06:49 AM

Cedars-Sinai at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions

Intravenous Gene Transfer Reduces and Stabilizes Arterial Plaque

Sessions on Wednesday, Nov. 17 also cover heart failure and changes on EKGs that may predict sudden cardiac death

Los Angeles - Nov. 17, 2010 – A plaque-fighting gene – studied in various forms by researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute for 18 years – has now been transferred intravenously to lab mice bred to model atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) in humans. Studies show the gene transfer reduced and stabilized plaque and decreased inflammation, key factors in cutting the risk of heart disease.

P.K. Shah, MD, the director of the Division of Cardiology and the Oppenheimer Atherosclerosis Research Center, has studied the apolipoprotein A-I Milano gene since it was discovered in 1992 in a small number of individuals in northern Italy who appear to be protected from cholesterol-related heart disease.

He and his colleagues will describe their latest findings in an oral presentation, “Favorable Modulation of Atherosclerosis and Monocyte Phenotype by Intravenous AAV 8 Mediated Apo A-I Milano Gene Transfer in Mice,” Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 2 to 2:15 p.m. at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. (Session 17407/AOS 302.01.)

This will be one of several presentations made by Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute researchers.

Diabetes is a predictor of repeat hospitalization for heart failure treatment

More than half of patients admitted to the hospital for heart failure treatment were readmitted at least once for follow-up care within 90 days, according to a study conducted at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. People with diabetes – and especially diabetics with a type of heart failure that diminishes the heart’s pumping ability – needed more readmissions than others.

Recognizing the high number of readmissions and the higher risk of patients with diabetes, the researchers suggest further study to better define predictors of readmission and develop interventions that will enable patients to avoid repeat hospitalizations.

They will discuss their findings at a poster presentation, “Diabetes Mellitus is a Predictor of Repeat Hospitalization for Heart Failure,” Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. (Session 12806/2050.)

A change seen on ECGs may signal early rhythm problem leading to sudden cardiac death

A change detected on resting electrocardiograms may help identify which heart disease patients are at higher risk for sudden cardiac death, according to cardiologists carrying out one of the largest ongoing population studies on sudden cardiac arrest. The studies are led by Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, the section chief of clinical cardiac electrophysiology and one of the top experts on sudden death.

ECGs (EKGs) show the heart’s electrical impulses and rhythms over time, with sections of the graph representing parts of the heartbeat cycle. Waves of an entire cycle are generally identified by the letters P, Q, R, S, and T. The researchers noted that when one specific interval (from the peak to the end of the T wave) is increased by 18 milliseconds, risk of sudden cardiac death is tripled.

More details will be given in an oral presentation, “T-peak to T-end Interval: A Novel ECG Predictor of Sudden Death in the General Population,” from 3 to 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17. (Session 18449/AOS 405.03.)

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Citation: The American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2010, Nov. 14-17, Chicago.