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Death - Top 30 Publications

Disease Severity and Exercise Testing Reduce Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Left Sternal ECG Screening Success in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

The features of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) ECG make it a challenge for subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) screening. We aimed to investigate the causes of screening failure at rest and on exercise to inform optimal S-ICD ECG vector development.

Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy.

Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy.

The "surprise question" for predicting death in seriously ill patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

The surprise question - "Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?" - has been used to identify patients at high risk of death who might benefit from palliative care services. Our objective was to systematically review the performance characteristics of the surprise question in predicting death.

Assessment of Thiel-Embalmed Cadavers as a Teaching Tool for Oral Anatomy and Local Anesthesia.

The aim of this study was to determine whether Thiel-embalmed cadavers would provide a useful anatomy teaching tool for topics that cannot be approached using formalin-fixed cadavers such as oral cavity examination and maxillary anesthesia. The suitability of Thiel-embalmed bodies for performing oral examinations was assessed by asking first-year dental and dental hygiene students at a dental school in Ireland to identify oral structures on a classmate and on a Thiel-embalmed body. The study was conducted in 2016. The ease of location was compared in the two settings, and their quality was assessed on the cadavers. The suitability of Thiel-embalmed cadavers to teach maxillary anesthesia was assessed by students' performing mock injections at five adjacent sites daily for five consecutive days, followed by inspection of the gingival surface by experienced anatomists and dentists. Data were obtained from 57 students, but only the 54 forms that were fully completed were analyzed, for an overall response rate of 85.7%. The results showed that most oral structures were more difficult to locate on cadavers. The texture and appearance of features in the cadavers were rated at a midpoint between realistic and unrealistic. The relative inexperience of the participants, the accumulation of fixative in the oral cavity, and discoloration were mentioned as potential confounding factors. Visual analysis of images obtained following repeated injections revealed no deterioration of the tissue. Importantly, the puncture marks appeared to reduce over time, suggesting that the gingival tissue maintains some elasticity following Thiel fixation. These findings suggest that Thiel-embalmed cadavers may be a useful tool to provide students more time to localize and study aspects of the oral cavity. Likewise, the recoiling capacity of gingival tissue suggests that Thiel-embalmed cadavers may provide an ideal tool for teaching injection technique of local anesthetics.

Use of Antiarrhythmic Medications in Medicare Part D Patients With an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator and Ventricular Tachycardia.

Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is common in cardiomyopathy patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. This analysis evaluated antiarrhythmic medication use and change in use over time in patients with VT and structural heart disease. Query of Medicare claims identified patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and VT. Patients with atrial fibrillation or supraventricular tachycardia were excluded. Two cohorts were created of patients enrolled in Medicare Part D for the 12 months before 2007 and 2012. Patients were identified through a search for antiarrhythmic medication fills with a supply covering January 1 of the cohort year. Adjusted logistic regression modeling evaluated the association between patient characteristics and antiarrhythmic medication use. The 2007 (n = 2,334) and 2012 (n = 3,892) Medicare Part D cohorts had similar demographics: median age 76 years, 64%-67% male, and 87%-89% white. Of the 2007 cohort, 1,380 (59%) patients were on a beta blocker, and 484 (20.7%) were on an antiarrhythmic medication (70% amiodarone and 20% sotalol). Between 2007 and 2012, there was a statistically significant higher use of any antiarrhythmic medication (p = 0.014), beta blockers (p <0.0001), mexiletine (p = 0.005), and ranolazine (p <0.0001), while amiodarone use remained unchanged (p = 0.53). After multivariable adjustment, male gender and renal disease were associated with higher antiarrhythmic medication use. In conclusion, although antiarrhythmic medication and beta blocker use in patients with VT increased over time, <1 in 4 patients were on an antiarrhythmic medication and only 65% of the patients were on a beta blocker.

Genetic anticipation in a special form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with sudden cardiac death in a family with 74 members across 5 generations.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heritable heart disease. The genetic anticipation of HCM and its associated etiology, sudden cardiac death (SCD), remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism underlying the genetic anticipation of HCM and associated SCD.An HCM family including 5 generations and 74 members was studied. Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed to diagnose HCM. The age of onset of HCM was defined as the age at first diagnosis according to hospital records. The information on SCD was confirmed by verification by ≥2 family members and a review of hospital records. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on 4 HCM subjects and 1 healthy control in the family. The identified mutations were screened in all available family members and 216 unrelated healthy controls by Sanger sequencing.The median ages of onset of HCM were 63.5, 38.5, and 18.0 years in members of the second, third, and fourth generations of the family, respectively, and the differences between the generations were significant (P < 0.001). The age at SCD also decreased with each subsequent generation (P < 0.05). In particular, among the third-generation family members, SCD occurred between 30 and 40 years of age at approximately 8 AM, whereas among the fourth-generation family members, all 5 males who experienced SCD were 16 years of age and died at approximately 8 AM. The sarcomere gene mutations MYH7-A719H and MYOZ2-L169G were detected in the HCM individuals in this pedigree. Increases in the number of mutations and the frequency of multiple gene mutations were observed in the younger generations. Moreover, a structural variant was present in the HCM phenotype-positive subjects but was absent in the HCM phenotype-negative subjects.HCM may exhibit genetic anticipation, with a decreased age of onset and increased severity in successive generations. Multiple gene mutations may contribute to genetic anticipation in HCM and thus may be of prognostic value.

Momified abdominal pregnancy.

Lithopedion is a retained abdominal pregnancy that evolves to fetal death and calcification. Its management remains uncodified. Indeed, some authors recommend surgical treatment, while others recommend to wait. We report the case of a 46-year old woman presenting with a pelvic mass revealing a calcified abdominal pregnancy that had been evolving for 8 years.

Sudden death risk stratification in non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy using old and new tools: a clinical challenge.

Risk stratification for sudden cardiac death in non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM) remains a clinical challenge. Areas covered: Currently, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), severity of heart failure symptoms according to NYHA classification, and morphology and duration of the QRS complex guide device management in these patients with implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and/or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices. Recently, the results of a randomized trial stirred some controversy regarding the utility of ICD in NIDCM patients, however, a subsequent meta-analysis confirmed prior findings of the survival-prolonging benefit of device therapy. Newer risk markers, like late gadolinium enhancement in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) detecting myocardial fibrosis, are encouraging in improving risk stratification in these patients. Furthermore, resurgence of an old tool, the electrophysiology study (EPS), and technical advances in genetics in identifying high-risk familial NIDCM, appear promising in this direction. Expert commentary: Based on old and new tools, a more individualized approach may be applied in NIDCM patients, whereby CMR, EPS and genetics may provide further guidance, particularly in patients with LVEF>35%. These issues are herein reviewed and a practical algorithm is proposed for risk stratification and device implantation in NIDCM patients with LVEF below and above 35%.

Factors associated with post-cesarean stillbirth in 12 hospitals in Benin: a cross-sectional.

In spite of free caesarean section applied in Benin since 2009, high rates of stillborn babies continue to be recorded. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with post-caesarean stillborn in Benin.

Forensically Important Blow Flies Chrysomya pinguis, C. villeneuvi, and Lucilia porphyrina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in a Case of Human Remains in Thailand.

This is the first study to report Chrysomya pinguis (Walker) and Lucilia porphyrina (Walker) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) as forensically important blow fly species from human cadavers in Thailand, in addition to Chrysomya villeneuvi (Patton) already known in Thailand. In 2016, a fully decomposed body of an unknown adult male was discovered in a high mountainous forest during winter in Chiang Mai province. The remains were infested heavily with thousands of blow fly larvae feeding simultaneously on them. Morphological identification of adults reared from the larvae, and molecular analysis based on sequencing of 1,247 bp partial mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (CO1) of the larvae and puparia, confirmed the above mentioned 3 species. The approving forensic fly evidence by molecular approach was described for the first time in Thailand. Moreover, neighbor-joining phylogenetic analysis of the CO1 was performed to compare the relatedness of the species, thereby affirming the accuracy of identification. As species of entomofauna varies among cases in different geographic and climatic circumstances, C. pinguis and L. porphyrina were added to the list of Thai forensic entomology caseworks, including colonizers of human remains in open, high mountainous areas during winter. Further research should focus on these 3 species, for which no developmental data are currently available.

Long-Term Follow-Up of Probands With Brugada Syndrome.

This study analyzes the natural history of a large cohort of probands with Brugada syndrome (BrS) to assess the predictive value of different clinical and electrocardiographic parameters for the development of ventricular fibrillation (VF) or sudden cardiac death (SCD) during a long-term follow-up. Baseline characteristics of 289 consecutive probands (203 men; mean age 45 ± 16 years) with a Brugada type 1 electrocardiogram were analyzed. After a mean follow-up of 10.1 ± 4.6 years, 29 malignant arrhythmias occurred. On multivariate analysis, a history of VF and syncopal episodes, fragmented QRS (f-QRS), spontaneous type 1 electrocardiogram, and early repolarization pattern were significantly associated with later occurrence of VF/SCD. In patients with drug-induced BrS, the accentuation or de novo appearance of f-QRS in other leads was always associated with VF/SCD. Cerebrovascular events occurred in 8 patients with atrial fibrillation (15.1%), most of them (75%) presenting as the first clinical manifestation. The time-to-diagnosis was found to be significantly shorter in those patients who directly came to our center than in those who referred to our center for a second opinion. In conclusion, systematic use of the pharmacologic challenge in patients with unexplained cardiovascular symptoms and/or atrial fibrillation might significantly improve the identification of BrS with a shortening of the time-to-diagnosis. The CHA2DS2VASc score might be inappropriate for predicting transient ischemic attack or stroke in BrS. This study confirms the independent predictive value of previous VF and syncopal episodes, f-QRS, type 1 electrocardiogram, and early repolarization pattern. In BrS a sufficiently long follow-up is necessary before conclusions on prognosis are apparent.

Usefulness of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Measure Left Ventricular Wall Thickness for Determining Risk Scores for Sudden Cardiac Death in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Echocardiography-derived measurements of maximum left ventricular (LV) wall thickness are important for both the diagnosis and risk stratification of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC). Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is increasingly being used in the assessment of HC; however, little is known about the relation between wall thickness measurements made by the 2 modalities. We sought to compare measurements made with echocardiography and CMR and to assess the impact of any differences on risk stratification using the current European Society of Cardiology guidelines. Maximum LV wall thickness measurements were recorded on 50 consecutive patients with HC. Sixty-nine percent of LV wall thickness measurements were recorded with echocardiography, compared with 69% from CMR (p <0.001). There was poor agreement on the location of maximum LV wall thickness; weighted-Cohen's κ 0.14 (p = 0.036) and maximum LV wall thicknesses were systematically higher with echocardiography than with CMR (mean 19.1 ± 0.4 mm vs 16.5 ± 0.3 mm, p <0.01, respectively); Bland-Altman bias 2.6 mm (95% confidence interval -9.8 to 4.6). Interobserver variability was lower for CMR (R(2) 0.67 echocardiography, R(2) 0.93 CMR). The mean difference in 5-year sudden cardiac death (SCD) risk between echocardiography and CMR was 0.49 ± 0.45% (p = 0.37). When classifying patients (low, intermediate, or high risk), 6 patients were reclassified when CMR was used instead of echocardiography to assess maximum LV wall thickness. These findings suggest that CMR measurements of maximum LV wall thickness can be cautiously used in the current European Society of Cardiology risk score calculations, although further long-term studies are needed to confirm this.

Relation of Prolonged P-Wave Duration to Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the General Population (from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study).

Prolonged P-wave duration, a marker of left atrial abnormality, is associated with myocardial fibrosis, atrial fibrillation, and all-cause death. It is not known if prolonged P-wave duration is associated with sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the general population. We aimed to evaluate whether prolonged P-wave duration is independently associated with SCD risk in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, a community-based prospective cohort study. We included 15,321 participants in our analysis (age 54.2 ± 5.7 years, 55.2% women, 26.4% black). Prolonged P-wave duration was defined as maximum P-wave duration >120 ms and was determined from 12-lead electrocardiograms obtained during 4 exams (1987 to 1999). SCD was physician adjudicated and defined as a sudden, pulseless condition in a previously stable patient without evidence for noncardiac cause of death. We used Cox proportional hazard models to assess the association between prolonged P-wave duration and SCD, adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and conditions including atrial fibrillation. During a mean follow-up of 12.5 years (1987 to 2001), 268 SCDs were identified. The multivariable hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of prolonged P-wave duration for SCD was 1.70 (1.31 to 2.20). This association was attenuated but remained significant after updating covariates to the end of follow-up with a hazard ratio of 1.35 (1.04 to 1.76). In conclusion, prolonged P-wave duration is independently associated with an increased risk of SCD in the general population. This association is independent of atrial fibrillation and is only partially mediated by shared cardiovascular risk factors.

Comparison of Multivariate Risk Estimation Models to Predict Prognosis in Patients With Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators With or Without Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy.

Several multivariate risk score models were developed to predict prognosis of patients with heart failure (HF). We compared 3 models with regard to prediction of mortality in patients with HF who received an implantable defibrillator (ICD) or a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D), as primary prevention of sudden death. The study cohort consisted of 823 patients (ICD = 410; CRT-D = 413). The evaluated models were the Seattle Heart Failure Model (SHFM), the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial II (MADIT II) score, and an adjusted Charlson Comorbidity Index (aCCI). End point was the performance of the models to predict all-cause mortality at 5 years. This was determined by c-statistics, for both subgroups. Multivariate analysis was used to analyze the relations between the risk score models, their individual components and mortality, and its applicability to the entire population. Cumulative mortality was 4.9% at 1 year and 21.1% at 5 years. Discriminatory power for 5-year mortality was highest for the SHFM (0.73; p <0.001) compared with the MADIT II score and the aCCI for the entire population. SHFM performed better than the MADIT II score for CRT-D group. In the entire population, the SHFM and the aCCI were significant predictors of mortality in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio 1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.49 to 2.43 vs hazard ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.22). The strongest individual components were age, HF, impaired renal function, and cancer, whereas CRT-D use was no predictor. In conclusion, the SHFM has the best discriminatory power for 5-year mortality in patients with HF with an ICD or CRT-D. The aCCI and MADIT II scores are less powerful but viable alternatives.

Arrhythmic risk stratification in heart failure: Time for the next step?

Primary prevention of sudden cardiac death by means of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators constitutes the holy grail of arrhythmology. However, current risk stratification algorithms lead to suboptimal outcomes, by both allocating ICDs to patients not deriving any meaningful survival benefit and withholding them from those erroneously considered as low-risk for arrhythmic mortality.

Predictors of autopsy following stillbirth in Queensland, Australia: A population-based study.

Accurate determination of causes of stillbirth is critical to effective prevention. Autopsy remains the gold standard investigation for stillbirth; however, with low autopsy rates many stillbirths are likely to be 'unexplored' rather than 'unexplained'.

Electroencephalographic Recordings During Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Therapy Until 30 Minutes After Declaration of Death.

The timing of the circulatory determination of death for organ donation presents a medical and ethical challenge. Concerns have been raised about the timing of electrocerebral inactivity in relation to the cessation of circulatory function in organ donation after cardio-circulatory death. Nonprocessed electroencephalographic (EEG) measures have not been characterized and may provide insight into neurological function during this process.

Sudden Cardiac Death with Myocardial Infarction after Free-flap Lower Extremity Reconstruction.

Interaction among hERG channel blockers is a potential mechanism of death in caffeine overdose.

Caffeine overdose death is due to cardiac arrest, but its mechanism has not been explored in detail. In this study, our data showed that caffeine significantly prolonged the heart rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) of rabbits in vivo (P<0.05; n=7). Caffeine was also found to be a hERG channel blocker with an IC50 of 5.04mM (n=5). Although these two findings likely link caffeine overdose death with hERG channel blockade, the amount of caffeine consumption needed to reach the IC50 is very high. Further study demonstrated that addition another hERG blocker could lower the consumption of caffeine significantly, no matter whether two hERG blockers share the same binding sites. Our data does not rule out other possibility, however, it suggests that there is a potential causal relationship between caffeine overdose death with hERG channel and the interaction among these hERG blockers.

Four Japanese 'Death Poems' With comment by John Birtwhistle.

Organ Donation and Elective Ventilation: A Necessary Strategy.

Organ transplantation is the sole treatment to improve or save the life of patients with final-stage organ failure. The shortage of available organs for transplantation constitutes a universal problem, estimating that 10% of patients on waiting lists die. Brain death is an undesirable result; nevertheless, it has beneficial side-effects since it is the most frequent source of organs for transplantation. However, this phenomenon is relatively uncommon and has a limited potential. One of the options that focuses on increasing organ donation is to admit patients with catastrophic brain injuries (with a high probability of brain death and nontreatable) to the Intensive Care Unit, with the only purpose of donation. To perform elective nontherapeutic ventilation (ENTV), a patient's anticipated willingness to donate organs and/or explicit acceptance by his/her relatives is required. This process should focus exclusively on those patients with catastrophic brain injuries and imminent risk of death which, due to its acute damage, are not considered treatable. This article defends ENTV as an effective strategy to improve donation rate, analyzing its ethical and legal basis.

A Synthesis of Coping Experiences After Infant Death.

The purpose of this article was to synthesize qualitative research data that examine parental coping strategies following infant death. This qualitative synthesis found that parents who effectively cope with the death of their infant would continue the bond with the deceased child, have differences in the way they manage their emotions about the loss, and have intergenerational support in the form of family being present, acknowledging the death, performing immediate tasks, and providing helpful information. Nurses should be vigilant to ensure parents receive "memories" of their infant after an in-hospital death. Knowledge of the coping process can assist nurses and clinicians to better care and support parents following an infant death and, in turn, facilitate the healing process.

Prognostic Value of Stress Dynamic Myocardial Perfusion CT in a Multicenter Population With Known or Suspected Coronary Artery Disease.

The purpose of this study was to determine the prognostic value of myocardial perfusion CT for major adverse cardiac events (MACE).

Suspected atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome in two post-partum patients with foetal-death in utero responding to eculizumab.

Atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS) is a rare condition with the triad of microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia and acute kidney injury. Other conditions that present in a similar manner peri-partum include thrombotic thrombocytopaenic purpura, and pregnancy associated conditions including HELLP syndrome (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets), severe pre-eclampsia and less commonly acute fatty liver of pregnancy.

Treatment of bronchial foreign body aspiration with extracorporeal life support in a child: A case report and literature review.

We present a case in which extracorporeal life support treatment of a 6-year-old girl asphyxiated by aspiration of an elliptic plastic ball is described. The attempts for extraction of the foreign body by conventional bronchoscopy under critically ill conditions had failed. Thus, a skin incision was made in the midline, and an emergency open-chest cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) with aortic, superior vena cava and inferior vena cava cannulation was performed for circulatory support. Following tracheal extubation, a video-assisted rigid bronchoscope was inserted to clear the airway and remove the foreign body. The CPB lasted for 68 min, and the endotracheal tube was pulled out 6 h after the surgery. On the 10th day, the patient was discharged and followed up for 3 months when no neurological symptoms or other complications were documented. The removal of the aspirated bronchial foreign body under extracorporeal life support has been rarely reported. Here, we review the indication, cannulation method, support mode, surgical procedure, and patient outcome in the 8 papers retrieved from the PubMed database and compare their clinical characteristics with those of our case to justify the safe and effective use of CPB for critically ill patients with bronchial foreign body aspiration.

Histopathological changes in lungs of the mountain snow avalanche victims and its potential usefulness in determination of cause and mechanism of death.

On 28 January 2003 snow avalanche in the Polish Tatras happened, in which 8 people died and 5 were injured. We tried to determine cause and manner of death in 6 fatal victims instead of advanced late post mortem changes in internal organs. Taking into consideration the circumstances of death, we paid special attention to histopathological examination of lungs, extended by Gomori's and AZAN staining. Pattern of the changes was similar to those observed in forensic medicine in cases of asphyxia due to airway obstruction and/or immobilization of chest and abdomen (Perthes' syndrome). Histopathological study with the use of more specific staining methods has a significant diagnostic value during establishing the cause and mechanism of death of the deceased snow avalanche victims with advanced post mortem changes.

Couvelaire uterus: bad aspect but normal uterine function.

Determinants of stillbirths in Northern Ghana: a case control study.

Stillbirths are more common than the death of a baby after birth. In 2012, Tamale Metropolitan Area in the Northern Region of Ghana reported 35 stillbirths per 1,000 deliveries. This study was therefore conducted to determine the sociodemographic, obstetric and maternal medical health related risk factors associated with stillbirths.

Brugada syndrome: Diagnosis, risk stratification and management.

Brugada syndrome is a rare inherited arrhythmia syndrome leading to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, despite a structurally normal heart. Diagnosis is based on a specific electrocardiogram pattern, observed either spontaneously or during a sodium channel blocker test. Among affected patients, risk stratification remains a challenge, despite recent insights from large population cohorts. As implantable cardiac defibrillators - the main therapy in Brugada syndrome - are associated with a high rate of complications in this population, the main challenge is risk stratification of patients with Brugada syndrome. Aside from the two main predictors of arrhythmia (symptoms and spontaneous electrocardiogram pattern), many risk factors have been recently suggested for stratifying risk of sudden cardiac death in Brugada syndrome. We have reviewed these data and discuss current guidelines in light of recent progress in this complex field.