormal ventricular conduction pattern (QRS <110 msec, morphology of incomplete right or left bundle branch block or intraventricular conduction delay), early repolarization, and features of inherited cardiac channelopathies were assessed. Abnormal ventricular conduction diagnosis and pattern distinguished SUDEP cases from matched controls. Abnormal ventricular conduction diagnosis was present in two cases and no controls. Abnormal ventricular conduction pattern was more common in cases than controls (58% vs. 18%, p = 0.04). Early repolarization was similarly prevalent in cases and controls, but the overall prevalence exceeded that of published community-based cohorts.
Transient right bundle branch block: A rare manifestation in cardiac contusion
Transient right bundle branch block following blunt cardiac injury is a known but under-recognized manifestation of cardiac contusion. The first case documented in the medical literature occurred in 1952 in a 22-year-old man who was thrown from a motorcycle. Due to their relatively anterior location, the right ventricle and right bundle branch are at particular risk of injury in contusion. We present here a case in which a 24-year-old man suffered a blunt chest trauma leading to a right bundle branch block and elevated troponin levels, consistent with cardiac contusion. His conduction system abnormalities rapidly resolved and he recovered completely, with no clinical sequelae. <Learning objective: Cardiac contusion is a heterogeneous syndrome with widely variable clinical manifestations and severity. Transient right bundle branch block has been described as a self-limited and benign manifestation of cardiac contusion. This case highlights the need for a better understanding of the natural history and predictors of serious complications of cardiac contusion, which can aid in determining appropriate diagnostic studies, risk stratification, and treatment.>.
Facilitating the transition from physiology to hospital wards through an interdisciplinary case study of septic shock
BACKGROUND: In order to develop clinical reasoning, medical students must be able to integrate knowledge across traditional subject boundaries and multiple disciplines. At least two dimensions of integration have been identified: horizontal integration, bringing together different disciplines in considering a topic; and vertical integration, bridging basic science and clinical practice. Much attention has been focused on curriculum overhauls, but our approach is to facilitate horizontal and vertical integration on a smaller scale through an interdisciplinary case study discussion and then to assess its utility. METHODS: An interdisciplinary case study discussion about a critically ill patient was implemented at the end of an organ system-based, basic sciences module at New York University School of Medicine. Three clinical specialists-a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, and a nephrologist-jointly led a discussion about a complex patient in the intensive care unit with multiple medical problems secondary to septic shock. The discussion emphasized the physiologic underpinnings behind the patient's presentation and the physiologic considerations across the various systems in determining proper treatment. The discussion also highlighted the interdependence between the cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal systems, which were initially presented in separate units. After the session students were given a brief, anonymous three-question free-response questionnaire in which they were asked to evaluate and freely comment on the exercise. RESULTS: Students not only took away physiological principles but also gained an appreciation for various thematic lessons for bringing basic science to the bedside, especially horizontal and vertical integration. The response of the participants was overwhelmingly positive with many indicating that the exercise integrated the material across organ systems, and strengthened their appreciation of the role of physiology in understanding disease presentations and guiding appropriate therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Horizontal and vertical integration can be presented effectively through a single-session case study, with complex patient cases involving multiple organ systems providing students opportunities to integrate their knowledge across organ systems while emphasizing the importance of physiology in clinical reasoning. Furthermore, having several clinicians from different specialties discuss the case together can reinforce the matter of integration across multiple organ systems and disciplines in students' minds.
Electrocardiographic predictors of adverse cardiovascular events in suspected poisoning
Poisoning is the second leading cause of injury-related fatality in the USA and the leading cause of cardiac arrest in victims under 40 years of age. The study objective was to define the electrocardiographic (ECG) predictors of adverse cardiovascular events (ACVE) complicating suspected acute poisoning (SAP). This was a case-control study in adults at three tertiary-care hospitals and one regional Poison Control Center. We compared 34 cases of SAP complicated by ACVE to 101 consecutive control patients with uncomplicated SAP. The initial ECG was analyzed for rhythm, intervals, QT dispersion, ischemia, and infarction. ECGs were interpreted by a cardiologist, blinded to study hypothesis and case data. Subjects were 48% male, with mean age 42 +/- 19 years. In addition to clinical suspicion of poisoning in 100% of patients, routine toxicology screens were positive in 77%, most commonly for benzodiazepines, opioids, and/or acetaminophen. Neither the ventricular rate, the QRS duration, nor the presence of infarction predicted the risk of ACVE. However, the rhythm, QTc, QT dispersion, and presence of ischemia correlated with the risk of ACVE. Independent predictors of ACVE based on multivariable logistic regression were prolonged QTc, any non-sinus rhythm, ventricular ectopy, and ischemia. Recursive partitioning analysis identified very low risk criteria (94.1% sensitivity, 96.2% NPV) and high risk criteria (95% specificity). Among patients with SAP, the presence of QTc prolongation, QT dispersion, ventricular ectopy, any non-sinus rhythm, and evidence of ischemia on the initial ECG are strongly associated with ACVE
Hypersensitivity myocarditis associated with azithromycin exposure [Letter]
Factors associated with adverse cardiovascular events among patients with suspected acute poisoning [Meeting Abstract]
Are transthoracic echocardlographic parameters associated with atrial fibrillation recurrence or stroke? - Results from the atrial fibrillation follow-up investigation of rhythm management (AFFIRM) study
OBJECTIVES The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations of transthoracic echocardlographic parameters with recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF) and/or stroke. BACKGROUND The Atrial Fibrillation Follow-up Investigation of Rhythm Management (AFFIRM) study, an evaluation of elderly patients with AF at risk for stroke, provided an opportunity to evaluate the implications of echocardiographic parameters in patients with AF. METHODS Transthoracic echocardiographic measures of mitral regurgitation (MR), left atrial (LA) diameter, and left ventricular (LV) function were evaluated in the AFFIRM rate- and rhythm-control patients who had sinus rhythm resume and had these data available. Risk for recurrent AF or stroke was evaluated with respect to transthoracic echocardiographic measures. RESULTS Of 2,474 patients studied, 457 had >= 2(+)/4(+) MR, and 726 had a LA diameter > 4.5 cm. The LV ejection fraction was abnormal in 543 patients. The cumulative probabilities of at least one AF recurrence/stroke were 46%/1% after 1 year and 84%/5% by the end of the trial (> 5 years), respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that randomization to the rhythm-control arm (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.64; p < 0.0001) and a qualifying episode of AF being the first known episode (HR = 0.70; p < 0.0001) were associated with decreased risk. Duration of qualifying AF episode > 48 h (HR = 1.55; p < 0.0001) and LA diameter (p = 0.008) were associated with an increased risk of recurrent AF. Recurrent AF was more likely with larger LA diameters (FIR = 1.21, 1.16, and 1.32 for mild, moderate, and severe enlargement, respectively). No transthoracic echocardiographic measures were associated with risk of stroke. CONCLUSIONS In the AFFIRM study, large transthoracic echocardiographic LA diameters were associated with recurrent AF, but no measured echocardiographic parameter was associated with stroke. (c) 2005 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation
Clinical factors associated with abandonment of a rate-control or a rhythm-control strategy for the management of atrial fibrillation in the AFFIRM study
OBJECTIVE:The objective of the current study was to determine the clinical factors that were associated with abandonment of a rate-control or a rhythm-control strategy in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). BACKGROUND:Although the AFFIRM Study demonstrated that outcomes are similar with a primary strategy of rate-control or rhythm-control for AF, there may be clinical or demographic factors associated with abandonment of the initial treatment strategy. Knowledge of these risk factors would be useful so that patients may be given appropriate initial therapy and, as appropriate, switched to alternative treatments earlier. METHODS:Patients in the AFFIRM Study were subdivided into those who were maintained on their initial treatment strategy versus those who abandoned initial treatment strategy for alternative therapies. We determined the clinical and demographic factors associated with change in initial treatment strategy. RESULTS:At 5 years the original treatment strategy was maintained in 85% of the patients in the rate-control arm versus 62% of those in the rhythm-control arm (P <.0001). Length of the qualifying episode of AF was associated with abandonment of both rhythm-control and rate-control strategies. Antiarrhythmic drug failure before randomization and a history of thyroid disease also were associated with abandonment of rhythm-control. Patients were more likely to maintain rate-control if they already had an implanted pacemaker or if they were older than 75 years, while an ejection fraction <30% was associated with abandonment of the rate-control strategy. CONCLUSIONS:In patients with AF, rhythm-control strategies are abandoned significantly more often than rate-control strategies. Patients with long durations of AF on presentation or previous antiarrhythmic drug failure might be considered for rate-control as initial treatment.