Recent Research Publications Spotlight

Nicoara A, Jones-Haywood M. Diastolic Heart Failure: Diagnosis and Therapy. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2015 Dec 9. [Epub ahead of print]


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article focuses on the recent findings in the diagnosis and treatment of diastolic heart failure (DHF) or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

RECENT FINDINGS: DHF has become the most common form of heart failure in the population. Although diastolic dysfunction still plays a central role, it is now understood that DHF is a very complex clinical entity with heterogeneous pathophysiology and significant contribution from extracardiac comorbidities. Alterations in ventricular-arterial coupling play a significant role in the impaired hemodynamic response to exercise seen in these patients. The absence of diastolic dysfunction at rest does not exclude the diagnosis of DHF. There has been little to no progress made in identifying evidence-based, effective, and specific treatments for patients with DHF. This may be because of the pathophysiological heterogeneity, incomplete understanding of DHF, and heterogeneity of patients included in clinical trials with variable inclusion criteria.

SUMMARY: The understanding of the phenotypic heterogeneity and multifactorial pathophysiology of DHF may lead to novel therapeutic targets in the future. Currently, the key to the treatment of DHF is aggressive management of contributing factors.

Liu S, Sheng H, Yu Z, Paschen W, Yang W. O-Linked β-N-Acetylglucosamine Modification of Proteins is Activated in Post-Ischemic Brains of Young But Not Aged Mice: Implications For Impaired Functional Recovery From Ischemic Stress. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2015 Sep 30. pii: 0271678X15608393. [Epub ahead of print]


To evaluate the effect of age on the response of brains to an ischemic challenge, we subjected young and aged mice to transient forebrain ischemia, and analyzed the heat shock response and unfolded protein response, ubiquitin conjugation and SUMO conjugation, and O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine modification of proteins (O-GlcNAcylation). The most prominent age-related difference was an inability of aged mice to activate O-GlcNAcylation. Considering many reports on the protective role of O-GlcNAcylation in various stress conditions including myocardial ischemia, this pathway could be a promising target for therapeutic intervention to improve functional recovery of aged patients following brain ischemia.

Taninishi H, Pearlstein M, Sheng H, Izutsu M, Chaparro RE, Goldstein LB, Warner DS. Video Training and Certification Program Improves Reliability of Postischemic Neurologic Deficit Measurement in the Rat. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2015 Nov 24. pii: 0271678X15616980. [Epub ahead of print]


From The Multidisciplinary Neuroprotection Laboratories, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USAScoring systems are used to measure behavioral deficits in stroke research. Video-assisted training is used to standardize stroke-related neurologic deficit scoring in humans. We hypothesized that a video-assisted training and certification program can improve inter-rater reliability in assessing neurologic function after middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Three expert raters scored neurologic deficits in post-middle cerebral artery occlusion rats using three published systems having different complexity levels (3, 18, or 48 points). The system having the highest point estimate for the correlation between neurologic score and infarct size was selected to create a video-assisted training and certification program. Eight trainee raters completed the video-assisted training and certification program. Inter-rater agreement ( Κ: score) and agreement with expert consensus scores were measured before and after video-assisted training and certification program completion. The 48-point system correlated best with infarct size. Video-assisted training and certification improved agreement with expert consensus scores (pretraining = 65 ± 10, posttraining = 87 ± 14, 112 possible scores, P < 0.0001), median number of trainee raters with scores within ±2 points of the expert consensus score (pretraining = 4, posttraining = 6.5, P < 0.01), categories with Κ:  > 0.4 (pretraining = 4, posttraining = 9), and number of categories with an improvement in the Κ: score from pretraining to posttraining (n = 6). Video-assisted training and certification improved trainee inter-rater reliability and agreement with expert consensus behavioral scores in rats after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Video-assisted training and certification may be useful in multilaboratory preclinical studies.

Gadsden J, Ayad S, Gonzales JJ, Mehta J, Boublik J, Hutchins J. Evolution of Transversus Abdominis Plane Infiltration Techniques for Postsurgical Analgesia Following Abdominal Surgeries. Local Reg Anesth. 2015 Dec 10;8:113-7. eCollection 2015.


Transversus abdominis plane (TAP) infiltration is a regional anesthesia technique that has been demonstrated to be effective for management of postsurgical pain after abdominal surgery. There are several different clinical variations in the approaches used for achieving analgesia via TAP infiltration, and methods for identification of the TAP have evolved considerably since the landmark-guided technique was first described in 2001. There are many factors that impact the analgesic outcomes following TAP infiltration, and the various nuances of this technique have led to debate regarding procedural classification of TAP infiltration. Based on our current understanding of fascial and neuronal anatomy of the anterior abdominal wall, as well as available evidence from studies assessing local anesthetic spread and cutaneous sensory block following TAP infiltration, it is clear that TAP infiltration techniques are appropriately classified as field blocks. While the objective of peripheral nerve block and TAP infiltration are similar in that both approaches block sensory response in order to achieve analgesia, the technical components of the two procedures are different. Unlike peripheral nerve block, which involves identification or stimulation of a specific nerve or nerve plexus, followed by administration of a local anesthetic in close proximity, TAP infiltration involves administration and spread of local anesthetic within an anatomical plane of the surgical site.