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Open access

Thera P Links, Trynke van der Boom, Wouter T Zandee, and Joop D Lefrandt

Thyroid hormone stimulates cardiac inotropy and chronotropy via direct genomic and non-genomic mechanisms. Hyperthyroidism magnifies these effects, resulting in an increase in heart rate, ejection fraction and blood volume. Hyperthyroidism also affects thrombogenesis and this may be linked to a probable tendency toward thrombosis in patients with hyperthyroidism. Patients with hyperthyroidism are therefore at higher risk for atrial fibrillation, heart failure and cardiovascular mortality. Similarly, TSH suppressive therapy for differentiated thyroid cancer is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. In this review, we present the latest insights on the cardiac effects of thyroid suppression therapy for the treatment of thyroid cancer. Finally, we will show new clinical data on how to implement this knowledge into the clinical practice of preventive medicine.

Open access

Alexander V Amram, Stephen Cutie, and Guo N Huang

Research conducted across phylogeny on cardiac regenerative responses following heart injury implicates endocrine signaling as a pivotal regulator of both cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration. Three prominently studied endocrine factors are thyroid hormone, vitamin D, and glucocorticoids, which canonically regulate gene expression through their respective nuclear receptors thyroid hormone receptor, vitamin D receptor, and glucocorticoid receptor. The main animal model systems of interest include humans, mice, and zebrafish, which vary in cardiac regenerative responses possibly due to the differential onsets and intensities of endocrine signaling levels throughout their embryonic to postnatal organismal development. Zebrafish and lower vertebrates tend to retain robust cardiac regenerative capacity into adulthood while mice and other higher vertebrates experience greatly diminished cardiac regenerative potential in their initial postnatal period that is sustained throughout adulthood. Here, we review recent progress in understanding how these three endocrine signaling pathways regulate cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration with a particular focus on the controversial findings that may arise from different assays, cellular-context, age, and species. Further investigating the role of each endocrine nuclear receptor in cardiac regeneration from an evolutionary perspective enables comparative studies between species in hopes of extrapolating the findings to novel therapies for human cardiovascular disease.

Open access

Adriana J van Ballegooijen, Marjolein Visser, Marieke B Snijder, Jacqueline M Dekker, Giel Nijpels, Coen D A Stehouwer, Michaela Diamant, and Ingeborg A Brouwer

Objective

A disturbed vitamin D–parathyroid hormone (PTH)–calcium axis may play a role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. Therefore, we investigated whether lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and higher PTH are cross sectionally and after 8 years of follow-up associated with higher B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in older men and women.

Design and methods

We measured baseline 25(OH)D, PTH, and BNP in 502 subjects in 2000–2001 in the Hoorn Study, a population-based cohort. Follow-up BNP was available in 2007–2009 in 278 subjects. Subjects were categorized according to season- and sex-specific quartiles of 25(OH)D and PTH at baseline. We studied the association of 25(OH)D and PTH quartiles with BNP using linear regression analyses adjusting for confounders. Analyses were stratified by kidney function estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; ≤60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) because of significant interaction.

Results

At baseline, subjects had a mean age of 69.9±6.6 years, mean 25(OH)D level was 52.2±19.5 nmol/l and mean PTH 6.1±2.4 pmol/l. Cross sectionally, 25(OH)D was associated with BNP in subjects with impaired kidney function (eGFR ≤60 ml/min) only. The association attenuated after adjustment for PTH. PTH was cross sectionally associated with BNP, also in subjects with impaired kidney function only: regression coefficient of highest quartile 9.9 pmol/l (95% confidence interval 2.5, 17.4) with a significant trend across quartiles. Neither 25(OH)D nor PTH was associated with BNP in longitudinal analyses.

Conclusion

This study showed overall no strong association between 25(OH)D and BNP. However, PTH was associated with BNP in subjects with impaired kidney function and may point to a potential role in myocardial function.

Open access

Lasse Oinonen, Antti Tikkakoski, Jenni Koskela, Arttu Eräranta, Mika Kähönen, Onni Niemelä, Jukka Mustonen, and Ilkka Pörsti

Parathyroid hormone has been related with the risk of hypertension, but the matter remains controversial. We examined the association of parathyroid hormone with central blood pressure and its determinants in 622 normotensive or never-treated hypertensive subjects aged 19–72 years without diabetes, cardiovascular or renal disease, or cardiovascular medications. The methods were whole-body impedance cardiography and analyses of pulse wave and heart rate variability. Cardiovascular function was examined in sex-specific tertiles of plasma parathyroid hormone (mean concentrations 3.0, 4.3 and 6.5 pmol/L, respectively) during head-up tilt. Explanatory factors for haemodynamics were further investigated using linear regression analyses. Mean age was 45.0 (s.d. 11.7) years, BMI 26.8 (4.4) kg/m2, seated office blood pressure 141/90 (21/12) mmHg, and 309 subjects (49.7%) were male. Only five participants had elevated plasma parathyroid hormone and calcium concentrations. Highest tertile of parathyroid hormone presented with higher supine and upright aortic diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.01) and augmentation index (P < 0.01), and higher upright systemic vascular resistance (P < 0.05) than the lowest tertile. The tertiles did not present with differences in pulse wave velocity, cardiac output, or measures of heart rate variability. In linear regression analyses, parathyroid hormone was an independent explanatory factor for aortic systolic (P = 0.005) and diastolic (P = 0.002) blood pressure, augmentation index (P = 0.002), and systemic vascular resistance (P = 0.031). To conclude, parathyroid hormone was directly related to central blood pressure, wave reflection, and systemic vascular resistance in subjects without cardiovascular comorbidities and medications. Thus, parathyroid hormone may play a role in the pathophysiology of primary hypertension.

Open access

Frans H H Leenen, Mordecai P Blaustein, and John M Hamlyn

In the brain, angiotensinergic pathways play a major role in chronic regulation of cardiovascular and electrolyte homeostasis. Increases in plasma angiotensin II (Ang II), aldosterone, [Na+] and cytokines can directly activate these pathways. Chronically, these stimuli also activate a slow neuromodulatory pathway involving local aldosterone, mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs), epithelial sodium channels and endogenous ouabain (EO). This pathway increases AT1R and NADPH oxidase subunits and maintains/further increases the activity of angiotensinergic pathways. These brain pathways not only increase the setpoint of sympathetic activity per se, but also enhance its effectiveness by increasing plasma EO and EO-dependent reprogramming of arterial and cardiac function. Blockade of any step in this slow pathway or of AT1R prevents Ang II-, aldosterone- or salt and renal injury-induced forms of hypertension. MR/AT1R activation in the CNS also contributes to the activation of sympathetic activity, the circulatory and cardiac RAAS and increase in circulating cytokines in HF post MI. Chronic central infusion of an aldosterone synthase inhibitor, MR blocker or AT1R blocker prevents a major part of the structural remodeling of the heart and the decrease in LV function post MI, indicating that MR activation in the CNS post MI depends on aldosterone, locally produced in the CNS. Thus, Ang II, aldosterone and EO are not simply circulating hormones that act on the CNS but rather they are also paracrine neurohormones, locally produced in the CNS, that exert powerful effects in key CNS pathways involved in the long-term control of sympathetic and neuro-endocrine function and cardiovascular homeostasis.

Open access

Signe Frøssing, Malin Nylander, Caroline Kistorp, Sven O Skouby, and Jens Faber

Context

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and biomarkers can be used to detect early subclinical CVD. Midregional-pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), midregional-pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) and copeptin are all associated with CVD and part of the delicate system controlling fluid and hemodynamic homeostasis through vascular tonus and diuresis. The GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide, developed for treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D), improves cardiovascular outcomes in patients with T2D including a decrease in particular MR-proANP.

Objective

To investigate if treatment with liraglutide in women with PCOS reduces levels of the cardiovascular biomarkers MR-proADM, MR-proANP and copeptin.

Methods

Seventy-two overweight women with PCOS were treated with 1.8 mg/day liraglutide or placebo for 26 weeks in a placebo-controlled RCT. Biomarkers, anthropometrics, insulin resistance, body composition (DXA) and visceral fat (MRI) were examined.

Results

Baseline median (IQR) levels were as follows: MR-proADM 0.52 (0.45–0.56) nmol/L, MR-proANP 44.8 (34.6–56.7) pmol/L and copeptin 4.95 (3.50–6.50) pmol/L. Mean percentage differences (95% CI) between liraglutide and placebo group after treatment were as follows: MR-proADM −6% (−11 to 2, P = 0.058), MR-proANP −25% (−37 to −11, P = 0.001) and copeptin +4% (−13 to 25, P = 0.64). Reduction in MR-proANP concentration correlated with both increased heart rate and diastolic blood pressure in the liraglutide group. Multiple regression analyses with adjustment for BMI, free testosterone, insulin resistance, visceral fat, heart rate and eGFR showed reductions in MR-proANP to be independently correlated with an increase in the heart rate.

Conclusion

In an RCT, liraglutide treatment in women with PCOS reduced levels of the cardiovascular risk biomarkers MR-proANP with 25% and MR-proADM with 6% (borderline significance) compared with placebo. The decrease in MR-proANP was independently associated with an increase in the heart rate.

Open access

Akinori Sairaku, Yukiko Nakano, Yuko Uchimura, Takehito Tokuyama, Hiroshi Kawazoe, Yoshikazu Watanabe, Hiroya Matsumura, and Yasuki Kihara

Background

The impact of subclinical hypothyroidism on the cardiovascular risk is still debated. We aimed to measure the relationship between subclinical hypothyroidism and the left atrial (LA) pressure.

Methods

The LA pressures and thyroid function were measured in consecutive patients undergoing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, who did not have any known heart failure, structural heart disease, or overt thyroid disease.

Results

Subclinical hypothyroidism (4.5≤ thyroid-stimulating hormone <19.9 mIU/L) was present in 61 (13.0%) of the 471 patients included. More subclinical hypothyroidism patients than euthyroid patients (55.7% vs 40.2%; P=0.04).’euthyroid patients had persistent or long-standing persistent AF (55.7% vs 40.2%; P = 0.04). The mean LA pressure (10.9 ± 4.7 vs 9.1 ± 4.3 mmHg; P = 0.002) and LA V-wave pressure (17.4 ± 6.5 vs 14.3 ± 5.9 mmHg; P < 0.001) were, respectively, higher in the patients with subclinical hypothyroidism than in the euthyroid patients. After an adjustment for potential confounders, the LA pressures remained significantly higher in the subclinical hypothyroidism patients. A multiple logistic regression model showed that subclinical hypothyroidism was independently associated with a mean LA pressure of >18 mmHg (odds ratio 3.94, 95% CI 1.28 11.2; P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Subclinical hypothyroidism may increase the LA pressure in AF patients.

Open access

Jens P Goetze, Linda M Hilsted, Jens F Rehfeld, and Urban Alehagen

Cardiovascular risk assessment remains difficult in elderly patients. We examined whether chromogranin A (CgA) measurement in plasma may be valuable in assessing risk of death in elderly patients with symptoms of heart failure in a primary care setting. A total of 470 patients (mean age 73 years) were followed for 10 years. For CgA plasma measurement, we used a two-step method including a screening test and a confirmative test with plasma pre-treatment with trypsin. Cox multivariable proportional regression and receiver-operating curve (ROC) analyses were used to assess mortality risk. Assessment of cardiovascular mortality during the first 3 years of observation showed that CgA measurement contained useful information with a hazard ratio (HR) of 5.4 (95% CI 1.7–16.4) (CgA confirm). In a multivariate setting, the corresponding HR was 5.9 (95% CI 1.8–19.1). When adding N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) to the model, CgA confirm still possessed prognostic information (HR: 6.1; 95% CI 1.8–20.7). The result for predicting all-cause mortality displayed the same pattern. ROC analyses in comparison to NT-proBNP to identify patients on top of clinical variables at risk of cardiovascular death within 5 years of follow-up showed significant additive value of CgA confirm measurements compared with NT-proBNP and clinical variables. CgA measurement in the plasma of elderly patients with symptoms of heart failure can identify those at increased risk of short- and long-term mortality.

Open access

Melinda Kertész, Szilárd Kun, Eszter Sélley, Zsuzsanna Nagy, Tamás Kőszegi, and István Wittmann

Background

Type 2 diabetes is characterized, beyond the insulin resistance, by polyhormonal resistance. Thyroid hormonal resistance has not yet been described in this population of patients. Metformin is used to decrease insulin resistance, and at present, it is assumed to influence the effect of triiodothyronine, as well.

Methods

In this open-label, pilot, hypothesis-generating, follow-up study, 21 patients were included; all of them were euthyroid with drug naïve, newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Before and after 4 weeks of metformin therapy, fructosamine, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), thyroid hormones, T3/T4 ratio, and TSH, as well as blood pressure and heart rate using ambulatory blood pressure monitor were measured. We also conducted an in vitro study to investigate the possible mechanisms of T3 resistance, assessing T3-induced Akt phosphorylation among normal (5 mM) and high (25 mM) glucose levels with or without metformin treatment in a human embryonal kidney cell line.

Results

Metformin decreased the level of T3 (P < 0.001), the ratio of T3/T4 (P = 0.038), fructosamine (P = 0.008) and HOMA-IR (P = 0.022). All these changes were accompanied by an unchanged TSH, T4, triglyceride, plasma glucose, bodyweight, blood pressure, and heart rate. In our in vitro study, T3-induced Akt phosphorylation decreased in cells grown in 25 mM glucose medium compared to those in 5 mM. Metformin could not reverse this effect.

Conclusion

Metformin seems to improve T3 sensitivity in the cardiovascular system in euthyroid, type 2 diabetic patients, the mechanism of which may be supracellular.

Open access

Julie Smith, Jan Fahrenkrug, Henrik L Jørgensen, Christina Christoffersen, and Jens P Goetze

Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. In white adipose tissue, activation of the natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) stimulates lipolysis. We have previously shown that natriuretic peptides are expressed in a circadian manner in the heart, but the temporal expression profile of their cognate receptors has not been examined in white adipose tissue. We therefore collected peri-renal white adipose tissue and serum from WT mice. Tissue mRNA contents of NPRs – NPR-A and NPR-C, the clock genes Per1 and Bmal1, and transcripts involved in lipid metabolism were quantified at 4-h intervals: in the diurnal study, mice were exposed to a period of 12 h light followed by 12 h darkness (n=52). In the circadian study, mice were kept in darkness for 24 h (n=47). Concomitant serum concentrations of free fatty acids, glycerol, triglycerides (TGs), and insulin were measured. Per1 and Bmal1 mRNA contents showed reciprocal circadian profiles (P<0.0001). NPR-A mRNA contents followed a temporal pattern (P=0.01), peaking in the dark (active) period. In contrast, NPR-C mRNA was expressed in an antiphase manner with nadir in the active period (P=0.007). TG concentrations in serum peaked in the active dark period (P=0.003). In conclusion, NPR-A and NPR-C gene expression is associated with the expression of clock genes in white adipose tissue. The reciprocal expression may thus contribute to regulate lipolysis and energy homeostasis in a diurnal manner.