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  • Clinical Scholar, Medicine

All Publications

  • Echocardiographic assessment of pulmonary arterial capacitance predicts mortality in pulmonary hypertension. Journal of cardiology Papolos, A., Tison, G. H., Mayfield, J., Vasti, E., DeMarco, T. 2020


    BACKGROUND: Pulmonary arterial capacitance (PAC) is one of the strongest predictors of clinical outcomes in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH). We examined the value of an echocardiographic surrogate for PAC (ePAC) as a predictor of mortality in patients with PH.METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of 302 patients with PH managed at a PH comprehensive care center over a cumulative follow-up time of 858 patient-years. Charts from 2004 to 2018 were reviewed to identify patients in whom a right heart catheterization (RHC) was performed within two months of an echocardiogram. Standard invasive, non-invasive, functional, and biochemical prognostic markers were extracted from the time of RHC. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Cox proportional hazards models were used to model the time from RHC to the primary outcome or last medical contact.RESULTS: Variables associated with all-cause mortality included ePAC [standardized hazard ratio (HR) 0.68, 95% CI 0.48-0.98, p=0.036], RHC-PAC (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.48-0.96, p=0.027), echocardiographic pulmonary vascular resistance (HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.05-1.60, p=0.017), six-minute walk distance (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.23-0.82, p=0.01), and B-type natriuretic peptide (HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.03-1.62, p=0.027). In multivariable-adjusted Cox analysis, ePAC predicted all-cause mortality independently of age, gender, and multiple comorbidities. There was a graded and stepwise association between low (<0.15cm/mmHg), medium (0.15-0.25cm/mmHg), and high (>0.25cm/mmHg) tertiles of ePAC and all-cause mortality.CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated that ePAC is a readily available echocardiographic marker that independently predicts mortality in PH, and have provided clinically relevant ranges by which to risk-stratify patients and predict mortality.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jjcc.2020.10.006

    View details for PubMedID 33158713

  • Recruiting Student Health Coaches to Improve Digital Blood Pressure Management: Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. JMIR formative research Vasti, E., Pletcher, M. J. 2020; 4 (8): e13637


    BACKGROUND: Hypertension is a significant problem in the United States, affecting 1 in 3 adults aged above 18 years and is associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. The prevalence of hypertension has increased in medically underserved areas (MUAs). Mobile health technologies, such as digital self-monitoring devices, have been shown to improve the management of chronic health conditions. However, patients from MUAs have reduced access to these devices because of limited resources and low health literacy. Health coaches and peer training programs are a potentially cost-effective solution for the shortage of physicians available to manage hypertension in MUAs. Activating young people as student health coaches (SHCs) is a promising strategy to improve community health.OBJECTIVE: This pilot study aims to assess (1) the feasibility of training high school students as health technology coaches in MUAs and (2) whether the addition of SHCs to digital home monitoring improves the frequency of self-monitoring and overall blood pressure (BP) control.METHODS: In total, 15 high school students completed 3-day health coach training. Patients who had a documented diagnosis of hypertension were randomly assigned to 1 of the 3 intervention arms. The QardioArm alone (Q) group was provided a QardioArm cuff only for convenience. The SHC alone (S) group was instructed to meet with a health coach for 30 min once a week for 5 weeks to create action plans for reducing BP. The student+QardioArm (S+Q) group received both interventions.RESULTS: Participants (n=27) were randomly assigned to 3 groups in a ratio of 9:9:9. All 15 students completed training, of which 40% (6/15) of students completed all the 5 meetings with their assigned patient. Barriers to feasibility included transportation and patient response drop-off at the end of the study. Overall, 92% (11/12) of the students rated their experience as very good or higher and 69% (9/13) reported that this experience made them more likely to go into the medical field. There was a statistically significant difference in the frequency of cuff use (S+Q vs Q groups: 37 vs 17; P<.001). Participants in the S+Q group reported better BP control after the intervention compared with the other groups. The average BP at the end of the intervention was 145/84 (SD 9/18) mm Hg, 150/85 (SD 18/12) mm Hg, and 128/69 (SD 20/14) mm Hg in the Q, S, and S+Q groups, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of pairing technology with young student coaches, although challenges existed. The S+Q group used their cuff more than the Q group. Patients were more engaged in the S+Q group, reporting higher satisfaction with their SHC and better control of their BP.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/13637

    View details for PubMedID 32840489

  • Pulmonary arterial capacitance predicts outcomes in patients with pulmonary hypertension independent of race/ethnicity, sex, and etiology. Respiratory medicine Mayfield, J. J., Papolos, A., Vasti, E., De Marco, T., Tison, G. H. 2020; 163: 105891


    BACKGROUND: Pulmonary arterial capacitance (PAC) is a strong hemodynamic predictor of outcomes in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Its value across subgroups of race/ethnicity, sex, and PH etiologies is unclear. We hypothesized that the association of PAC with outcomes would not vary across World Health Organization (WHO) PH group, race/ethnicity, or sex.METHODS: We performed a retrospective study in patients with PH diagnosed and managed at the Pulmonary Hypertension Comprehensive Care Center of a tertiary care hospital (n=270). Demographic, diagnostic, treatment, and outcome data were extracted from the electronic medical record. Cox proportional hazards models were used to model time from right heart catheterization to event in univariate and multivariable models. Our primary outcome was all-cause mortality and our secondary outcome was PH hospitalization.RESULTS: The median age of the cohort was 56 years (±14.6), and 67% were female. In multivariable Cox models adjusted for significant covariates, decreased PAC remained independently and significantly associated with both all-cause mortality (p=0.029) and hospitalization for PH (p=0.010). No significant interactions were observed between PAC and race, sex, or WHO group. Hispanic patients exhibited a significant independent association with increased hospitalizations (p=0.030), and there was a trend toward increased all-cause mortality in African Americans. WHO group 2PH was associated with more frequent hospitalization (p=0.004).CONCLUSIONS: Decreased PAC is significantly associated with mortality and hospitalization in PH patients independent of race, sex, and PH subgroups. Further investigation is required to characterize the effects and determinants of racial disparities in PH.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.rmed.2020.105891

    View details for PubMedID 32056840