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Journal: Cardiology


Direct or new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), including the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran and the direct factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban, have recently revolutionized the field of antithrombotic therapy for stroke and systemic embolism prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Randomized controlled trials have shown that these agents have at least comparable efficacy with vitamin K antagonists along with superior safety, at least in what concerns intracranial hemorrhage. As a result, NOACs are indicated as first-line anticoagulation therapy for NVAF patients with at least one risk factor for stroke or systemic embolism. The rapid introduction, however, of NOACs in a field dominated for decades by vitamin antagonists and the variety of agents and dosing schemes may create difficulties in decision making. In the present article, we attempt to determine a practical approach to the choice of agent and dose in different clinical scenarios by considering not only the results of seminal randomized trials and post hoc analyses but also data from real-world patient populations as well as the recently available possibility of rapid NOAC reversal.


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a pathological condition characterized by an abnormal, localized dilatation of the lower part of the aorta. Due to a lack of data on the natural history of AAA and risk of death from other cardiovascular diseases attributable to AAA, the true number of AAA-attributable deaths may be higher than currently estimated. This study aims to produce more realistic estimates of the burden of AAA.

Concepts: Death, Heart, Fish, Aortic aneurysm, Aneurysm, Aortic dissection, Aorta, Aneurysm of sinus of Valsalva


Introduction: Methotrexate is a drug that has shown anti-ischemic effects in animal studies and positive results in heart failure clinical trials. Methods: We will randomly assign 80 patients with acute myocardial infarction to receive methotrexate (0.05 mg/kg bolus followed by 0.05 mg/kg/h for 6 h) or matching placebo. The primary outcome will be the area under the curve (AUC) for creatine kinase (CK) release for 72 h. Secondary outcomes will be the peak levels of CK, CK-MB fraction and troponin I, AUC for CK-MB and troponin I, levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) at admission and at 30 days, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at baseline and at 30 days, death, TIMI (thrombolysis in myocardial infarction) frame count in the culprit artery, Killip score after 72 h and rate of reinfarction at 30 days. Results: We expect a reduction in the AUC for CK, CK-MB and troponin release in the methotrexate group compared to the placebo group. We also expect a reduction in the levels of BNP, hsCRP and ESR and an improvement of LVEF and TIMI frame count in the methotrexate group. Conclusion: This trial may be the first to demonstrate the anti-inflammatory and anti-ischemic effects of methotrexate in patients with acute myocardial infarction. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Creatine kinase, C-reactive protein, Erythrocyte sedimentation rate


The efficacy of ivabradine has been demonstrated in different subpopulations of stable angina patients in randomized clinical trials. This study explored its effectiveness in subpopulations seen in clinical practice as they often differ from those of randomized trials.

Concepts: Experimental design, Clinical trial, Angina pectoris, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Efficacy


To evaluate the impact of skeletonized bilateral or single internal thoracic artery (ITA) grafting on the risk of deep sternal wound infection (DSWI) in diabetic patients undergoing off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCAB).

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Heart, Coronary artery bypass surgery


Elevated heart rate can increase myocardial oxygen demand and reduce myocardial perfusion, provoking myocardial ischemia and angina symptoms. We evaluated adding ivabradine to the therapy of patients on metoprolol.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Myocardial infarction, Angina pectoris, Cardiology, Coronary circulation, Ischemia, Ischemic heart diseases, Ivabradine


Eplerenone (EPL), an antagonist of the mineralocorticoid receptor, is beneficial for atrial fibrillation and atrial fibrosis. However, the underlying mechanism remains less well known. We aimed to investigate the effect of EPL on atrial fibrosis using a mouse with selective atrial fibrosis and to explore the underlying mechanisms.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Atrial fibrillation, Receptor, Nuclear receptor, Eplerenone, Mineralocorticoid, Mineralocorticoid receptor


Auscultation is one of the basic techniques for the diagnosis of heart disease. However, the interpretation of heart sounds and murmurs is a highly subjective and difficult skill.


Detection of atrial fibrillation (AF) in post-cryptogenic stroke (CS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients carries important therapeutic implications.

Concepts: Heart, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Transient ischemic attack, Atrial flutter


Mitigating the gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding risks of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is a common clinical concern. While proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) remain the most effective therapy, their adverse events warrant considering alternatives, including Histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs).