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Vasospastic angina is extremely uncommon for adolescents to experience chest discomfort, which is defined by transitory ST segment elevation or depression and angina symptoms that occur while at rest. It may result in potentially fatal conditions like myocardial infarction, ventricular fibrillation, or even sudden cardiac arrest. To aim of this article is to report a very rare case of a 17-year-old male Afghan refugee who was diagnosed with vasospastic angina after presenting with chest pain, and after receiving calcium channel blocker and nitrates for medical therapy, there were no angina attacks. Our case underlines the value of a thorough evaluation of adolescent’s chest pain, the need to diagnose based on the symptoms, and the necessity of performing coronary angiography to rule out coronary causes when there is a high suspicion to a cardiac cause.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2020 guidelines propose an algorithm for in-hospital management of non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) based on risk stratification according to clinical, electrocardiographic, and biological data. However, out-of-hospital management is not codified.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the role of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin-I in out-of-hospital management of NSTEMI by Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
This monocentric, retrospective, observational study analyzed the files of all patients having received a troponin assay in the EMS of Beaujon University Hospital, AP-HP (Paris region, France) from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Patients were classified as low risk, high risk, or very high risk according to the ESC 2020 algorithm at the time of their hospital treatment. The relationship between troponin in point-of-care and risk level according to time to onset of pain was analyzed using logistic regression. A search for predictors of risk level was performed using multivariate analysis. A P value <.05 was considered significant.
Out of 309 patients in the file, 233 were included. Men were 61% and the median age was 63 years. A positive troponin assay was associated with high-risk or very high-risk stratification regardless of the time to onset of pain (P <.0001). Predictive factors for being classified as high or very high risk in hospital were: a history of atrial fibrillation (P = .03), electrocardiogram (ECG) modifications such as negative T wave or ST-segment depression (P <.0001), and positive troponin (P <.0001).
The use of point-of-care troponin in EMS, combined with clinical and electrical criteria, allows risk stratification of NSTEMI patients from the prehospital management stage and optimization of referral to an appropriate care pathway. Patients classified as low risk should be referred to the emergency department (ED) and patients classified as high risk or very high risk to the cardiac intensive care unit or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) center.
Research in cardiac care has identified significant gender-based differences across many outcomes. Women with heart disease are less likely both to be diagnosed and to receive standard care. Gender-based disparities in the prehospital setting are under-researched, but they were found to exist within rates of 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) acquisition within one urban Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency.
This study evaluates the quality improvement (QI) initiative that was implemented in that agency to raise overall rates of 12-lead ECG acquisition and reduce the gap in acquisition rates between men and women.
This QI project included two interventions: revised indications for 12-lead acquisition, and training that highlighted sex- and gender-based differences relevant to patient care. To evaluate this project, a retrospective database review identified all patient contacts that potentially involved cardiac assessment over 18 months. The primary outcome was the rate of 12-lead acquisition among patients with qualifying complaints. This was assessed by mean rates of acquisition in before and after periods, as well as segmented regression in an interrupted time series. Secondary outcomes included differences in rates of 12-lead acquisition, both overall and in individual complaint categories, each compared between men/women and before/after the interventions.
Among patients with qualifying complaints, the mean rate of 12-lead acquisition in the lead-in period was 22.5% (95% CI, 21.8% - 23.2%) with no discernible trend. The protocol change and training were each associated with a significant absolute level increase in the acquisition rate: 2.09% (95% CI, 0.21% - 4.0%; P = .03) and 3.2% (95% CI, 1.18% - 5.22%; P = .003), respectively. When compared by gender and time period, women received fewer 12-leads than men overall, and more 12-leads were acquired after the interventions than before. There were also significant interactions between gender and period, both overall (2.8%; 95% CI, 1.9% - 3.6%; P < .0001) and in all complaint categories except falls and heart problems.
This QI project resulted in an increase in 12-leads acquired. Pre-existing gaps in rates of acquisition between men and women were reduced but did not disappear. On-going research is examining the reasons behind these differences from the perspective of prehospital providers.
There is evidence to suggest that patients delayed seeking urgent medical care during the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A delay in health-seeking behavior could increase the disease severity of patients in the prehospital setting. The combination of COVID-19-related missions and augmented disease severity in the prehospital environment could result in an increase in the number and severity of physician-staffed prehospital interventions, potentially putting a strain on this highly specialized service.
The aim was to investigate if the COVID-19 pandemic influences the frequency of physician-staffed prehospital interventions, prehospital mortality, illness severity during prehospital interventions, and the distribution in the prehospital diagnoses.
A retrospective, multicenter cohort study was conducted on prehospital charts from March 14, 2020 through April 30, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, in an urban area. Recorded data included demographics, prehospital diagnosis, physiological parameters, mortality, and COVID-status. A modified National Health Service (NHS) National Early Warning Score (NEWS) was calculated for each intervention to assess for disease severity. Data were analyzed with univariate and descriptive statistics.
There was a 31% decrease in physician-staffed prehospital interventions during the period under investigation in 2020 as compared to 2019 (2019: 644 missions and 2020: 446 missions), with an increase in prehospital mortality (OR = 0.646; 95% CI, 0.435 – 0.959). During the study period, there was a marked decrease in the low and medium NEWS groups, respectively, with an OR of 1.366 (95% CI, 1.036 – 1.802) and 1.376 (0.987 – 1.920). A small increase was seen in the high NEWS group, with an OR of 0.804 (95% CI, 0.566 – 1.140); 2019: 80 (13.67%) and 2020: 69 (16.46%). With an overall decrease in cases in all diagnostic categories, a significant increase was observed for respiratory illness (31%; P = .004) and cardiac arrest (54%; P < .001), combined with a significant decrease for intoxications (-58%; P = .007). Due to the national test strategy at that time, a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result was available in only 125 (30%) patients, of which 20 (16%) were positive.
The frequency of physician-staffed prehospital interventions decreased significantly. There was a marked reduction in interventions for lower illness severity and an increase in higher illness severity and mortality. Further investigation is needed to fully understand the reasons for these changes.
The clinical value of the identification of mood disorders in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is well established. However, assessment based on DSM criteria presents some limitations. This study aimed to provide an innovative strategy for evaluating the spectrum of mood disturbances in ACS.
A total of 288 patients with a first episode of ACS underwent interviews based on DSM-IV-TR criteria (major depressive disorder, minor depression, and dysthymia), Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research-DCPR (demoralization and type A behavior), and the Clinical Interview for Depression-CID. Additional self-report inventories (psychological well-being and distress) were administered. A total of 100 consecutive patients who satisfied criteria for DSM-IV-TR depression or DCPR demoralization were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial on a sequential combination of cognitive-behavioral and well-being therapy (CBT/WBT) vs clinical management (CM) and reassessed up to 30-month post-intervention.
A total of 29.9% of patients showed a DSM-IV-TR depressive syndrome. Inclusion of demoralization and type A identified psychological distress in 58% of the sample. According to CID, reactivity to social environment, fatigue, depressed mood, and somatic anxiety were the most common symptoms. Somatic symptoms were significantly associated with DSM-IV-TR depression (fatigue and changes of appetite), whereas environmental reactivity with demoralization. Both depression and demoralization were associated with higher distress and lower well-being. Unlike CM, CBT/WBT was significantly associated with decrease of guilt, pessimism, fatigue, and early insomnia (CID).
The findings indicate that standard psychiatric approach identifies only a narrow part of mood disturbances affecting ACS patients. A more articulated assessment unravels specific clinical configurations that may entail prognostic and therapeutic implications.
Associations between meat consumption and heart disease have been assessed in several studies, but it has been suggested that other dietary factors influence these associations. The aim of the present study was to assess whether meat consumption is associated with ischaemic heart disease (IHD), and if the association is modified by dietary quality. The analyses were based on the cohort of adult participants in the Danish National Survey on Diet and Physical Activity in 2000–2002, 2003–2008 and 2011–2013. From these surveys, information on meat consumption and dietary quality was extracted. The cohort was followed in national registers to identify incident IHD. Associations were estimated using Cox regression analyses adjusting for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors. Analyses of associations between meat consumption and IHD stratified by dietary quality were subsequently evaluated. Among the 8007 participants, the median follow-up was 9·8 years and 439 cases of IHD were recorded. The results suggested a trend between consumption increments of 100 g/d of red meat (hazard ratio (HR) = 1·23; 95 % CI 0·99, 1·53) or of 50 g/d of processed meat (HR = 1·09; 95 % CI 0·93, 1·29) and higher risk of IHD. The trends were, however, not statistically significant. Stratification by dietary quality did not suggest that associations between meat consumption and risk of IHD were modified by dietary quality. This population-based cohort study with detailed dietary information suggested a trend with higher meat consumption being associated with higher risk of IHD, but the association was not statistically significant. Results did not indicate that dietary quality modifies such associations.
Hypereosinophilic syndrome is defined as persistent eosinophilia in the blood for more than 6 months, without any identifiable cause and with end-organ involvement evidence. Cardiac manifestations of HES include heart failure due to restrictive cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, intraventricular thrombosis, and coronary artery involvement occurs frequently. In rare instances, coronary ectasia, aneurysms, or dissection can occur and cause morbidity and mortality in these patients.
A coronary aneurysm occurs rarely in adult patients with HES but to our knowledge, this is the first report of this association in a 14-year-old boy who was presented to us as coronary aneurysm due to hypereosinophilic syndrome.
Depression and coronary heart disease (CHD) are highly comorbid conditions. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in cardiovascular processes. Depressed patients typically show decreased BDNF concentrations. We analysed the relationship between BDNF and depression in a sample of patients with CHD and additionally distinguished between cognitive-affective and somatic depression symptoms. We also investigated whether BDNF was associated with somatic comorbidity burden, acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or congestive heart failure (CHF).
The following variables were assessed for 225 hospitalised patients with CHD: BDNF concentrations, depression [Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)], somatic comorbidity (Charlson Comorbidity Index), CHF, ACS, platelet count, smoking status and antidepressant treatment.
Regression models revealed that BDNF was not associated with severity of depression. Although depressed patients (PHQ-9 score >7) had significantly lower BDNF concentrations compared to non-depressed patients (p = 0.04), this was not statistically significant after controlling for confounders (p = 0.15). Cognitive-affective symptoms and somatic comorbidity burden each closely missed a statistically significant association with BDNF concentrations (p = 0.08, p = 0.06, respectively). BDNF was reduced in patients with CHF (p = 0.02). There was no covariate-adjusted, significant association between BDNF and ACS.
Serum BDNF concentrations are associated with cardiovascular dysfunction. Somatic comorbidities should be considered when investigating the relationship between depression and BDNF.
Myocarditis and coronary artery anomalies are both potentially life-threatening aetiologies of cardiac chest pain in children. We present a case of a young man presenting with non-exertional chest pain and subsequently found to have an anomalous origin of the right coronary artery from the left coronary sinus with an interarterial course in addition to a diagnosis of myocarditis. The patient subsequently was able to undergo surgical correction of his anomalous coronary to mitigate the risk of sudden cardiac death.
Chest pain is one of the most common reasons for 999 calls and transfers to the emergency department (ED). In these patients, acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is often the diagnosis that clinicians are seeking to exclude. However, only a minority of those patients have AMI, causing a substantial financial burden to health services. Cardiac troponin (cTn) is the reference standard biomarker for the diagnosis of AMI. Several commercially available point-of-care (POC) cTn assays are portable and could feasibly be used in an ambulance. The aim of this paper is to systematically review existing evidence for the use of POC cTn assays in the prehospital setting to rule out AMI.
A systematic search was conducted on EMBASE, MEDLINE, and CINAHL Plus databases, reference lists, and relevant grey literature, including combinations of the relevant terms. Papers published in English language since the year 2000 were eligible for inclusion. A narrative synthesis of the evidence was then undertaken.
The initial search and cross-referencing revealed a total of 350 papers, of which 243 were excluded. Seven papers were included in the systematic literature review.
Current evidence does not support the use of POC troponin assays to exclude AMI due to issues with diagnostic accuracy and insufficient high-quality evidence.
Both 1- and 2-hour rapid diagnostic algorithms using high-sensitivity troponin (hs-cTn) have been validated to diagnose acute myocardial infarction (MI), leaving physicians uncertain which algorithm is preferable. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the diagnostic performance of 1- and 2-hour algorithms in clinical practice in a Canadian emergency department (ED).
ED patients with chest pain had high-sensitivity cardiac troponin-T (hs-cTnT) collected on presentation and 1- and 2-hours later at a single academic centre over a 2-year period. The primary outcome was index MI, and the secondary outcome was 30-day major adverse cardiac events (MACE). All outcomes were adjudicated.
We enrolled 608 patients undergoing serial hs-cTnT sampling. Of these, 350 had a valid 1-hour and 550 had a 2-hour hs-cTnT sample. Index MI and 30-day MACE prevalence was ~12% and 14%. Sensitivity of the 1- and 2-hour algorithms was similar for index MI 97.3% (95% CI: 85.8–99.9%) and 100% (95% CI: 91.6–100%) and 30-day MACE: 80.9% (95% CI: 66.7–90.9%) and 83.3% (95% CI: 73.2–90.8%), respectively. Both algorithms accurately identified about 10% of patients as high risk.
Both algorithms were able to classify almost two-thirds of patients as low risk, effectively ruling out MI and conferring a low risk of 30-day MACE for this group, while reliably identifying high-risk patients. While both algorithms had equivalent diagnostic performance, the 2-hour algorithm offers several practical advantages, which may make it preferable to implement. Broad implementation of similar algorithms across Canada can expedite patient disposition and lead to resource savings.
Prescribing in cardiology emergencies can be confusing for the new prescriber. With clear, step-by-step instructions for managing the most common presentations, including acute coronary syndromes, acute severe pulmonary oedema and arrhythmias, the authors simplify and improve the accessibility of this subject for all healthcare professionals.
Fifty years have passed since the first report of Kawasaki disease in 1967, and the prevalence of acute coronary syndrome in Kawasaki disease patients with coronary artery lesions exceeding 40 years old has increased. Primary coronary stent implantation is currently an acceptable method in ischaemic coronary heart disease in adults. However, it is unknown whether the stent implantation is effective or not in this population. As the clue to answer this question, I reviewed the references on Kawasaki disease patients who underwent the stent implantations between 1997 and 2019. Thirty-three patients underwent stent implantations for 34 coronary arteries. Adverse effects in the late period were found in 19 (68%) of 28 vessels with follow-up angiograms. There were complete occlusion 9, restenosis 8, and migration 2. A new aneurysm formation was found in 7 (37%) among the 19 vessels, and 6 (86%) of the 7 vessels were drug-eluting stent and 5 were found after the procedure for chronic total occlusion. The adverse effects free-rate at 1 year and 3 years were 57 and 25%, respectively. At present, the usefulness of stent implantation in the long-term results was scarce. Even if primary percutaneous coronary intervention without a stent implantation is performed for acute coronary syndrome, it can be expected to maintain the patency of the culprit lesion for several years. It is better to avoid a stent implantation as long as possible in this population. Knowing the long-term efficacy and complications of stent implantations is important for deciding the procedure.
The aims of this study are (1) to evaluate the performance of current triage for chest pain; (2) to describe the case mix of patients undergoing triage for chest pain; and (3) to identify opportunities to improve performance of current Dutch triage system for chest pain. Chest pain is a common symptom, and identifying patients with chest pain that require urgent care can be quite challenging. Making the correct assessment is even harder during telephone triage. Temporal trends show that the referral threshold has lowered over time, resulting in overcrowding of first responders and emergency services. While various stakeholders advocate for a more efficient triage system, careful evaluation of the performance of the current triage in primary care is lacking. TRiage of Acute Chest pain Evaluation in primary care (TRACE) is a large cohort study designed to describe the current Dutch triage system for chest pain and subsequently evaluate triage performance in regard to clinical outcomes. The study consists of consecutive patients who contacted the out-of-hours primary care facility with chest pain in the region of Alkmaar, the Netherlands, in 2017, with follow-up for clinical outcomes out to August 2019. The primary outcome of interest is ‘major event’, which is defined as the occurrence of death from any cause, acute coronary syndrome, urgent coronary revascularization, or other high-risk diagnoses in which delay is inadmissible and hospitalization is necessary. We will evaluate the performance of the triage system by assessing the ability of the triage system to correctly classify patients regarding urgency (accuracy), the proportion of safe actions following triage (safety) as well as rightfully deployed ambulances (efficacy). TRACE is designed to describe the current Dutch triage system for chest pain in primary care and to subsequently evaluate triage performance in regard to clinical outcomes.
Depression and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are both extremely prevalent diseases. Studies aimed at evaluating whether depression is an independent risk factor for cardiac events provided no definitive results. In most of these studies, depression has been broadly defined with no differentiation between unipolar (MDD) versus bipolar forms (BD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of DSM-IV BD (bipolar I and bipolar II subtypes, cyclothymia), as well as temperamental or isolated bipolar features in a sample of 171 patients hospitalized for ACS. We also explored whether these psychopathological conditions were associated with some clinical characteristics of ACS.
Patients with ACS admitted to three neighboring Cardiac Intensive Care Units (CICUs) in a 12-month continuative period of time were eligible for inclusion if they met the criteria for either acute myocardial infarct with or without ST-segment elevation or unstable angina, verified by standard ACS criteria. All patients underwent standardized cardiological and psychopathological evaluations.
Of the 171 ACS patients enrolled, 37 patients (21.7%) were found to have a DSM-IV mood disorder. Of these, 20 (11.7%) had bipolar type I or type II or cyclothymia, while 17 (10%) were the cases of MDD. Rapid mood switches ranged from 11% of ACS patients with no mood disorders, to 47% of those with MDD to 55% of those with BD. Linear regression analysis showed that a diagnosis of BD (p = .023), but not that of MDD (p = .721), was associated with a significant younger age at the index episode of ACS. A history of previous coronary events was more frequent in ACS patients with BD than in those with MDD.
Our data indicate that bipolar features and diagnosis are frequent in ACS patients. Bipolar disorder has a negative impact on cardiac symptomatology. Further research in this area is warranted.
Early and accurate prediction of survival to hospital discharge following resuscitation after cardiac arrest (CA) is a major challenge. Biomarkers can be used for early and accurate prediction of survival and prognosis following resuscitation after CA, but none of those identified so far are sufficient by themselves.
The goal of this study was to investigate the predictive power of the serum copeptin level for determining the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and prognosis of patients with non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
A total of 76 consecutive consenting adult patients who were diagnosed as non-traumatic OHCA and 63 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled. The patients were divided into two groups based on whether or not they had ROSC. The ROSC group was divided into two sub-groups according to whether death occurred within 24 hours or after 24 hours following ROSC. Serum copeptin, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTnI), creatine kinase-muscle/brain (CK-MB), glucose, and blood gas values were compared between the groups.
Serum copeptin levels were significantly higher in the patient group than control group (P <.001). Receiving operator characteristic analysis revealed a cut-off copeptin level of 27.29pmol/L, with 98.7% sensitivity and 100.0% specificity, for distinguishing patients from controls. Serum copeptin levels were significantly lower in the ROSC group than non-ROSC group (P = .018). Additionally, the mean serum hs-cTnI level was significantly higher in the ROSC group than non-ROSC group (P = .032). However, there were no significant differences in the mean serum glucose level and CK-MB levels or arterial blood gas levels between the ROSC and non-ROSC groups (all P >.05).
Ten (38.5%) of the patients died within the first 24 hours after ROSC, whereas 16 (61.5%) survived longer than 24 hours. Serum copeptin levels were significantly lower in patients who survived longer than 24 hours compared with those who died within the first 24 hours. Moreover, the mean CPR duration was significantly lower in patients surviving more than 24 hours compared with less than 24 hours.
The serum copeptin level may serve as a guide in diagnostic decision making to predict ROSC in patients undergoing CPR and determining the short-term prognosis of patients with ROSC.
Acute coronary syndrome is a cause of cardiac-induced chest pain and rarely seen among childhood. It should be kept in mind in patients presenting with typical chest pain with a history of CHD and/or surgery, as this will lead to life-threatening complications and death. We present an adolescent with a history of Bentall operation who had acute coronary syndrome owing to coronary thrombosis as a result of inappropriate drug use.
To investigate the impacts of depression screening, diagnosis and treatment on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Prospective cohort study including a nested 24-week randomised clinical trial for treating depression was performed with 5–12 years after the index ACS. A total of 1152 patients recently hospitalised with ACS were recruited from 2006 to 2012, and were divided by depression screening and diagnosis at baseline and 24-week treatment allocation into five groups: 651 screening negative (N), 55 screening positive but no depressive disorder (S), 149 depressive disorder randomised to escitalopram (E), 151 depressive disorder randomised to placebo (P) and 146 depressive disorder receiving medical treatment only (M).
Cumulative MACE incidences over a median 8.4-year follow-up period were 29.6% in N, 43.6% in S, 40.9% in E, 53.6% in P and 59.6% in M. Compared to N, screening positive was associated with higher incidence of MACE [adjusted hazards ratio 2.15 (95% confidence interval 1.63–2.83)]. No differences were found between screening positive with and without a formal depressive disorder diagnosis. Of those screening positive, E was associated with a lower incidence of MACE than P and M. M had the worst outcomes even compared to P, despite significantly milder depressive symptoms at baseline.
Routine depression screening in patients with recent ACS and subsequent appropriate treatment of depression could improve long-term cardiac outcomes.
Introduction: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a common, sometimes difficult to diagnose spectrum of diseases. Given the diagnostic challenge, it is sensible for emergency physicians to have an approach to prognosticate patients with possible ACS. The objective of this review was to investigate the ability of the HEART score to predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in patients presenting to the ED with possible ACS. Methods: Eleven databases and other sources identified 468 potentially relevant studies. Sixty-seven studies underwent full text review with 25 studies meeting eligibility criteria. Main outcome measures were pooled prevalence, risk ratio (RR), and absolute risk reduction (ARR) for MACE within six weeks of ED evaluation, comparing HEART score 0–3 versus 4–10. Model discrimination (sensitivity, specificity, concordance statistic) and calibration (observed to expected events ratio) were also evaluated. Results: Data from 25 studies including 41,397 patients were combined in the meta-analysis. In total, 4815 patients (11.6%) developed MACE. Among 18,866 patients with HEART score 0–3, 396 (2.1%) developed MACE (RR 0.08; ARR 0.20). Outcome measures were consistent across planned subgroup and sensitivity analyses. Among studies with secondary outcome data for patients with HEART score 0–3, 5 of 6461 (0.1%) died and 75 of 7556 (1.0%) had a myocardial infarction. Conclusion: The HEART score provides a reliable quantitative risk assessment of MACE in ED patients with possible ACS. Emergency clinicians should consider using the HEART score to facilitate risk communication and shared decision making with patients and other care providers.