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  • 1. Ahmeti, Artan
    et al.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Molecular & Clinical Sciences Research Institute, St George University London.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Clinic of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova.
    Elezi, Shpend
    Haliti, Edmond
    Poniku, Afrim
    Batalli, Arlind
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Clinic of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova; Medical Faculty, University of Prishtina.
    Quality of life questionnaire predicts poor exercise capacity only in HFpEF and not in HFrEF2017In: BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, ISSN 1471-2261, E-ISSN 1471-2261, Vol. 17, article id 268Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) is the most widely used measure of quality of life (QoL) in HF patients. This prospective study aimed to assess the relationship between QoL and exercise capacity in HF patients.

    Methods: The study subjects were 118 consecutive patients with chronic HF (62 +/- 10 years, 57 females, in NYHA I-III). Patients answered a MLHFQ questionnaire in the same day of complete clinical, biochemical and echocardiographic assessment. They also underwent a 5 min walk test (6-MWT), in the same day, which grouped them into; Group I: <= 300 m and Group II: > 300 m. In addition, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF), divided them into: Group A, with preserved EF (HFpEF) and Group B with reduced EF (HFrEF).

    Results: The mean MLHFQ total scale score was 48 (+/- 17). The total scale, and the physical and emotional functional MLHFQ scores did not differ between HFpEF and HFpEF. Group I patients were older (p = 0.003), had higher NYHA functional class (p = 0.002), faster baseline heart rate (p = 0.006), higher prevalence of smoking (p = 0.015), higher global, physical and emotional MLHFQ scores (p < 0.001, for all), larger left atrial (LA) diameter (p = 0.001), shorter LV filling time (p = 0.027), higher E/e' ratio (0.02), shorter isovolumic relaxation time (p = 0.028), lower septal a' (p = 0.019) and s' (p = 0.023), compared to Group II. Independent predictors of 6-MWT distance for the group as a whole were increased MLHFQ total score (p = 0.005), older age (p = 0.035), and diabetes (p = 0.045), in HFpEF were total MLHFQ (p = 0.007) and diabetes (p = 0.045) but in HFrEF were only LA enlargement (p = 0.005) and age (p = 0.013. A total MLHFQ score of 48.5 had a sensitivity of 67% and specificity of 63% (AUC on ROC analysis of 72%) for limited exercise performance in HF patients.

    Conclusions: Quality of life, assessment by MLHFQ, is the best correlate of exercise capacity measured by 6-MWT, particularly in HFpEF patients. Despite worse ejection fraction in HFrEF, signs of raised LA pressure independently determine exercise capacity in these patients.

  • 2.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    The clinical value of total isovolumic time2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this thesis is to evaluate the use of Doppler echocardiography markers ofglobal dyssynchrony [total isovolumic time (t-IVT)] in the following 6 studies: 1) Its prognostic role in predicting cardiac events in patients undergoing CABG surgery,compared with conventional global systolic and diastolic measurements. 2) Its additional value in predicting six minute walk test (6-MWT) in patients with leftventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) <45%. 3) Its prognostic value in comparison with other clinical, biochemical and echocardiographicvariables in patients with chronic systolic heart failure (HF). 4) The relationship between 6-MWT and cardiac function measurements in a consecutivegroup of patients, irrespective of EF and to identify predictors of exercise capacity. 5) To investigate the effect of age on LV t-IVT and Tei index compared with conventionalsystolic and diastolic parameters. 6) To assess potential additional value of markers of global LV dyssynchrony in predictingcardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) response in HF patients.

    Study I

    Methods: This study included 74 patients before routine CABG who were followed up for18±12 months. Results: At follow-up, 29 patients were hospitalized for a cardiac event or died. LV-ESD wasgreater (P=0.003), fractional shortening (FS) lower (p<0.001), E:A ratio and Tei index higher(all P<0.001), and t-IVT longer (P<0.001) in patients with events. Low FS [0.66 (0.50–0.87),P<0.001], high E:A ratio [l4.13 (1.17–14.60), P=0.028], large LV-ESD [0.19 (0.05–0.84),P=0.029], and long t-IVT [1.37 (1.02–1.84), P=0.035] predicted events and deaths. Conclusion: Despite satisfactory surgical revascularization, long t-IVT and systolicdysfunction suggest persistent ventricular dyssynchrony that contributes to post-CABGcardiac events.

    Study II

    Methods: We studied 77 patients (60±12 year, and 33.3% females) with stable HF using 6-MWT.iii Results: E’ wave (r=0.61, p<0.001), E/e’ ratio (r=-0.49, p<0.001), t-IVT (r=-0.44, p<0.001),Tei index (r=-0.43, p<0.001) and NYHA class (r=-0.53, p<0.001) had the highest correlationwith the 6-MWT distance. In multivariate analysis, only E/e’ ratio [0.800 (0.665-0.961),p=0.017], and t-IVT [0.769 (0.619-0.955), p=0.018] independently predicted poor 6-MWTperformance (<300m). Conclusions: In HF, the higher the filling pressures and the more dyssynchronous the LV, thepoorer is the patient’s exercise capacity.

    Study III

    Methods: We studied 107 systolic HF patients; age 68±12 year, 25% females and measuredplasma NT-pro-BNP. Results: Over a follow-up period of 3718 months, t-IVT ≥12.3 sec/min, mean E/Em ratio≥10, log NT-pro-BNP levels ≥2.47 pg/ml and LV EF ≤32.5% predicted clinical events. Theaddition of t-IVT and NT-pro-BNP to conventional clinical and echocardiographic variablessignificantly improved the χ2 for the prediction of outcome from 33.1 to 38.0, (p<0.001). Conclusions: Prolonged t-IVT adds to the prognostic stratification of patients with systolicHF.

    Study IV

    Methods: We studied 147 HF patients (61±11 year, 50.3% male) with 6-MWT.Results: The 6-MWT correlated with t-IVT (r=-0.49, p<0.001) and Tei index (r=-0.43,p<0.001) but not with any of the other clinical or echocardiographic parameters. Group Ipatients (<300m) had lower Hb (p=0.02), lower EF (p=0.003), larger left atrium (p=0.02),thicker septum (p=0.02), lower A wave (p=0.01) and lateral wall a’ (p=0.047), longerisovolumic relaxation time (r=0.003) and longer t-IVT (p= 0.03), compared with Group II(>300m). Only t-IVT ratio [1.257 (1.071-1.476), p=0.005], LV EF [0.947 (0.903-0.993),p=0.02], and E/A ratio [0.553 (0.315-0.972), p=0.04] independently predicted poor 6-MWTperformance. Conclusion: In HF, the limited 6-MWT is related mostly to severity of global LVdyssynchrony, more than EF or raised filling pressures.

    Study V

    Methods: We studied 47 healthy individuals (age 62±12 year, 24 female), arbitrarilyclassified into: M (middle age), S (seniors), and E (elderly). Results: Age strongly correlated with t-IVT (r=0.8, p<0.001) and with Tei index (r=0.7,p<0.001), E/A ratio (r=-0.6, p<0.001), but not with global or segmental systolic function measurements or QRS duration. The normal upper limit of the t-IVT (95% CI) for the three groups was 8.3 s/min, 10.5 s/min and 14.5 s/min, respectively, being shorter in the S compared with the E group (p=0.001). T-IVT correlated with A wave (r=0.66, p<0.001), E/Aratio (r=-0.56, p<0.001), septal e’ (r=-0.49, p=0.001) and septal a’ (r=0.4, p=0.006), but notwith QRS. Conclusions: In normals, age is associated with exaggerated LV global dyssynchrony anddiastolic function disturbances, but systolic function remains unaffected.

    Study VI

    Methods: We studied 103 HF patients (67±12 year, 82.5% male) recruited for CRTtreatment. Results: Prolonged t-IVT [0.878 (0.802-0.962), p=0.005], long QRS duration [0.978 (0.960-0.996), p=0.02] and high tricuspid regurgitation pressure drop (TRPD) [1.047 (1.001-1.096),p=0.046] independently predicted response to CRT. A t-IVT ≥11.6 s/min was 67% sensitiveand 62% specific (AUC 0.69, p=0.001) in predicting CRT response. Respective values for aQRS ≥ 151ms were 66% and 62% (AUC 0.65, p=0.01). Combining the two variables had asensitivity of 67% but higher specificity of 88% in predicting CRT response. In atrialfibrillation (AF) patients, only prolonged t-IVT ≥11 s/min [0.690 (0.509-0.937), p=0.03]independently predicted CRT response with a sensitivity of 69% and specificity of 79% (AUC0.78, p=0.015). Conclusion: Combining prolonged t-IVT and broad QRS had higher specificity in predictingresponse to CRT, with the former the sole predictor of response in AF patients.

  • 3.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Batalli, A.
    Poniku, A.
    Ahmeti, A.
    Olloni, R.
    Hyseni, V.
    Vela, Z.
    Morina, B.
    Tafarshiku, R.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Left ventricular dyssynchrony predicts limited exercise capacity in heart failure irrespective of ejection fraction2012In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 33, no Suppl. 1, p. 34-34Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Batalli, Arlind
    Poniku, Afrim
    Ahmeti, Artan
    Olloni, Rozafa
    Hyseni, Violeta
    Vela, Zana
    Morina, Besim
    Tafarshiku, Rina
    Vela, Driton
    Rashiti, Premtim
    Haliti, Edmond
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Left ventricular markers of global dyssynchrony predict limited exercise capacity in heart failure, but not in patients with preserved ejection fraction2012In: Cardiovascular Ultrasound, ISSN 1476-7120, E-ISSN 1476-7120, Vol. 10, p. 36-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The aim of this study was to prospectively examine echocardiographic parameters that correlate and predict functional capacity assessed by 6 min walk test (6-MWT) in patients with heart failure (HF), irrespective of ejection fraction (EF).

    Methods: In 147 HF patients (mean age 61 +/- 11 years, 50.3% male), a 6-MWT and an echo-Doppler study were performed in the same day. Global LV dyssynchrony was indirectly assessed by total isovolumic time - t-IVT [in s/min; calculated as: 60 - (total ejection time + total filling time)], and Tei index (t-IVT/ejection time). Patients were divided into two groups based on the 6-MWT distance (Group I: <= 300 m and Group II: > 300 m), and also in two groups according to EF (Group A: LVEF >= 45% and Group B: LVEF <45%).

    Results: In the cohort of patients as a whole, the 6-MWT correlated with t-IVT (r = -0.49, p < 0.001) and Tei index (r = -0.43, p < 0.001) but not with any of the other clinical or echocardiographic parameters. Group I had lower hemoglobin level (p = 0.02), lower EF (p = 0.003), larger left atrium (p = 0.02), thicker interventricular septum (p = 0.02), lower A wave (p = 0.01) and lateral wall late diastolic myocardial velocity a' (p = 0.047), longer isovolumic relaxation time (r = 0.003) and longer t-IVT (p = 0.03), compared with Group II. In the patients cohort as a whole, only t-IVT ratio [1.257 (1.071-1.476), p = 0.005], LV EF [0.947 (0.903-0.993), p = 0.02], and E/A ratio [0.553 (0.315-0.972), p = 0.04] independently predicted poor 6-MWT performance (< 300 m) in multivariate analysis. None of the echocardiographic measurements predicted exercise tolerance in HFpEF.

    Conclusion: In patients with HF, the limited exercise capacity, assessed by 6-MWT, is related mostly to severity of global LV dyssynchrony, more than EF or raised filling pressures. The lack of exercise predictors in HFpEF reflects its multifactorial pathophysiology.

  • 5.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Berisha, G.
    Bytyci, I.
    Haliti, E.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ahmeti, A.
    Poniku, A.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    The presence of metabolic syndrome predicts long-term outcome in heart failure patients2015In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 36, p. 831-831Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bytyci, I.
    Ahmeti, A.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Poniku, A.
    Haliti, E.
    Batalli, A.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Left atrial emptying function predicts long-term outcome in HFpEF patients2015In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 36, p. 1183-1183Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Service of Cardiology, Internal Medicine Clinic, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Kosovo.
    Dini, Frank Lloyd
    Fontanive, Paolo
    Elezi, Shpend
    Berisha, Venera
    Napoli, Anna Maria
    Ciuti, Manrico
    Henein, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Independent and incremental prognostic value of Doppler-derived left ventricular total isovolumic time in patients with systolic heart failure2011In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 148, no 3, p. 271-275Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: A prolonged total isovolumic time (T-IVT) has been shown to be associated with worsening survival in patients submitted to coronary artery surgery. However, it is not known whether it has prognostic significance in patients with chronic systolic heart failure (HF).

    AIM: To determine the prognostic value of T-IVT in comparison with other clinical, biochemical and echocardiographic variables in patients with chronic systolic HF.

    METHODS: Patients (n=107; age 68+/-12years, 25% women) with chronic systolic HF, left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) <45%, and sinus rhythm, underwent a complete Doppler echocardiographic study, that included tissue Doppler long axis velocities and total isovolumic time (T-IVT), determined as [60-(total ejection time+total filling time)]. Plasma N-terminal pro-B natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) was also measured. The associations of dichotomous variables selected according to the Receiver Operator Characteristic analysis were assessed using the Cox proportional hazard model.

    RESULTS: Follow-up period was 37+/-18months. Multivariate predictors of events were T-IVT >/=12.3% s/min, mean E/E(m) ratio >/=10, log NT-pro-BNP levels >/=2.47pg/ml and LV EF</=32.5%. On Kaplan-Meier analysis, patients with prolonged T-IVT, high mean E/E(m) ratio, increased NT-pro-BNP levels and decreased LV EF had a worse outcome compared with those without. The addition of T-IVT and NT-pro-BNP to conventional clinical and echocardiographic variables significantly improved the chi-square for the prediction of the outcome from 33.1 to 38.0, (P<0.001).

    CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged T-IVT added to the prognostic stratification of patients with systolic HF.

  • 8.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Second Division of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Kosovo.
    Duncan, Alison
    Pepper, John
    Henein, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Prolonged total isovolumic time predicts cardiac events following coronary artery bypass surgery2008In: European Journal of Echocardiography, ISSN 1525-2167, E-ISSN 1532-2114, Vol. 9, no 6, p. 779-783Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    AIMS: Left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction may be associated with compromised stroke volume, which may be caused by asynchrony, reflected on the prolongation of isovolumic time (t-IVT). To assess the prognostic role of Doppler echocardiographic measurements in predicting cardiac events after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

    METHODS AND RESULTS: The study included 74 patients undergoing routine CABG. A pre-CABG Doppler echocardiographic assessment of LV dimensions, filling and ejection was performed and t-IVT was determined as [60 - (total ejection time + total filling time)]. Follow-up period was 18 +/- 12 months. Of the 74 patients (age 65 +/- 16 years, 59 males), 29 underwent hospital admission for a cardiac event or died. There were no differences in age, gender, incidence of previous infarct or mitral regurgitation, LV-EDD (left ventricular end-diastolic dimension), left atrial or right ventricular size in patients with cardiac events compared with those without events. Left ventricular end-systolic dimension (LV-ESD) was greater (4.5 +/- 0.9 vs. 3.9 +/- 0.9 cm, P = 0.003), fractional shortening (FS) was lower (21 +/- 4 vs. 32 +/- 8%), E:A ratio and Tei index were higher (2.1 +/- 0.8 vs. 1.0 +/- 0.6 and 0.9 +/- 0.3 vs. 0.6 +/- 0.3, all P < 0.001), and t-IVT was longer (16 +/- 5 vs.10 +/- 4 s/min, P < 0.001) in patients with events. Multivariate predictors of post-CABG events (odds ratio 95% confidence interval) were low FS [0.66 (0.50-0.87), P < 0.001], high E:A ratio [l4.13 (1.17-14.60), P = 0.028], large LV-ESD [0.19 (0.05-0.84), P = 0.029], and long t-IVT [1.37 (1.02-1.84), P = 0.035].

    CONCLUSION: Despite satisfactory surgical revascularization, long t-IVT and systolic dysfunction suggest persistent ventricular dyssynchrony that contributes to post-CABG cardiac events. Early assessment of such patients for potential benefit from electrical resynchronization may optimize their cardiac performance and hence clinical outcome.

  • 9.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Duncan, Alison
    Pepper, John
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Persistent Ventricular Asynchrony after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Predicts Cardiac Events2010In: Echocardiography, ISSN 0742-2822, E-ISSN 1540-8175, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 32-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The aim of this study was to identify echocardiographic LV systolic and diastolic measurements that predict clinical events post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Methods: We collected data from 27 patients (age 70 +/- 7 years) who underwent elective CABG, before and within 6 weeks after surgery. LV systolic function was assessed by conventional echocardiographic parameters. A number of LV filling measurements were also made, which included total isovolumic time (t-IVT), Tei index, and restrictive filling pattern. Postoperative cardiac events were death or hospitalization for chest pain, breathlessness, or arrhythmia. Results: Patient's follow-up period was 17 +/- 10 months. Of the 27 patients (age 70 +/- 7 years, 22 male), 10 had postoperative cardiac events. LV ejection fraction (EF) and fractional shortening (FS) were lower (P = 0.01, and P = 0.007, respectively), t-IVT longer (P < 0.001), and Tei index was higher (P < 0.001) preoperatively in patients with events compared to those without. The same differences between groups remained after surgery; EF (P = 0.002), FS (P = 0.002), t-IVT (P < 0.001), and Tei index (P < 0.001). T-IVT was the only preoperative predictor of events (P = 0.038) but its postoperative value as well as that of FS predicted events (P = 0.034, and P = 0.042, respectively). T-IVT of 12.2 s/min and FS of 26% were 80% sensitive and 88% specific for predicting postoperative events. Conclusion: Despite successful surgical revascularization residual impairment of LV systolic function and persistent asynchrony in the form of prolonged t-IVT are associated with postoperative events. Since these abnormalities remained despite full medical therapy, they may thus suggest a need for electrical resynchronization therapy.

  • 10.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Service of Cardiology, Internal Medicine Clinic, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Kosovo.
    Elezi, Shpend
    Berisha, Venera
    Lindqvist, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Rexhepaj, Nehat
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Left ventricular asynchrony and raised filling pressure predict limited exercise performance assessed by 6 minute walk test2011In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 146, no 3, p. 385-389Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Six minute walking test (6-MWT) may serve as a reproducible test for assessing exercise capacity in heart failure (HF) patients and can be clinically predicted. We aimed in this study to ascertain if global markers of ventricular asynchrony can predict 6MWT distance in a group of patients with HF and left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) <45%.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: This study included 77 consecutive patients (60+/-12 years) with stable HF. LV end-diastolic and end-systolic dimensions, shortening fraction (SF), EF, myocardial velocities, t-IVT, and Tei index were measured, as well as 6-MWT distance. Patients with limited exercise performance (</=300 m) had lower SF (p=0.02) and EF (p=0.017), longer t-IVT (p=0.001), higher Tei index (p=0.002) and higher E/E' ratio (p<0.001) compared with good performance patients. In multivariate analysis, only E/E' ratio [0.800 (0.665-0.961), p=0.017], and t-IVT [0.769 (0.619-0.955), p=0.018] independently predicted poor exercise performance.

    CONCLUSIONS: In heart failure patients, the higher the filling pressures and the more asynchronous the left ventricle, the poorer is the patient's exercise capacity. These findings highlight specific LV functional disturbances that should be targeted for better optimization of medical and/or electrical therapy.

  • 11.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. University Clinical Center of Kosova, University of Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    The clinical dilemma of quantifying mechanical left ventricular dyssynchrony for cardiac resynchronization therapy: segmental or global?2015In: Echocardiography, ISSN 0742-2822, E-ISSN 1540-8175, Vol. 32, no 1, p. 150-155Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Heart failure (HF) represents a serious clinical and public cause of mortality, morbidity, as well as healthcare expenditures. Guidelines for treatment of HF join in recommending multimedical regimen at targeted doses as the best medical strategy, despite that a significant percentage of patients remain symptomatic. Studies have shown that these patients might benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), particularly those presenting with broad QRS duration, >135 msec. Trials have already shown that CRT results in improved morbidity and survival of these patients particularly those in New York Heart Association class III-IV HF, but almost 30% do not show any symptomatic or survival benefit, hence are classified as nonresponders. Exhaustive efforts have been made in using noninvasive methods of assessing left ventricle (LV) dyssynchrony in predicting nonresponders to CRT, including Doppler echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and even single photon emission computed tomography analysis, but only with modest success. In this report, we aimed to review the available evidence for assessing markers of mechanical LV dyssynchrony by various echocardiographic modalities and their respective strength in predicting favorable response to CRT treatment, comparing global with segmental ones. While the accuracy of segmental markers of dyssynchrony in predicting satisfactory response to CRT remains controversial because of various technical limitations, global markers seem easier to measure, reproducible, and potentially accurate in reflecting overall cavity response and its clinical implications. More studies are needed to qualify this proposal.

  • 12.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtina, Republic of Kosovo.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Treatment Strategies of NSTEMI-ACS with Multivessel Disease2016In: International Cardiovascular Forum Journal, ISSN 2409-3424, Vol. 6, p. 3-5Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina.
    Jashari, Haki
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo..
    Alfonso, Fernando
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ndrepepa, Gjin
    Elezi, Shpend
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Comparison of drug-eluting balloon versus drug-eluting stent treatment of drug-eluting stent in-stent restenosis: A meta-analysis of available evidence2016In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 218, p. 126-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: In-stent restenosis (ISR) remains an important concern despite the recent advances in the drug-eluting stent (DES) technology. The introduction of drug-eluting balloons (DEB) offers a good solution to such problem.

    OBJECTIVES: We performed a meta-analysis to assess the clinical efficiency and safety of DEB compared with DES in patients with DES-ISR.

    METHODS: A systematic search was conducted and all randomized and observational studies which compared DEB with DES in patients with DES-ISR were included. The primary outcome measure-major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE)-as well as individual events as target lesion revascularization (TLR), stent thrombosis (ST), myocardial infarction (MI), cardiac death (CD) and all-cause mortality, were analyzed.

    RESULTS: Three randomized and 4 observational studies were included with a total of 2052 patients. MACE (relative risk [RR]=1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68 to 1.46, P=0.99), TLR (RR=1.15 [CI 0.79 to 1.68], P=0.44), ST (RR=0.37[0.10 to 1.34], P=0.13), MI (RR=0.97 [0.49 to 1.91], P=0.93) and CD (RR=0.73 [0.22 to 2.45], P=0.61) were not different between patients treated with DEB and with DES. However, all-cause mortality was lower in patients treated with DEB (RR=0.45 [0.23 to 0.87, P=0.019) and in particular when compared to only first generation DES (RR 0.33 [0.15-0.74], P=0.007). There was no statistical evidence for publication bias.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results of this meta-analysis showed that DEB and DES have similar efficacy and safety for the treatment of DES-ISR.

  • 14.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Jashari, Haki
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Elezi, S.
    Ndrepepa, G.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Comparison of drug-eluting balloon versus drug-eluting stent treatment of DES in-stent restenosis: a meta-analysis of randomized and observational studies2016In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 37, p. 670-670Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo.
    Kurtishi, Ilir
    Rexhepaj, Nehat
    Tafarshiku, Rina
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Alihajdari, Rrezarta
    Batalli, Arlind
    Elezi, Shpend
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Gender related predictors of limited exercise capacity in heart failure2013In: IJC Heart & Vessels, ISSN 2214-7632, Vol. 1, p. 11-16Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of gender on the prediction of limited exercise capacity in heart failure (HF) patients assessed by 6 minute walk test (6-MWT).

    Methods In 147 HF patients (mean age 61 ± 11 years, 50.3% male), a 6-MWT and a Doppler echocardiographic study were performed in the same day. Conventional cardiac measurements were obtained and global LV dyssynchrony was indirectly assessed using total isovolumic time − t-IVT [in s/min; calculated as: 60 − (total ejection time − total filling time)] and Tei index (t-IVT/ejection time). Patients were divided into two groups according to gender, which were again divided into two subgroups based on the 6-MWT distance (Group I: ≤ 300 m, and Group II: > 300 m).

    Results Female patients were younger (p = 0.02), and had higher left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction — EF (p = 0.007) but with similar 6-MWT distance to male patients (p = 68). Group I male patients had lower hemoglobin level (p = 0.02) and lower EF (p = 0.03), compared with Group II, but none of the clinical or echocardiographic variables differed between groups in female patients. In multivariate analysis, only t-IVT [0.699 (0.552–0.886), p = 0.003], and LV EF [0.908 (0.835–0.987), p = 0.02] in males, and NYHA functional class [4.439 (2.213–16.24), p = 0.02] in females independently predicted poor 6-MWT distance (< 300 m).

    Conclusion Despite similar limited exercise capacity, gender determines the pattern of underlying cardiac disturbances; ventricular dysfunction in males and subjective NYHA class in female heart failure patients.

  • 16.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Lindqvist, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Clinical Physiology.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Left ventricular global dyssynchrony is exaggerated with age2013In: International Cardiovascular Forum, ISSN 2410-2636, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 47-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and Aim. Total isovolumic time (t-IVT) and Tei index both reflect global left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony. They have been shown to be sensitive in responding to myocardial revascularization and in predicting clinical outcome in heart failure patients. Since most these patients are senior, determining the exact effect of age on such parameters remains mandatory. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of age on LV t-IVT and Tei index compared with conventional systolic and diastolic parameters in normal individuals.

    Methods. We studied 47 healthy individuals, mean age 62±12 years (24 female), who were arbitrarily classified into three groups: M (middle age), S (seniors), and E (elderly), using spectral Doppler echocardiography and tissue-Doppler imaging. We studied the interrelation between age, LV systolic and diastolic function parameters as well as t-IVT [60 – (total ejection time + total filling time) in s/min], and Tei index (T-IVT/ejection time).

    Results. LV ejection fraction was 68±6%, E/A ratio 1±0.4, filling time 538±136ms, ejection time 313±26ms, t-IVT 7.7±2.6 s/min and Tei index 0.41±0.14. Age strongly correlated with t-IVT (r=0.8, p<0.001) and with Tei index (r=0.7, p<0.001) but not with QRS duration. Age also correlated with E/A ratio (r=-0.6, p<0.001), but not with global or segmental systolic function measurements. Mean values for t-IVT were 5.5 (95% CI, 4.6-6.3 s/min) for M, 6.9 (95% CI, 6.0-7.8 s/min) for S and 9.5 (95% CI, 8.4-10.6 s/min) for E groups. The corresponding upper limit of the t-IVT 95% normal CI (calculated as mean ±2SD) for the three groups was 8.3 s/min, 10.5 s/min and 14.5 s/min, respectively. The upper limit of normal t-IVT 95% CI was significantly shorter in the S compared with the E group (p=0.001). T-IVT correlated with A wave (r=0.66, p<0.001), E/A ratio (r=-0.56, p<0.001), septal e’ (r=-0.49, p=0.001) and septal a’ (r=0.4, p=0.006), but not with QRS.

    Conclusions. In normals, age is associated with exaggerated LV global dyssynchrony and diastolic function disturbances, but systolic function remains unaffected. The strong relationship between age and t-IVT supports its potential use as a marker of global LV dyssynchrony. In addition, variations in the upper limit of normal values, particularly in the elderly may have significant clinical applications in patients recommended for CRT treatment.

  • 17.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo.
    Nicoll, Rachel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo.
    Schmermund, Axel
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Coronary calcium score correlates with estimate of total plaque burden2013In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 167, no 3, p. 1050-1052Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Heart Centre, Umeå.
    Pugliese, Nicola Riccardo
    D'Agostino, Andreina
    Rosa, Gian Marco
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Heart Centre, Umeå.
    Perçuku, Luan
    Miccoli, Mario
    Galeotti, Gian Giacomo
    Fabiani, Iacopo
    Pedrinelli, Roberto
    Henein, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Heart Centre, Umeå.
    Dini, Frank L.
    Echo- and B-Type Natriuretic Peptide-Guided Follow-Up versus Symptom-Guided Follow-Up: Comparison of the Outcome in Ambulatory Heart Failure Patients2018In: Cardiology Research and Practice, ISSN 2090-8016, E-ISSN 2090-0597, article id 3139861Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent European Society of Cardiology and American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines did not recommend biomarker-guided therapy in the management of heart failure (HF) patients. Combination of echo- and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) may be an alternative approach in guiding ambulatory HF management. Our aim was to determine whether a therapy guided by echo markers of left ventricular filling pressure (LVFP), lung ultrasound (LUS) assessment of B-lines, and BNP improves outcomes of HF patients. Consecutive outpatients with LV ejection fraction (EF) <= 50% have been prospectively enrolled. In Group I (n=224), follow-up was guided by echo and BNP with the goal of achieving E-wave deceleration time (EDT) >= 150 ms, tissue Doppler index E/e' < 13, B-line numbers < 15, and BNP <= 125 pg/ml or decrease > 30%; in Group II (n=293), follow-up was clinically guided, while the remaining 277 patients (Group III) did not receive any dedicated follow-up. At 60 months, survival was 88% in Group I compared to 75% in Group II and 54% in Group III (chi(2) 53.5; p<0.0001). Survival curves exhibited statistically significant differences using Mantel-Cox analysis. The number needed to treat to spare one death was 7.9 (Group I versus Group II) and 3.8 (Group I versus Group III). At multivariate Cox regression analyses, major predictors of all-cause mortality were follow-up E/e' (HR: 1.05; p=0.0038) and BNP > 125 pg/ml or decrease <= 30% (HR: 4.90; p=0.0054), while BNP > 125 pg/ml or decrease <= 30% and B-line numbers >= 15 were associated with the combined end point of death and HF hospitalization. Evidence-based HF treatment guided by serum biomarkers and ultrasound with the goal of reducing elevated BNP and LVFP, and resolving pulmonary congestion was associated with better clinical outcomes and can be valuable in guiding ambulatory HF management.

  • 19.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Rönn, Folke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jensen, Steen M
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Combining electrical and global mechanical markers of LV dyssynchrony optimizes patient selection for cardiac resynchronization therapy2014Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Rönn, Folke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Jensen, Steen M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Total isovolumic time, a marker of global left ventricular dyssynchrony, predicts response to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in heart failure patients2014In: European Journal of Heart Failure, ISSN 1388-9842, E-ISSN 1879-0844, Vol. 16, no Sup. 2, p. 154-154Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Rönn, Folke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Jensen, Steen M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Total isovolumic time, a marker of global left ventricular dyssynchrony, predicts response to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in heart failure patients with atrial fibrillation2014In: European Journal of Heart Failure, ISSN 1388-9842, E-ISSN 1879-0844, Vol. 16, p. 56-56Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 22. Batalli, Arlind
    et al.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, "Rrethi i Spitalit", p.n., Prishtina, Kosovo.
    Bytyçi, Ibadete
    Ahmeti, Artan
    Haliti, Edmond
    Elezi, Shpend
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute, St George University London, London, United Kingdom.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, “Rrethi i Spitalit”, p.n., Prishtina, Kosovo; Medical Faculty, University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosovo.
    Different determinants of exercise capacity in HFpEF compared to HFrEF2017In: Cardiovascular Ultrasound, ISSN 1476-7120, E-ISSN 1476-7120, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 12Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Quality of life is as important as survival in heart failure (HF) patients. Controversies exist with regards to echocardiographic determinants of exercise capacity in HF, particularly in patients with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). The aim of this study was to prospectively examine echocardiographic parameters that correlate and predict functional exercise capacity assessed by 6 min walk test (6-MWT) in patients with HFpEF.

    METHODS: In 111 HF patients (mean age 63 ± 10 years, 47% female), an echo-Doppler study and a 6-MWT were performed in the same day. Patients were divided into two groups based on the 6-MWT distance (Group I: ≤ 300 m and Group II: >300 m).

    RESULTS: Group I were older (p = 0.008), had higher prevalence of diabetes (p = 0.027), higher baseline heart rate (p = 0.004), larger left atrium - LA (p = 0.001), longer LV filling time - FT (p = 0.019), shorter isovolumic relaxation time (p = 0.037), shorter pulmonary artery acceleration time - PA acceleration time (p = 0.006), lower left atrial lateral wall myocardial velocity (a') (p = 0.018) and lower septal systolic myocardial velocity (s') (p = 0.023), compared with Group II. Patients with HF and reduced EF (HFrEF) had lower hemoglobin (p = 0.007), higher baseline heart rate (p = 0.005), higher NT-ProBNP (p = 0.001), larger LA (p = 0.004), lower septal s', e', a' waves, and septal mitral annular plane systolic excursion (MAPSE), shorter PA acceleration time (p < 0.001 for all), lower lateral MAPSE, higher E/A & E/e', and shorter LVFT (p = 0.001 for all), lower lateral e' (p = 0.009), s' (p = 0.006), right ventricular e' and LA emptying fraction (p = 0.012 for both), compared with HFpEF patients. In multivariate analysis, only LA diameter [2.676 (1.242-5.766), p = 0.012], and diabetes [0.274 (0.084-0.898), p = 0.033] independently predicted poor 6-MWT performance in the group as a whole. In HFrEF, age [1.073 (1.012-1.137), p = 0.018] and LA diameter [3.685 (1.348-10.071), p = 0.011], but in HFpEF, lateral s' [0.295 (0.099-0.882), p = 0.029], and hemoglobin level [0.497 (0.248-0.998), p = 0.049] independently predicted poor 6-MWT performance.

    CONCLUSIONS: In HF patients determinants of exercise capacity differ according to severity of overall LV systolic function, with left atrial enlargement in HFrEF and longitudinal systolic shortening in HFpEF as the the main determinants.

  • 23. Batalli-Këpuska, Arbnora
    et al.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Umeå Heart Centre and Internal Medicine Clinic, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Prishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Zejnullahu, Murat
    Azemi, Mehmedali
    Shala, Mujë
    Batalli, Arlind
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Umeå Heart Centre.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Umeå Heart Centre.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Umeå Heart Centre.
    Abnormal systolic and diastolic myocardial function in obese asymptomatic adolescents2013In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 168, no 3, p. 2347-2351Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Structural and functional cardiac changes are known in obese adults. We aimed to assess the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cardiac function in overweight and obese asymptomatic adolescents. Ninety three healthy adolescents, aged 12.6±1.2years, received weight, height, BMI, waist, hips, waist/hips ratio assessment, hematology and biochemistry tests and an echocardiogram. Based on BMI, subjects were divided into: lean (L, n=32), overweight (Ov, n=33) and obese (Ob, n=32). Interventricular septal and LV posterior wall thickness were increased parallel to the BMI (L: 0.84±0.1cm, Ov: 0.88±0.1cm, Ob: 0.96±0.1cm, p<0.001, and L: 0.78±0.1cm, Ov: 0.8±0.1cm, Ob: 0.94±0.1cm, p<0.001, respectively) as were relative wall thickness (RWT) and mass index (LVMI) (L: 0.34±0.05, Ov: 0.34±0.05, Ob: 0.40±0.04, p<0.001, and L: 47.7±8.4g/m(2), Ov: 51.9±8.3g/m(2), Ob: 65.2±13.3g/m(2), p=0<001, respectively). LV early diastolic (E') lateral and septal velocities (L: 15.3±3.9cm/s, Ov: 13.6±4cm/s, Ob: 10.5±3.4cm/s, p<0.001, and L: 12.2±2.3cm/s, Ov: 11.1±2.4cm/s, Ob: 9.8±3.1cm/s, p=0.003, respectively), and systolic (S') velocities (L: 9.2±1.4cm/s, Ov: 9.3±2.3cm/s, Ob: 8.04±1.5cm/s, p=0.018, and L: 9.05±2.3cm/s, Ov: 9±2.4cm/s, Ob: 7.6±1.1cm/s, p=0.014, respectively) were all reduced, only in obese adolescents. LV lateral E' (r=-0.44, p<0.001) and S' (r=-0.29, p=0.005) correlated with BMI. In asymptomatic adolescents, LV wall is thicker and diastolic function impaired and correlate with BMI. These findings demonstrate early cardiac functional disturbances which might explain the known obesity risk for cardiac disease.

  • 24. Berisha, Gëzim
    et al.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of cardiology University Clinical Centre of Kosovo.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of cardiology University Clinical Centre of Kosovo.
    Bytyci, Ibadete
    Rexhepaj, Nehat
    Elezi, Shpend
    Henein, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Impaired left atrial reservoir function in metbolic syndrome predicts symptoms in HFpEF patients2015In: International Cardiovascular Forum Journal, ISSN 2410-2636, Vol. 4, p. 37-42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and Aim. The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) has been shown to be independently associated with increased risk for incident heart failure (HF) and coronary artery disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the additional effect of MetS on LA dysfunction in a group of patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and its relationship with symptoms.

    Methods. This study included 194 consecutive patients (age 62 ± 9 years) with stable HFpEF. LV dimensions, ejection fraction (EF), mitral annulus peak systolic excursion (MAPSE), myocardial velocities (s’, e’ and a’), LA dimensions and volumes were measured. Total LA emptying fraction (LA EF) was measured by Simpson rule volumes. Based on the NCEP-ATP III criteria, patients were divided into two groups; MetS (n=95) and non-MetS (n=108) and were compared with 34 age and gender matched controls.

    Results. Age and gender were not different between patients and control neither between MetS and non-Met. LV dimensions, EF and longitudinal function indices were also not different. The MetS patients had higher LV mass index (p=0.038), lower septal and lateral e’ (p=0.003 and p=0.001, respectively) velocities, larger LA minimal volume (p=0.007) and lower LA EF (p<0.001) compared with the non-MetS patients. Age, LA EF and MetS independently predicted the NYHA class.

    Conclusions. Despite no difference in LV systolic function, patients with HFpEF and MetS have worse LA emptying fraction, compared with HFpEF and non-MetS patients. In addition, LA reservoir function impairment and MetS independently predict patients limiting symptoms, thus add to a better understanding of HFpEF.

  • 25.
    Bytyci, Ibadete
    et al.
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Pranvera, Ibrahimi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Berisha, Gezim
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Rexhepaj, Nehat
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Left atrial emptying fraction predicts limited exercise performance in heart failure patients2014In: IJC Heart and Vessels, ISSN 2214-7632, Vol. 4, p. 203-207Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: We aimed in this study to assess the role of left atrial (LA), in addition to left ventricular (LV) indices, in predicting exercise capacity in patients with heart failure (HF). Methods: This study included 88 consecutive patients (60 ± 10 years) with stable HF. LV end-diastolic and end-systolic dimensions, ejection fraction (EF), mitral and tricuspid annulus peak systolic excursion (MAPSE and TAPSE), myocardial velocities (s′, e′ and a′), LA dimensions, LA volume and LA emptying fraction were measured. A 6-min walking test (6-MWT) distance was performed on the same day of the echocardiographic examination. Results: Patients with limited exercise performance (≤ 300 m) were older (p = 0.01), had higher NYHA functional class (p = 0.004), higher LV mass index (p = 0.003), larger LA (p = 0.002), lower LV EF (p = 0.009), larger LV end-systolic dimension (p = 0.007), higher E/A ratio (p = 0.03), reduced septal MAPSE (p < 0.001), larger LA end-systolic volume (p = 0.03), larger LA end-diastolic volume (p = 0.005) and lower LA emptying fraction (p < 0.001) compared with good performance patients. In multivariate analysis, only the LA emptying fraction [0.944 (0.898–0.993), p = 0.025] independently predicted poor exercise performance. An LA emptying fraction < 60% was 68% sensitive and 73% specific (AUC 0.73, p < 0.001) in predicting poor exercise performance. Conclusion: In heart failure patients, the impaired LA emptying function is the best predictor of poor exercise capacity. This finding highlights the need for routine LA size and function monitoring for better optimization of medical therapy in HF.

  • 26.
    Henein, Mark
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Söderberg, Stefan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Lindqvist, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Left atrial function in idiopathic pulmonary hypertensionArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Bytyci, Ibadete
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Ahmeti, Artan
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Batalli, Arlind
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Jashari, Haki
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Elezi, Shpend
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Global dyssynchrony correlates with compromised left ventricular filling and stroke volume but not with ejection fraction or QRS duration in HFpEF2014In: International Cardiovascular Forum Journal, ISSN 2410-2636, Vol. 1, no 3, p. 147-151Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and Aim: Mechanical global left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony reflected as prolonged total isovolumic time(t-IVT) has been introduced as a potential mechanism behind compromised stroke volume in heart failure (HF). It has alsobeen shown to be superior to other markers of dyssynchrony in predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy(CRT), but its application in HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) remains unknown. The aim of this study was toassess the role of t-IVT in explaining symptoms in HFpEF.Methods: In 55 symptomatic HFpEF patients (age 60±9 years, NYHA class II-IV; LV EF ≥45%) and 24 age and gendermatched controls, a complete Doppler echocardiographic study was performed including mitral annulus peak systolicexcursion (MAPSE) and myocardial velocities as well as LV filling, outflow tract velocity time integral (VTI) and stroke volumemeasurements. Global LV dyssynchrony was assessed by t-IVT [in s/min; calculated as: 60 - (total ejection time + total fillingtime)], Tei index (t-IVT/ejection time) and pre-ejection time difference between LV and RV.Results: Patients had reduced lateral and septal MAPSE (p=0.009 and p=0.01, respectively) lower lateral and septal s’(p=0.002 and p=0.04, respectively) and e’ (p<0.001, for both) velocities and higher E/e’ ratio (p=0.01) compared to controls.They also had longer t-IVT (p<0.001), higher Tei index (p=0.04), but similar pre-ejection time difference and LVEF to controls.T-IVT correlated with LV filling time (r=0.44, p<0.001), stroke volume (r=-0.41; p=0.002), MAPSE (lateral: r=-0.36, p=0.007 andseptal: r=-0.31; p=0.02), but not with LV mass index, LVEF, E/e’ ratio or QRS duration.Conclusion: Patients with HFpEF have exaggerated global mechanical dyssynchrony shown by prolonged t-IVT, comparedwith healthy age and gender matched controls. The relationship between t-IVT, LV filling and stroke volume suggests anassociation, more important than with ejection fraction or electrical dyssynchrony. These results support the importance ofthe individualistic approach for optimum HFpEF patient management.

  • 28.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ultrasound assessment of carotid plaque echogenicity response to statin therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis2015In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, ISSN 1422-0067, E-ISSN 1422-0067, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 10734-10747Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate in a systematic review and meta-analysis model the effect of statin therapy on carotid plaque echogenicity assessed by ultrasound.

    METHODS: We have systematically searched electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Center Register) up to April, 2015, for studies evaluating the effect of statins on plaque echogenicity. Two researchers independently determined the eligibility of studies evaluating the effect of statin therapy on carotid plaque echogenicity that used ultrasound and grey scale median (GSM) or integrated back scatter (IBS).

    RESULTS: Nine out of 580 identified studies including 566 patients' carotid artery data were meta-analyzed for a mean follow up of 7.2 months. A consistent increase in the echogenicity of carotid artery plaques, after statin therapy, was reported. Pooled weighted mean difference % (WMD) on plaque echogenicity after statin therapy was 29% (95% CI 22%-36%), p < 0.001, I2 = 92.1%. In a meta-regression analysis using % mean changes of LDL, HDL and hsCRP as moderators, it was shown that the effects of statins on plaque echogenicity were related to changes in hsCRP, but not to LDL and HDL changes from the baseline. The effect of statins on the plaque was progressive; it showed significance after the first month of treatment, and the echogenicity continued to increase in the following six and 12 months.

    CONCLUSIONS: Statin therapy is associated with a favorable increase of carotid plaque echogenicity. This effect seems to be dependent on the period of treatment and hsCRP change from the baseline, independent of changes in LDL and HDL.

  • 29.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ultrasound assessment of carotid plaque echogenicity response to statin therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis2015In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 36, no Suppl 1, p. 993-993Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, Elias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Common carotid intima-media features determine distal disease phenotype and vulnerability in asymptomatic patients2015In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 196, p. 22-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: There is a growing awareness of the importance of carotid plaque features evaluation in stroke prediction. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and recently its echogenicity were used for stroke prediction, although their clinical relevance was not well determined. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between common carotid artery (CCA) ultrasound markers of atherosclerosis and distal, bifurcation and internal carotid artery (ICA), plaque features. Methods: We analyzed 137 carotid arteries in 87 asymptomatic patients with known carotid disease (mean age 69 +/- 6 year, 34.5% females). Intima media thickness (IMT) and its gray scale median (IM-GSM) were measured at the CCA. Plaque textural features including gray scale median (GSM), juxtaluminal black area (JBA-mm(2)) without a visible cap, and plaque coarseness, at bifurcation and ICA were also determined. CCA measurements were correlated with those of the distal plaques. Results: An increased IMT in CCA correlated with plaque irregularities in the bifurcation and ICA (r = 0.53, p < 0.001), while IM-GSM was closely related to plaque echogenicity (GSM) (r = 0.76, p < 0.001), and other textural plaque features. Both, IMT and IM-GSM correlated weakly with stenosis severity (r = 0.27, p = 0.001 and r = -0.18, p = 0.026) respectively. Conclusion: In asymptomatic patients, measurements of CCA reflect distal, bifurcation and ICA disease, with IMT reflecting plaque irregularities and IM-GSM as markers of textural plaque abnormalities. Integrating measurements of both IMT and IM-GSM in a model could be used as a better marker of disease vulnerability over and above each measure individually. 

  • 31.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Nicoll, Rachel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Coronary and carotid atherosclerosis: how useful is the imaging?2013In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 231, no 2, p. 323-333Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The recent advancement of imaging modalities has made possible visualization of atherosclerosis disease in all phases of its development. Markers of subclinical atherosclerosis or even the most advanced plaque features are acquired by invasive (IVUS, OCT) and non-invasive imaging modalities (US, MRI, CTA). Determining plaques prone to rupture (vulnerable plaques) might help to identify patients at risk for myocardial infarction or stroke. The most accepted features of plaque vulnerability include: thin cap fibroatheroma, large lipid core, intimal spotty calcification, positive remodeling and intraplaque neovascularizations. Today, research is focusing on finding imaging techniques that are less invasive, less radiation and can detect most of the vulnerable plaque features. While, carotid atherosclerosis can be visualized using noninvasive imaging, such as US, MRI and CT, imaging plaque feature in coronary arteries needs invasive imaging modalities. However, atherosclerosis is a systemic disease with plaque development simultaneously in different arteries and data acquisition in carotid arteries can add useful information for prediction of coronary events.

  • 32.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Poniku, Afrim
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Hysenaj, Violeta
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Ahmeti, Artan
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Haliti, Edmond
    Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology. Clinic of Cardiology and Angiology, University Clinical Centre of Kosova, Pishtinë, Republic of Kosovo.
    Predictors of exercise capacity in heart failure: combined right ventricular dysfunction and raised left ventricular filling pressures predict limited exercise capacity in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF)2013In: International Cardiovascular Forum Journal, ISSN 2410-2636, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 37-42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and Aim: Compromised exercise capacity is a major symptom in patients with heart failure (HF) and reduced left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF). Six-minute walk test (6-MWT) is popular for the objective assessment of exercise capacity in these patients but is largely confined to major heart centres. The aim of this study was to prospectively examine functional parameters that predict 6-MWT in patients with HF and reduced LVEF.

    Methods: In 111 HF patients (mean age 60±12 years, 56% male), a 6-MWT and an echo-Doppler study were performed in the same day. In addition to conventional ventricular function measurements, global LV dyssynchrony was indirectly assessed by total isovolumic time - t-IVT [in s/min; calculated as: 60 – (total ejection time – total filling time)], and Tei index (t-IVT/ejection time). Also, LV and right ventricular function were assessed by mitral and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (MAPSE and TAPSE, respectively). Based on the 6-MWT distance, patients were divided into 2 groups: Group I: ≤300m and Group II: >300m.

    Results: The 6-MWT distance correlated with t-IVT and Tei index (r=-0.37, p<0.001, for both), lateral and septal e' velocities (r=0.41, p<0.001, and r=0.46, p<0.001, respectively), E/e' ratio (r=-0.37, p<0.001) and TAPSE (r=0.45, p<0.001), but not with the other clinical or echo parameters. Group I patients had longer t-IVT, lower E/e' ratio, TAPSE and lateral e' (p<0.001 for all) compared with Group II. In multivariate analysis, TAPSE [0.076 (0.017-0.335), p=0.001], E/e' [1.165 (1.017-1.334), p=0.027], t-IVT [1.178 (1.014-1.370), p=0.033] independently predicted poor 6-MWT performance (<300m). Sensitivity and specificity for TAPSE ≤1.9 cm were 66% and 77%, (AUC 0.78, p<0.001); E/e' ≥10.7 were 66% and 62% (AUC 0.67, p=0.002) and t-IVT ≥13 s/min were 64% and 60% (AUC 0.68, p=0.002) in predicting poor 6-MWT. Combined TAPSE and E/e' had a sensitivity of 68% but specificity of 92% in predicting 6-MWT. Respective values for combined TAPSE and t-IVT were 71% and 85%.

    Conclusion: In patients with HF, the limited exercise capacity assessed by 6-MWT, is multifactorial being related both to the severity of right ventricular systolic dysfunction as well as to raised LV filling pressures and global dyssynchrony.

  • 33.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine. Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyds Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid plaque echogenicity predicts cerebrovascular symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis2016In: European Journal of Neurology, ISSN 1351-5101, E-ISSN 1468-1331, Vol. 23, no 7, p. 1241-1247Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and purpose: Many reports have shown an association between hypoechoic (echolucent) carotid atherosclerotic plaques and unstable features. In this meta-analysis our aim was to determine the role of carotid plaque echogenicity in predicting future cerebrovascular (CV) symptoms.

    Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Center Register) up to September 2015 were systematically searched. Studies with ultrasound-based characterization of carotid artery plaque echogenicity and its association with focal neurological symptoms of vascular origin were eligible for analysis. In the meta-analysis, heterogeneity was measured usingI2 statistics and publication bias was evaluated using the Begg–Mazumdar test. In addition several comparisons between subgroups were performed.

    Results: Of 1387 identified reports, eight studies with asymptomatic patients and three studies with symptomatic patients were meta-analyzed. Pooled analysis showed an association between echolucent carotid plaques and future CV events in asymptomatic patients [relative risk 2.72 (95% confidence interval 1.86–3.96)] and recurrent symptoms in symptomatic patients [relative risk 2.97 (95% confidence interval 1.85–4.78)]. The association was preserved for all stenosis degrees in asymptomatic patients, whilst patients with echolucent plaques and severe stenosis were at higher risk of future events. Also, computer-assisted methods for assessment of carotid plaque echogenicity and studies analyzing ultrasound data collected after the year 2000 showed better prediction.

    Conclusions: In asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, analysis of carotid plaque echogenicity could identify those at high risk of CV events.

  • 34.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid plaque echogenicity predicts cerebrovascular symptoms: a systematic review and metaanalysisManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 35.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Johansson, E
    Grönlund, C
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Carotid IM-GSM is more accurate than conventional IMT for monitoring systemic burden of atherosclerosisManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 36.
    Jashari, Fisnik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Nicoll, Rachel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Coronary and carotid atherosclerosis: similarities and differences2013In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 227, no 2, p. 193-200Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although a relationship is commonly accepted between coronary and carotid arterial disease, suggesting that atherosclerosis is a systemic condition, the extent of this association and correspondence has not been fully elucidated. This review discusses recent research in this field and highlights areas for future study. The prevalence of severe carotid stenosis increases with prevalence of coronary stenosis, with the latter being found in a significant number of stroke patients, while those with carotid stenosis may be at higher risk of myocardial infarction than stroke. There also appear to be common risk factors (age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia), although the effects in both vascular systems may not be identical. Furthermore, while the degree of stenosis in the coronary artery has little ability to predict acute coronary syndrome, which is caused by local thrombosis from a ruptured or eroded plaque, severe carotid stenosis causing hypoperfusion is highly predictive of stroke, although this effect may be time-limited. This apparent difference in event mechanism in the two arteries is interesting as is the difference in the rate of development of collaterals. Overall, the evidence shows that a clear relationship exists between disease in the coronary and carotid arteries, since conventional risk factors and the extent of stenosis and/or previous events emanating from one artery have a strong bearing on the prevalence of events in the other artery. Nevertheless, the exact correspondence between the two arteries is unclear, with sometimes contradictory study results. More research is needed to identify the full extent of risk factors for severe stenosis and cardio- or cerebral vascular events, among which, inflammatory biomarkers such as hs-CRP and prior vascular events are likely to play a key role.

  • 37.
    Jashari, Haki
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Rydberg, Annika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Left ventricular response to pressure afterload in children: aortic stenosis and coarctation A systematic review of the current evidence2015In: International Journal of Cardiology, ISSN 0167-5273, E-ISSN 1874-1754, Vol. 178, p. 203-209Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Congenital aortic stenosis (CAS) and Coarctation of Aorta (CoA) represent two forms of pressure afterload that affect the left ventricle (LV), hence require regular echocardiographic monitoring. Subclinical dysfunction of the LV exists even in asymptomatic patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (EF), implying low sensitivity of EF in predicting optimum time for intervention. In this article we review patterns of LV myocardial deformation before and after correction of CAS and CoA in infants, children and adolescents, showing their important role in monitoring the course of LV dysfunction. A systematic search using PubMed was performed and suitable studies are presented on a narrative form. Normal EF and/or fractional shortening (FS), with subclinical myocardial dysfunction are reported in all studies before intervention. The short-term results, after intervention, were related to the type of procedure, with no improvement or further deterioration related to surgery but immediate improvement after balloon intervention. Long term follow-up showed further improvement but still subnormal function. Thus correction of CAS and CoA before irreversible LV dysfunction is vital, and requires longitudinal studies in order to identify the most accurate parameter for function prognostication. Until then, conventional echocardiographic parameters together with myocardial velocities and deformation parameters should continue to provide follow-up reproducible measures of ventricular function.

  • 38.
    Jashari, Haki
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Rydberg, Annika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Paediatrics.
    Ibrahimi, Pranvera
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Kryeziu, Lindita
    Jashari, Fisnik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Henein, Michael Y.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Normal ranges of left ventricular strain in children: a meta-analysis2015In: Cardiovascular Ultrasound, ISSN 1476-7120, E-ISSN 1476-7120, Vol. 13, article id 37Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: The definition of normal values of two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography derived left ventricular (LV) deformation parameters, is of critical importance for the routine application of this modality in children. The objectives of this study were to perform a meta-analysis of normal ranges for longitudinal, circumferential and radial strain/strain rate values and to identify confounders that may contribute to differences in reported measures. Methods and Results: A systematic search was conducted. Studies describing normal healthy subjects and observational studies that used control groups as a comparison were included. Data were combined using a random-effect model. Effects of demographic, clinical and equipment variables were assessed through meta-regression. The search identified 1,192 subjects form 28 articles. Longitudinal strain (LS) normal mean values varied from -12.9 to -26.5 (mean, -20.5; 95 % CI, -20.0 to -21.0). Normal mean values of circumferential strain (CS) varied from -10.5 to -27.0 (mean, -22.06; 95 % CI, -21.5 to -22.5). Radial strain (RS) normal mean values varied from 24.9 to 62.1 (mean, 45.4; 95 % CI, 43.0 to 47.8). Meta-regression showed LV end diastolic diameter as a significant determinant of variation for LS. Longitudinal systolic strain rate (LSRs) was significantly determined by the age and RS by the type of vendor used. Conclusion: Variations among different normal ranges were dependent on the vendor used, LV end-diastolic diameter and age. Vendor-independent software for analyzing myocardial deformation in children, using images from different vendors would be the ideal solution for strain measurements or else using the same system for patient's follow up.

  • 39.
    Lindqvist, Per
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Zhao, Ying
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Bajraktari, Gani
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Holmgren, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences.
    Henein, Michael Y
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
    Aortic valve replacement normalizes left ventricular twist function2011In: Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, ISSN 1569-9293, E-ISSN 1569-9285, Vol. 12, no 5, p. 701-706Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to assess the effect of aortic valve replacement (AVR) on left ventricular (LV) twist function. We studied 28 severe aortic stenosis (AS) patients with normal LV ejection fraction (EF) before and six months after AVR. LV long axis function was assessed using M-mode and tissue Doppler and twist function using speckle tracking echocardiography. The data were compared with 28 age and sex-matched normal controls. In patients, LVEF remained unchanged after AVR. LV long axis function was reduced before surgery but normalized after AVR. LV twist was increased before (19.7 ± 5.7° vs. 12.9 ± 3.2°, P<0.001) and normalized after AVR (14.4 ± 5.2 °, P < 0.001). In normals, LV twist correlated with LV fractional shortening (r = 0.81, P<0.001) but not with EF. This relationship was reversed in patients before ( r= 0.52, P < 0.01) and after AVR (r = 0.34, P = ns). In patients with severe AS and normal EF, LV twist is exaggerated suggesting potential compensation for the reduced long axis function. These disturbances normalize within six months of AVR but lose their relationship with basal LV function.

1 - 39 of 39
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