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Rigidité Vasculaire en cardiologie interventionnelle

Brahim Harbaoui 1, 2
2 Imagerie Ultrasonore
CREATIS - Centre de Recherche en Acquisition et Traitement de l'Image pour la Santé
Abstract : Vascular aging is an inevitable phenomenon. It is accompanied by structural and functional modifications of the cardiovascular system mainly referred to as vascular stiffening. This degenerative process essentially affects the extracellular matrix of the elastic arteries. The loss of elasticity of the vascular tree affects left ventricular function as well as cardiac, renal and cerebral perfusions involving different mechanisms. Vascular stiffness is a powerful risk marker of cardiovascular disease. However, most interventional cardiologists are not familiar with this concept while it may have both important prognostic and therapeutic implications. We tackled two areas of interventional cardiology, where vascular stiffness may open new fields of research; coronary artery disease and interventional treatment of aortic stenosis namely, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). With regards to coronary artery disease there is a need to better understand the pathophysiology of microcirculation and myocardial ischemia. Moreover, the occurrence of acute coronary events is also incompletely understood. Our first approach was epidemiological. We studied the prognostic impact of vascular stiffness on coronary artery disease mortality in a cohort of 1034 hypertensive patients after 30 years of follow-up. Vascular stiffness was assessed both by pulse pressure and by a score related to atherosclerosis of the abdominal aorta. A strong link was found between vascular stiffness and the occurrence of myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease related deaths. We then developed a way to study the local vascular stiffness at coronary artery level by measuring coronary pulse wave velocity. This technique relies on the use of an intracoronary pressure wire and a patented signal processing algorithm. We measured a coronary pulse wave velocity on 71 coronary arteries in 49 patients. Interestingly, patients with acute coronary syndromes had a lower coronary pulse wave velocity (which means more compliant arteries) when compared to patients with stable coronary artery disease. After an endocoronary stent implantation we noticed an increase of coronary pulse wave velocity in line with an expected stiffening. This work opens a new avenue of research regarding coronary perfusion physiology and plaque complications by studying the interaction of regional vascular stiffness and local coronary stiffness. Regarding TAVI, a procedure that often concerns elderly and frail patients, new factors predicting the benefit of the intervention are needed. We studied aortic calcifications as a surrogate of vascular stiffness. This parameter was measured by CT scan before TAVI. We first showed in 127 consecutive patients with a median follow-up of 907 days that ascending aorta calcifications were a powerful risk marker of cardiac mortality and heart failure after TAVI. This study was then completed by studying the volume of the whole aorta in 164 patients. The volume of calcifications of the whole aorta was a predictor of both all-cause and cardiac mortality. In addition, each segment of aorta taken separately (ascending, descending and abdominal aorta) predicted cardiac mortality. Finally, only ascending aorta calcifications predicted heart failure. These results support the hypothesis that ascending aorta calcifications are a marker of vascular stiffness and contribute to the left ventricular afterload. Moreover the volume of the whole aorta could mirror the global atherosclerosis burden of the patient. This easily measurable parameter could thus represent a new risk stratification tool in patients treated with TAVI. This work on vascular stiffness opens a new field of research in several areas of interventional cardiology. Regarding coronary artery disease, coronary pulse wave velocity could represent a way to better understand coronary perfusion, microcirculation, ischemia and the occurrence of coronary plaque rupture [etc...]
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Brahim Harbaoui. Rigidité Vasculaire en cardiologie interventionnelle. Cardiologie et système cardiovasculaire. Université de Lyon, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LYSE1265⟩. ⟨tel-02149756⟩

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