ADRIFT Study: Reduced Rivaroxaban Doses Are Associated With Lower Thrombin Generation Following Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage Closure Compared to Dual Antiplatelet Therapy

A recent study by Dr. Duthoit, MD, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, showed that compared to dual antiplatelet therapy, nonvitamin k antagonist monotherapy using a reduced dose of rivaroxaban (10 and 15 mg) in patients undergone left atrial appendage closure was associated with lower thrombin generation. This data supported that reduced rivaroxaban doses could be a substitute for the antithrombotic medications currently used after this procedure. Continue reading

SASSCAIA Trial Showed No Difference Between Intensified Prasugrel-Based and Standard Clopidogrel-Based Loading Strategies in Terms of Safety and Efficacy in Patients Undergoing Elective Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

A recent study by Dr. Julinda Mehilli, M.D., published in Circulation journal, has shown that in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), pretreatment strategy with the intensified prasugrel loading does not differ from standard clopidogrel loading dose in terms of Safety and Efficacy. According to the trial, both strategies can be safely applied among patients undergoing elective PCI.
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SYNTAX III REVOLUTION Trial: Non-invasive CT Scanning as a Potential Alternative to Invasive Coronary Angiography for Treatment Decision-Making in Patients with Complex Coronary Artery Disease FFRCT or multi-slice CT scanning changed heart team’s treatment decision-making and procedural planning in 1/5th of the patients

A cross-sectional observational study enrolling 223 patients with 3-vessel coronary artery disease, has shown that compared to conventional invasive coronary angiography, a noninvasive physiology assessment using fractional flow reserve CT scanning (FFRCT or multi-slice CT scanning) changed heart team’s treatment decision-making and procedural planning in 1/5th of the patients.

The SYNTAX III REVOLUTION Trial was a randomized, multi-center study which randomized two heart teams to make a treatment decision between percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) using either coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) or conventional invasive angiography while blinded to the other imaging modality. The study included patients with complex coronary artery disease, defined as, left main (isolated, or associated with 1, 2 or 3 vessel disease) or de novo 3-vessel coronary artery disease (DS ≥50%), who were able to receive cardiac CT with a multi-slice CT scanner. Coronary CTA was performed with the GE Revolution CT scanner that has a nominal spatial resolution of 230 microns along the X–Y planes, a rotational speed of 0.28 s, and a Z-plane coverage of 16 cm enabling to image the heart in one heartbeat. Patients with concomitant atrial fibrillation, cardiac valve disease and prior history of PCI or CABG were excluded from the study. The primary outcome was the inter-rater agreement (assessed by Cohen’s Kappa Kappa; a value of 0.82) on revascularization strategy of two heart teams by employing the use of either an “Angio-first” algorithm or a “CT First” algorithm 1 to 2 weeks after patient enrollment. The addition of FFRCT changed the treatment decision in 7% of the patients and modified selection of vessels for revascularization in 12%. With conventional angiography as a reference, FFRCT assessment resulted in reclassification of 14% of patients from intermediate and high to low SYNTAX score tertile.

The American and European guidelines recommend a heart team based approach for the decision-making process regarding the revascularization strategy and recommend the evaluation of the anatomical complexity using the SYNTAX score. Patients with SYNTAX scores >34 have been found to do much better with bypass surgery than those with lower SYNTAX scores. The SYNTAX scores can be divided into three tertiles. Higher scores signify complex conditions and indicate greatest risks to patients undergoing PCI. Calculation of the SYNTAX score takes into account complex lesions including bifurcations, chronic total occlusions, thrombus, calcification, and small diffuse disease with a total of 11 measures of lesion complexity. The score ranges from 0 to greater than 60 in very complex coronary anatomy.

Previously validated SYNTAX II score utilizes SYNTAX I score and then combines it with clinical prognostic variables such as age, creatinine clearance, gender, left main vessel involvement, left ventricular ejection fraction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD) in order to guide selection between PCI and CABG for patients with multivessel coronary disease. The results of the SYNTAX III Trial suggest the potential feasibility of a treatment decision-making and planning that stems from a non-invasive imaging modality and clinical information.

Severe Coronary Calcification Might Delay Healing Following Implantation of Newer-Generation Drug-Eluting Stents

In an autopsy-based, histopathological analysis of stented coronary lesions, severe calcification was an independent risk factor for delayed strut coverage and healing after newer-generation DES. The report of the study led by Torri was recently published in the European Heart Journal.

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ADRIFT Trial: Low-Dose Rivaroxaban is Superior to Dual Antiplatelet Therapy for Controlling Thrombin Generation after Left Atrial Appendage Closure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients Results of ADRIFT trial presented at the ESC Congress 2019

According to the results of Assessment of Dual Antiplatelet Therapy Versus Rivaroxaban in Atrial Fibrillation Treated with Left Atrial Appendage Closure (ADRIFT) trial, recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2019 by Prof. Dr. Montalescot, from Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, low dose rivaroxaban is superior to dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) in controlling thrombin generation in patients undergoing Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC).

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ORBIT-AF Registry: INR Metrics Associated with Bleeding but Not Ischemia

Among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) treated with warfarin, clinical risk scores for major bleeding and thrombotic events were more strongly associated with future clinical events than any International Normalized Ratio (INR) metrics for warfarin control. A post hoc analysis of ORBIT-AF study by Dr. Pokorney et al, published in JAMA Cardiology, revealed. Continue reading

Anti-Inflammatory Therapy May Not Prevent Atherosclerotic Events Low-Dose Methotrexate for the Prevention of Atherosclerotic Events

A randomized double-blinded trial called Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT) recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Ridker, M.D. and his colleges at  the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston illustrated that that low-dose methotrexate did not reduce atherosclerotic events or any markers of inflammation such as interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, or C-reactive protein. Continue reading

Adjunctive Low Dose Alteplase During Primary PCI Fails to Imrpove Microvascular Obstruction in STEMI Patients Results of the T-Time trial presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2018 Scientific Sessions

A multi-center randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group clinical trial has shown that among patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) presenting within 6 hours of symptoms, adjunctive low-dose intracoronary alteplase given after reperfusion via primary percutaneous intervention does not reduce microvascular obstruction. Continue reading

Novel Target for STEMI Patients: Cholesterol Efflux Capacity Inversely Associated with All-Cause Mortality Population-based cohort study shows patients with a higher serum cholesterol efflux capacity have a significantly marked decrease in all-cause mortality

A population-based cohort study has shown that patients with a higher serum cholesterol efflux capacity, the capacity of HDL particles to mediate cholesterol efflux from macrophages, have a marked decrease in all-cause mortality as compared to patients with a lower serum cholesterol efflux capacity. Continue reading

Chronic Red Meat Consumption Associated With Increased TMAO Concentrations TMAO: Associated With Increased Risk of Atherosclerosis and CVD

A recent study published in the European Heart Journal showed that chronic red meat consumption is associated with increased serum and urine concentrations of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), when compared to white meat and non-meat sources of protein. Continue reading

Endogenous Fibrinolysis Measurement as a Predictive Test for Recurrent Cardiovascular Events Impaired endogenous fibrinolysis in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention is a predictor of recurrent cardiovascular events: the RISK PPCI study.

A prospective cohort study that was conducted by Mohamed Farag et al. in European Heart Journal demonstrated that evaluating endogenous fibrinolysis in patients with acute coronary syndrome may help physicians identify high-risk patients developing recurrent cardiovascular events, especially among those treated with dual antiplatelet therapy (DAT) after primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI). Continue reading

Deciphering the Underpinnings of MINOCA (MI with Non-Obstructive Coronary Arteries) Results from the optical coherence tomography study

A new prospective observational study of 38 patients suffering from myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary artery disease (MINOCA) with the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and complementary cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) shows plaque disruption and thrombus account for one-fourth and one-fifth of MINOCA, respectively. Both plaque disruption and thrombosis were repeatedly found in coronary vessels supplying the infarct-related territory as confirmed by CMR. This is the first prospective study that successfully employed the use of OCT along with complementary CMR for studying the basic mechanisms leading to MINOCA suggesting that OCT may aid in deciphering the basic underpinnings of this not so rare type of myocardial infarction (MI).

MINOCA is increasingly being seen in clinical practice. Prior studies have served as a major effort to understand the pathophysiology of this presentation, which may aid in effective secondary prevention in this patient population. Several questions exist due to the heterogeneous nature of patients who suffer from MINOCA. Given this background, Opolski (Department of Interventional Cardiology and Angiology, Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland) and colleagues prospectively enrolled 38 patients (mean age 62 years; 55% women) with MI but <50 % stenosis on angiography (maximal diameter stenosis of 35%) in order to identify the mechanisms that lead to MINOCA. On OCT, nine patients (24%) showed signs of plaque disruption and seven (18%) had evidence of coronary thrombus. A per-lesion analysis of CMR results further demonstrated that, compared with non-infarct-related arteries, infarct-related arteries displayed more plaque disruption (40% vs 6%; P = 0.02), thrombus (50% vs 4%; P = 0.014), and thin-cap fibroatheroma (70% vs 30%; P = 0.03). Moreover, the investigators found that subjects with plaque disruption albeit non-significant tended to have numerically higher rates of ischemic late gadolinium contrast enhancement (LGE) on CMR than subjects without plaque disruption (50% vs. 13%, respectively; p = 0.053).

Utilization of OCT

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution (10 to 15 mm) intracoronary imaging modality that employs the use of coherent light waves for precise assessment of the integrity of the atheromatous fibrous cap. This allows for visualizing plaques and thrombosis that may be otherwise missed on conventional angiography. In this study, the investigators aimed to perform OCT imaging in at least the coronary vessel that was suspected to be the culprit vessel (based on electrocardiography [EKG], echocardiography, and angiography).

Evaluation of Myocardial Injury on CMR

In this study, myocardial edema was evaluated as an area of high T2 signal intensity on a segmental basis (Left ventricle segments were defined by American Heart Association 17-segment model). The presence and pattern of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) were determined for each segment and divided into subendocardial, subepicardial, midwall, or transmural. LGE in the subendocardial and transmural distributions were considered ischemic. Correlation between the coronary artery distribution and myocardial segments with LGE of ischemic origin served as a source of identification of infarct-related artery.


The study has its limitations since it was a small, single-center, and observational study. In addition, loss of eligible patients due to logistical problems and withdrawals of informed consent gives rise to selection bias. Furthermore, the investigators failed to perform 3-vessel OCT imaging in all patients, which could have resulted in a lower proportion of patients with plaque disruption and/or thrombus (specifically owing to a lower rate of OCT in the right coronary artery).

Anticoagulant and Antiplatelet Therapy in Stented Patients with Atrial Fibrillation Combining Oral Anticoagulants With Platelet Inhibitors in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation and Coronary Disease

In an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, authored by Caroline Sindet-Pederson, MSc, and colleagues in the Department of Cardiology at Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev and Gentofte in Hellerup, Denmark, evaluating a real-world population of AF patients with MI and/or after PCI, the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) as compared to VKA reduced the risk of bleeding in patients also taking dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). Continue reading

Blood Transfusion Increases the Risk of VTE Following Surgery North American Registry

Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are associated with a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after surgery according to a registry study, led by Ruchika Goel, MD, has been recently published in JAMA Surgery.

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Predictors of Device Related Thrombosis After Transcatheter Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

In a recent study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, Pracon et al. suggested that the incidence of device related thrombosis (DRT) among patients undergoing percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion is related to patient  (history of thromboembolic events and lower left ventricular ejection fraction) and procedural (deep implantation and larger occluder size) characteristics.

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Thrombectomy Done Beyond 6 Hours has a Favorable Prognosis in Stroke Patients

In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it was found that endovascular thrombectomy for ischemic stroke that is performed 6 to 16 hours after the onset of symptoms resulted in better functional outcomes than standard medical therapy alone among patients with a proximal middle cerebral artery or internal carotid artery occlusion. Continue reading

S-LAAO Reduces Thromboembolism in AFib Patients After Heart Surgery

In a recent retrospective cohort study published in the Journal of American Medical Association conducted on patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing cardiac surgery, surgical left atrial appendage occlusion (S-LAAO) as compared with no surgical left atrial appendage occlusion (no S-LAAO) was significantly associated with lower risk of readmission for thromboembolism.  Continue reading

D-dimer Level is Associated With Increased Long-term Cancer Incidence and All-cause Mortality

According to a recently published article in Circulation, it was found that D-dimer level is an independent predictor of the long-term (up to 16 years) risk of arterial and venous events, cause-specific mortality, and the incidence of new cancers. The results of the study are based on a  subanalysis of the LIPID trial. Continue reading

Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study Dr. Paul Ridker and Dr. C. Michael Gibson Discuss

Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study

Dr. Paul Ridker and Dr. C. Michael Gibson Discuss