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Open access

Jing Hong, Wen-Yue Liu, Xiang Hu, Fei-Fei Jiang, Ze-Ru Xu, Fang Li, Fei-Xia Shen, and Hong Zhu

Background

A prolonged heart rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) has been associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the general population. However, no study to date has identified a link between prolonged QTc and the severity of PAD in patients with diabetes mellitus and foot ulcers (DFUs). This study aimed to investigate this relationship.

Methods

This multicenter study enrolled 281 patients with DFUs. The severity of PAD was classified into no severe PAD group (without stenosis or occlusion) and severe PAD group (with stenosis or occlusion) based on duplex ultrasonography. The association of prolonged QTc with severe PAD was evaluated in a multivariable mixed-effect logistic regression model, with the hospital as a random effect. Directed acyclic graphs were used to drive the selection of variables to fit the regression model.

Results

Patients with severe PAD had longer QTc than those without. Based on the multivariable mixed-effect logistic regression model, a prolonged QTc was positively associated with severe PAD (odds ratio (OR) = 2.61; 95% CI: 1.07–6.35) and severe DFUs (Wagner grade score ≥ 3) (OR = 2.87; 95% CI: 1.42–5.81).

Conclusions

A prolonged QTc was associated with severe PAD in patients with DFUs. Further research is required to ascertain whether the association is causal.

Open access

Ursula M M Costa, Carla R P Oliveira, Roberto Salvatori, José A S Barreto-Filho, Viviane C Campos, Francielle T Oliveira, Ivina E S Rocha, Joselina L M Oliveira, Wersley A Silva, and Manuel H Aguiar-Oliveira

Abstract

GH and its principal mediator IGF1 have important effects on metabolic and cardiovascular (CV) status. While acquired GH deficiency (GHD) is often associated with increased CV risk, the consequences of congenital GHD are not known. We have described a large group of patients with isolated GHD (IGHD) due to a homozygous mutation (c.57+1G>A) in the GH releasing hormone receptor gene, and shown that adult GH-naïve individuals have no evidence of clinically evident premature atherosclerosis. To test whether subclinical atherosclerosis is anticipated in untreated IGHD, we performed a cross-sectional study of 25 IGHD and 27 adult controls matched for age and gender. A comprehensive clinical and biochemical panel and coronary artery calcium scores were evaluated by multi-detector tomography. Height, weight, IGF1, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, creatinine and creatininekinase were lower in the IGHD group. Median and interquartile range of calcium scores distribution was similar in the two groups: IGHD 0(0) and control 0(4.9). The vast majority of the calcium scores (20 of 25 IGHD (80%) and 18 of 27 controls (66.6%)) were equal to zero (difference not significant). There was no difference in the calcium scores classification. None of IGHD subjects had minimal calcification, which were present in four controls. Three IGHD and four controls had mild calcification. There were two IGHD individuals with moderate calcification and one control with severe calcification. Our study provides evidence that subjects with congenital isolated lifetime and untreated severe IGHD do not have accelerated subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.

Open access

Nese Cinar and Alper Gurlek

Adipose tissue secretes a variety of active biological substances, called adipocytokines, that act in an autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine manner. They have roles in appetite control, thermogenesis, and thyroid and reproductive functions. All these molecules may lead to local and generalized inflammation, mediating obesity-associated vascular disorders including hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and insulin resistance. Thyroid dysfunction is associated with changes in body weight, thermogenesis, and energy expenditure. The connections between cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and thyroid dysfunction have been reported in several studies. The adipocytokines serve as causative or protective factors in the development of these disorders in the states of thyroid dysfunction. Abnormal levels of adipocytokines (adiponectin (ADP), leptin, resistin, vaspin, and visfatin) in hypo- and hyperthyroidism have been reported with controversial results. This review aims to update the implication of novel adipokines ADP, vaspin, and visfatin in thyroid dysfunction.

Open access

Yusaku Mori, Hiroyuki Shimizu, Hideki Kushima, Tomomi Saito, Munenori Hiromura, Michishige Terasaki, Masakazu Koshibu, Hirokazu Ohtaki, and Tsutomu Hirano

Nesfatin-1 is a novel anorexic peptide hormone that also exerts cardiovascular protective effects in rodent models. However, nesfatin-1 treatment at high doses also exerts vasopressor effects, which potentially limits its therapeutic application. Here, we evaluated the vasoprotective and vasopressor effects of nesfatin-1 at different doses in mouse models. Wild-type mice and those with the transgene nucleobindin-2, a precursor of nesfatin-1, were employed. Wild-type mice were randomly assigned to treatment with vehicle or nesfatin-1 at 0.2, 2.0 or 10 μg/kg/day (Nes-0.2, Nes-2, Nes-10, respectively). Subsequently, mice underwent femoral artery wire injury to induce arterial remodeling. After 4 weeks, injured arteries were collected for morphometric analysis. Compared with vehicle, nesfatin-1 treatments at 2.0 and 10 μg/kg/day decreased body weights and elevated plasma nesfatin-1 levels with no changes in systolic blood pressure. Furthermore, these treatments reduced neointimal hyperplasia without inducing undesirable remodeling in injured arteries. However, nesfatin-1 treatment at 0.2 μg/kg/day was insufficient to elevate plasma nesfatin-1 levels and showed no vascular effects. In nucleobindin-2-transgenic mice, blood pressure was slightly higher but neointimal area was lower than those observed in littermate controls. In cultured human vascular endothelial cells, nesfatin-1 concentration-dependently increased nitric oxide production. Additionally, nesfatin-1 increased AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation, which was abolished by inhibiting liver kinase B1. We thus demonstrated that nesfatin-1 treatment at appropriate doses suppressed arterial remodeling without affecting blood pressure. Our findings indicate that nesfatin-1 can be a therapeutic target for improved treatment of peripheral artery disease.

Open access

Angelo Maria Patti, Kalliopi Pafili, Nikolaos Papanas, and Manfredi Rizzo

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger gestational diabetes (GDM), which is constantly increasing. Its main characteristic is pronounced insulin resistance, but it appears to be a multifactorial process involving several metabolic factors; taken together, the latter leads to silent or clinically evident cardiovascular (CV) events. Insulin resistance and central adiposity are of crucial importance in the development of metabolic syndrome, and they appear to correlate with CV risk factors, including hypertension and atherogenic dyslipidaemia. Hypertensive disease of pregnancy (HDP) is more likely to be an accompanying co-morbidity in pregnancies complicated with GDM. There is still inconsistent evidence as to whether or not co-existent GDM and HDP have a synergistic effects on postpartum risk of cardiometabolic disease; however, this synergism is becoming more accepted since both these conditions may promote endothelial inflammation and early atherosclerosis. Regardless of the presence or absence of the synergism between GDM and HDP, these conditions need to be dealt early enough, in order to reduce CV morbidity and to improve health outcomes for both women and their offspring.

Open access

Isabel M Abreu, Eva Lau, Bernardo de Sousa Pinto, and Davide Carvalho

Previous studies suggested that subclinical hypothyroidism has a detrimental effect on cardiovascular risk factors, and that its effective treatment may have a beneficial impact on overall health. The main purpose of this review and meta-analysis was to assess whether subclinical hypothyroidism treatment is of clinical relevance, based on cardiovascular risk parameters correction. A systemic research of the literature using MEDLINE tool was performed to identify the relevant studies. Only placebo-controlled randomized control trials were included. A quantitative analysis was also performed. This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials assess the different impact of levothyroxine vs placebo treatment. A significant decrease in serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was obtained with levothyroxine therapy (66, 9 and 14%, respectively) and, although modest, this could be significant in terms of reduction of the incidence of coronary artery disease. Other significant results of lipid parameters were not obtained. This systematic review provides a strong evidence-based data in favour of specific changes and beneficial effects of levothyroxine treatment.

Open access

M L M Barreto-Chaves, N Senger, M R Fevereiro, A C Parletta, and A P C Takano

The cardiac growth process (hypertrophy) is a crucial phenomenon conserved across a wide array of species and is critically involved in the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis. This process enables an organism to adapt to changes in systemic demand and occurs due to a plethora of responses, depending on the type of signal or stimuli received. The growth of cardiac muscle cells in response to environmental conditions depends on the type, strength and duration of stimuli, and results in adaptive physiological responses or non-adaptive pathological responses. Thyroid hormones (TH) have a direct effect on the heart and induce a cardiac hypertrophy phenotype, which may evolve to heart failure. In this review, we summarize the literature on TH function in the heart by presenting results from experimental studies. We discuss the mechanistic aspects of TH associated with cardiac myocyte hypertrophy, increased cardiac myocyte contractility and electrical remodeling, as well as the associated signaling pathways. In addition to classical crosstalk with the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), emerging work pointing to the new endocrine interaction between TH and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is also explored. Given the inflammatory potential of the angiotensin II peptide, this new interaction may open the door for new therapeutic approaches which target the key mechanisms responsible for TH-induced cardiac hypertrophy.

Open access

Jan Calissendorff and Henrik Falhammar

Background

Graves’ disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism. Three therapies have been used for decades: pharmacologic therapy, surgery and radioiodine. In case of adverse events, especially agranulocytosis or hepatotoxicity, pre-treatment with Lugol’s solution containing iodine/potassium iodide to induce euthyroidism before surgery could be advocated, but this has rarely been reported.

Methods

All patients hospitalised due to uncontrolled hyperthyroidism at the Karolinska University Hospital 2005–2015 and treated with Lugol’s solution were included. All electronic files were carefully reviewed manually, with focus on the cause of treatment and admission, demographic data, and effects of iodine on thyroid hormone levels and pulse frequency.

Results

Twenty-seven patients were included. Lugol’s solution had been chosen due to agranulocytosis in 9 (33%), hepatotoxicity in 2 (7%), other side effects in 11 (41%) and poor adherence to medication in 5 (19%). Levels of free T4, free T3 and heart rate decreased significantly after 5–9 days of iodine therapy (free T4 53–20 pmol/L, P = 0.0002; free T3 20–6.5 pmol/L, P = 0.04; heart rate 87–76 beats/min P = 0.0007), whereas TSH remained unchanged. Side effects were noted in 4 (15%) (rash n = 2, rash and vomiting n = 1, swelling of fingers n = 1). Thyroidectomy was performed in 26 patients (96%) and one was treated with radioiodine; all treatments were without serious complications.

Conclusion

Treatment of uncontrolled hyperthyroidism with Lugol’s solution before definitive treatment is safe and it decreases thyroid hormone levels and heart rate. Side effects were limited. Lugol’s solution could be recommended pre-operatively in Graves’ disease with failed medical treatment, especially if side effects to anti-thyroid drugs have occurred.

Open access

Peter D Mark, Mikkel Andreassen, Claus L Petersen, Andreas Kjaer, and Jens Faber

Purpose

The aim of this study was to investigate structure and function of the heart in subclinical hyperthyroidism (SH) before and after obtaining euthyroidism by radioactive iodine treatment, using high precision and observer-independent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.

Methods

Cardiac MRI was performed before and after euthyroidism was obtained by radioactive iodine treatment in 12 otherwise healthy patients (11 women and one man, mean age 59 years, range 44–71 years) with a nodular goiter and SH, and compared with eight healthy controls investigated at baseline. Cardiac data were expressed as an index, as per body surface area, except for heart rate (HR) and ejection fraction.

Results

Post-treatment cardiac MRI was performed in median 139 days after a normalized serum TSH value had been recorded. During treatment, serum TSH increased from (median (range)) 0.01 (0.01–0.09) to 0.88 (0.27–3.99) mU/l. Patients with untreated SH had increased resting HR (P<0.01) as well as cardiac index (cardiac output as per body surface area) (P<0.01) compared with controls. Obtaining euthyroidism resulted in a significant decrease in left ventricular mass index (LVMI) of 2.7 g/m2 (P=0.034), in HR of 8 bpm (P=0.001), and in cardiac index of 0.24 l/min per m2 (P=0.017).

Conclusions

Normalization of thyroid function by radioactive iodine treatment of SH resulted in significant reductions in clinically important heart parameters such as LVMI, HR, and cardiac index. SH should be regarded as a condition in which aggressive treatment should be considered to protect cardiac function.

Open access

Alexander Tacey, Lewan Parker, Bu B Yeap, John Joseph, Ee M Lim, Andrew Garnham, David L Hare, Tara Brennan-Speranza, and Itamar Levinger

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single dose of prednisolone on (A) high-intensity interval cycling performance and (B) post-exercise metabolic, hormonal and haematological responses. Nine young men participated in this double-blind, randomised, cross-over study. The participants completed exercise sessions (4 × 4 min cycling bouts at 90–95% of peak heart rate), 12 h after ingesting prednisolone (20 mg) or placebo. Work load was adjusted to maintain the same relative heart rate between the sessions. Exercise performance was measured as total work performed. Blood samples were taken at rest, immediately post exercise and up to 3 h post exercise. Prednisolone ingestion decreased total work performed by 5% (P < 0.05). Baseline blood glucose was elevated following prednisolone compared to placebo (P < 0.001). Three hours post exercise, blood glucose in the prednisolone trial was reduced to a level equivalent to the baseline concentration in the placebo trial (P > 0.05). Prednisolone suppressed the increase in blood lactate immediately post exercise (P < 0.05). Total white blood cell count was elevated at all time-points with prednisolone (P < 0.01). Androgens and sex hormone-binding globulin were elevated immediately after exercise, irrespective of prednisolone or placebo. In contrast, prednisolone significantly reduced the ratio of testosterone/luteinizing hormone (P < 0.01). Acute prednisolone treatment impairs high-intensity interval cycling performance and alters metabolic and haematological parameters in healthy young men. Exercise may be an effective tool to minimise the effect of prednisolone on blood glucose levels.