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   2005| June-Aug  | Volume 6 | Issue 2  
    Online since June 18, 2010

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The hippocratic oath

June-Aug 2005, 6(2):86-89
  2,141 74 -
Are antifibrinolytic drugs equivalent in reducing blood loss and transfusion in cardiac surgery? A meta-analysis of randomized head-to-head trials
Paul A Carless, Annette J Moxey, Barrie J Stokes, David A Henry
June-Aug 2005, 6(2):71-82
Background: Aprotinin has been shown to be effective in reducing peri-operative blood loss and the need for re-operation due to continued bleeding in cardiac surgery. The lysine analogues tranexamic acid (TXA) and epsilon aminocaproic acid (EACA) are cheaper, but it is not known if they are as effective as aprotinin. Methods: Studies were identified by searching electronic databases and bibliographies of published articles. Data from head-to-head trials were pooled using a conventional (Cochrane) meta-analytic approach and a Bayesian approach which estimated the posterior probability of TXA and EACA being equivalent to aprotinin; we used as a non-inferiority boundary a 20% increase in the rates of transfusion or re-operation because of bleeding. Results: Peri-operative blood loss was significantly greater with TXA and EACA than with aprotinin: weighted mean differences were 106 mls (95% CI 37 to 227 mls) and 185 mls (95% CI 134 to 235 mls) respectively. The pooled relative risks (RR) of receiving an allogeneic red blood cell (RBC) transfusion with TXA and EACA, compared with aprotinin, were 1.08 (95% CI 0.88 to 1.32) and 1.14 (95% CI 0.84 to 1.55) respectively. The equivalent Bayesian posterior mean relative risks were 1.15 (95% Bayesian Credible Interval [BCI] 0.90 to 1.68) and 1.21 (95% BCI 0.79 to 1.82) respectively. For transfusion, using a 20% non-inferiority boundary, the posterior probabilities of TXA and EACA being non-inferior to aprotinin were 0.82 and 0.76 respectively. For re-operation the Cochrane RR for TXA vs. aprotinin was 0.98 (95% CI 0.51 to 1.88), compared with a posterior mean Bayesian RR of 0.63 (95% BCI 0.16 to 1.46). The posterior probability of TXA being non-inferior to aprotinin was 0.92, but this was sensitive to the inclusion of one small trial. Conclusion: The available data are conflicting regarding the equivalence of lysine analogues and aprotinin in reducing peri-operative bleeding, transfusion and the need for re-operation. Decisions are sensitive to the choice of clinical outcome and non-inferiority boundary. The data are an uncertain basis for replacing aprotinin with the cheaper lysine analogues in clinical practice. Progress has been hampered by small trials and failure to study clinically relevant outcomes.
  1,576 57 -
Top 10 health care ethics challenges facing the public: Views of Toronto bioethicists
Jonathan M Breslin, Susan K MacRae, Jennifer Bell, Peter A Singer
June-Aug 2005, 6(2):49-56
Background: There are numerous ethical challenges that can impact patients and families in the health care setting. This paper reports on the results of a study conducted with a panel of clinical bioethicists in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the purpose of which was to identify the top ethical challenges facing patients and their families in health care. A modified Delphi study was conducted with twelve clinical bioethicist members of the Clinical Ethics Group of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. The panel was asked the question, what do you think are the top ten ethical challenges that Canadians may face in health care? The panel was asked to rank the top ten ethical challenges throughout the Delphi process and consensus was reached after three rounds. Discussion: The top challenge ranked by the group was disagreement between patients/families and health care professionals about treatment decisions. The second highest ranked challenge was waiting lists. The third ranked challenge was access to needed resources for the aged, chronically ill, and mentally ill. Summary: Although many of the challenges listed by the panel have received significant public attention, there has been very little attention paid to the top ranked challenge. We propose several steps that can be taken to help address this key challenge.
  1,553 48 -
Symptomatic relief precedes improvement of myocardial blood flow in patients under spinal cord stimulation
Holger Diedrichs, Carsten Zobel, Peter Theissen, Michael Weber, Athanassios Koulousakis, Harald Schicha, Robert HG Schwinger1
June-Aug 2005, 6(2):63-70
Background: Spinal cord electrical stimulation (SCS) has been shown to be a treatment option for patients suffering from angina pectoris CCS III-IV although being on optimal medication and not suitable for conventional treatment strategies, e.g. CABG or PTCA. Although many studies demonstrated a clear symptomatic relief under SCS therapy, there are only a few short-term studies that investigated alterations in cardiac ischemia. Therefore, doubts remain whether SCS has a direct effect on myocardial perfusion. Methods: A prospective study to investigate the short- and long-term effect of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) on myocardial ischemia in patients with refractory angina pectoris and coronary multivessel disease was designed. Myocardial ischemia was measured by MIBI-SPECT scintigraphy 3 months and 12 months after the beginning of neurostimulation. To further examine the relation between cardiac perfusion and functional status of the patients, we measured exercise capacity (bicycle ergometry and 6-minute walk test), symptoms and quality of life (Seattle Angina Questionnaire [SAQ]), as well. Results: 31 patients (65 - 11 SEM years; 25 male, 6 female) were included into the study. The average consumption of short acting nitrates (SAN) decreased rapidly from 12 - 1.6 times to 3 - 1 times per week. The walking distance and the maximum workload increased from 143 - 22 to 225 - 24 meters and 68 - 7 to 96 - 12 watt after 3 months. Quality of life increased (SAQ) significantly after 3 month compared to baseline, as well. No further improvement was observed after one year of treament. Despite the symptomatic relief and the improvement in maximal workload computer based analysis (Emory Cardiac Toolbox) of the MIBI-SPECT studies after 3 months of treatment did not show significant alterations of myocardial ischemia compared to baseline (16 patients idem, 7 with increase and 6 with decrease of ischemia, 2 patients dropped out during the initial test phase). Interestingly, in the long-term follow up after one year, 16 patients (of 27 who completed the one year follow up) showed a clear decrease of myocardial ischemia and only one patient still had an increase of ischemia compared to baseline. Conclusion: Thus, spinal cord stimulation not only relieves symptoms, but reduces myocardial ischemia as well. However, since improvement in symptoms and exercise capacity starts much earlier, decreased myocardial ischemia might not be a direct effect of neurostimulation but rather be due to a better coronary collateralisation because of an enhanced physical activity of the patients.
  1,472 53 -
Bilateral renal artery stenting at Queen Alia heart institute: A review of 15 cases
Hatem Salaheen Abbadi
June-Aug 2005, 6(2):57-62
Objective: To review the clinical pattern and associated features in 15 cases of bilateral renal artery stenosis who underwent bilateral renal artery setting at the Queen Alia Heart Institute in Jordan. Methods: Between January 2000 and December 2004, a total of 15 patients were found to have significant bilateral renal artery stenosis on routine renal angiogram during cardiac catheterization for coronary or valve diseases. These 15 patients underwent bilateral renal artery stenting. Their medical records were retrieved and clinical and laboratory data were reviewed. Unilateral renal cases were excluded. Data parameters were age, risk factors, clinical presentation, kidney function test, lipid profile, severity of coronary artery disease, left ventricular dysfunction, use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, and associated atheromatous vascular diseases. Results: The mean age was 64.4 years, two thirds were male, 80% had hypertension, and 46% had diabetes mellitus. 86% had significant coronary artery disease (13 patients), six of whom underwent coronary artery bypass surgery. Two patients had creatinine level of > 2 mg/dl, the rest were normal. As to clinical presentation, 6 presented with myocardial infarction, 6 angina, and 3 presented with pulmonary edema. Bilateral renal artery stenting was performed in all 15 patients with 93% success rate. One patient died during surgery. Conclusion: Bilateral renal artery stenosis is commonly associated with coronary artery disease. In such clinical setting, patients usually present with cardiac symptoms and minimal derangement of kidney function. Bilateral renal artery stenting can be done safely in such patients. Bilateral renal artery stenting would decrease the progression to ischemic nephropathy and improve cardiac symptoms like pulmonary edema, angina, and allow use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors safely in addition to undergoing cardiac surgery with no or minimal renal complications.
  1,295 55 -
Medical ethics: Old and new challenges
Hajar H.A Albinali
June-Aug 2005, 6(2):47-48
  845 52 -
Cardiovascular News

June-Aug 2005, 6(2):44-46
  763 63 -
Aortic aneurysm

June-Aug 2005, 6(2):83-83
  725 52 -
Two Worlds
Rachel Hajar
June-Aug 2005, 6(2):84-85
  700 56 -