Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) remain as one of the most global problematic metabolic diseases with rapidly increasing prevalence and incidence. Epidemiological studies noted that T2DM patients have by two-fold increase to develop NAFLD, and vice versa. This complex and intricate association is supported and mediated by insulin resistance (IR). In this review, we discuss the NAFLD immunopathogenesis, connection with IR and T2DM, the role of screening and noninvasive tools, and mostly the impact of the current antidiabetic drugs on steatosis liver and new potential therapeutic targets.
Hypertension as a multifactorial pathology is one of the most important cardiovascular risk factors, affecting up to 30-40% of the general population. Complex immune responses are involved in the inflammatory mechanism of hypertension, with evidence pointing to increased inflammatory mediators even in prehypertensive patients. Increased vascular permeability, thrombogenesis, and fibrosis, effects that are associated with sustained hypertension, could be attributed to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation triggers endothelial dysfunction via increased production of ROS through proinflammatory cytokines. Increased serum level of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17, IL-23, TGFβ, and TNFα in hypertensive patients has been associated with either increased blood pressure values and/or end-organ damage. Moreover, some cytokines (i.e., IL-6) seem to determine a hypertensive response to angiotensin II, regardless of blood pressure values. Understanding hypertension as an inflammatory-based pathology gives way to new therapeutic targets. As such, conventional cardiovascular drugs (statins, calcium channels blockers, and ACEIs/ARBs) have shown additional anti-inflammatory effects that could be linked to their blood pressure lowering properties. Moreover, anti-inflammatory drugs (mycophenolate mofetil) have been shown to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive patients or prevent its development in normotensive individuals. Further research is needed to evaluate whether drugs targeting hypertensive-linked proinflammatory cytokines, such as monoclonal antibodies, could become a new therapeutic option in treating arterial hypertension.
The incidence of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is increasing and its challenging diagnosis and management combines clinical, imagistic and biological data. Natriuretic peptides (NPs) are hormones secreted in response to myocardial stretch that, by increasing cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), counteract myocardial fibrosis and hypertrophy, increase natriuresis and determine vasodilatation. While their role in HFpEF is controversial, most authors focused on b-type natriuretic peptides (BNPs) and agreed that patients may show lower levels. In this setting, newer molecules with an increased specificity, such as middle-region pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), emerged as promising markers. Augmenting NP levels, either by NP analogs or breakdown inhibition, could offer a new therapeutic target in HFpEF (already approved in their reduced EF counterparts) by increasing the deficient cGMP levels found in patients. Importantly, these peptides also retain their prognostic value. This narrative review focuses on NPs’ physiology, diagnosis, therapeutic and prognostic implication in HFpEF.
Left atrial structural, functional and electrical remodelling are linked to atrial fibrillation (AF) pathophysiology and mirror the phrase “AF begets AF”. A structurally remodelled left atrium (LA) is fibrotic, dysfunctional and enlarged. Fibrosis is the hallmark of LA structural remodelling and is associated with increased risk of stroke, heart failure development and/or progression and poorer catheter ablation outcomes with increased recurrence rates. Moreover, increased atrial fibrosis has been associated with higher rates of stroke even in sinus-rhythm individuals. As such, properly assessing the fibrotic atrial cardiomyopathy in AF patients becomes necessary. In this respect, late-gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (LGE-CMR) imaging is the gold standard in imaging myocardial fibrosis. LA structural remodelling extension offers both diagnostic and prognostic information and influences therapeutic choices. LGE-CMR scans can be used before the procedure to better select candidates and to aid in choosing the ablation technique, during the procedure (full CMR-guided ablations) and after the ablation (to assess the ablation scar). This review focuses on imaging several LA structural remodelling CMR parameters, including size, shape and fibrosis (both extension and architecture) and their impact on procedure outcomes, recurrence risk, as well as their utility in relation to the index procedure timing.
Advances in the treatment of hemophilia have made the life expectancy of hemophiliacs similar to that of the general population. Physicians have begun to face age-related diseases not previously encountered in individuals with hemophilia. Treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is particularly challenging because the therapeutic strategies influence both the patient’s thrombotic and hemorrhagic risk. As progress has been made in the treatment of AMI over the last decade, we performed an in-depth analysis of the available literature, highlighting the latest advances in the therapy of AMI in hemophiliacs. It is generally accepted that after the optimal substitution therapy has been provided, patients with hemophilia should be treated in the same way as those in the general population. New-generation stents that allow short dual antiplatelet therapy and potent P2Y12 receptor inhibitors have begun to be successfully used. At a time when specific recommendations and relevant data are scarce, our study provides up-to-date information to physicians involved in the treatment of AMI in hemophiliacs.
Objective:Renal dysfunction is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The alteration in renal function as a marker of mortality in pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) has not been studied extensively.Methods:Four hundred four consecutive patients diagnosed with non-high-risk PTE (without cardiogenic shock or blood pressure <90 mm Hg) were prospectively enrolled in the study between 2005-2010. Kidney function, based on glomerular filtration rate (GFR), calculated by the simplified modification in diet in renal disease (MDRD) equation (sMDRD); troponin I; B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP); and echocardiographic markers of right ventricular (RV) function were determined in survivors versus non-survivors after a 2-year follow-up.Results:GFR was significantly lower in non-survivors than in survivors: 51.85±19.08 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 71.65±23.21 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively (p=0.000). The highest 2-year mortality rate (20%) was recorded in patients with moderate renal dysfunction associated with RV dysfunction. Using multivariate analysis, we found that GFR is an independent predictor of 2-year mortality (OR 0.973, 95% CI: 0.959-0.987, p=0.000), besides troponin I, dyslipidemia, acceleration time of pulmonary ejection, pericardial effusion, and BNPConclusion:The association of renal dysfunction with right ventricular dysfunction in patients with non-fatal pulmonary thromboembolism resulted in high mortality. Renal dysfunction, assessed by glomerular filtration rate, may be used in the risk stratification of patients with non-high-risk pulmonary thromboembolism, besides troponin I, BNP and right ventricle echocardiographic dysfunction markers.
Cardiorenal syndrome encompasses complex multifactorial facets and carries significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The bi-directional relationship between the heart and kidneys, where dysfunction in one organ worsens the function of the other, has been the leading motor for research in the last few years. In the pathophysiological process, small noncoding RNAs, epigenetics, vascular growth factors, oxidative stress, hemodynamic factors, and biomarkers play a pivotal role in the development of cardiorenal syndrome. It is therefore important to elucidate all the mechanisms in order to provide diagnostic and treatments tools. This review summarizes the hemodynamic and non-hemodynamic pathways along with biomarkers that could be the next target for diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in cardiorenal syndrome.
Abnormal prolongation and shortening of the electrocardiographic QT interval duration, which occur in the hereditary forms of long and short QT syndromes, are associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Even within the normal range, these altered durations are associated with an increased mortality risk in the general population. While extreme prolongation or reduction of the QT interval predisposes patients to malignant ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, the precise dose-response relationship between the QT interval and cardiovascular disease mortality is still unknown. This paper describes the need for more standardized methods for measuring and reporting the QT interval and the need for more precise assessments of the risk associated with QT interval variation.
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