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1.
CJC Open ; 4(5): 479-487, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1800144

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced access to endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) rejection surveillance in heart transplant (HT) recipients. This study is the first in Canada to assess the role for noninvasive rejection surveillance in personalizing titration of immunosuppression and patient satisfaction post-HT. Methods: In this mixed-methods prospective cohort study, adult HT recipients more than 6 months from HT had their routine EMBs replaced by noninvasive rejection surveillance with gene expression profiling (GEP) and donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) testing. Demographics, outcomes of noninvasive surveillance score, hospital admissions, patient satisfaction, and health status on the medical outcomes study 12-item short-form health survey (SF-12) were collected and analyzed, using t tests and χ2 tests. Thematic qualitative analysis was performed for open-ended responses. Results: Among 90 patients, 31 (33%) were enrolled. A total of 36 combined GEP/dd-cfDNA tests were performed; 22 (61%) had negative results for both, 10 (27%) had positive GEP/negative dd-cfDNA results, 4 (11%) had negative GEP/positive dd-cfDNA results, and 0 were positive on both. All patients with a positive dd-cfDNA result (range: 0.19%-0.81%) underwent EMB with no significant cellular or antibody-mediated rejection. A total of 15 cases (42%) had immunosuppression reduction, and this increased to 55% in patients with negative concordant testing. Overall, patients' reported satisfaction was 90%, and on thematic analysis they were more satisfied, with less anxiety, during the noninvasive testing experience. Conclusions: Noninvasive rejection surveillance was associated with the ability to lower immunosuppression, increase satisfaction, and reduce anxiety in HT recipients, minimizing exposure for patients and providers during a global pandemic.


Contexte: La pandémie de COVID-19 a réduit l'accès à la biopsie endomyocardique pour surveiller le risque de rejet après une greffe du cœur. Cette étude est la première à être menée au Canada pour évaluer le rôle de la surveillance non invasive du risque de rejet en personnalisant le titrage de l'immunosuppression et la satisfaction du patient après la greffe cardiaque. Méthodologie: Dans le cadre de cette étude de cohorte prospective à méthodes mixtes, des adultes ayant reçu une greffe cardiaque depuis plus de six mois ont vu leurs biopsies endomyocardiques régulières remplacées par une surveillance non invasive du risque de rejet qui consiste à établir le profil de l'expression génique et à analyser l'ADN acellulaire dérivé du donneur. Les données démographiques, les résultats du score de surveillance non invasive, les admissions à l'hôpital, la satisfaction des patients et l'état de santé tirés du questionnaire SF-12 (questionnaire abrégé sur la santé comprenant 12 items) de l'étude sur les issues médicales ont été colligés et analysés au moyen des tests T et des tests χ2. Les réponses ouvertes ont fait l'objet d'une analyse qualitative thématique. Résultats: Parmi 90 patients, 31 (33 %) ont été recrutés. Au total, 36 tests combinés de profilages de l'expression génique et d'ADN acellulaire dérivé du donneur ont été réalisés; les résultats ont été négatifs pour les deux tests dans 22 cas (61 %), positifs pour le profilage de l'expression génique et négatifs pour l'ADN acellulaire dans 10 cas (27 %), négatifs pour le profilage de l'expression génique et positifs pour l'ADN acellulaire dans quatre cas (11 %) et aucun cas n'a donné de résultats positifs pour les deux types de tests. Tous les patients qui ont donné des résultats positifs à l'analyse de l'ADN acellulaire dérivé du donneur (fourchette : 0,19 % à 0,81 %) ont subi une biopsie endomyocardique n'ayant révélé aucun rejet cellulaire ou à médiation par anticorps important. Au total, 15 cas (42 %) affichaient une immunosuppression réduite, proportion qui a grimpé à 55 % chez les patients dont les tests de concordance ont donné des résultats négatifs. Dans l'ensemble, le niveau de satisfaction rapporté par les patients était de 90 % et, à l'analyse thématique, ils étaient plus satisfaits et moins anxieux pendant les tests non invasifs. Conclusions: La surveillance non invasive du risque de rejet a été associée à la capacité de diminuer l'immunosuppression, d'augmenter la satisfaction et de réduire l'anxiété chez les patients qui ont reçu une greffe cardiaque, en plus de réduire l'exposition des patients et du personnel médical dans le contexte d'une pandémie.

2.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) ; 79(9):898-898, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1751250
3.
Can J Cardiol ; 37(10): 1629-1634, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406216

ABSTRACT

The mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 infection have been effective in reducing the number of symptomatic cases worldwide. With widespread uptake, case series of vaccine-related myocarditis/pericarditis have been reported, particularly in adolescents and young adults. Men tend to be affected with greater frequency, and symptom onset is usually within 1 week after vaccination. Clinical course appears to be mild in most cases. On the basis of the available evidence, we highlight a clinical framework to guide providers on how to assess, investigate, diagnose, and report suspected and confirmed cases. In any patient with highly suggestive symptoms temporally related to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination, standardized workup includes serum troponin measurement and polymerase chain reaction testing for COVID-19 infection, routine additional lab work, and a 12-lead electrocardiogram. Echocardiography is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for patients with unexplained troponin elevation and/or pathologic electrocardiogram changes. Cardiovascular specialist consultation and hospitalization should be considered on the basis of the results of standard investigations. Treatment is largely supportive, and myocarditis/pericarditis that is diagnosed according to defined clinical criteria should be reported to public health authorities in every jurisdiction. Finally, we recommend COVID-19 vaccination in all individuals in accordance with the Health Canada and National Advisory Committee on Immunization guidelines. In patients with suspected myocarditis/pericarditis after the first dose of an mRNA vaccine, deferral of a second dose is recommended until additional reports become available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Myocarditis , Pericarditis , Risk Management , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Canada/epidemiology , Diagnosis, Differential , Disease Notification/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Myocarditis/diagnosis , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/microbiology , Pericarditis/diagnosis , Pericarditis/etiology , Pericarditis/microbiology , Risk Management/methods , Risk Management/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sex Factors , Young Adult , /adverse effects
5.
Transplantation ; 105(10): 2175-2183, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several studies have described the clinical features of COVID-19 in solid-organ transplant recipients. However, many have been retrospective or limited to more severe cases (hospitalized) and have not routinely included serial virological sampling (especially in outpatients) and immunologic assessment. METHODS: Transplant patients diagnosed with COVID-19 based on a respiratory sample PCR were prospectively followed up to 90 d. Patients provided consent for convalescent serum samples and serial nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 antibody (antinucleoprotein and anti-RBD) and viral load, respectively. RESULTS: In the 161 SOT recipients diagnosed with COVID-19, the spectrum of disease ranged from asymptomatic infection (4.3%) to hospitalization (60.6%), supplemental oxygen requirement (43.1%), mechanical ventilation (22.7%), and death (15.6%). Increasing age (OR, 1.031; 95% CI, 1.001-1.062; P = 0.046) and ≥2 comorbid conditions (OR, 3.690; 95% CI, 1.418-9.615; P = 0.007) were associated with the need for supplemental oxygen. Allograft rejection was uncommon (3.7%) despite immunosuppression modification. Antibody response at ≥14 d postsymptoms onset was present in 90% (anti-RBD) and 76.7% (anti-NP) with waning of anti-NP titers and stability of anti-RBD over time. Median duration of nasopharyngeal positivity was 10.0 d (IQR, 5.5-18.0) and shedding beyond 30 d was observed in 6.7% of patients. The development of antibody did not have an impact on viral shedding. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the spectrum of COVID-19 illness in transplant patients. Risk factors for severe disease are identified. The majority form antibody by 2 wk with differential stability over time. Prolonged viral shedding was observed in a minority of patients. Reduction of immunosuppression was a safe strategy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Organ Transplantation , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Transplant Recipients , Virus Shedding
6.
JMIR Cardio ; 5(1): e25277, 2021 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217018

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Virtual care has historically faced barriers to widespread adoption. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the rapid adoption and expansion of virtual care technologies. Although the intense and prolonged nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has renewed people's interest in health systems resilience, which includes how services adapt or transform in response to shocks, evidence regarding the role of virtual care technologies in health systems resilience is scarce. OBJECTIVE: At Toronto General Hospital in Ontario, Canada, the rapid virtualization of cardiac care began on March 9, 2020, as a response to the pandemic. The objective of this study was to understand people's experiences with and the barriers and facilitators of the rapid virtualization and expansion of cardiac care resulting from the pandemic. METHODS: A single-case study was conducted with 3 embedded units of analysis. Patients, clinicians, and staff were recruited purposively from an existing mobile, phone-based telemonitoring program at a heart function clinic in Toronto, Canada. Individual, semistructured phone interviews were conducted by two researchers and transcribed verbatim. An inductive thematic analysis at the semantic level was used to analyze transcripts and develop themes. RESULTS: A total of 29 participants were interviewed, including patients (n=16), clinicians (n=9), and staff (n=4). The following five themes were identified: (1) patient safety as a catalyst for virtual care adoption; (2) piecemeal virtual care solutions; (3) confronting new roles and workloads; (4) missing pieces in virtual care; and (5) the inequity paradox. The motivation to protect patient safety and a piecemeal approach to virtual care adoption facilitated the absorptive and adaptive resilience of cardiac care during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, ad hoc changes to clinic roles and workflows, challenges in building relationships through remote methods, and widened inequities were barriers that threatened virtual care sustainment. CONCLUSIONS: We contend that sustaining virtual care hinges upon transformative actions (rather than adaptive actions) that strengthen health systems so that they can face the dynamic and emergent challenges associated with COVID-19 and other shocks. Based on the barriers and facilitators we identified, we present the lessons we learned and recommend transformations for sustaining virtual care during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

7.
Vet Rec ; 188(8): e247, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198417

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to find evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK cats. DESIGN: Tissue samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antigen using immunofluorescence and for viral RNA by in situ hybridisation. A set of 387 oropharyngeal swabs that had been submitted for routine respiratory pathogen testing was tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Lung tissue collected post-mortem from cat 1 tested positive for both SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen and RNA. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in an oropharyngeal swab collected from cat 2 that presented with rhinitis and conjunctivitis. High throughput sequencing of the viral genome revealed five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) compared to the nearest UK human SARS-CoV-2 sequence, and this human virus contained eight SNPs compared to the original Wuhan-Hu-1 reference sequence. An analysis of the viral genome of cat 2 together with nine other feline-derived SARS-CoV-2 sequences from around the world revealed no shared cat-specific mutations. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that human-to-cat transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, with the infected cats developing mild or severe respiratory disease. Given the ability of the new coronavirus to infect different species, it will be important to monitor for human-to-cat, cat-to-cat and cat-to-human transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Zoonoses , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cats , Female , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
8.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(1): e26165, 2021 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1030360

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To minimize the spread and risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, societal norms have been challenged with respect to how essential services are delivered. With pressures to reduce the number of in-person ambulatory visits, innovative models of telemonitoring have been used during the pandemic as a necessary alternative to support access to care for patients with chronic conditions. The pandemic has led health care organizations to consider the adoption of telemonitoring interventions for the first time, while others have seen existing programs rapidly expand. OBJECTIVE: At the Toronto General Hospital in Ontario, Canada, the rapid expansion of a telemonitoring program began on March 9, 2020, in response to COVID-19. The objective of this study was to understand the experiences related to the expanded role of a telemonitoring program under the changing conditions of the pandemic. METHODS: A single-case qualitative study was conducted with 3 embedded units of analysis. Semistructured interviews probed the experiences of patients, clinicians, and program staff from the Medly telemonitoring program at a heart function clinic in Toronto, Canada. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis as well as Eakin and Gladstone's value-adding approach to enhance the analytic interpretation of the study findings. RESULTS: A total of 29 participants were interviewed, including patients (n=16), clinicians (n=9), and operational staff (n=4). Four themes were identified: (1) providing care continuity through telemonitoring; (2) adapting telemonitoring operations for a more virtual health care system; (3) confronting virtual workflow challenges; and (4) fostering a meaningful patient-provider relationship. Beyond supporting virtual visits, the program's ability to provide a more comprehensive picture of the patient's health was valued. However, issues relating to the lack of system integration and alert-driven interactions jeopardized the perceived sustainability of the program. CONCLUSIONS: With the reduction of in-person visits during the pandemic, virtual services such as telemonitoring have demonstrated significant value. Based on our study findings, we offer recommendations to proactively adapt and scale telemonitoring programs under the changing conditions of an increasingly virtual health care system. These include revisiting the scope and expectations of telemedicine interventions, streamlining virtual patient onboarding processes, and personalizing the collection of patient information to build a stronger virtual relationship and a more holistic assessment of patient well-being.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Heart Failure/diagnosis , Heart Failure/physiopathology , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Monitoring, Physiologic/trends , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/trends , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Continuity of Patient Care/trends , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Young Adult
9.
Can J Cardiol ; 36(10): 1680-1684, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-653932

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in public health measures and health care reconfigurations likely to have impact on chronic disease care. We aimed to assess the volume and characteristics of patients presenting to hospitals with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic compared with a time-matched 2019 cohort. Patients presenting to hospitals with ADHF from March 1, to April 19, 2020 and 2019 in an urban hospital were examined. Multivariable logistic-regression models were used to evaluate the difference in probability of ADHF-related hospitalization between the 2 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 1106 emergency department (ED) visits for dyspnea or peripheral edema were recorded, compared with 800 ED visits in 2019. A decrease in ADHF-related ED visits of 43.5% (14.8%-79.4%, P = 0.002) and ADHF-related admissions of 39.3% (8.6%-78.5%, P = 0.009) was observed compared with 2019. Patients with ADHF presenting to hospitals (n = 128) were similar in age, sex, and comorbidities compared with the 2019 cohort (n = 186); however, a higher proportion had recent diagnoses of heart failure. Upon ED presentation, the relative probability of hospitalization or admission to intensive care was not statistically different. There was a trend toward higher in-hospital mortality in 2020. The decline in ADHF-related hospitalizations raises the timely question of how patients with heart failure are managing beyond the acute-care setting and reinforces the need for public education on the availability and safety of emergency services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Heart Failure/epidemiology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data
10.
Can J Cardiol ; 36(7): 1144-1147, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-269203

ABSTRACT

Lung ultrasound (LUS) is a point-of-care ultrasound technique used for its portability, widespread availability, and ability to provide real-time diagnostic information and procedural guidance. LUS outperforms lung auscultation and chest X-ray, and it is an alternative to chest computed tomography in selected cases. Cardiologists may enhance their physical and echocardiographic examination with the addition of LUS. We present a practical guide to LUS, including device selection, scanning, findings, and interpretation. We outline a 3-point scanning protocol using 2-dimensional and M-mode imaging to evaluate the pleural line, pleural space, and parenchyma. We describe LUS findings and interpretation for common causes of respiratory failure. We provide guidance specific of COVID-19, which at the time of writing is a global pandemic. In this context, LUS emerges as a particularly useful tool for the diagnosis and management of patients with cardiopulmonary disease.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Point-of-Care Systems/organization & administration , Quality Improvement , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , Ultrasonography, Doppler/methods , COVID-19 , Cardiologists , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/pathology , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Positioning/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Radiography, Thoracic/methods , Radiography, Thoracic/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/physiopathology , Ultrasonography, Doppler/statistics & numerical data
11.
Can J Cardiol ; 36(7): 1148-1151, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245208

ABSTRACT

The traditional model of heart failure (HF) care in Canada, which relies upon a multidisciplinary team and clinic-based care processes, has been undermined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic continues, we will be challenged to improve or maintain the health status of those with HF by optimizing guideline-directed care despite physical distancing constraints and a reduction in the health care workforce. This will require development of new strategies specifically targeted at decreasing the risk of decompensation and resultant HF hospitalization. As such, we must quickly pivot to the adoption and application of novel technologies and revise usual care models, processes, and workflow. The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has delivered the Canadian HF community a burning platform for the design and implementation of innovative approaches to support the vulnerable population we serve; born out of necessity, we now have the opportunity to explore innovative approaches that might inform the future of HF care delivery in Canada. Herein, we provide perspectives from leadership within the Canadian Heart Failure Society on how to optimize HF care during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Heart Failure/epidemiology , Heart Failure/therapy , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Canada , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Emergency Treatment , Female , Heart Failure/diagnosis , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Public Health , Safety Management/organization & administration
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