Thursday, August 20, 2020

Anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation in stages 4 and 5 of CKD

From a recently published study:


The aim of this study was to investigate whether oral anticoagulants can provide efficacy and safety profiles better than no anticoagulant in patients with stages 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease and atrial fibrillation.


From 2001 to 2017, a cohort of patients with stages 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease and atrial fibrillation based on electronic medical records were selected from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital system in Taiwan. Patients were divided into nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs), warfarin, and nonanticoagulated groups. They were followed from the index date to the occurrence of the study outcomes or for 5 years, whichever occurred first. The outcomes were admissions due to ischemic stroke or systemic embolism or major bleedings. Survival analyses were conducted to estimate the incidence rates of outcomes.


A total of 3771 patients with atrial fibrillation and estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 30 mL/min/1.73m 2 were enrolled, of whom 2971 were in the nonanticoagulated group, 280 in the NOAC group, and 520 in the warfarin group. About 25% of all subjects (940 patients) were on dialysis. The mean follow-up was 3.2 years. After adjusting for sex, age, comorbidities, and comedication, the warfarin group had a significantly higher risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1-4.6) than the nonanticoagulated group. The NOAC group had a similar risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism (aHR 1.1; 95% CI 0.3-3.4) to that of the nonanticoagulated group. Both the warfarin and the NOAC groups had a significantly higher major bleeding risk than the noncoagulated group (aHR 2.8 [95% CI 2.0-3.8] for warfarin; aHR 3.1 [95% CI 1.9-5.2] for NOAC).


The use of NOACs or warfarin is not more effective than using no anticoagulants at all in reducing the risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism. Both NOACs and warfarin are associated with increased risk of major bleeding. Our results do not support the use of anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation and stages 4-5 chronic kidney disease.

From an accompanying editorial:

The present study makes a significant contribution to the controversial field of oral anticoagulation in chronic kidney disease patients and advises against an unselected anticoagulant treatment of elderly chronic kidney disease stages 4-5 patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent thromboembolic events. Physicians are again left with an individualized approach to these patients weighing carefully in the inherent benefits and risks of oral anticoagulation.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Elevated BP in hospitalized patients: what to do?

From a recently published review:

Elevated blood pressure is common in patients who are hospitalized. There are no guidelines and few recommendations to help inpatient providers manage patients with elevated blood pressure. There are no normal reported values for blood pressure in the inpatient and recording circumstances often widely vary. Many factors may influence blood pressure such as pain, anxiety, malaise, nicotine withdrawal, or withholding home medications. This review of available literature suggests potential harm and little to no potential benefit in treating asymptomatic patients with elevated blood pressure. This review also found no evidence that asymptomatic elevated blood pressure progresses to lead to end-organ damage. However, there are clear instances of hypertensive emergency where treatment is indicated. Conscientious adjustment of an anti-hypertensive regimen should be undertaken during episode of elevated blood pressure associated with end-organ damage.

Cardiac complications of psoriasis

Look at the epicardial fat. From a recent paper in the green journal:

Psoriasis is a systemic inflammatory disorder that can target adipose tissue; the resulting adipocyte dysfunction is manifest clinically as the metabolic syndrome, which is present in ≈20%-40% of patients. Epicardial adipose tissue inflammation is likely responsible for a distinctive pattern of cardiovascular disorders consisting of 1) accelerated coronary atherosclerosis leading to myocardial infarction, 2) atrial myopathy leading to atrial fibrillation and thromboembolic stroke, and 3) ventricular myopathy leading to heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction. If cardiovascular inflammation drives these risks, then treatments that focus on blood pressure, lipids, and glucose will not ameliorate the burden of cardiovascular disease in patients with psoriasis, especially in those who are young and have severe inflammation. Instead, interventions that alleviate systemic and adipose tissue inflammation may not only minimize the risks of atrial fibrillation and heart failure but may also have favorable effects on the severity of psoriasis. Viewed from this perspective, the known link between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease is not related to the influence of the individual diagnostic components of the metabolic syndrome.

Updated atrial fib guidelines: the essentials


From Joseph S.Alpert.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A case of relapsing polychondritis

From a case report and mini review in the American Journal of Medicine:

McAdam and the Damiani/Levine diagnostic criteria. 12 RPC is diagnosed if 3 of 6 clinical findings are present: 1) auricular chondritis; 2) nonerosive inflammatory arthritis; 3) nasal chondritis; 4) ocular inflammation, including conjunctivitis, keratitis, scleritis, episcleritis, or uveitis; 5) laryngotracheal chondritis; and 6) cochlear or vestibular damage presenting as sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus, or vertigo. A diagnosis of RPC also can be made if a patient meets one of 6 criteria AND has compatible cartilage biopsy histology or meets 2 of 6 criteria AND improves clinically after receiving corticosteroids or dapsone. 2

RPC is a rare inflammatory disease with a peak age of onset between ages 40 and 50 years and an estimated incidence of 3.5 cases per million people per year. 3 Cases have been diagnosed across all racial groups. Men and women are equally affected. 3 RPC is defined by abrupt-onset inflammation of the cartilaginous ear, nose, joints, laryngotracheobronchial tree, or heart valves. The disease usually follows an indolent, relapsing-remitting course but may also present fulminantly and threaten vision and organ function. 4 …

Up to one-third of cases of RPC present prior to, during, or after another disease. 6 The most commonly associated syndrome is systemic vasculitis, followed by rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Thyroid acropachy: an unusual complication of Graves disease

From a recent published case report and mini-review:

The pathogenesis of acropachy is unknown, except for the anatomic location, in that it is probably similar to that of pretibial myxedema. It appears that TRAb molecules bind to the TSH receptors of fibroblasts present in the periosteum region and trigger an inflammatory response, producing cell proliferation and glycosaminoglycan deposition (7,8). The musculoskeletal manifestation is almost never seen without the remaining components of the triad of orbitopathy, dermopathy, and acropachy (9,10). Some studies suggest smoking is a predisposing factor for acropachy in GD patients (9).

In most cases, acropachy is asymptomatic, but the main clinical manifestations are digital clubbing, skin tightness with or without digital clubbing and usually with small-joint pain (in severe cases), soft tissue edema, and reactional periosteum, and skin alterations in fingers and nails may also be present (7). The disorder mostly affects the metacarpus phalangeal and proximal interphalangeal regions in the upper and lower limbs, especially the ankles and metatarsal phalangeal joints (11).