Items in AFP with MESH term: Heart Diseases

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How Family Physicians Can Help Spread "The Heart Truth" - Editorials


Preoperative Cardiac Risk Assessment - Article

ABSTRACT: Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. An important subset of heart disease is perioperative myocardial infarction, which affects approximately 50,000 persons each year. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) have coauthored a guideline on preoperative cardiac risk assessment, as has the American College of Physicians (ACP). The ACC/AHA guideline uses major, intermediate, and minor clinical predictors to stratify patients into different cardiac risk categories. Patients with poor functional status or those undergoing high-risk surgery require further risk stratification via cardiac stress testing. The ACP guideline also starts by screening patients for clinical variables that predict perioperative cardiac complications. However, the ACP did not feel there was enough evidence to support poor functional status as a significant predictor of increased risk. High-risk patients would sometimes merit preoperative cardiac catheterization by the ACC/AHA guideline, while the ACP version would reserve catheterization only for those who were candidates for cardiac revascularization independent of their noncardiac surgery. A recent development in prophylaxis of surgery-related cardiac complications is the use of beta blockers perioperatively for patients with cardiac risk factors.


Update on Exercise Stress Testing - Article

ABSTRACT: Exercise stress testing is an important diagnostic tool for the evaluation of suspected or known cardiac disease. In 2002, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) revised their guidelines for exercise testing. Ten categories from the ACC/ AHA 1997 guidelines were modified: ST heart rate adjustment, unstable angina, older patients, acute coronary syndromes, chest pain centers, acute myocardial infarction, asymptomatic patients, valvular heart disease, rhythm disturbances, and hypertension. Adjustment of the ST heart rate can identify myocardial ischemia in asymptomatic patients with elevated cardiac risk. Intermediate- and low-risk patients with unstable angina, acute coronary syndromes, or chest pain should undergo exercise stress testing when clinically stable. Provided they are stable, patients who have had acute myocardial infarction can undergo a submaximal exercise test before discharge or a symptom-limited exercise stress test any time after two to three weeks have elapsed. In asymptomatic patients with cardiac risk factors, the exercise stress test may provide valuable prognostic information. Aortic regurgitation is the only valvular heart disorder in which there is significant evidence that exercise stress testing is useful in management decisions. The stress test also can be used in older patients to identify the presence of coronary artery disease. However, because of other comorbidities, a pharmacologic stress test may be necessary. Exercise stress testing can help physicians successfully evaluate arrhythmia in patients with syncope. The exercise stress test also can help identify patients at risk of developing hypertension if they show an abnormal hypertensive response to exercise.


Systemic Sclerosis/Scleroderma: A Treatable Multisystem Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (systemic scleroderma) is a chronic connective tissue disease of unknown etiology that causes widespread microvascular damage and excessive deposition of collagen in the skin and internal organs. Raynaud phenomenon and scleroderma (hardening of the skin) are hallmarks of the disease. The typical patient is a young or middle-age woman with a history of Raynaud phenomenon who presents with skin induration and internal organ dysfunction. Clinical evaluation and laboratory testing, along with pulmonary function testing, Doppler echocardiography, and high-resolution computed tomography of the chest, establish the diagnosis and detect visceral involvement. Patients with systemic sclerosis can be classified into two distinct clinical subsets with different patterns of skin and internal organ involvement, autoantibody production, and survival. Prognosis is determined by the degree of internal organ involvement. Although no disease-modifying therapy has been proven effective, complications of systemic sclerosis are treatable, and interventions for organ-specific manifestations have improved substantially. Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-II receptor blockers for Raynaud phenomenon, appropriate treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease) and lifestyle modifications can help prevent complications, such as digital ulcers and Barrett esophagus. Endothelin-1 receptor blockers and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors improve pulmonary arterial hypertension. The risk of renal damage from scleroderma renal crisis can be lessened by early detection, prompt initiation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy, and avoidance of high-dose corticosteroids. Optimal patient care includes an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to promptly and effectively recognize, evaluate, and manage complications and limit end-organ dysfunction.


Depression and Heart Disease - Editorials


ACC/AHA and ASNC Release Guidelines for the Clinical Use of Cardiac Radionuclide Imaging - Practice Guidelines


Amlodipine/Atorvastin (Caduet) for Preventing Heart Disease - STEPS


ACC/AHA Panel Prepares Guidelines for Exercise Testing - Special Medical Reports


Preventing Bacterial Endocarditis: American Heart Association Guidelines - Article

ABSTRACT: The American Heart Association recently revised its guidelines for the prevention of bacterial endocarditis. These guidelines are meant to aid physicians, dentists and other health care providers, but they are not intended to define the standard of care or to serve as a substitute for clinical judgment. In the guidelines, cardiac conditions are stratified into high-, moderate- and negligible-risk categories based on the potential outcome if endocarditis develops. Procedures that may cause bacteremia and for which prophylaxis is recommended are clearly specified. In addition, an algorithm has been developed to more clearly define when prophylaxis is recommended in patients with mitral valve prolapse. For oral and dental procedures, the standard prophylactic regimen is a single dose of oral amoxicillin (2 g in adults and 50 mg per kg in children), but a follow-up dose is no longer recommended. Clindamycin and other alternatives are recommended for use in patients who are allergic to penicillin. For gastrointestinal and genitourinary procedures, the prophylactic regimens have been simplified. The new recommendations are meant to more clearly define when prophylaxis is or is not recommended, to improve compliance, to reduce cost and the incidence of gastrointestinal side effects, and to approach more uniform worldwide recommendations.


Current Status of Cardiac Rehabilitation - Article

ABSTRACT: Cardiac rehabilitation is an important management strategy in patients with coronary artery disease. Substantial data from both mortality and morbidity studies support the benefits. Recent studies of patients with coronary artery disease have shown that exercise confers greater benefit in those who are also on a fat-controlled diet than in those who are not. In addition, high-intensity exercise has been found to improve left ventricular function in men with coronary artery disease. Individual home exercise programs, both with and without telephone monitoring, are prescribed by physicians and health care professionals for an increasing number of patients. Aggressive modification of coronary risk factors is also incorporated in the overall cardiac rehabilitation program, and the concept of greater total kilocalorie expenditure per week is emphasized.


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