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Background Identification of occult diastolic dysfunction often requires invasive right heart catheterization with provocative maneuvers such as fluid challenge. Non-invasive predictors of occult diastolic dysfunction have not been identified. We hypothesized that echocardiographic measures of diastolic function are associated with occult diastolic dysfunction identified at catheterization. Methods and Results We retrospectively examined hemodynamic and echocardiographic data from consecutive patients referred for right heart catheterization with fluid challenge from 2009 to 2017. A replication cohort of 52 patients who prospectively underwent simultaneous echocardiography and right heart catheterization before and after fluid challenge at Monaldi Hospital, Naples, Italy. In the retrospective cohort of 126 patients (83% female, 56+14 years), 27/126 (21%) had occult diastolic dysfunction. After adjusting for tricuspid regurgitant velocity and left atrial volume index, E velocity (odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-2.9, P=0.01) and E/e' (odds ratio 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3, P=0.005) were associated with occult diastolic dysfunction with an optimal threshold of E/e' >8.6 for occult diastolic dysfunction (sensitivity 70%, specificity 64%). In the prospective cohort, 5/52 (10%) patients had diastolic dysfunction after fluid challenge. Resting E/e' (odds ratio 8.75, 95% CI 2.3-33, P=0.001) and E velocity (odds ratio 7.7, 95% CI 2-29, P=0.003) remained associated with occult diastolic dysfunction with optimal threshold of E/e' >8 (sensitivity 73%, specificity 90%). Conclusions Among patients referred for right heart catheterization with fluid challenge, E velocity and E/e' are associated with occult diastolic dysfunction after fluid challenge. These findings suggest that routine echocardiographic measurements may help identify patients like to have occult diastolic dysfunction non-invasively.
Functional MRI (fMRI) signals are robustly detectable in white matter (WM) but they have been largely ignored in the fMRI literature. Their nature, interpretation, and relevance as potential indicators of brain function remain under explored and even controversial. Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast has for over 25 years been exploited for detecting localized neural activity in the cortex using fMRI. While BOLD signals have been reliably detected in grey matter (GM) in a very large number of studies, such signals have rarely been reported from WM. However, it is clear from our own and other studies that although BOLD effects are weaker in WM, using appropriate detection and analysis methods they are robustly detectable both in response to stimuli and in a resting state. BOLD fluctuations in a resting state exhibit similar temporal and spectral profiles in both GM and WM, and their relative low frequency (0.01-0.1 Hz) signal powers are comparable. They also vary with baseline neural activity e.g. as induced by different levels of anesthesia, and alter in response to a stimulus. In previous work we reported that BOLD signals in WM in a resting state exhibit anisotropic temporal correlations with neighboring voxels. On the basis of these findings, we derived functional correlation tensors that quantify the correlational anisotropy in WM BOLD signals. We found that, along many WM tracts, the directional preferences of these functional correlation tensors in a resting state are grossly consistent with those revealed by diffusion tensors, and that external stimuli tend to enhance visualization of specific and relevant fiber pathways. These findings support the proposition that variations in WM BOLD signals represent tract-specific responses to neural activity. We have more recently shown that sensory stimulations induce explicit BOLD responses along parts of the projection fiber pathways, and that task-related BOLD changes in WM occur synchronously with the temporal pattern of stimuli. WM tracts also show a transient signal response following short stimuli analogous to but different from the hemodynamic response function (HRF) characteristic of GM. Thus there is converging and compelling evidence that WM exhibits both resting state fluctuations and stimulus-evoked BOLD signals very similar (albeit weaker) to those in GM. A number of studies from other laboratories have also reported reliable observations of WM activations. Detection of BOLD signals in WM has been enhanced by using specialized tasks or modified data analysis methods. In this mini-review we report summaries of some of our recent studies that provide evidence that BOLD signals in WM are related to brain functional activity and deserve greater attention by the neuroimaging community.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Accurate estimates of the BOLD hemodynamic response function (HRF) are crucial for the interpretation and analysis of event-related functional MRI data. To date, however, there have been no comprehensive measurements of the HRF in white matter (WM) despite increasing evidence that BOLD signals in WM change after a stimulus. We performed an event-related cognitive task (Stroop color-word interference) to measure the HRF in selected human WM pathways. The task was chosen in order to produce robust, distributed centers of activity throughout the cortex. To measure the HRF in WM, fiber tracts were reconstructed between each pair of activated cortical areas. We observed clear task-specific HRFs with reduced magnitudes, delayed onsets and prolonged initial dips in WM tracts compared with activated grey matter, thus calling for significant changes to current standard models for accurately characterizing the HRFs in WM and for modifications of standard methods of analysis of functional imaging data.
Regulation of the ductus arteriosus, an essential fetal vessel connecting the pulmonary artery and aorta, is complex. Failure of this vessel to close after birth may result in a persistent left-to-right shunt through the patent ductus arteriosus, a condition associated with significant morbidities. Numerous factors contribute to the shift from fetal ductus patency to postnatal closure, requiring precise coordination of molecular cues with biomechanical forces and underlying genetic influences. Despite significant advances, questions remain regarding signaling dynamics and the natural time course of ductus closure, particularly in preterm neonates. This review highlights the contributions of early investigators and more recent clinician scientists to our understanding of the molecular and mechanical factors that mediate ductus patency and closure.
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Blood transfusions are administered to children and adults with sickle cell anemia (SCA) for secondary stroke prevention, or as treatment for recurrent pain crises or acute anemia, but transfusion effects on cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism are not well-characterized.
PURPOSE - To compare blood transfusion-induced changes in hemometabolic parameters, including oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) and cerebral blood flow (CBF), within and between adults and children with SCA.
STUDY TYPE - Prospective, longitudinal study.
SUBJECTS - Adults with SCA (n = 16) receiving simple (n = 7) or exchange (n = 9) transfusions and children with SCA (n = 11) receiving exchange transfusions were scanned once when hematocrit was near nadir and again within 7 days of transfusion. Adult controls without SCA or sickle trait (n = 7) were scanned twice on separate days.
FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE - 3.0T T -weighted, T -weighted, and T -relaxation-under-spin-tagging (TRUST) imaging, and phase contrast angiography.
ASSESSMENT - Global OEF was computed as the relative difference between venous oxygenation (from TRUST) and arterial oxygenation (from pulse oximetry). Global CBF was computed as total blood flow to the brain normalized by intracranial tissue volume.
STATISTICAL TESTS - Hemometabolic variables were compared using two-sided Wilcoxon signed-rank tests; associations were analyzed using two-sided Spearman's correlation testing.
RESULTS - In adults with SCA, posttransfusion OEF = 0.38 ± 0.05 was lower (P = 0.001) than pretransfusion OEF = 0.45 ± 0.09. A change in OEF was correlated with increases in hematocrit (P = 0.02; rho = -0.62) and with pretransfusion hematocrit (P = 0.02; rho = 0.65). OEF changes after transfusion were greater (P = 0.002) in adults receiving simple versus exchange transfusions. Posttransfusion CBF = 77.7 ± 26.4 ml/100g/min was not different (P = 0.27) from pretransfusion CBF = 82.3 ± 30.2 ml/100g/min. In children with SCA, both posttransfusion OEF = 0.28 ± 0.04 and CBF = 76.4 ± 26.4 were lower than pretransfusion OEF = 0.36 ± 0.06 (P = 0.004) and CBF = 96.4 ± 16.5 (P = 0.004).
DATA CONCLUSION - Cerebral OEF reduces following transfusions in adults and children with SCA. CBF reduces following transfusions more often in children compared to adults, indicating that vascular reserve capacity may remain near exhaustion posttransfusion in many adults.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - 2 Technical Efficacy Stage 5 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;49:466-477.
© 2018 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
BACKGROUND - Mechanisms underlying the association between age-related arterial stiffening and poor brain health remain elusive. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) homeostasis may be implicated. This study evaluates how aortic stiffening relates to resting CBF and cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) in older adults.
METHODS - Vanderbilt Memory & Aging Project participants free of clinical dementia, stroke, and heart failure were studied, including older adults with normal cognition (n=155; age, 72±7 years; 59% male) or mild cognitive impairment (n=115; age, 73±7 years; 57% male). Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV; meters per second) was quantified from cardiac magnetic resonance. Resting CBF (milliliters per 100 g per minute) and CVR (CBF response to hypercapnic normoxia stimulus) were quantified from pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging. Linear regression models related aortic PWV to regional CBF, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, education, Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (diabetes mellitus, smoking, left ventricular hypertrophy, prevalent cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation), hypertension, body mass index, apolipoprotein E4 ( APOE ε4) status, and regional tissue volume. Models were repeated testing PWV× APOE ε4 interactions. Sensitivity analyses excluded participants with prevalent cardiovascular disease and atrial fibrillation.
RESULTS - Among participants with normal cognition, higher aortic PWV related to lower frontal lobe CBF (β=-0.43; P=0.04) and higher CVR in the whole brain (β=0.11; P=0.02), frontal lobes (β=0.12; P<0.05), temporal lobes (β=0.11; P=0.02), and occipital lobes (β=0.14; P=0.01). Among APOE ε4 carriers with normal cognition, findings were more pronounced with higher PWV relating to lower whole-brain CBF (β=-1.16; P=0.047), lower temporal lobe CBF (β=-1.81; P=0.004), and higher temporal lobe CVR (β=0.26; P=0.08), although the last result did not meet the a priori significance threshold. Results were similar in sensitivity models. Among participants with mild cognitive impairment, higher aortic PWV related to lower CBF in the occipital lobe (β=-0.70; P=0.02), but this finding was attenuated when participants with prevalent cardiovascular disease and atrial fibrillation were excluded. Among APOE ε4 carriers with mild cognitive impairment, findings were more pronounced with higher PWV relating to lower temporal lobe CBF (β=-1.20; P=0.02).
CONCLUSIONS - Greater aortic stiffening relates to lower regional CBF and higher CVR in cognitively normal older adults, especially among individuals with increased genetic predisposition for Alzheimer's disease. Central arterial stiffening may contribute to reductions in regional CBF despite preserved cerebrovascular reserve capacity.
Importance - Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is diagnosed by a mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) value of at least 25 mm Hg during right heart catheterization (RHC). While several studies have demonstrated increased mortality in patients with mPAP less than that threshold, little is known about the natural history of borderline PH.
Objective - To test the hypothesis that patients with borderline PH have decreased survival compared with patients with lower mPAP and frequently develop overt PH and to identify clinical correlates of borderline PH.
Design, Setting, and Participants - Retrospective cohort study from 1998 to 2014 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, comprising all patients undergoing routine RHC for clinical indication. We extracted demographics, clinical data, invasive hemodynamics, echocardiography, and vital status for all patients. Patients with mPAP values of 18 mm Hg or less, 19 to 24 mm Hg, and at least 25 mm Hg were classified as reference, borderline PH, and PH, respectively.
Exposures - Mean pulmonary arterial pressure.
Main Outcome and Measures - Our primary outcome was all-cause mortality after adjusting for clinically relevant covariates in a Cox proportional hazards model. Our secondary outcome was the diagnosis of overt PH in patients initially diagnosed with borderline PH. Both outcomes were determined prior to data analysis.
Results - We identified 4343 patients (mean [SD] age, 59  years, 51% women, and 86% white) among whom the prevalence of PH and borderline PH was 62% and 18%, respectively. Advanced age, features of the metabolic syndrome, and chronic heart and lung disease were independently associated with a higher likelihood of borderline PH compared with reference patients in a logistic regression model. After adjusting for 34 covariates in a Cox proportional hazards model, borderline PH was associated with increased mortality compared with reference patients (hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.04-1.65; P = .001). The hazard of death increased incrementally with higher mPAP, without an observed threshold. In the 70 patients with borderline PH who underwent a repeated RHC, 43 (61%) had developed overt PH, with a median increase in mPAP of 5 mm Hg (interquartile range, -1 to 11 mm Hg; P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance - Borderline PH is common in patients undergoing RHC and is associated with significant comorbidities, progression to overt PH, and decreased survival. Small increases in mPAP, even at values currently considered normal, are independently associated with increased mortality. Prospective studies are warranted to determine whether early intervention or closer monitoring improves clinical outcomes in these patients.
Selectin-mediated adhesion of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to the endothelium is a critical step in cancer metastasis, a major factor contributing to the mortality of cancer. The formation of tethers between tumor cells and endothelial selectins initiates cell rolling, which can lead to firm adhesion, extravasation and the formation of secondary metastases. Tumor cells travel through the bloodstream as single cells, or as aggregates known as circulating tumor microemboli (CTM). CTM have increased survivability and metastatic potential relative to CTCs, and the presence of CTM is associated with worse patient prognosis. The motion of cells and cellular aggregates in flow is a function of their size and shape, and these differences influence the frequency and strength of their contact with the endothelium. In this study, a computational model consisting of the hydrodynamic component of the Multiparticle Adhesive Dynamics simulation analyzed the effects of model aggregate conformation and orientation on adhesive binding potential. Model aggregates of the Colo205 colorectal cancer cell line were created, consisting of two, three, and four cells in simple geometrical conformations. Contact time, contact area, and time integral of contact area were measured as a function of fluid shear rate, initial centroid height, and initial orientation for model aggregates that experienced hydrodynamic collisions with the plane wall. It was found that larger CTM conformations with intermediate nonsphericities had the highest adhesion potential. The results of this study shed light on the correlation between environmental conditions and extravasation efficiency, which could inform the development of new anti-metastatic drugs.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.