177 e-Letters

published between 2020 and 2023

  • The potential for using dose-related beta-blockade in Takotsubo syndrome

    In the investigation recently published in “Heart”, the authors discuss the efficacy of beta blockade in treating individuals with the Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. [1] Another recent publication shows this to be a controversial topic. [2] These discussions emphasize the significance of the dose-related sensitivity of one component of three-dimensional aggregation of the ventricular cardiomyocytes, a feature which, thus far, has received little attention. Intraoperative cardio-dynamic measurements [3] have shown that the cardiomyocytes within the three-dimensional mesh that are aggregated in intruding, as opposed to tangential, fashion are statistically more sensitive to both positive and negative inotropes when given at low doses. The cardiomyocytes aggregated in transmural fashion exert a dilatory effect, in contrast to the tangential aggregates, which act exclusively to drive ventricular ejection. The different functions of the two populations indicates that the ventricular cone, as a whole, functions as an antagonistic system. [4]
    When the ventricular walls are hypertrophied in response to increased resistance to flow, ventricular wall thickening stretches and tilts the cardiomyocytes aggregated in transmural fashion, thus increasing the dilating forces. At the same time, of course, the transmural cardiomyocytes themselves undergo hypertrophy. This triggers a vicious circle, with both populations of cardiomyocytes undergoing hypertrophy. In this situation, however,...

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  • Physician

    I take great concern in regards to the conclusions that this and multiple other previous cardiology articles have laid claim to in regards to calcium supplementation. Many providers read these articles and tell patients to stop taking calcium, this then results in osteoporosis and fractures which also has a high mortality rate. There must be significant caution in making the conclusions that this article makes. The amount of calcium the patients were taking was quite varied between 500-2,000 mg a day, patients with bone disease need 1200 mg a day in order to maintain normal bone turnover and rebuilding by the osteoblast. There needs to be data from this study showing the poor outcome patient’s calcium supplement amounts. To insinuate that all calcium supplements are bad is not only a disservice but a detriment to our patients. Patients now have access to articles more than ever and will read this and now won’t take their calcium supplements, this means that anyone treating osteoporosis will now have to explain this and other articles. Patients are more likely to believe bad data than good data. The truth is that calcium is needed for good bone health and there is a safe amount that is not a risk to cardiac health. This article amongst others does not bring in that side of the story.

  • Does excision of an atrial myxoma qualify as an emergency procedure?

    To the Editor
    We read with interest the recent review by Griborio-Guzman AG et al [1] of the clinical presentation, diagnosis and management of cardiac myxomas. The authors highlighted that cardiac myxomas should be managed with prompt resection. Yet, the question of whether excision of an atrial myxoma qualifies as an emergency procedure remains unanswered.
    In an attempt to address this question, we constructed a “best evidence topic” according to a structured protocol, as described previously [2]. A comprehensive MEDLINE literature search was conducted utilizing the PubMed interface (1966-August 2021) using the keywords: [(atrial myxoma) OR (cardiac myxoma) OR (heart myxoma)] AND [(resection) OR (removal) OR (excision)] AND [(emergency) OR (urgent) OR (immediate) OR (prompt)]. References of selected articles were then reviewed to detect relevant publications that did not come up with the original search. Two hundred and fifty-six papers were found using the reported search. From these, 11 papers were identified that provided best evidence to answer the question, all of them were single-group case-series.
    In one of the earliest clinical series, Semb et al [3] emphasized that surgery should be performed as soon as the diagnosis is made, and observed that tumour fragmentation and embolization was more likely to occur when a lobulated, gelatinous and fragile myxoma was located in the central bloodstream.
    Livi et al [4] reported that sudden death could...

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  • A potential influence of omega-3 supplementation on metabolic syndrome and/or Helicobacter pylori-related risk of cardio-cerebrovascular disorders

    To the Editor,

    In an initial review and meta-analysis, Rizos et al1 stated that omega-3 supplementation at low and higher dosages showed no or weak associations with cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes. Then, we reported more recent reviews that displayed a protective activity of omega-3 supplementation against CVD outcomes.2 Moreover, we reported that both metabolic syndrome (MetS) and Helicobacter pylori infection (Hp-I) increase the risk of cardio-cerebrovascular events, the endpoint of MetS,2 and omega-3 acids are beneficial against these disorders.2 Next, a corresponding piece commenting on our own paper by Rizos et al,3 reported that some recent data showed, for instance, low and/or high dosage of omega-3 supplementation was not associated with CVD outcomes.3 However, multiple trials continue to use low dosage of omega-3, which demonstrated substantial CVD benefits and other recent data showed that higher dosage of omega-3 (4 g/day) also induced a remarkable reduction in CVD events.4 The current contradictory findings can be attributed to several contributors including diverse types of omega-3 fatty acids (only eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or combination of EPA plus docosahexaenoic acid), their dosage (higher vs. lower dose), diverse comparators (corn or mineral oil), the severity degree of the CVD risk and/or the usage of statins.5 Therefore, according to Jo et al.’s claim,5 further large-scale prospective studies are warranted to elucidate this “hype”.5...

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  • RE: Change in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide at 1 year predicts mortality in wild-type transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy

    I read with great interest the report of Law et al [1]. The authors examined one-year mortality risk in 432 patients with wild-type transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (wtATTR-CM) to detect useful biomarkers. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) of the change in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide concentration (∆ NT-proBNP) per 500 ng/L increase for mortality was 1.04 (1.01 to 1.07). In addition, the adjusted HRs (95% CIs) of the increases in ∆ NT-proBNP of >500 ng/L, >1000 ng/L and >2000 ng/L for mortality were 1.65 (1.18-2.31), 1.92 (1.37-2.70), and 2.87 (1.93-4.27), respectively. They concluded that the change in NT-proBNP concentration during the first year was an independent predictor of mortality in patients with wtATTR-CM. I have a comment about this study.

    Ochi et al. examined two-year mortality risk in 47 patients with wtATTR-CM [2], and low serum albumin (≤3.75 g/dL), elevated high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT; >0.086 ng/mL), and low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF; <50%) are significantly associated with mortality in patients with wtATTR-CM. According to the total number of these 3 risk factors, patients were stratified into 4 subgroups: low risk (no risk factors), intermediate-low risk (1 risk factor), intermediate-high risk (2 risk factors), and high risk (3 risk factors). The estimated two-year survival rate of patients classified as low risk, intermediate-low risk, intermediate-high r...

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  • Patient
    Sandra Aitken

    Dear Editor,

    I am one of the 95 survivors in your article having had the mustard operation in 1980 and would just like to thank everyone who took part in putting this together. I found it very usefull and interesting.

  • Risk assessment after myocardial infarction
    Richard Underwood
    Adam Timmis gives an excellent overview of risk stratification in acute coronary syndromes and he outlines recommended management strategies.[1] We were confused however by his suggestion that "the diagnostic value of exertional ST segment depression and thallium perfusion defects are equivalent, making the treadmill more cost effective than the gamma camera". It is not clear whether the diagnostic value to which he refers is...
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  • Risk assessment after myocardial infarction - response from author
    Adam D Timmis

    In my review on risk stratification in acute coronary syndromes, "diagnostic value" was used conventionally to refer to the ability of predischarge tests to predict future coronary events, particularly death and myocardial infarction.

    In response to the 3 additional points:

    1. Cost-effectiveness Underwood et al are correct to caution me on statements of cost-effectiveness. My contention was (...

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  • Skeletal chest pain
    Richard A Best

    While December's editorial on non-cardiac chest pain is thoughtful and thorough,(1) there is a strange lack of emphasis on skeletal chest pain. I am not sure if this is due to selection of patients, but I wonder if it is the lack of a diagnostic test for skeletal pain. Since this may involve up to 73% of patients referred with chest pain to cardiac clinics,(2) it would seem to be of paramount importance. The author...

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  • Homocysteine, B vitamins and risk of cardiovascular disease
    J Y Jeremy
    We read with interest the editorial on homocysteine, B vitamins and the risk of cardiovascular disease.(1) The editorial highlighted that the B vitamins are being used to treat homocysteine - mediated vascular disease. However, this presupposes that the absolute levels of homocysteine are the only determinants of the pathological impact of the amino acid.

    We have recently proposed an alternative mechan...

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