Sophia Antipolis, France, 25 April 2012: The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) announced today the launch of the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care, the organisation’s official journal of the ESC Working Group on Acute Cardiac Care. “This new journal will be an important resource and guidance for cardiologists and allied healthcare professionals, offering useful information for daily clinical practice to improve the diagnosis, treatment and outcome of patients with acute cardiovascular syndromes,” said Editor in Chief Professor Christiaan Vrints. Professor Vrints, Chairman of the Department of Cardiology at Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium, is also Chairperson of the ESC’s Working Group on Acute Cardiac Care.
The journal will also have a strong educational focus that covers the full range of science in acute cardiovascular diseases, including original research papers, editorials, educational materials, clinical case studies, practical tips and how-to articles.
This first issue of the journal, which is published by SAGE, has contributions by highly regarded cardiologists including Harvard Medical School Professor Eugene Braunwald, Professor Thomas Lüscher , Chairman of Cardiology at the University Hospital Zurich and Director of CardioVascular Research at the Institute of Physiology of the University of Zurich; and Professor Eric Boersma from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Highlights from the first issue include:
The treatment of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI): the Past, the Present, and the Future
This review showed that early reperfusion therapy is critically important in preventing ischemic necrosis in patients with AMI, although reperfusion can also injure the muscles and tissue around the heart. Yet there is continual and promising research that may show how to reduce myocardial reperfusion injury when treating patients with AMI.
Primary PCI (pPCI) during off-hours is not related to increased mortality
There is continuous research to determine whether or not the quality of care delivered to heart attack patients differs during the day or at night due to variations in symptom onset to treatment time, physician performance, coronary care staff and appropriate hospital equipment. In this particular study, most patients who underwent pPCI in a high-volume medical center during off hours showed similar short and long-term results compared to those undergoing the procedure during regular hours.
ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) mortality in community hospitals versus PCI-capable hospitals: results from a nationwide STEMI network program
Previous randomised trials have demonstrated that transferring patients to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)-capable hospitals for pPCI treatment leads to better outcomes than administering thrombolytic therapy at community hospitals. Subsequent research examining local STEMI networks focused mainly on PCI-related time issues and outcomes of pPCI patients whereas data on patients that were not transferred are lacking. In this study, a STEMI network with greater than 70% use of pPCI showed similar mortality rates between community hospitals (71% use of pPCI and 20% of thrombolysis therapy) and PCI-capable hospitals (93% use of pPCI). Participation in the STEMI network program was associated with an increased adherence to reperfusion guidelines over time. This study strongly supports the promotion and implementation of STEMI networks in all areas with a limited availability of PCI-capable hospitals.
New oral anticoagulant agents after Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS)
The benefit of adding vitamin K antagonists (VKA) with antiplatelet therapy in order to prevent ischemic events after an ACS like chest pain, has been successfully studied, yet the long-term use of VKA is not recommended due to their need for frequent monitoring and drug and dietary interactions. The new oral anticoagulants offer several advantages compared to VKA, like absence of frequent monitoring. This review evaluates the current evidence and practical consequences between the use of oral anticoagulant agents and oral anti factor Xa inhibitors.