Items in AFP with MESH term: Heart Function Tests
Aortic Stenosis: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article
ABSTRACT: Aortic stenosis is the most important cardiac valve disease in developed countries, affecting 3 percent of persons older than 65 years. Although the survival rate in asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis is comparable to that in age- and sex-matched control patients, the average overall survival rate in symptomatic persons without aortic valve replacement is two to three years. During the asymptomatic latent period, left ventricular hypertrophy and atrial augmentation of preload compensate for the increase in afterload caused by aortic stenosis. As the disease worsens, these compensatory mechanisms become inadequate, leading to symptoms of heart failure, angina, or syncope. Aortic valve replacement should be recommended in most patients with any of these symptoms accompanied by evidence of significant aortic stenosis on echocardiography. Watchful waiting is recommended for most asymptomatic patients, including those with hemodynamically significant aortic stenosis. Patients should be educated about symptoms and the importance of promptly reporting them to their physicians. Serial Doppler echocardiography is recommended annually for severe aortic stenosis, every one or two years for moderate disease, and every three to five years for mild disease. Cardiology referral is recommended for all patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis, those with severe aortic stenosis without apparent symptoms, and those with left ventricular dysfunction. Many patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis have concurrent cardiac conditions, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and coronary artery disease, which should also be carefully managed.
Evaluation of Syncope - Article
ABSTRACT: Syncope is a transient and abrupt loss of consciousness with complete return to preexisting neurologic function. It is classified as neurally mediated (i.e., carotid sinus hypersensitivity, situational, or vasovagal), cardiac, orthostatic, or neurogenic. Older adults are more likely to have orthostatic, carotid sinus hypersensitivity, or cardiac syn- cope, whereas younger adults are more likely to have vasovagal syncope. Common nonsyncopal syndromes with similar presentations include seizures, metabolic and psychogenic disorders, and acute intoxication. Patients presenting with syncope (other than neurally mediated and orthostatic syncope) are at increased risk of death from any cause. Useful clinical rules to assess the short-term risk of death and the need for immediate hospitalization include the San Francisco Syncope Rule and the Risk Stratification of Syncope in the Emergency Department rule. Guidelines suggest an algorithmic approach to the evaluation of syncope that begins with the history and physical examination. All patients presenting with syncope require electrocardiography, orthostatic vital signs, and QT interval monitoring. Patients with cardiovascular disease, abnormal electrocardiography, or family history of sudden death, and those presenting with unexplained syncope should be hospitalized for further diagnostic evaluation. Patients with neurally mediated or orthostatic syncope usually require no additional testing. In cases of unexplained syncope, further testing such as echocardiography, grade exercise testing, electrocardiographic monitoring, and electrophysiologic studies may be required. Although a subset of patients will have unexplained syncope despite undergoing a comprehensive evaluation, those with multiple episodes compared with an isolated event are more likely to have a serious underlying disorder.