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Concept: Heart failure


Background Ultrafiltration is an alternative strategy to diuretic therapy for the treatment of patients with acute decompensated heart failure. Little is known about the efficacy and safety of ultrafiltration in patients with acute decompensated heart failure complicated by persistent congestion and worsened renal function. Methods We randomly assigned a total of 188 patients with acute decompensated heart failure, worsened renal function, and persistent congestion to a strategy of stepped pharmacologic therapy (94 patients) or ultrafiltration (94 patients). The primary end point was the bivariate change from baseline in the serum creatinine level and body weight, as assessed 96 hours after random assignment. Patients were followed for 60 days. Results Ultrafiltration was inferior to pharmacologic therapy with respect to the bivariate end point of the change in the serum creatinine level and body weight 96 hours after enrollment (P=0.003), owing primarily to an increase in the creatinine level in the ultrafiltration group. At 96 hours, the mean change in the creatinine level was -0.04±0.53 mg per deciliter (-3.5±46.9 μmol per liter) in the pharmacologic-therapy group, as compared with +0.23±0.70 mg per deciliter (20.3±61.9 μmol per liter) in the ultrafiltration group (P=0.003). There was no significant difference in weight loss 96 hours after enrollment between patients in the pharmacologic-therapy group and those in the ultrafiltration group (a loss of 5.5±5.1 kg [12.1±11.3 lb] and 5.7±3.9 kg [12.6±8.5 lb], respectively; P=0.58). A higher percentage of patients in the ultrafiltration group than in the pharmacologic-therapy group had a serious adverse event (72% vs. 57%, P=0.03). Conclusions In a randomized trial involving patients hospitalized for acute decompensated heart failure, worsened renal function, and persistent congestion, the use of a stepped pharmacologic-therapy algorithm was superior to a strategy of ultrafiltration for the preservation of renal function at 96 hours, with a similar amount of weight loss with the two approaches. Ultrafiltration was associated with a higher rate of adverse events. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; number, NCT00608491 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Heart failure, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Creatinine, Adverse event, Kilogram, Acute decompensated heart failure


 To determine the impact of the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) program-the US pay for performance program introduced by Medicare to incentivize higher quality care-on 30 day mortality for three incentivized conditions: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Hospital, Cardiology, Heart failure, Percutaneous coronary intervention, Necrosis, Emergency department


Aggressive diuretic therapy in a patient who is hospitalized for acute decompensated heart failure often leads to progressive renal dysfunction despite persistent congestion. The underlying mechanisms of this so-called acute cardiorenal syndrome are complex and not fully understood.(1),(2) As initial therapy in this setting, ultrafiltration as compared with diuretic therapy may result in a higher rate of sodium and volume removal, with greater weight loss and less frequent rehospitalizations.(3),(4) These findings have suggested that ultrafiltration can provide more effective relief of congestion than pharmacologic therapy can, particularly in the setting of cardiorenal compromise. Ultrafiltration may also reduce diuretic-induced . . .

Concepts: Medicine, Hospital, Heart failure, Diuretic, Acute accent, Acute decompensated heart failure



BACKGROUND: A high index of suspicion is required to make this diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis (CP) in patients presenting with cirrhosis and volume overload, as they can otherwise go misdiagnosed for years. METHODS: Case report. FINDINGS: A 51 year-old man with a history of presumed alcoholic cirrhosis presented to the emergency department with anasarca. Abdominal ultrasound with Doppler demonstrated a nodular cirrhotic liver, but no evidence of portal hypertension or ascites. The chest x-ray, however, was significant for a right-sided pleural effusion and pericardial calcification, suggestive of (CP). Transthoracic echocardiogram and ECG-gated computerized tomography scan of the chest without IV contrast confirmed the diagnosis. The patient was referred to thoracic surgery for definitive pericardiectomy. CONCLUSION: The diagnosis of CP is often neglected by admitting physicians, who usually attribute the symptoms to another disease process. Although a multimodality approach is necessary for the diagnosis of CP, this case highlights the utility of chest x-ray, a relatively non-invasive and inexpensive test, in expediting the diagnosis.

Concepts: Heart failure, Echocardiography, Medical imaging, Cirrhosis, Ascites, Pleural effusion, Hepatorenal syndrome, Wilson's disease


The Mallett Unit is a clinical test designed to detect the fixation disparity that is most likely to occur in the presence of a decompensated heterophoria. It measures the associated phoria, which is the “aligning prism” needed to nullify the subjective disparity. The technique has gained widespread acceptance within professions such as optometry, for investigating suspected cases of decompensating heterophoria; it is, however, rarely used by orthoptists and ophthalmologists. The aim of this study was to investigate whether fusional vergence reserves, measured routinely by both orthoptists and ophthalmologists to detect heterophoria decompensation, were correlated with aligning prism (associated phoria) in a normal clinical population.

Concepts: Heart failure, Measurement, Eye, Test method, Eye examination, Decompensation, Heterophoria, Fusional vergence


BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) patients have a high risk of death, and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are effective in preventing sudden cardiac death (SCD). However, a certain percentage of patients may not be immediate candidates for ICDs, particularly those having a short duration of risk or an uncertain amount of risk. This includes the newly diagnosed patients, as well as those on the cardiac transplant list or NYHA class IV heart failure patients who do not already have an ICD. In these patients, a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) may be used until long term risk of SCD is defined. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of SCD in this population, and the efficacy of early defibrillation by a WCD. METHODS: Ten enrolling centers identified 89 eligible HF patients who were either listed for cardiac transplantation, diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, or receiving inotropic medications. Data collected included medical history, device records, and outcomes (including 90 day mortality). RESULTS: Out of 89 patients, final data on 82 patients has been collected. Patients wore the device for 75+/-58 days. Mean age was 56.8+/-13.2, and 72% were male. Most patients (98.8%) were diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy with a low ejection fraction (<40%) and twelve were listed for cardiac transplantation. Four patients were on inotropes. There were no sudden cardiac arrests or deaths during the study. Interestingly, 41.5% of patients were much improved after WCD use, while 34.1% went on to receive an ICD. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the WCD monitored HF patients until further assessment of risk. The leading reasons for end of WCD use were improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) or ICD implantation if there was no significant improvement in LVEF.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Cardiac arrest, Ventricular fibrillation


Phase contrast (PC) cine-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the coronary sinus allows for noninvasive evaluation of coronary flow reserve (CFR), which is an index of left ventricular microvascular function. The objective of this study was to investigate coronary flow reserve in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Heart, Magnetic resonance imaging, Coronary circulation, Sinus venosus


In the SURVIVE trial, including 1327 acute heart failure patients, no statistically significant difference between levosimendan and dobutamine in the 180-day all-cause mortality was seen. Country-specific differences in outcome were, however, present. In the Finnish sub-population in fact, mortality was significantly lower in levosimendan treated patients. We aim to understand the reasons for this disparity.

Concepts: Heart failure, Statistical significance, Reliability engineering


Pulmonary vascular and cardiac impairment is increasingly appreciated as a major adverse factor in the natural history of interstitial lung disease. This clinically orientated review focuses on the current concepts in the pathogenesis, pathophysiology and implications of the detrimental sequence of increased pulmonary vascular resistance, pre-capillary pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure in interstitial lung disease, and provides guidance on its management.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Lung, Cardiology, Heart failure, Heart, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Tetrapod