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Archive for October, 2008

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dr s venkatesan ,venkatesan india , india venkatesan , dr venkatesan, cardiologist india, india cardiologist, indian cardiologist, chennai cardiologist, venkatesan madras,cardiologist madras medical college, venkatesan assistant professor of cardiology, top indian cardiologist, top ten cardiologist india, best cardiologist india, online cardiologist, consultant cardiologist chennai, india’s famous cardiologist,cardiological society of india,

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One of the greatest physicians of all time,  I have come across , is my professor Dr.T.K.Ganesan from Coimbatore medical college.

dr tkg professor t k ganesan coimbatore medical college

A man who taught  medicine to generations of doctors.During those years  (1980-1990) learning medicine was simple and also not contaminated  with  commerce . Dr TKG made it so lively .He infused passion in the subject.

dr k a sambasivam dr s venkatesan  dr tkg dr t k ganesan coimbatore medical college

Myself and Dr K.A.Sambasivam (Son in law of DrTKG at his residence in Coimbatore )

* Dr K.A .Sambasivam  was my class mate during both my under and post graduation . He is now a senior Interventional cardiologist in GKNM Hospital Coimbatore .

This post will be updated.

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During acute  ischemia the most immediate requirement for the heart is

A.Blood

B.Oxygen

C.Glucose

D.High energy ATPs

E.Free fatty acid

Answer : A  will be considered  by most , as  correct answer .  A can provide B to E . But it is also a fact heart can survive without  A.  

Myocardium requires energy first  ! it does not in fact bother about from where it is coming at the time of crises.It may be right if you restore the coronary blood flow all other components (B-E) are made available to the heart .

The heart can survive off  the coronary circulation with only chemical support during cardiac surgery and also a during  heart transplantation  explanted  donor heart survives on a ice box during transit and till it is transplanted into the recipient heart

But ironically we spend much of our energy and efforts in restoring blood flow.One need to spare a thought about the quality of blood also . This is especially important  in the setting of ischmia  where a  metabolic centric approach will add further benefit.

Energy based approach to ischemia : Is it relevent ?

Heart is a fascinating  mechano biological organ  pumping   millions of  gallons of blood  .Fuel for this is self generated  on a continuous basis  from the circulation blood .So  the key to human survival is the coronary blood flow that supplies the fuel and nutrients to the heart. When this key supply line is under threat  during  acute coronary syndrome cardiologist have  the only option of restoring the compromised blood supply by any means . But during chronic ischemia there is  no  urgency. There has always been an option of enriching the  blood with energisers like ATPs,  glucose,  hemoglobin etc .Providing energy support to the failing heart has never captured the imagination of cardiac physicians until recently.Still most are skeptical about  the concept of biochemical ischemia.

Click to download full PPT presentation

Metabolic manipulation of  CAD( Will be available shortly)

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Humans have roughly 5 to 6 liters of blood at any given time in their  body  . Out of  this*

50% (2500ml)  is located in the systemic venous compartment.
18% is within the pulmonary circulation participating in the vital oxygenation
12% (500-600ml) is within the cardiac chambers.
8%  is in the arterial tree of  the body.
5%  is  within the  capillaries.
2%  is in the aorta.
* Source : Best & Taylor Physiological basis of  medical practice 1966, 8th edition

What is the implication of this predominantly venous distribution of blood  at rest ?

  • A competent venous tone is essential  for the human beings to maintain the erect posture.
  • Bulk of the cause of syncope in humans is due to peripheral  mechanism like loss of vascular tone and resultant venous pooling.
  • The  concept of venous reservoir is so important in emergency situations like  hypotension  as  simple elevation of legs  is equivalent to  infusing 500 -800 ml of intravenous saline .
  • Similarly during acute left ventricular failure trunk elevation and legs dangling down can reduce the pulmonary congestion very significantly and reduce pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (LVEDP)

 Autonomic dysfunction and venous insufficiency

 Autonomic dysfunction and resultant  orthostatic hypotension is directly related  to venous reservoir dysfunction.Increasing effective circulatory volume by elastic stockings or administration of mineralocorticosteroids like fludrocortisone (.5mg/day ) can be useful in this condition

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                             Glucose is the molecule of life   ,burnt every second inside the body at the energy store house called mitochondria. Heart , the most active organ in the body  gets  bulk  of it’s energy supply  from fatty acids,  glucose and a little from keto acids. Under anerobic conditions this energy substrates shifts towards glucose .

                             We are  rarely inclined to think  that heart  can ever suffer from hypoglycemia ! But hypoglycemia can have distinct direct and indirect effects on heart.  In fact indirect effects due to activation of adrenergic activation is more obvious.An episode of hypoglycemia can precipitate an arrhythmia . Glucose potassium insulin infusion

 

 

 

Final message

Hypoglycemia , can be a trigger of ACS .This aspect is poorly recognised and studied.

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Ventricular fibrillation is invariably fatal if not treated . When can atrial fibrillation be fatal ? 

                                     Atrial fibrillation is relatively a benign arrhythmia especially when it occurs in isolation with  structurally normal heart.This is sometimes referred to lone atrial fibrillation . Even otherwise, atrial fibrillation is rarely fatal except in few situations.But AF commonly destabilises the patient  who have baseline valvular or myocardial disease.(Post MI, dilated cardiomyopathy etc)

There are few situations where AF can be life threatening

  • In patients  with WPW syndrome*where , AF  enters into a electrical short  circuit , downhill to enter the ventricle and make it fire at the same rate as that of atria . ( ie 400-600) and result in ventricular  fibrillation.Note , even here it is the VF that kills  not , AF per se.
  • AF in acute MI  often precipitates LVF , but rarely fatal.
  • In patients with critical aortic stenosis, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sudden onset of AF can result in acute cardiac failure.
  • AF is often a terminal event in primary pulmonary hypertension

While atrial fibrillation is  less likely to cause  death , it is  a highly morbid arrhythmia .It is one of important cause of stroke in elderly as well as young !

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               Usually in the the vascular  system both artery and  vein  go together .It is an  irony in pulmonary circualtion  these two never go together .Another paradox is that pulmonary artery carries the most deoxygenated  blood and pulmonary vien carries the purest  form of blood in the entrie body , probably God has kept them widely seperated as  communication between them  seriously affect the physiology.

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Ventricular tachycardia is considered as one of the most  dangerous  cardiac arrhythmia .Rather , it is the label  VT  that spreads more  fear than the arrhythmia itself. It is a fact many patients with VT walk into hospital , still  VT will always be a sinister arrhythmia as long as it carries a risk of degenerating into ventricular fibrillation.

What determines hemodynamic stability in VT ?

  • Origin and location of VT
  • The ventricular rate
  • Presence or absence of AV dissociation
  • Impact on mitral inflow pattern
  • Associated left ventricular dysfunction or valvular heart disease.
  • VT in the setting of acute coronary syndrome.(Ischemic VT)
  • Inappropriate drug selection

Origin and location

VTs originating high up in the ventricle( High septal VT,Proximal VTs) have more organised ventricular contraction  and they are more stable.Distal VT  originating  in the myocardium away from the conducting system has chaotic myocyte to myocyte conduction.These are very unstable.

The term fascicular VT is nothing but VTs originating  in the His bundle and it’s branches( Can also be termed Septal VT ).These VTs are also stable and some of them respond well to calcium blockers indicating that they are very close to the AV junction and carry the properties of junctional tachycardia. QRS width gives  a rough estimate about the location of VT. Narrower the VT higher it’s origin.( But remember even in VT ,  qrs can further widen on it’s way downhill !)

LV dysfunction.

This is probably the most important determinant of the outcome in VT. Patients with severe LV dysfunction (EF <30%) fare badly .Hence the land mark concepts from MADIT 1& 2 demanded ICDs in these patients.The most common clinical setting is  dilated cardiomyopathy.SomE of them have bundle branch re entry(BBR).This particular  VT can be stable for many  hours.

Ventricular rate.

Usually VT has a rate between 120-200.Higher the rate of VT more the chances of instability .This rule is also not always true as fascicular VT can be well tolerated at high rates.So location of VT focus  and LV dysfunction usually over rides the impact  of ventricular rate.

Mitral inflow pattern

Proper left ventricular filling is the key to hemodynamic stability in VT. In proximal, septal,fascicular, LVOT VTs doppler studies  suggest (ACC /AHA Type C evidence : Personal observations in CCU during VT) near normal preservation of  bi modal filling of mitral valve inflow.In ischemic myocardial VT  the mitral inflow profile is critically affected . There is no distinctive forward filling was observed .In fact  at rapid rates a short pulsatile MR jets are noted instead.

Associated valvular diseases

It is obvious,  aortic  and mitral valve disorders can aggravate the hemodyanmic instability.

Final message

The clinical behavior of  ventricular tachycardia is widely variable and dependent on multiple factors.

Associated LV dysfunction and  structural heart disease ultimately determine the outcome.

 

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                                  Even as cardiology community is preoccupied with systemic hypertension & CAD  ,  pulmonary arterial hypertension(PAH) is a much neglected , still  an important clinical cardiac problem encountered . The irony is self evident , there are half a dozen methods to grade systemic hypertension not even a single stadardised grading available for pulmonary arterial hypertension. The WHO  working group defined pulmonary hypertension  few decades ago and was not clinically graded .The only grading available is based on  the pulmonary vascular biopsy changes (Heath Edwards) 

                                   Currently PAH management has gone through revolutionary changes. There is an urgent  need for grading  this entity .This will facilitate to  diagnose , manage and assess the efficacy of the currently available treatment.

                                Developing countries like ours have a great number of PAH due to rampant rheumatic heart disease.  A simple study was done in  100 patients with PAH .Bulk of the study population had RHD .Few had primary pulmonary  hypertension .Systolic , diastolic, and mean pressure was assessed by doppler echocardiographic analysis of tricuspid regurgitation (TR) and pulmonary regurgitaion(PR) jets. TR jet provided the systolic PA pressure , PR jet provided mean as well as diastolic PA pressure .TR jet was available in all patients. PR jet was available only in 60 patients .Hence the diastolic andmean PA pressure data has been extrapolated in some  and  was plotted in a scatter diagram. Five equal quintiles were divided. Patients in first  and 2nd quintiles were graded 1   and third  and 4th  quintile were  graded 2 ,  5 th  was graded 3 respectively. From this cut off points for  various grades of PAH were identified .The top 3% of patients  with highest PAP were graded as grade 4 and all of them had supra systemic PAH. 

The following grading is suggested for PAH* 

 *This is a preliminary  attempt to grade PAH. This could be applicable mainly in rheumatic heart disese and primary pulmonary hypertension .Further refining of methodology is  required.PAH grading may be little different in congenital left to right shunts.

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                        Palpitation is one of the common symptoms for which cardiac patients are referred. Like dyspnea , palpitation can either be a physiological expression of normally beating heart or a  dangerous pathological state of the heart. This makes this symptom unique and warrants careful evaluation.                                                                                                                                                         By definition palpitation  is abnormal  awareness  of ones own heart beat. Heart is a mechanical organ with multiple mobile anatomical structures. There is  constant  blood  flow in multiple directions . Apart from this the heart   has  it’s unique translational, rotational movement . These intrinsic movements combined with proximity to chest wall  generate vibratory  motion  signals .These signals are generally dampened by the encircling pericardial space .The neural signals responsible for  perception  of palpitation is not clear. If the heart hits against the chest wall it is the  somatic nerves from the chest wall that carries the signal. Vibrations generated within the heart chambers, and  and the  valves  are  carried  by the  myocardial and intravascular  sensors.( Autonomic) 

What are causes of palpitation?

       Cardiac

  • All hyperdynamic circulatory states. It may be generated from either  right or left ventricle or both.
  • Regurgitant lesions ( Mainly Mitral and aortic regurgitation)
  • MVPS*
  • Congenital heart disese ( Mainly left to right shunts-ASD/VSD/etc)
  • Apart from this patients  with prosthetic heart valve, and pacemaker patients can feel their heart beats.
  •  Cardiac arrhythmia .Both tachycardia, and bradycardia . Ventricular ectopic beats are the very common cause .( It is often described as missed beat)

* Mitral valve prolapse, a very benign condition, over diagnosed in the last few decades raised considerable anxiety and palpitations for the patients (mainly after the diagnosis ! ).Now the cardiology community has sought to underplay this entity with strict diagnostic criteria.( Thickened mitral leaflet ,presence of MR both must be present to label a patient  as MVPS)

       Non cardiac

  • Physiological
  • Anxiety state
  • Anemia 

What is the relationship between ejection fraction and palpitation?

                                        Generally palpitation indicate a  hyper kinetic state of heart .The commonest cause of palpitation is  anxiety  state .This also happens in hyper dynamic circulations like anemia , fever, thyrotoxicosis, pregnancy etc . In all these situations palpitation indicate increased force of contraction which   generates high dp/dt(Rate of rise of ventricular pressure)  . So  the left ventricularejection fraction is normal or more than normal . So  presence of  palpitation could be an  indirect evidence  of reasonably good LV function.

    “Patients  with dilated cardiomyopathy or CHF rarely feel their heart beat during exertion , instead they have dyspnea  as the LV force of contraction is less”

What is the significance of palpitation that occur during rest ?

                              Palpitation occurring at rest indicate more often a  pathology.It is invariably due to an cardiac arrhytmia  either tachycardia or bradycardia. Intelligent patients can give accurate information about the  regularity of rhythm , any  extra beats or missed beats . Atrial fibrillation, VPDs  could be  diagnosed by history alone in them !

If palpitation  is associated with visible chest pulsation what is the likely diagnosis ?

    If  significant visible pulsation over chest wall  pulsations are seen   in young adults it could simply mean a hyper dynamic circulation and thin chest wall. Pulmonary arterial pulsations is not normally felt in left 2nd inter costal space.If felt one has to rule out shunt lesions like ASD or pulmonary hypertension.
                    “ASD is the commonest cause  of right ventricular  palpitation “  

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