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J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis., Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Review

Open AccessReview Large Mammalian Animal Models of Heart Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 30; doi:10.3390/jcdd3040030
Received: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 5 October 2016
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Abstract
Due to the biological complexity of the cardiovascular system, the animal model is an urgent pre-clinical need to advance our knowledge of cardiovascular disease and to explore new drugs to repair the damaged heart. Ideally, a model system should be inexpensive, easily manipulated,
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Due to the biological complexity of the cardiovascular system, the animal model is an urgent pre-clinical need to advance our knowledge of cardiovascular disease and to explore new drugs to repair the damaged heart. Ideally, a model system should be inexpensive, easily manipulated, reproducible, a biological representative of human disease, and ethically sound. Although a larger animal model is more expensive and difficult to manipulate, its genetic, structural, functional, and even disease similarities to humans make it an ideal model to first consider. This review presents the commonly-used large animals—dog, sheep, pig, and non-human primates—while the less-used other large animals—cows, horses—are excluded. The review attempts to introduce unique points for each species regarding its biological property, degrees of susceptibility to develop certain types of heart diseases, and methodology of induced conditions. For example, dogs barely develop myocardial infarction, while dilated cardiomyopathy is developed quite often. Based on the similarities of each species to the human, the model selection may first consider non-human primates—pig, sheep, then dog—but it also depends on other factors, for example, purposes, funding, ethics, and policy. We hope this review can serve as a basic outline of large animal models for cardiovascular researchers and clinicians. Full article
Open AccessReview Myocarditis in Paediatric Patients: Unveiling the Progression to Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 31; doi:10.3390/jcdd3040031
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 29 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 8 November 2016
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Abstract
Myocarditis is a challenging and potentially life-threatening disease associated with high morbidity in some paediatric patients, due to its ability to present as an acute and fulminant disease and to ultimately progress to dilated cardiomyopathy. It has been described as an inflammatory disease
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Myocarditis is a challenging and potentially life-threatening disease associated with high morbidity in some paediatric patients, due to its ability to present as an acute and fulminant disease and to ultimately progress to dilated cardiomyopathy. It has been described as an inflammatory disease of the myocardium caused by diverse aetiologies. Viral infection is the most frequent cause of myocarditis in developed countries, but bacterial and protozoal infections or drug hypersensitivity may also be causative agents. The prompt diagnosis in paediatric patients is difficult, as the spectrum of clinical manifestation can range from no myocardial dysfunction to sudden cardiac death. Recent studies on myocarditis pathogenesis have revealed a triphasic nature of this disease, which influences the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to adopt in each patient. Endomyocardial biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosing myocarditis, and several non-invasive diagnostic tools can be used to support the diagnosis. Intravenous immunoglobulin has become part of routine practice in the treatment of myocarditis in paediatric patients at many centres, but its true effect on the cardiac function has been the target of many studies. The aim of this review is to approach the recently discovered facets of paediatric myocarditis regarding its progression to dilated cardiomyopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure Pathogenesis and Management)
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Open AccessReview Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms Linking Air Pollution and Congenital Heart Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 32; doi:10.3390/jcdd3040032
Received: 28 July 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 26 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that parental air pollutants exposure during the periconceptional period may play a major role in causing fetal/newborn malformations, including a frequent heterogeneity in the methods applied and a difficulty in estimating the clear effect of environmental toxicants. Moreover, only
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Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that parental air pollutants exposure during the periconceptional period may play a major role in causing fetal/newborn malformations, including a frequent heterogeneity in the methods applied and a difficulty in estimating the clear effect of environmental toxicants. Moreover, only some couples exposed to toxicants during the pre-conception period give birth to a child with congenital anomalies. The reasons for such phenomena remain elusive but they can be explained by the individual, innate ability to metabolize these contaminants that eventually defines the ultimate dose of a biological active toxicant. In this paper, we reviewed the major evidence regarding the role of parental air pollutant exposure on congenital heart disease (CHD) risk as well as the modulating effect on detoxification systems. Finally, major epigenetic alterations induced by adverse environment contaminants have been revised as possible mechanisms altering a correct heart morphogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessReview Management of Mechanical Ventilation in Decompensated Heart Failure
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 33; doi:10.3390/jcdd3040033
Received: 24 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
Mechanical ventilation (MV) is a life-saving intervention for respiratory failure, including decompensated congestive heart failure. MV can reduce ventricular preload and afterload, decrease extra-vascular lung water, and decrease the work of breathing in heart failure. The advantages of positive pressure ventilation must be
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Mechanical ventilation (MV) is a life-saving intervention for respiratory failure, including decompensated congestive heart failure. MV can reduce ventricular preload and afterload, decrease extra-vascular lung water, and decrease the work of breathing in heart failure. The advantages of positive pressure ventilation must be balanced with potential harm from MV: volutrauma, hyperoxia-induced injury, and difficulty assessing readiness for liberation. In this review, we will focus on cardiac, pulmonary, and broader effects of MV on patients with decompensated HF, focusing on practical considerations for management and supporting evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure Pathogenesis and Management)
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Open AccessReview Current Perspectives in Cardiac Laterality
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 34; doi:10.3390/jcdd3040034
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
The heart is the first organ to break symmetry in the developing embryo and onset of dextral looping is the first indication of this event. Looping is a complex process that progresses concomitantly to cardiac chamber differentiation and ultimately leads to the alignment
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The heart is the first organ to break symmetry in the developing embryo and onset of dextral looping is the first indication of this event. Looping is a complex process that progresses concomitantly to cardiac chamber differentiation and ultimately leads to the alignment of the cardiac regions in their final topology. Generation of cardiac asymmetry is crucial to ensuring proper form and consequent functionality of the heart, and therefore it is a highly regulated process. It has long been known that molecular left/right signals originate far before morphological asymmetry and therefore can direct it. The use of several animal models has led to the characterization of a complex regulatory network, which invariably converges on the Tgf-β signaling molecule Nodal and its downstream target, the homeobox transcription factor Pitx2. Here, we review current data on the cellular and molecular bases of cardiac looping and laterality, and discuss the contribution of Nodal and Pitx2 to these processes. A special emphasis will be given to the morphogenetic role of Pitx2 and to its modulation of transcriptional and functional properties, which have also linked laterality to atrial fibrillation. Full article
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Open AccessReview Mechanical Circulatory Support for Advanced Heart Failure: Are We about to Witness a New “Gold Standard”?
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 35; doi:10.3390/jcdd3040035
Received: 14 August 2016 / Revised: 3 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 12 December 2016
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Abstract
The impact of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for the treatment of advanced heart failure has played a significant role as a bridge to transplant and more recently as a long-term solution for non-eligible candidates. Continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs), based
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The impact of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for the treatment of advanced heart failure has played a significant role as a bridge to transplant and more recently as a long-term solution for non-eligible candidates. Continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs), based on axial and centrifugal design, are currently the most popular devices in view of their smaller size, increased reliability and higher durability compared to pulsatile flow left ventricular assist devices (PF-LVADs). The trend towards their use is increasing. Therefore, it has become mandatory to understand the physics and the mathematics behind their mode of operation for appropriate device selection and simulation set up. For this purpose, this review covers some of these aspects. Although very successful and technologically advanced, they have been associated with complications such as pump thrombosis, haemolysis, aortic regurgitation, gastro-intestinal bleeding and arterio-venous malformations. There is perception that the reduced arterial pulsatility may be responsible for these complications. A flow modulation control approach is currently being investigated in order to generate pulsatility in rotary blood pumps. Thrombus formation remains the most feared complication that can affect clinical outcome. The development of a preoperative strategy aimed at the reduction of complications and patient-device suitability may be appropriate. Patient-specific modelling based on 3D reconstruction from CT-scan combined with computational fluid dynamic studies is an attractive solution in order to identify potential areas of stagnation or challenging anatomy that could be addressed to achieve the desired outcome. The HeartMate II (axial) and the HeartWare HVAD (centrifugal) rotary blood pumps have been now used worldwide with proven outcome. The HeartMate III (centrifugal) is now emerging as the new promising device with encouraging preliminary results. There are now enough pumps on the market: it is time to focus on the complications in order to achieve the full potential and selling-point of this type of technology for the treatment of the increasing heart failure patient population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure Pathogenesis and Management)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Dorsal Mesenchymal Protrusion and the Pathogenesis of Atrioventricular Septal Defects
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 29; doi:10.3390/jcdd3040029
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 26 September 2016
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Abstract
Congenital heart malformations are the most common type of defects found at birth. About 1% of infants are born with one or more heart defect on a yearly basis. Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) causes more deaths in the first year of life than
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Congenital heart malformations are the most common type of defects found at birth. About 1% of infants are born with one or more heart defect on a yearly basis. Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) causes more deaths in the first year of life than any other congenital abnormality, and each year, nearly twice as many children die in the United States from CHD as from all forms of childhood cancers combined. Atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD) are congenital heart malformations affecting approximately 1 in 2000 live births. Babies born with an AVSD often require surgical intervention shortly after birth. However, even after successful surgery, these individuals typically have to deal with lifelong complications with the most common being a leaky mitral valve. In recent years the understanding of the molecular etiology and morphological mechanisms associated with the pathogenesis of AVSDs has significantly changed. Specifically, these studies have linked abnormal development of the Dorsal Mesenchymal Protrusion (DMP), a Second Heart Field-derived structure, to the development of this congenital defect. In this review we will be discuss some of the latest insights into the role of the DMP in the normal formation of the atrioventricular septal complex and in the pathogenesis of AVSDs. Full article
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