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The following electronic only articles are published in conjunction with this issue of Heart.

Acute thrombosis of the sinus node artery: arrhythmological implications

G Ando’, A Gaspardone, I Proietti

A 53 year old woman was referred for percutaneous coronary intervention because of a recent inferior myocardial infarction. During right coronary artery stent implantation, intermittent occlusion of the coronary side branch for the sinus node occurred, associated with intermittent sinus arrest and junctional escape rhythm. This led to speculation about the potential mechanisms for sinus node dysfunction. Degenerative fibrosis of nodal tissue is actually considered the most common cause of bradyarrhythmias. Yet, in everyday practice, no particular attention is usually paid to other potential pathogenic mechanisms such as coronary artery disease. This may be particularly true for elderly patients or patients with multiple risk factors. Thus, sinus node dysfunction may be an unrecognised marker of coronary artery disease.

(Heart 2003;89:e5)

Intrastent sonotherapy in pulmonary vein restenosis: a new treatment for a recalcitrant problem

C J McMahon, C E Mullins, H G El Said

A 2 year old boy developed recurrent pulmonary vein stenosis after surgical repair of infradiaphragmatic pulmonary venous connection. He had required implantation of stents in the left and right sided pulmonary veins at 7 and 13 months of age, respectively. By 2 years of age he had undergone three catheterisation procedures and two surgical procedures to treat recurrent pulmonary vein stenosis. His right ventricular pressure was suprasystemic and catheterisation showed severe neointimal proliferation of both left and right sided stents. At this time the stents were dilated by balloon with simultaneous intrastent sonotherapy. Three months later the patient’s clinical improvement was significant, his right ventricular pressure had decreased, and Doppler velocity had decreased across both left and right sided stents.

(Heart 2003;89:e6)

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