ARDIAC SURGERY IS ASSOCIATED with a high rate of allogeneic bloodtransfusion,varyingfrom 40% to 90% in most reports. 1-3 The rationale for perioperative red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is based on the observation that anemia is an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality after cardiac operations. 4,5 However, transfusions have been associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients, 6 and some recent studies have shown worse outcomes, including increased occurrence of renal failure and infection, as well as respiratory, cardiac , and neurologic complications, in transfused compared with nontransfused patients after cardiac surgery. 7,8 There is a lack of evidence regarding optimal blood transfusion practice in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. 9 On See also pp 1568 and 1610.
The amount of MF, either by histopathology or by ce-MRI, is associated with the degree of left ventricular functional improvement and all-cause mortality late after aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic valve disease.
The presence of heart-M protein cross-reactive T-cell clones in rheumatic heart lesions suggests their direct involvement in the pathogenesis of this disease. The dissection of protective and pathogenic epitopes of streptococcal M protein is an important step in allowing the development of a safe anti-streptococcal synthetic vaccine.
Background Vasoplegic syndrome is a common complication after cardiac surgery and impacts negatively on patient outcomes. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether vasopressin is superior to norepinephrine in reducing postoperative complications in patients with vasoplegic syndrome. Methods This prospective, randomized, double-blind trial was conducted at the Heart Institute, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, between January 2012 and March 2014. Patients with vasoplegic shock (defined as mean arterial pressure less than 65 mmHg resistant to fluid challenge and cardiac index greater than 2.2 l · min−2 · m−2) after cardiac surgery were randomized to receive vasopressin (0.01 to 0.06 U/min) or norepinephrine (10 to 60 μg/min) to maintain arterial pressure. The primary endpoint was a composite of mortality or severe complications (stroke, requirement for mechanical ventilation for longer than 48 h, deep sternal wound infection, reoperation, or acute renal failure) within 30 days. Results A total of 330 patients were randomized, and 300 were infused with one of the study drugs (vasopressin, 149; norepinephrine, 151). The primary outcome occurred in 32% of the vasopressin patients and in 49% of the norepinephrine patients (unadjusted hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.80; P = 0.0014). Regarding adverse events, the authors found a lower occurrence of atrial fibrillation in the vasopressin group (63.8% vs. 82.1%; P = 0.0004) and no difference between groups in the rates of digital ischemia, mesenteric ischemia, hyponatremia, and myocardial infarction. Conclusions The authors’ results suggest that vasopressin can be used as a first-line vasopressor agent in postcardiac surgery vasoplegic shock and improves clinical outcomes.
Objective-We hypothesized that reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to progression of aortic valve (AV) calcification/stenosis. Methods and Results-We investigated ROS production and effects of antioxidants tempol and lipoic acid (LA) in calcification progression in rabbits given 0.5% cholesterol diet ϩ10 4 IU/d Vit.D 2 for 12 weeks. Superoxide and H 2 O 2 microfluorotopography and 3-nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity showed increased signals not only in macrophages but preferentially around calcifying foci, in cells expressing osteoblast/osteoclast, but not macrophage markers. Such cells also showed increased expression of NAD(P)H oxidase subunits Nox2, p22phox, and protein disulfide isomerase. Nox4, but not Nox1 mRNA, was increased. Tempol augmented whereas LA decreased H 2 O 2 signals. Importantly, AV calcification, assessed by echocardiography and histomorphometry, decreased 43% to 70% with LA, but increased with tempol (PՅ0.05). Tempol further enhanced apoptosis and Nox4 expression. In human sclerotic or stenotic AV, we found analogous increases in ROS production and NAD(P)H oxidase expression around calcifying foci. An in vitro vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) calcification model also exhibited increased, catalase-inhibitable, calcium deposit with tempol, but not with LA. Conclusions-Our data provide evidence that ROS, particularly hydrogen peroxide, potentiate AV calcification progression. However, tempol exhibited a paradoxical effect, exacerbating AV/vascular calcification, likely because of its induced increase in peroxide generation. Key Words: calcification Ⅲ atherosclerosis Ⅲ antioxidants Ⅲ valves Ⅲ free radicals D egenerative aortic valve (AV) stenosis, the third most prevalent cardiovascular disease in the elderly, 1 shares common risk factors and pathophysiological features with atherosclerosis.  Although the role of oxidative stress in atherosclerosis is well explored, 7,8 it is unclear whether redox processes contribute to progression of AV calcification. 2,3,9 -11,15,16 Scarce observations provide indirect support for this hypothesis. 10 In vitro studies showed that exogenous superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other oxidants increase the number and activity of calcifying vascular cells (CVCs), 11 referred to as a specific subpopulation of cells, derived from (de)differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells, 12 pericytes, or mesenchymal cells 13 that can produce hydroxyapathite in the vascular wall. 14 In addition, reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediate increase in BMP2 expression and signaling, favoring osteogenesis. 2 On the other hand, calcium resorption by osteoclasts is dependent on ROS derived from its own NAD(P)H oxidase, 15 whereas nitric oxide induces osteoclast detachment and inhibits calcium resorption. 16 Recent data from an experimental mouse model of aortic stenosis suggested locally increased superoxide generation. 3 Observational clinical studies with statins indicated possible decrease in calcification progression in hypercholesterolemic patients, 4 but ...
Differently from what was thought, in ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, dilation of mitral ring is proportional and does not exclusively affect the posterior portion. The degree of left ventricular dilation does not determine the degree of dilation of the mitral ring because they are independent processes. These observations shed new light on the techniques used to correct mitral valve insufficiency in dilated cardiomyopathy.
T-cell molecular mimicry between streptococcal and heart proteins has been proposed as the triggering factor leading to autoimmunity in rheumatic heart disease (RHD). We searched for immunodominant T-cell M5 epitopes among RHD patients with defined clinical outcomes and compared the T-cell reactivities of peripheral blood and intralesional T cells from patients with severe RHD. The role of HLA class II molecules in the presentation of M5 peptides was also evaluated. We studied the T-cell reactivity against M5 peptides and heart proteins on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 74 RHD patients grouped according to the severity of disease, along with intralesional and peripheral T-cell clones from RHD patients. Peptides encompassing residues 1 to 25, 81 to 103, 125 to 139, and 163 to 177 were more frequently recognized by PBMC from RHD patients than by those from controls. The M5 peptide encompassing residues 81 to 96 [M5(81-96) peptide] was most frequently recognized by PBMC from HLA-DR7 ؉ DR53 ؉ patients with severe RHD, and 46.9% (15 of 32) and 43% (3 of 7) of heart-infiltrating and PBMC-derived peptide-reactive T-cell clones, respectively, recognized the M5(81-103) region. Heart proteins were recognized more frequently by PBMC from patients with severe RHD than by those from patients with mild RHD. The similar pattern of T-cell reactivity found with both peripheral blood and heart-infiltrating T cells is consistent with the migration of M-protein-sensitized T cells to the heart tissue. Conversely, the presence of heart-reactive T cells in the PBMC of patients with severe RHD also suggests a spillover of sensitized T cells from the heart lesion.Rheumatic fever (RF) is a sequel of group A streptococcal throat infection and remains an important health problem in developing countries. About 30% of RF patients develop rheumatic heart disease (RHD), with high morbidity and cost to the public health system. Molecular mimicry between streptococcal antigens, mainly the M protein, and heart tissue proteins is proposed as an important factor leading to the heart lesions found in RHD patients. Several studies have been performed with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) showing reactivity against the streptococcal cell wall and tissue antigens (20,25). CD4 ϩ T cells are the predominant population at the site of heart lesions (23, 16).Yoshinaga et al. (30) reported that T-cell lines derived from heart valve specimens and PBMC from RF patients react with cell wall and membrane streptococcal antigens. These lymphocytes did not cross-react with M protein or mammalian cytoskeletal proteins. Autoreactivity to heart antigens caused by streptococcal infections was also suggested by results of immunization in which peripheral T lymphocytes from RHD patients stimulated in vitro with streptococci were able to recognize a 50-to 54-kDa myocardial protein fraction (7). Our group previously reported intralesional T-cell clones, from surgical fragments of patients with severe RHD, capable of recognizing immunodominant...
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