Review Articles

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  • The roles of N-terminal proBNP, an inactive amino acid product of BNP prohormone cleavage, seem to be many-fold in heart disease. Here, Lisa C Costello-Boerrigter and John C Burnett Jr explore some of the ways in which this biomarker can aid diagnosis and prediction of prognosis in various cardiovascular diseases.

    • Lisa C Costello-Boerrigter
    • John C Burnett Jr
    Review Article
  • Structural remodeling of the heart is known to be related to various processes mediated by mechanical, neurohormonal and cytokine routes. Disruption in the production and breakdown of collagen fibers is a prominent mechanism in left-ventricular fibrosis. Javier Díez and colleagues discuss noninvasive diagnostic methods for such hypertrophy and possible therapeutic strategies to promote its reduction

    • Javier Díez
    • Arantxa González
    • Ramón Querejeta
    Review Article
  • Atrial fibrillation and obesity share obstructive sleep apnea as a comorbidity. The data on the relationship between atrial fibrillation and obstructive sleep apnea have, however, generally been extrapolated from studies with other focuses. Gami et al. present the findings so far to summarize current understanding and identify avenues for future study.

    • Apoor S Gami
    • Paul A Friedman
    • Virend K Somers
    Review Article
  • In patients who require revascularization after myocardial infarction, noninvasive imaging tests can be useful to assess whether target areas of the myocardium are viable. Delayed-enhancement MRI allows direct visualization of potentially damaged regions, but it is still a new technique. This review explores its role in the routine evaluation of coronary artery disease patients.

    • Robert M Judd
    • Anja Wagner
    • Raymond J Kim
    Review Article
  • As yet, 22 cases of short QT syndrome have been confirmed but other cases have probably been overlooked. This syndrome is a heritable primary electrical disease of the heart that can lead to atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death. The knowledge to date on this little recognized disorder is presented.

    • Preben Bjerregaard
    • Ihor Gussak
    Review Article
  • Congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease are severe diseases, but a frequently complicated individually by anemia. If all three disorders are present, a vicious circle ensues, in which each component causes or worsens the other two. This review discusses the inter-relationships and how to approach correction or alleviation of this syndrome.

    • Adrian Iaina
    • Donald S Silverberg
    • Dov Wexler
    Review Article
  • Sinus tachycardia is frequently encountered in clinical practice but is often overlooked. It comprises four distinct rhythm disturbances namely normal sinus tachycardia, inappropriate sinus tachycardia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and sinus node re-entry tachycardia. The important differences in clinical features, basic underlying etiologic mechanisms and treatment strategies of these arrhythmias are discussed here.

    • Shamil Yusuf
    • A John Camm
    Review Article
  • Despite the various available methods of detection and risk assessment, an unsatisfactory proportion of cardiovascular disease cases are still missed. New approaches are, therefore, constantly being sought. This review discusses the potential applications of C-reactive protein, which has emerged as a powerful predictor of heart disease risk.

    • Subodh Verma
    • Paul E Szmitko
    • Paul M Ridker
    Review Article
  • Many patients who die from coronary heart disease have ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction. The optimum timing and method of reperfusion therapy, however, still need clarification. This review discusses the use of fibrinolytic drugs and primary coronary angioplasty and how to achieve the goals of door-to-balloon or door-to-needle times purported in the AHA/ACC guidelines.

    • David P Faxon
    Review Article
  • Cells derived from bone marrow, blood, skeletal muscle and other tissues could have regenerative capacity in the human heart and vasculature. Should clinical practice become a reality, however, the indications for which cells, which disease, and which patients are less clear. Noel Caplice and colleagues discuss how such decisions might be made.

    • Noel M Caplice
    • Bernard J Gersh
    • Jorge R Alegria
    Review Article
  • Brief episodes of ischemia before total coronary occlusion can protect the heart in animals; a similar preconditioning effect might be seen in humans. Preinfarction angina, already an important part of cardiac assessment, might be a corollary of preconditioning before myocardial infarction. Rezkalla and Kloner discuss the impact of preinfarction angina in the clinical setting.

    • Shereif H Rezkalla
    • Robert A Kloner
    Review Article
  • Heart failure is increasingly thought to be a myocyte deficiency disease. Therapeutic strategies to increase the number of cardiac muscle cells by direct transplantation are being met with a mixture of enthusiasm and caution. While conceptually attractive, however, the success of this approach remains unproven. The evidence to date is discussed.

    • Noel M Caplice
    • Arjun Deb
    Review Article
  • An inverse correlation exists between the plasma concentration of HDLs and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. The harnessing of this beneficial effect has been explored as a new approach for treatment. In this review, the range of beneficial effects and the methods being developed for the delivery of therapy are explored.

    • MM Thompson
    • SC Reed
    • GW Cockerill
    Review Article
  • Chronic delayed cerebral vasospasm has a major impact on morbidity and mortality related to aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Reduced concentrations of endothelium-derived NO, an important vasodilator, and increased levels of endothelin-1, one of the most potent vasoconstrictors, are important contributory factors. This review discusses the relevant mechanisms in cerebral vasospasm.

    • Agustinus Suhardja
    Review Article
  • Despite treatment being available for angina in the form of β-blockers and calcium-channel blockers, these drugs are contraindicated in some patients. PharmacologicalIfinhibition could prove a promising alternative for protection from angina through heart-rate slowing. This review discusses the early mechanisms and early clinical use of ivabradine as a specific bradycardic agent.

    • Jeffrey S Borer
    Review Article
  • Interruption or blocking of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems can reverse cardiac fibrosis and hypertensive vascular remodeling, and improve hypertensive left-ventricular hypertrophy. Local, possibly cellular, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems are thought to participate in the pathogenesis of vascular disease, but their roles are not yet fully explained. This review explores the evidence of such actions.

    • Richard N Re
    Review Article