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Concept: Brachiocephalic artery

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Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been linked to cardiovascular disease, possibly via accelerated atherosclerosis. We examined associations between the progression of the intima-medial thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery, as an indicator of atherosclerosis, and long-term PM2.5 concentrations in participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).

Concepts: Common carotid artery, Brachiocephalic artery, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Particulate, Smog, Air pollution, Dust, Scrubber

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BACKGROUND: Takayasu arteritis is a large vessel vasculitis occurring in young females. We report a rare presentation of Takayasu arteritis in a Sri Lankan woman. She presented with bronchiectasis and left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy prior to the onset of vascular symptoms. This case illustrates an atypical presentation of this disease and the diagnostic dilemma that the physician may be faced with. CASE PRESENTATION: A 39-year-old woman presented with chronic cough, haemoptysis and hoarseness of voice. She had left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy and high inflammatory markers on investigation. CT thorax revealed aortic wall thickening and traction bronchiectasis. 2 D echocardiogram revealed grade 1 aortic regurgitation compatible with aortitis. She did not have weak peripheral pulses or a blood pressure discrepancy and did not meet American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for diagnosis of Takayasu arteritis at this stage. Tuberculosis, syphilis and sarcoidosis was excluded. While awaiting angiography, she developed left arm claudication and a pericardial effusion. Angiography revealed evidence of Takayasu arteritis and absence of flow in the left subclavian artery. Takayasu arteritis was diagnosed at this stage after a period of eight months from the onset of initial symptoms. She is currently on prednisolone, azathioprine and aspirin. CONCLUSION: Bronchiectasis and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy is a rare presentation of Takayasu arteritis. Atypical presentations can occur in Takayasu arteritis prior to the onset of vascular symptoms. Elevation of inflammatory markers are an early finding. A high degree of suspicion is needed to identify these patients in the early course of the disease.

Concepts: Cardiology, Common carotid artery, Brachiocephalic artery, Subclavian vein, Vertebral artery, Subclavian artery

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Metformin might reduce insulin requirement and improve glycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes, but whether it has cardiovascular benefits is unknown. We aimed to investigate whether metformin treatment (added to titrated insulin therapy) reduced atherosclerosis, as measured by progression of common carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT), in adults with type 1 diabetes at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Blood vessel, Common carotid artery, Brachiocephalic artery

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A 36-year old woman presented with a 5-year history of progressive dysphagia. The barium swallow of the oesophagus revealed an oblique extrinsic defect consistent with an aberrant right subclavian artery. A computed tomography angiogram confirmed the diagnosis. Surgical correction is indicated for dysphagia lusoria in association with an aberrant right subclavian artery. The patient underwent surgical repair through the right supraclavicular approach, which provided a good exposure. We describe the use of this approach, which avoids the possible complications of thoracotomy or sternotomy in the surgical management of dysphagia lusoria.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Common carotid artery, Brachiocephalic artery, Subclavian vein, Vertebral artery, Subclavian artery, Aberrant subclavian artery

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A 60 year-old woman presented with large extensive aneurysms in the thoracic aorta and infra-renal abdominal aorta with a normal segment of visceral aorta in between; the entire right common iliac artery was also aneurysmal. Concurrent endovascular repair of all aneurysmal regions was successfully performed using a left common iliac artery conduit to access the aorta, and multiple stent-grafts; a chimney graft preserved blood flow into the left subclavian artery. There were no features of spinal cord ischaemia despite coil embolisation of the right hypogastric artery. CT angiogram at six months showed patent stent-grafts with no endoleaks. The patient continued to do well at one-year clinical follow-up. Concurrent endovascular repair of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms can be safely and successfully performed when anatomically feasible, and is an attractive alternative to staged or hybrid repair.

Concepts: Abdominal aorta, Aortic aneurysm, Brachiocephalic artery, Aorta, Descending aorta, Arteries of the thorax, Arteries of the abdomen, Common iliac artery

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Aberrant right subclavian artery (ARSA) is an uncommon congenital anomaly that often becomes aneurysmal. The ARSAs are often asymptomatic but aneurysms arising in this location are potentially lethal. Due to the high morbidity and mortality rates associated with the traditional open repair methods, less invasive endovascular methods are becoming more popular. This is a case describing a unique hybrid repair of an aneurysmal ARSA in an asymptomatic male.

Concepts: Common carotid artery, Brachiocephalic artery, Subclavian vein, Vertebral artery, Subclavian artery, Aberrant subclavian artery

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As part of the project “Religious slaughter (DIALREL): improving knowledge and expertise through dialogue and debate on issues of welfare, legislation and socio-economic aspects”, this paper discusses an evaluation of current practices during Halal and Shechita slaughter in cattle, sheep, goats and poultry. During religious slaughter, animals are killed with and without stunning by a transverse incision across the neck that is cutting the skin, muscles (brachiocephalic, sternocephalic, sternohyoid, and sternothyroid), trachea, esophagus, carotid arteries, jugular veins and the major, superficial and deep nerves of the cervical plexus. In this report, the restraint methods, stunning, neck cutting, exsanguination, slaughter techniques and postcut handling in the abattoir were assessed for religious slaughter. Information about the procedures used during religious slaughter in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Turkey and Australia was collected by means of spot visits to abattoirs. To standardize the information gathered during the spot visits three guidelines were designed, one for each species, and translated into the national languages of the countries involved. The document included questions on the handling and restraint methods (stunning, neck cutting/exsanguination/slaughter techniques and postcut handling performed under religious practices) and for pain and distress of the animal during the restraint, neck cutting and induction to death in each abattoir. Results showed differences in the time from restraining to stun and to cut in the neck cutting procedures and in the time from cut to death.

Concepts: Common carotid artery, Internal jugular vein, Brachiocephalic artery, Livestock, Slaughterhouse, Captive bolt pistol

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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to determine the frequency of aberrant right subclavian artery (ARSA) in trisomic and normal fetuses during the routine detailed ultrasonography in the second trimester and to evaluate the potential value of ARSA as an ultrasonographic marker for trisomy 21. METHODS: The presence of normal brachicephalic trunk/or ARSA was confirmed in all pregnant women undergoing second trimester detailed fetal anomaly screening beyond 16th week of pregnancy. Amniocentesis following genetic councelling was recommended to all women having either any positive ultrasonographic marker including ARSA or a positive biochemical screening test (triple test) result. RESULTS: During the 17-month period, 2081 patients were screened, and 23 patients with ARSA (1,1%) and 20 patients with trisomy 21 were detected. Of those 20 patients with trisomy 21, ARSA was detected in seven (%35). On the other hand, 30.4% of the fetuses with ARSA had also trisomy 21. The positive and negative likelihood ratios of ARSA for trisomy 21 were 45.08 and 0.65, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, the ARSA in combination with other ultrasound signs increased the risk for trisomy 21 by factor of 45, but the independent ability of ARSA as an isolated marker to predict fetal Trisomy 21 is unclear. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Embryo, Obstetrics, Common carotid artery, Medical ultrasonography, Brachiocephalic artery, Subclavian artery, Aberrant subclavian artery

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The robust identification and measurement of the intima media thickness (IMT) has a high clinical relevance because it represents one of the most precise predictors used in the assessment of potential future cardiovascular events. To facilitate the analysis of arterial wall thickening in serial clinical investigations, in this paper we have developed a novel fully automatic algorithm for the segmentation, measurement, and tracking of the intima media complex (IMC) in B-mode ultrasound video sequences. The proposed algorithm entails a two-stage image analysis process that initially addresses the segmentation of the IMC in the first frame of the ultrasound video sequence using a model-based approach; in the second step, a novel customized tracking procedure is applied to robustly detect the IMC in the subsequent frames. For the video tracking procedure, we introduce a spatially coherent algorithm called adaptive normalized correlation that prevents the tracking process from converging to wrong arterial interfaces. This represents the main contribution of this paper and was developed to deal with inconsistencies in the appearance of the IMC over the cardiac cycle. The quantitative evaluation has been carried out on 40 ultrasound video sequences of the common carotid artery (CCA) by comparing the results returned by the developed algorithm with respect to ground truth data that has been manually annotated by clinical experts. The measured IMT(mean) ± standard deviation recorded by the proposed algorithm is 0.60 mm ± 0.10, with a mean coefficient of variation (CV) of 2.05%, whereas the corresponding result obtained for the manually annotated ground truth data is 0.60 mm ± 0.11 with a mean CV equal to 5.60%. The numerical results reported in this paper indicate that the proposed algorithm is able to correctly segment and track the IMC in ultrasound CCA video sequences, and we were encouraged by the stability of our technique when applied to data captured under different imaging conditions. Future clinical studies will focus on the evaluation of patients that are affected by advanced cardiovascular conditions such as focal thickening and arterial plaques.

Concepts: Blood, Atherosclerosis, Heart, Cardiovascular disease, Artery, Common carotid artery, Brachiocephalic artery, Standard deviation

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It has been well known that pulmonary hypertension (PH) caused by congenital heart disease (CHD) leads to reduced flexibility of the small pulmonary arteries, due to hemodynamic changes in the pulmonary circulation and alterations of the vasoactive profile. However, whether CHD-related PH affects the elasticity of the systemic arteries, such as the common carotid artery (CCA), has not been fully investigated. The purpose of this study was to explore the CCA stiffness in patients with CHD-related PH using the radio frequency data technique.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Artery, Common carotid artery, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Brachiocephalic artery, Systemic circulation