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International Journal of Vascular Medicine publishes articles focusing on vascular biology and physiology, vascular imaging, endovascular intervention, as well as prevention and treatment of vascular disease.
International Journal of Vascular Medicine maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Myocardial Injury, Coagulopathy, and Other Potential Cardiovascular Implications of COVID-19
COVID-19 was primarily identified as a respiratory illness, but reports of patients presenting initially with cardiovascular complaints are rapidly emerging. Many patients also develop cardiovascular complications during and after COVID-19 infection. Underlying cardiovascular disease increases the severity of COVID-19 infection; however, it is unclear if COVID-19 increases the risk of or causes cardiovascular complications in patients without preexisting cardiovascular disease. The review is aimed at informing the primary care physicians of the potential cardiovascular complications, especially in patients without underlying cardiovascular disease. A comprehensive literature review was performed on cardiac and vascular complications of COVID-19. The primary cardiac and vascular complications include myocarditis, acute coronary syndrome, myocardial injury, arrhythmia, heart failure, shock, multisystem inflammatory syndrome, venous and arterial thrombotic events, stroke, and coagulopathy. A detailed analysis of the pathogenesis revealed six possible mechanisms: direct cardiac damage, hypoxia-induced injury, inflammation, a dysfunctional endothelial response, coagulopathy, and the catecholamine stress response. Autopsy reports from studies show cardiomegaly, hypertrophy, ventricular dilation, infarction, and fibrosis. A wide range of cardiac and vascular complications should be considered when treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection. Elevated troponin and natriuretic peptides indicate an early cardiac involvement in COVID-19. Continuous monitoring of coagulation by measuring serum D-dimer can potentially prevent vascular complications. A long-term screening protocol to follow-up the patients in the primary care settings is needed to follow-up with the patients who recovered from COVID cardiovascular complications.
Adherence to the 2019 AHA/ACC/HRS Focused Update of the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline on the Use of Oral Anticoagulant Agents in Middle Eastern Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: The Jordan Atrial Fibrillation (JoFib) Study
Background. There is a scarcity of studies that evaluate adherence to the utilization of guideline-recommended oral anticoagulant agents (OACs) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) in the Middle East. The Jordan Atrial Fibrillation (JoFib) Study evaluated baseline clinical profiles and the utilization of OACs, including vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and direct OACs (DOACs), in patients with valvular AF (VAF) and nonvalvular AF (NVAF) according to the 2019 focused update of the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guidelines. Methods. Consecutive patients with AF were enrolled in 29 hospitals and outpatient clinics. The use of OACs was evaluated in patients with VAF and NVAF according to the prespecified guideline. Results. Of 2000 patients, 177 (8.9%) had VAF and 1823 (91.1%) had NVAF. A VKA was prescribed for 88.1% of the VAF group. In the NVAF group, 1468 (80.5%) of patients had a high CHA2DS2-VASc score, i.e., a score of ≥3 in women and ≥2 in men; 202 (11.1%) patients had an intermediate CHA2DS2-VASc score, i.e., a score of 2 in women and 1 in men; and 153 (8.4%) patients had a low CHA2DS2-VASc score, i.e., a score of 1 in women and 0 in men. Of patients with a high CHA2DS2-VASc score, 1204 (82.0%) received OACs, including DOACs for 784 (53.4%) and VKA for 420 (28.6%) patients. Among patients with an intermediate score, OACs were prescribed for 148 (73.3%) patients, including 107 (53.0%) who received DOACs and 41 (20.3%) patients who received VKA. In patients with a low score, OACs were omitted in 94 (61.4%) patients and prescribed for 59 (38.6%) patients. Multivariate analysis showed that age between 50 and 70 years, CHA2DS2-VASc score of ≥2, a diagnosis of stroke or systemic embolization, and nonparoxysmal AF were significantly associated with increased odds of OAC prescription. Conclusions. The current status of the utilization of OACs in Middle Eastern AF patients appears to be promising and is consistent with the 2019 focused update of the 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline. This trial is registered with NCT03917992.
Thermal Disparity among Fingers and Its Amelioration by CO2-Water Bathing in Connective Tissue Disease Patients
Objective. Correlation between a low finger temperature and thermal disparity among fingers was studied in connective tissue disease (CTD) patients. Whether the thermal disparity may be ameliorated by hand immersion in a warm carbon dioxide- (CO2-) water bath was analyzed. Methods. CTD patients with suspected peripheral circulation disorder underwent a thermography test. From before to 30 min after hand immersion in CO2-water (CO2 bathing; 1000 ppm CO2, 42°C, 10 min), the nailfold temperatures were measured. The mean temperature (m-Temp) and the coefficient of variation of the temperature ( of one hand; the mean of CVs of both hands was adopted as the indicator of thermal disparity) were monitored. The correlation between m-Temp and CV was also analyzed. Results. Forty-seven (45 females and 2 males) patients were included, 32 of whom had Raynaud’s phenomenon. The m-Temp was at the baseline, increased to immediately after CO2 bathing, and remained significantly higher than that at the baseline until 30 min after (). The CV was at the baseline, decreased to immediately after CO2 bathing, and remained significantly lower than the baseline until 30 min after (). Between m-Temp and CV, a negative correlation was observed throughout the measurements. Conclusion. Thermal disparity was observed at baseline measurement in CTD patients. Warm CO2 bathing markedly ameliorated the disparity, and this amelioration remained until after 30 min. Throughout the observation, the lower the m-Temp, the more severe the thermal disparity among fingers.
The Role of Angiotensin Antagonism in Coronary Plaque Regression: Insights from the Glagovian Model
The benefit of antagonizing the effect of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), notably by the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) and angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker (ARB) for coronary artery disease (CAD), has been demonstrated in multiple studies, which may be attributed to their ability to inhibit the deleterious effect of RAAS to the cardiovascular system. It is well known that angiotensin II (Ang II) plays a vital role in atheromatous plaque formation and progression through multiple pathways, including inflammatory and arterial remodeling aspects. Significant coronary atheromatous plaque regression has been previously demonstrated in various studies using statin agents. Similar results have been reported in different studies using angiotensin inhibitor agents, notably ARB agents. Analysis from various trials utilizing ARB showed a significant plaque regression using olmesartan and telmisartan as evaluated by IVUS studies. In contrary, the use of ACEi did not demonstrated significant plaque regression, which may be attributed to the heavy plaque calcification in respective studies. On this review, we aim to present the basic mechanism on the role of RAAS in plaque modulation and its arterial remodeling aspect, which is then integrated with the clinical evidence based on the available intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) studies on coronary arteries.
Renal Vascular Response to Angiotensin II Administration in Two Kidneys-One Clip Hypertensive Rats Treated with High Dose of Estradiol: The Role of Mas Receptor
Backgrounds. High blood pressure is one of the most important causes of death around the world. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and estradiol are two important items that regulate arterial blood pressure in women. However, hypertension, RAS, and sex hormone estradiol may influence renal vascular responses. This study was designed to determine the role of Mas receptor (MasR) on renal vascular response to angiotensin II (Ang II) administration in two kidneys-one clip (2K1C) hypertensive rats treated with estradiol. Method. The ovariectomized rats were subjected to 2K1C or non-2K1C and simultaneously treated with estradiol (500 μg/kg/weekly) or placebo for a period of 4 weeks. Subsequently, under anesthesia, renal vascular responses to graded doses of Ang II administration with MasR blockade (A779) or its vehicle were determined. Results. A779 or its vehicle did not alter mean arterial pressure (MAP), renal perfusion pressure (RPP), and renal blood flow (RBF). However, in non-2K1C rats, Ang II infusion decreased RBF and increased renal vascular resistance (RVR) responses in a dose-related manner (). The greatest responses were found in ovariectomized estradiol-treated rats that received A779 () in non-2K1C rats. Such findings were not detected in 2K1C hypertensive rats. For example, in estradiol-treated rats that received A779, at 1000 ng/kg/min of Ang II infusion, RBF reduced from to ml/min in non-2K1C rats, and it reduced from to ml/min in 2K1C rats. Conclusion. Hypertension induced by 2K1C may attenuate the role of A779 and estradiol in renal vascular responses to Ang II infusion. Perhaps, this response can be explained by the reduction of Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R) expression in the 2K1C hypertensive rats.
Long-Term Follow-Up of Contrast-Induced Acute Kidney Injury: A Study from a Developing Country
Introduction. Contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) is a worldwide known complication related to the use of contrast media with either imaging or angiography; it carries its own complications and effect on both morbidity and mortality; early identification of patients at risk and addressing modifiable risk factors may help reducing risk for this disease and its complications. Methods. This was a prospective observational study, where all patients admitted for cardiac catheterization between June 2015 and January 2016 were evaluated for CI-AKI. There were two study groups: contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) group, and noncontrast-induced acute kidney injury (non-CI-AKI) group. Results. Patients () were included and followed up for 4 years. Death and development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) need for another revascularization were the end points. The incidence of CI-AKI was 14.8%.In univariate analysis, age () and serum albumin at admission () were statistically significant predictors of overall death. Age (), HTN (), DM (), and the use of diuretics () had a statistically significant impact on eGFR. The rate of recatheterization was not statistically significant between the two groups (61 (35.5%) for the non-CI-AKI vs. 12 (40%) for the other group; ). Some inflammatory markers (NGAL , IL-19 ) and serum albumin at admission had a trend toward a statistically significant impact on recatheterization. Death () and need for recatheterization () were not statistically different between the 2 groups, while the rate of eGFR decline in for the CI-AKI was significant (). Conclusion. CI-AKI is a common complication post percutaneous catheterization (PCI), which may increase the risk for CKD, but not death or the need for recatheterization. Preventive measures must be taken early to decrease the morbidity.