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Open access

Trisha Singh, Jonathan Hinton, Rosie Swallow, James Kersey, and Charles Hillier

Summary

Young stroke patients should be investigated thoroughly to look for cardiac and extra-cardiac sources of emboli. We present a patient who was investigated for a cardiac source of emboli following an ischemic stroke. She was found to have a small patent foramen ovale (PFO), but due to the late appearances of bubbles on the bubble study it was thought that this was an incidental finding. Further investigation confirmed a PAVM was the source of emboli causing her stroke.

Learning points:

  • Paradoxical embolus is a rare complication of a pulmonary arterio-venous malformation (PAVM).
  • Young stroke patients should be investigated for intra and extra-cardiac shunts, in particular, patent foramen ovale (PFO), ideally with a bubble study.
  • Consider an extra-cardiac source of embolism when bubbles are seen in arriving late into the left heart.
Open access

Jonathan Hinton, George Hunter, Madhava Dissanayake, and Rob Hatrick

Summary

Pseudo-aneurysms are a rare, potentially life-threatening complication of a myocardial infarction. We present the case of a 45-year-old male who was brought to the emergency department in extremis and had a previous history of a late presentation inferior ST-elevation myocardial infarction treated percutaneously. Clinical examination revealed evidence of cardiogenic shock, pulmonary edema and a pulsatile epigastric mass. Chest X-ray demonstrated marked cardiomegaly and pulmonary edema. Urgent echocardiography confirmed the presence of a huge basal inferior wall pseudo-aneurysm with bi-directional flow. This was also associated with severe mitral regurgitation, due to posterior mitral annular involvement. The patient was transferred to the local cardiothoracic surgical unit where he underwent emergency repair of the pseudo-aneurysm and mitral valve replacement. Despite the surgery being complex he made a full recovery.

Open access

Charlotte Atkinson, Jonathan Hinton, Edmund B Gaisie, Arthur M Yue, Paul R Roberts, Dhrubo J Rakhit, and Benoy N Shah

Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) is frequently performed prior to atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation to exclude left atrial appendage (LAA) thrombus. However, patients undergoing AF ablation are usually anticoagulated, thus making the presence of thrombus unlikely in most cases. This study aimed to determine whether the CHA2DS2VASc scoring system can be used to identify patients that do not require TOE prior to AF ablation. In this single-centre retrospective study, local institutional and primary care databases and electronic patient records were searched to identify patients that had undergone TOE prior to AF ablation. Patient demographics, CHA2DS2VASc score, TOE findings and anticoagulation status were collected for analysis. Over a 7-year period (2008–2014), 332 patients (age 57 ± 10 years; 74% male) underwent TOE prior to proposed AF ablation. CHA2DS2VASc scores of 0, 1, 2 and >2 were found in 39, 34, 15 and 12% of patients, respectively. The prevalence of LAA thrombus was 0.6% (2 patients) and these 2 patients had risk scores of 2 and 4. No patients with a score of 0 or 1 had LAA thrombus. Patients that are classed as low risk by the CHA2DS2VASc score do not require a pre-ablation TOE to screen for LAA thrombus provided they are adequately anticoagulated. This would lead to a significant reduction in health care expenditures by reducing unnecessary TOE requests and thereby improve patient experience.

Open access

Richard P Steeds, Martin R Cowie, Bushra S Rana, John B Chambers, Simon Ray, Janaki Srinivasan, Konstantin Schwarz, Christopher J Neil, Caroline Scally, John D Horowitz, Michael P Frenneaux, Cristina Pislaru, Dana K Dawson, Oliver J Rothwell, Keith George, John D Somauroo, Rachel Lord, Mike Stembridge, Rob Shave, Martin Hoffman, Euan A Ashley, Francois Haddad, Thijs M H Eijsvogels, David Oxborough, Reinette Hampson, Chris D Kinsey, Sothinathan Gurunathan, Anastasia Vamvakidou, Nikolaos Karogiannis, Roxy Senior, Shahram Ahmadvazir, Benoy N Shah, Konstantinos Zacharias, Dan Bowen, Shaun Robinson, Ugochukwu Ihekwaba, Karen Parker, James Boyd, Cameron G Densem, Charlotte Atkinson, Jonathan Hinton, Edmund B Gaisie, Dhrubo J Rakhit, Arthur M Yue, Paul R Roberts, Dean Thomas, Pat Phen, Jonathan Sibley, Sarah Fergey, and Paul Russhard