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OBJECTIVE - To determine if beta-(β)-blockers improve outcomes after acute traumatic brain injury (TBI).
BACKGROUND - There have been no new inpatient pharmacologic therapies to improve TBI outcomes in a half-century. Treatment of TBI patients with β-blockers offers a potentially beneficial approach.
METHODS - Using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL databases, eligible articles for our systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO CRD42016048547) included adult (age ≥ 16 years) blunt trauma patients admitted with TBI. The exposure of interest was β-blocker administration initiated during the hospitalization. Outcomes were mortality, functional measures, quality of life, cardiopulmonary morbidity (e.g., hypotension, bradycardia, bronchospasm, and/or congestive heart failure). Data were analyzed using a random-effects model, and represented by pooled odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and statistical heterogeneity (I).
RESULTS - Data were extracted from 9 included studies encompassing 2005 unique TBI patients with β-blocker treatment and 6240 unique controls. Exposure to β-blockers after TBI was associated with a reduction of in-hospital mortality (pooled OR 0.39, 95% CI: 0.27-0.56; I = 65%, P < 0.00001). None of the included studies examined functional outcome or quality of life measures, and cardiopulmonary adverse events were rarely reported. No clear evidence of reporting bias was identified.
CONCLUSIONS - In adults with acute TBI, observational studies reveal a significant mortality advantage with β-blockers; however, quality of evidence is very low. We conditionally recommend the use of in-hospital β-blockers. However, we recommend further high-quality trials to answer questions about the mechanisms of action, effectiveness on subgroups, dose-response, length of therapy, functional outcome, and quality of life after β-blocker use for TBI.
We conducted a discovery genome-wide association study with expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) annotation of new-onset diabetes (NOD) among European Americans, who were exposed to a calcium channel blocker-based strategy (CCB strategy) or a β-blocker-based strategy (β-blocker strategy) in the INternational VErapamil SR Trandolapril STudy. Replication of the top signal from the SNP*treatment interaction analysis was attempted in Hispanic and African Americans, and a joint meta-analysis was performed (total 334 NOD cases and 806 matched controls). PLEKHH2 rs11124945 at 2p21 interacted with antihypertensive exposure for NOD (meta-analysis P=5.3 × 10). rs11124945 G allele carriers had lower odds for NOD when exposed to the β-blocker strategy compared with the CCB strategy (Odds ratio OR=0.38(0.24-0.60), P=4.0 × 10), whereas A/A homozygotes exposed to the β-blocker strategy had increased odds for NOD compared with the CCB strategy (OR=2.02(1.39-2.92), P=2.0 × 10). eQTL annotation of the 2p21 locus provides functional support for regulating gene expression.
BACKGROUND - Genetic predisposition to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias such as congenital long-QT syndrome (LQTS) and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) represent treatable causes of sudden cardiac death in young adults and children. Recently, mutations in calmodulin (CALM1, CALM2) have been associated with severe forms of LQTS and CPVT, with life-threatening arrhythmias occurring very early in life. Additional mutation-positive cases are needed to discern genotype-phenotype correlations associated with calmodulin mutations.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We used conventional and next-generation sequencing approaches, including exome analysis, in genotype-negative LQTS probands. We identified 5 novel de novo missense mutations in CALM2 in 3 subjects with LQTS (p.N98S, p.N98I, p.D134H) and 2 subjects with clinical features of both LQTS and CPVT (p.D132E, p.Q136P). Age of onset of major symptoms (syncope or cardiac arrest) ranged from 1 to 9 years. Three of 5 probands had cardiac arrest and 1 of these subjects did not survive. The clinical severity among subjects in this series was generally less than that originally reported for CALM1 and CALM2 associated with recurrent cardiac arrest during infancy. Four of 5 probands responded to β-blocker therapy, whereas 1 subject with mutation p.Q136P died suddenly during exertion despite this treatment. Mutations affect conserved residues located within Ca(2+)-binding loops III (p.N98S, p.N98I) or IV (p.D132E, p.D134H, p.Q136P) and caused reduced Ca(2+)-binding affinity.
CONCLUSIONS - CALM2 mutations can be associated with LQTS and with overlapping features of LQTS and CPVT.
© 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.
Interindividual heterogeneity in drug response is a central feature of all drug therapies. Studies in individual patients, families, and populations over the past several decades have identified variants in genes encoding drug elimination or drug target pathways that in some cases contribute substantially to variable efficacy and toxicity. Important associations of pharmacogenomics in cardiovascular medicine include clopidogrel and risk for in-stent thrombosis, steady-state warfarin dose, myotoxicity with simvastatin, and certain drug-induced arrhythmias. This review describes methods used to accumulate and validate these findings and points to approaches--now being put in place at some centers--to implementing them in clinical care.
AIMS - A prolonged QT interval is associated with increased risk of Torsades de pointes (TdP) and may be fatal. We sought to investigate the extent to which clinical covariates affect the change in QT interval among 'real-world' patients treated with sotalol and followed in an electronic medical record (EMR) system.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We used clinical alerts in our EMR system to identify all patients in whom a new prescription for sotalol was written (2001-11). Rate-corrected QT (QTc) was calculated by Bazett's formula. Correlates of sotalol-induced change in the QTc interval and sotalol discontinuation were examined using linear and logistic regression, respectively. Overall, 541 sotalol-exposed patients were identified (n = 200 women, 37%). The mean first sotalol dose was 86 ± 39 mg, age 64 ± 13 years, and BMI 30 ± 7 kg/m(2). Atrial fibrillation/flutter was the predominant indication (92.2%). After initial exposure, the change in the QTc interval from baseline was highly variable: ΔQTc after 2 h = 3 ± 42 ms (P = 0.17) and 11 ± 37 ms after ≥48 h (P < 0.001). Multivariable linear regression analysis identified female gender and age, reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, high sotalol dose, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and loop diuretic co-administration as correlates of increased ΔQTc at ≥48 h (P < 0.05 for all). Within 3 days of initiation, 12% discontinued sotalol of which 31% were because of exaggerated QTc prolongation. One percent developed TdP.
CONCLUSION - In this EMR-based cohort, the increase in QTc with sotalol initiation was highly variable, and multiple clinical factors contributed. These data represent an important step in ongoing work to identify real-world patients likely to tolerate long-term therapy and reinforces the utility of EMR-based cohorts as research tools.
Activation of kappa-opioid receptors (KORs) in monoamine circuits results in dysphoria-like behaviors and stress-induced reinstatement of drug seeking in both conditioned place preference (CPP) and self-administration models. Noradrenergic (NA) receptor systems have also been implicated in similar behaviors. Dynorphinergic projections terminate within the locus coeruleus (LC), a primary source of norepinephrine in the forebrain, suggesting a possible link between the NA and dynorphin/kappa opioid systems, yet the implications of these putative interactions have not been investigated. We isolated the necessity of KORs in the LC in kappa opioid agonist (U50,488)-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP by blocking KORs in the LC with NorBNI (KOR antagonist). KOR-induced reinstatement was significantly attenuated in mice injected with NorBNI in the LC. To determine the sufficiency of KORs in the LC on U50,488-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP, we virally re-expressed KORs in the LC of KOR knockout mice. We found that KORs expression in the LC alone was sufficient to partially rescue KOR-induced reinstatement. Next we assessed the role of NA signaling in KOR-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP in the presence and absence of a α2-agonist (clonidine), β-adrenergic receptor antagonist (propranolol), and β(1)- and β(2)-antagonist (betaxolol and ICI-118,551 HCl). Both the blockade of postsynaptic β(1)-adrenergic receptors and the activation of presynaptic inhibitory adrenergic autoreceptors selectively potentiated the magnitude of KOR-induced reinstatement of cocaine CPP but not cocaine-primed CPP reinstatement. Finally, viral restoration of KORs in the LC together with β-adrenergic receptor blockade did not potentiate KOR-induced reinstatement to cocaine CPP, suggesting that adrenergic receptor interactions occur at KOR-expressing regions external to the LC. These results identify a previously unknown interaction between KORs and NA systems and suggest a NA regulation of KOR-dependent reinstatement of cocaine CPP.
Variability in drug responsiveness is a sine qua non of modern therapeutics, and the contribution of genomic variation is increasingly recognized. Investigating the genomic basis for variable responses to cardiovascular therapies has been a model for pharmacogenomics in general and has established critical pathways and specific loci modulating therapeutic responses to commonly used drugs such as clopidogrel, warfarin, and statins. In addition, genomic approaches have defined mechanisms and genetic variants underlying important toxicities with these and other drugs. These findings have not only resulted in changes to the product labels but also have led to development of initial clinical guidelines that consider how to facilitate incorporating genetic information to the bedside. This review summarizes the state of knowledge in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics and considers how variants described to date might be deployed in clinical decision making.
Bone remodeling allows the conservation of normal bone mass despite constant changes in internal and external environments. The adaptation of the skeleton to these various stimuli leads credence to the notion that bone remodeling is a true homeostatic function, and as such is under the control of specific centers in the central nervous system (CNS). Hypothalamic and brainstem centers, as well as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), have been identified as regulators of bone remodeling. However, the nature of the afferent CNS stimuli that may modulate CNS centers involved in the control of bone remodeling, with the exception of leptin, remains unclear. Based on the partial efficacy of exercise and mechanical stimulation regimens to prevent microgravity-induced bone loss and the known alterations in vestibular functions associated with space flights, we hypothesized that inner ear vestibular signals may contribute to the regulation of bone remodeling. Using an established model of bilateral vestibular lesions and microtomographic and histomorphometric bone analyses, we show here that induction of bilateral vestibular lesion in rats generates significant bone loss, which is restricted to weight-bearing bones and associated with a significant reduction in bone formation, as observed in rats under microgravity conditions. Importantly, this bone loss was not associated with reduced locomotor activity or metabolic abnormalities, was accompanied with molecular signs of increased sympathetic outflow, and could be prevented by the β-blocker propranolol. Collectively, these data suggest that the homeostatic process of bone remodeling has a vestibulosympathetic regulatory component and that vestibular system pathologies might be accompanied by bone fragility.
© 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is a complex and insidious valvular pathology that represents a complex decision and management algorithm for patients. TR is present in a significant proportion of the population and is especially prevalent in patients with advanced heart failure. Patients with TR have been demonstrated to have a decreased survival even with normal left heart function. TR can be a result of pathology that directly affects the valvular structure (i.e., Ebstein anomaly) or as a result of increased forward pressures (ie, pulmonary hypertension, left heart failure). Conservative management of patients with TR is primarily symptomatic relief. Definitive therapy involves surgical repair of the tricuspid valve. Furthermore, as more patients develop advanced heart failure, the management of TR in patients with left ventricular assist devices has become necessary because of the evidence of increased in-hospital morbidity and a trend toward decreased survival.
BACKGROUND - Severe TBI, defined as a Glasgow Coma Scale ≤ 8, increases intracranial pressure and activates the sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic hyperactivity after TBI manifests as catecholamine excess, hypertension, abnormal heart rate variability, and agitation, and is associated with poor neuropsychological outcome. Propranolol and clonidine are centrally acting drugs that may decrease sympathetic outflow, brain edema, and agitation. However, there is no prospective randomized evidence available demonstrating the feasibility, outcome benefits, and safety for adrenergic blockade after TBI.
METHODS/DESIGN - The DASH after TBI study is an actively accruing, single-center, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, two-arm trial, where one group receives centrally acting sympatholytic drugs, propranolol (1 mg intravenously every 6 h for 7 days) and clonidine (0.1 mg per tube every 12 h for 7 days), and the other group, double placebo, within 48 h of severe TBI. The study uses a weighted adaptive minimization randomization with categories of age and Marshall head CT classification. Feasibility will be assessed by ability to provide a neuroradiology read for randomization, by treatment contamination, and by treatment compliance. The primary endpoint is reduction in plasma norepinephrine level as measured on day 8. Secondary endpoints include comprehensive plasma and urine catecholamine levels, heart rate variability, arrhythmia occurrence, infections, agitation measures using the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale and Agitated Behavior scale, medication use (anti-hypertensive, sedative, analgesic, and antipsychotic), coma-free days, ventilator-free days, length of stay, and mortality. Neuropsychological outcomes will be measured at hospital discharge and at 3 and 12 months. The domains tested will include global executive function, memory, processing speed, visual-spatial, and behavior. Other assessments include the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale and Quality of Life after Brain Injury scale. Safety parameters evaluated will include cardiac complications.
DISCUSSION - The DASH After TBI Study is the first randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial powered to determine feasibility and investigate safety and outcomes associated with adrenergic blockade in patients with severe TBI. If the study results in positive trends, this could provide pilot evidence for a larger multicenter randomized clinical trial. If there is no effect of therapy, this trial would still provide a robust prospective description of sympathetic hyperactivity after TBI.
TRIAL REGISTRATION - ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01322048.