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Archive for June, 2014

IVC filter usage has increased many fold in recent years.Please note , it is not indicated in every case of recurrent DVT/or PE. There are specific indications.

Permanent IVC filters

  1. Patients at risk for DVT /PE  with  absolute contraindication to anti-coagulants.
  2. Recurrent DVT/PE in spite of adequate  anti-coagulation

Temporary /Retrievable filters*

  1. It is used during high risk periods  for DVT following major trauma or Bariatric/Spinal /Neuro surgery (PREPIC 2 study ) .*Some of the retrievable filters can be kept for months ,years or even permanently. (If the risk period extends or it has trapped a huge clot.)

 

indication for IV filter prepic study

Outcome  of IVC filter (PREPIC  -8  year follow up study )

  • Reduces risk of PE
  • Increases risk of DVT
  • No impact on long term  survival
  • Clogging of IVC remain  an important Issue

Reference

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Fractional flow reserve(FFR) is an  Intra coronary hemodynamic  parameter  promoted recently to assess the physiological impact of a coronary lesion . Though it sounds logically attractive the concept  is sailing in rough seas  .I am afraid FFR is drowning  a fairly useful tool of IVUS  along with it  !

Read this large study on FFR (JAMA June 2014) .It seems to suggest  FFR is a costly and unnecessary accessory in cath lab

Image

Critical thoughts on FFR

It adds time , money , and procedural risk*  to any given patient .The only possible use is to reduce the proliferating stent usage !But the  irony  is complete as we do our daily business in  modern cath suits .To negate  one indulgence we need to  need to indulge  in  another ! (Junk begets Junk !)

It reflects lack of courage on the part of cardiologists to advice medical management even in obvious low risk lesions !

It is unfortunate ,we need a scientific or  a pseudo scientific tool to lift up our sagging medical intellect !

 

* crossing  delicate and often complex lesions  without any major purpose is bad wisdom !
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Shall I begin with a provocative quote (My own !)

Inability to think beyond  self , family, private life  reflects a backward and immature  state of human mind

How to eradicate this backwardness  we all suffer from !

I stumbled upon a book which made me wonder , whether  eradication of  backwardness is little to  do with education ! It lies much, much deeper in our cortical thinking influenced by  inheritance , evolution , culture and economy .

The stunning truth was exemplified  by  American political  scientist  Edward C. Banfield  .A must read for every one who have mind for society , community and the humanity !

In this book he introduced a new term to describe this self centered thinking as “Amoral familism”

“Banfield concluded that  human  plight was rooted in the distrust, envy and suspicion displayed by  them in  relations with each other. Fellow citizens would refuse to help one another, except where one’s own personal material gain was at stake. Many attempted to hinder their neighbors from attaining success, believing that others’ good fortune would inevitably harm their own interests”

Banfield theroy  and  “Moral Bankruptcy in Modern medical care

I am afraid  there is a  compelling link between Banfield’s observation in a remote Italian village  to the current  medical  community   mind set who care only for their patients who pay them and keep them happy !

If you  think  education will eradicate social backwardness ,Why ?  one of the most highly educated community that form the noble profession remain backward in their thinking !

How do you explain  innumerable instances of hospitals ,  doctors shutting doors for  lesser humans  even in dire emergencies ! ?

Why do many of them  join hands with powers that can be detrimental to the overall health of the society ?

The stunning irony is , they do it  unashamed (with pleasure  at times!)  in  violation of the oath they take when they join the Noble profession. Shall we call it  as ” Moral Bankruptcy in medical care ?

Read further

Moral Basis of a Backward Society 
 
Moral basis of a backward society banfield

Highlights of this book  (Text from Wikipedia)

The Moral Basis of a Backward Society is a book by Edward C. Banfield, a political scientist who visited Montegrano, Italy . He observed a self-interested, family centric society which sacrificed the public good for the sake of nepotism and the immediate family. Banfield as an American was witnessing what was to become infamous as the “mafia” or families that cared only for its own “members” at the expense of their fellow citizens. Banfield postulated that the backwardness of such a society could be explained ‘largely but not entirely’ by ‘the inability of the villagers to act together for their common good or, indeed, for any end transcending the immediate, material interest of the nuclear family’.

 

Link to this book in PDF

 

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critical decision making cardiology cath lab tricks coronary  angiogram primary angioplasty ptca vs cabg acc aha guidelines esc guidelines

Answer

While our brain perceives  whatever option  we  choose is the best for the patient  , in reality it is rarely true !

The only comment I wish to make,  there is nothing called standard guidelines for complex and unusual problems .We need not be obsessed with protocols  !

Please remember , If you apply standard guidelines  in  non-standard situations  9/10 times we  are going to err !

So my  choice  would be, to  go with your gut feeling , of course  your gut should  be alive ,  up to date and periodically maintained !

If you don’t have the guts  . . . don’t worry  you have plenty of other options !

 

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A 40 year old  women came  with acute dyspnea who had a prosthetic mitral valve implanted 2 years ago for RHD  .

An emergency  echo showed  a peak gradient of 35mmhg across the valve .She was on warfarin regularly and her last INR was 2.2.Heart rate  was 138/minute, lungs showed congestion .LA,LV were dilated. LV function appeared mildly compromised  but could not be accurately quantified as the  patient  was in distress.

 

The fellow on duty had no hesitation  in diagnosing prosthetic valve thrombus .He Initiated Inj streptokinse bolus followed by infusion  along with diuretics . After few hours the gradient regressed .Patient felt better .Every one was happy . The consultant congratulated the fellow for  the good job done .To recognize prosthetic valve obstruction early and  successfully lysing it too !  The fellow  felt gratified .

prosthetic valve obstruction thrombus 002

Since I  was hanging around the CCU , watching the proceedings , I Initiated  a debate which was  curious to the team that handled the  patient !

Was it really thrombotic obstruction that caused his symptoms ?

  • No one has visualized the thrombus
  • TEE was not done
  • Fluroscopic evaluation of disk motion was not performed
  • There was no documentation of raising FDP that would Indicate clot lysis.

All  we have  is an unexplained  tachycardia with raised  trans prosthetic gradient . . .

Why we are tuned to think  raised gradients  to be  synonymous with thrombus ?

There has  been lot of assumption here . Subsequent analysis of history and  clinical presentation revealed the patient had a febrile illness which triggered an  atrial tachycardia  that possibly  resulted in transient  LV dilatation and dysfunction.

Once the failure is controlled the gradient has come down , I argued !

Of course, this again could be  a guess work , How can you  still rule out a thrombus ? They wondered !

I told them ,  question here is not ruling in or ruling out prosthetic valve thrombus.

It is an important  lesson to learn , raised  prosthetic gradient is not equal to thrombus  in many  acute hemodynamic situations* .

Many factors other than prosthetic valve obstruction  can elevate the gradient.

After all ,  prosthetic valve orifice is inherently stenosed  .(MVO is  never >2.5sqcm in any prosthetic mitral valve) . So at times of tachycardia the gradient is bound to be elevated .

Other factors that can elevate trans – mitral gradient includes

  • LV dysfunction
  • Acute diastolic dysfunction
  • Acute peri-valvular MR
  • Loss of LA compliance

 *One of the  commonest (yet not recognised) cause for elevation of trans mitral prosthetic gradient is acute left ventricular failure due to any cause.It  can be either acute diastolic dysfunction or a sudden raise in  blood pressure that result in  after load mismatch.

Final message

Please remember flow across prosthetic valve is governed by  delicate  local hemodynamic rules .The gradient  is  critically dependent on heart rate, LA  size and compliance , LVEDP and after-load mismatch if any !

Transient raise can occur at times of tachycardia and falling LV function (Mitral valve has to push hard, in the process elevating the gradient)

Simple raise in trans-valvular gradient should be carefully interpreted. Since visualising thrombus in routine TTE is  difficult  in an acutely  dyspnic  patient  many of us have taken this  granted !

Nothing wrong in playing  guess games in medicine . . . but we  need to acknowledge it!

*Note:Other causes for chronically elevated gradients like pannus formation, mechanical defects of valve, degenerated prosthesis  should be addressed separately.

 

 

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