Category: Cardiac

Cervical (Carotid OR Vertebral) Artery Dissection

Cervical artery dissection is a rare but significant cause of stroke and headache/neckache, which is easy to overlook. Leading to a typically delay in diagnosis of 7 days. Unfortunately imaging the cervical arteries is not simple, with MRA being the method of choice. Hence these patients must be referred to the “Stroke Consultant”.

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Pulmonary Embolism – PE

PE is somehow both the most over and under diagnosed condition. with severity ranging from the questionable sub-segmental PE to the Massive PE (an indication for thrombolysis). So think:

  • Does this presentation sound like a PE? – If not STOP here
  • Pregnant?  – Click Here
  • Do you think this is likely a PE? (if so you can’t use PERC)
  • Does D-Dimer answer  your question? (whats the Wells)
  • Massive PE  – think Thrombolysis
  • Sub-Massive PE – there is lots of debate (involve seniors), locally needs 2 consultant sign off and not considered time critical.

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Malignant/Accelerated Hypertension

There are several terms commonly used “Accelerated Hypertension”, “Hypertensive Emergency”, “Malignant Hypertension”. They all have a very similar definition (ESC/ESH, NICE, ACEP)

Patient has both:

  1. Blood pressure: Systolic ≥180mmHg OR Diastolic ≥110mmHg (often >220/120mmHg)
  2. End-Organ Damage: Retinal Changes, Encephalopathy, Heart Failure, Acute Kidney Injury, etc.

Mortality has improved in recent years with 5yr survival of 80% if treated. However, untreated average life expectancy is 24 months.

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Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter (AF) – ESC 2020

Before you start 

  • Whats the cause? – treating the precipitant often sorts the AF (adding B-Blockers to Sepsis can make things worse)
  • Stable or Unstable?  – Electricity vs. Drugs
  • CHADS-VASC vs. HASBLED – Anticoagulation
  • Rhythm vs. Rate control??
  • NEW Symptomatic Arrhythmia Clinic – referral form attached tho the PDF

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