Author Interviews, Heart Disease, NYU, Surgical Research / 19.03.2017 Interview with: Adam Skolnick, MD Cardiologist Associate professor of medicine NYU Langone Medical Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I am privileged to serve on the ACC Program Planning Committee and helped to design this important session that seeks to determine the line between when a cardiovascular procedure is high risk and when it is futile.    I am co-chairing the session with the incoming chair of the section on Geriatric Cardiology for the ACC, Dr. Karen Alexander from Duke. We are practicing medicine at one of the most extraordinary times when there are so many devices and procedures to prolong and improve quality of life.    It is critical to assess a patient's goals of care for a given intervention.   In some patients, particularly those who are multiple degenerative chronic conditions, are frail and/or have cognitive impairment it is difficult to know when a given procedure multiple medical conditions will achieve a patient's goals.   When is a procedure high risk, and when is it simply futile?    This is the fine line upon which many cardiologists often find themselves. The speakers present case examples of high risk patients considering TAVI, high risk PCI or CABG and mechanical support devices and with interaction from the audience work through when each procedure is high risk and when it is unlikely to achieve a patient's goals of care.   We also have a dedicated talk on high risk procedures in patients with cognitive impairment, such as advanced dementia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JACC, Stanford / 27.01.2017 Interview with: Fumiaki Ikeno M.D. Program Director (U.S.) Japan Biodesign Stanford Biodesign Medical Director/Research Associate Experimental Interventional Laboratory Division of Cardiology Stanford University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We sought to determine whether the extent of coronary disease in terms of the number of lesions and their complexity in Type 2 Diabetes patients could predict major cardiovascular events, and hypothesized that revascularization would have greater effectiveness relative to medical therapy among patients with more number of lesions and higher complexity in coronary artery disease. Coronary bypass surgery, catheter-based treatment, and medical therapy all had similar cardiovascular outcomes among patients with less complexity of coronary artery disease who had type 2 diabetes mellitus, stable ischemic heart disease, and no prior coronary revascularization. Among patients with mid or high complexity coronary artery disease, coronary revascularization with bypass surgery significantly reduced the rate of major cardiovascular events during 5 years of follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 19.09.2016 Interview with: Nish Patel, MD and Nileshkumar J. Patel, MD University of Miami Miller School of Medicine What is the background for this study? Response: Out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is estimated to affect approximately 300,000 people in the United States annually. Pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) contributes 23-54% of OHCA patients, with the median values at the lower end of this range. Coronary artery disease is thought to be responsible for up to 70% of these OHCA cases. It has been suggested that urgent coronary intervention in unconscious patients after cardiac arrest may improve survival. In the 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines, coronary angiography is recommended in patients with OHCA patients with a suspected cardiac etiology and ST elevations (STE) on ECG (Class of recommendation I, Level of evidence B), and it should be considered in patients after cardiac arrest presenting without STE but with suspected cardiac etiology of cardiac arrest (Class of recommendation II a, Level of evidence B). However, there is paucity of information about the use of coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and its potential benefit for the VT/VF OHCA patient population. Therefore, we reviewed the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), to examine temporal trends of coronary angiography and PCI in VT/VF OHCA in the United States, for patients with and without STE. We also studied the temporal trends of survival to discharge in these patient populations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease / 08.09.2016 Interview with: Dr. Juan Sanchis Full professor of Medicine Cardiology Department, University Clinic Hospital. Medicine Department, University of Valencia Valencia. Spain What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Decision making in acute chest pain in the emergency departments remains challenging despite the introduction of new troponin assays (high-sensitivity assays) capable of detecting any amount of myocardial damage. The upper limit of normality of high-sensitivity troponin is established at the 99th percentile of a normal reference population. This is the limit for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infraction. Detectable troponin levels below the 99th percentile, though non diagnostic of acute myocardial infarction, might be considered as of uncertain significance since some patients might still suffer from unstable angina. Undetectable troponin (far below the 99th percentile), however, could rule out unstable angina meaning that such patients could safely be discharged from the emergency department according to some studies. Therefore, if this were fully demonstrated, clinical evaluation could play a secondary role. We investigated clinical data in comparison to undetectable high-sensitivity troponin in patients with normal high-senstivity troponin levels (below the 99th percentile). The main findings indicate that clinical data can guide decision making and perform at least equally well as undetectable high-sensitivity troponin for ruling out unstable angina, in patients presenting at the emergency department with chest pain and normal troponin. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, HIV, JAMA / 31.05.2016 Interview with: Steven Grinspoon, MD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School MGH Endowed Chair in Neuroendocrinology and Metabolism Director, MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism and Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard MGH Boston, MA 02114 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Grinspoon: Numerous epidemiologic studies have shown that people living with HIV face a 1.5 to 2-fold increased risk of heart attack, or myocardial infarction, as compared to individuals without the virus. Mechanisms underlying the increased risk of myocardial infarction in HIV are incompletely understood. It is possible that among people living with HIV, increased systemic immune activation fuels arterial inflammation. Arterial inflammation may, in turn, promote the development of high-risk morphology coronary atherosclerotic plaque, which is liable to rupture and result in myocardial infarction. For people diagnosed with HIV, the overall health benefits of immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) are clear. However, the effects of newly-initiated antiretroviral therapy on arterial inflammation have not previously been studied. In this study, we set out to assess among a cohort of treatment-naive HIV-infected subjects, the effects of newly-initiated ART with a contemporary regimen on both immune function and arterial inflammation. We found that among treatment-naive HIV-infected individuals without clinical cardiovascular disease, newly initiated combined antiretroviral therapy has discordant effects to restore immune function without reducing the degree of arterial inflammation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Radiology / 15.01.2016

More on Heart Disease on Interview with: John Nance, MD Division of Cardiovascular Imaging, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, South Carolina  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Nance: There are known ethnic and racial disparities in the burden, morbidity, and mortality of cardiovascular disease. The causes, of course, are multifactorial, and range from genetic differences to healthcare access issues. Our goal was to further explore these differences by utilize a dataset encompassing black and white patients who had undergone a coronary CT angiogram for the assessment of acute chest pain. We compared various measures of myocardial morphology and function, namely myocardial mass, interventricular septal wall thickness, left ventricular inner diameter in diastole and systole, and ejection fraction. We found that black patients had significantly higher myocardial mass than whites despite adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and hypertension. Likewise, the septal wall was thicker in black patients. Interestingly, ejection fraction was slightly lower in black patients, but this finding was not statistically significant.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 18.08.2014 Interview with: Sylvie S.L. Leung Yinko, RD MSc Epidemiology '14 Division of Clinical Epidemiology Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) Montreal (QC) H3A 1A1 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Our study indicates that young female patients with premature acute coronary syndrome (ACS) have lower health-related quality of life (HRQL) than their male counterparts. Whereas “sex” refers to whether an individual is biologically male or female, “gender” is a more complex term that refers to social norms, roles, and expectations that are traditionally ascribed to males and females in a society. We found that gender, rather than sex, may larger explain the differences in health-related quality of life between men and women. Particularly, higher femininity score, lower social support and greater housework responsibilities appear to be important gender-related factors linked with poorer HRQL post-ACS. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 22.02.2014

Carlos A. Morillo, MD, FRCPC, FACC, FHRS, FESC
 Professor Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division
 Program Director Cardiac Electrophysiology and Autonomic Physiology Fellowship
 Arrhythmia & Pacing Service McMaster University-HHSC
 Director Syncope and Autonomic Disorder Unit
 Senior Investigator, Arrhythmia & Global Health, Population Health Research Institute
 Hamilton, ON, Interview with: Carlos A. Morillo, MD, FRCPC, FACC, FHRS, FESC
 Professor Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division Program Director Cardiac Electrophysiology and Autonomic Physiology Fellowship
,Hamilton, ON, Canada What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Morillo: The main findings were that Ablation of atrial fibrillation was superior to conventional antiarrythmic drug therapy in patients with Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation that had not been treated with Antiarrhythmic medications. Ablation extended the time to first recurrence of atrial fibrillation within the 2 year follow-up of the study and significantly reduced the  recurrence of repeated episodes of AF. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 19.02.2014

Sammy Elmariah, MD, MPH Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Interview with: Sammy Elmariah, MD, MPH Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Elmariah: Within the randomized PARTNER I trial, we evaluated the effect of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction on clinical outcomes after transcatheter and surgical aortic valve replacement (TAVR and SAVR, respectively) and the impact of valve replacement technique on recovery of LV function. We found that LV dysfunction, defined as an LV ejection fraction < 50%, had no impact on 30-day and 1-year mortality after either TAVR or SAVR. In those with baseline LV dysfunction, marked improvement in LV ejection fraction was observed within 30-days of valve replacement in approximately half of patients, with an equivalent degree of improvement observed after TAVR and SAVR. Permanent pacemaker at study entry, low mean aortic valve gradient, and high LV ejection fraction were associated with reduced odds of LV functional recovery after valve replacement. (more…)