Clinical complexity is increasingly prevalent among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The ‘Atrial fibrillation Better Care’ (ABC) pathway approach has been proposed to streamline a more holistic and integrated approach to AF care; however, there are limited data on its usefulness among clinically complex patients. We aim to determine the impact of ABC pathway in a contemporary cohort of clinically complex AF patients.
From the ESC-EHRA EORP-AF General Long-Term Registry, we analysed clinically complex AF patients, defined as the presence of frailty, multimorbidity and/or polypharmacy. A K-medoids cluster analysis was performed to identify different groups of clinical complexity. The impact of an ABC-adherent approach on major outcomes was analysed through Cox-regression analyses and delay of event (DoE) analyses.
Among 9966 AF patients included, 8289 (83.1%) were clinically complex. Adherence to the ABC pathway in the clinically complex group reduced the risk of all-cause death (adjusted HR [aHR]: 0.72, 95%CI 0.58–0.91), major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs; aHR: 0.68, 95%CI 0.52–0.87) and composite outcome (aHR: 0.70, 95%CI: 0.58–0.85). Adherence to the ABC pathway was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of death (aHR: 0.74, 95%CI 0.56–0.98) and composite outcome (aHR: 0.76, 95%CI 0.60–0.96) also in the high-complexity cluster; similar trends were observed for MACEs. In DoE analyses, an ABC-adherent approach resulted in significant gains in event-free survival for all the outcomes investigated in clinically complex patients. Based on absolute risk reduction at 1 year of follow-up, the number needed to treat for ABC pathway adherence was 24 for all-cause death, 31 for MACEs and 20 for the composite outcome.
An ABC-adherent approach reduces the risk of major outcomes in clinically complex AF patients. Ensuring adherence to the ABC pathway is essential to improve clinical outcomes among clinically complex AF patients.
Atrial myxoma is rare and can be completely asymptomatic. However, an untreated myxoma may result in catastrophic events. Diagnosis is usually suggested by echocardiography, and other imaging modalities can add important information. Myxoma can be cured surgically, and histological analysis usually gives the definite diagnosis. This article describes the case of a 61-year-old woman whose clinical presentation of an atrial myxoma was a stroke. Echocardiographic findings were highly suggestive of a cardiac myxoma. However, cardiac magnetic resonance showed unusual features for myxoma, since the mass was hyperintense in T1-weighted images and hypointense in T2-weighted sequences. Histology confirmed myxoma and the patient was surgically treated. This case enhances the importance of multimodality imaging in the differential diagnosis of cardiac masses.
Introduction: Emergency medical system transportation has been shown to reduce treatment times in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The authors studied the Portuguese National Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes to determine the nationwide impact of the emergency medical system transportation in the treatment of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.Material and Methods: A multicentric, nationwide, retrospective study of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients inserted in the National Registry from 2010 to 2017 was performed. The patients were divided into: Group I, composed of patients transported by emergency medical system, and Group II, patients arriving to the Emergency department by other means.Results: Of the 5702 patients studied, 25.9% were transported via emergency medical system. Rates of emergency medical system activation increased by 17% in the last 7 years. The emergency medical system provided a higher rate of transport to a percutaneous coronary intervention capable centre, of Emergency department bypass, of on-site fibrinolysis, and ensured a 59-minute reduction of the median reperfusion time (p < 0.001). There was no difference in in-hospital mortality.Discussion: In this nationwide cohort, emergency medical system transportation is associated with a reduction in reperfusion times. It provides a higher amount of salvaged myocardium and reduces the incidence of acute heart failure. However, emergency medical system use did not result in lower in-hospital mortality, probably due to confounding factors of higher disease severity and comorbidity.Conclusion: The benefits associated with emergency medical system based transportation of patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction do not translate into lower in-hospital mortality.
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