Cardio Round-up: Robotics for Endovascular, Blood Pressure Apps, and More

This weeks Round-up includes an interview with Dr. Pascal Jabbour on his robotics study, as well as an initial study of apps for systolic blood pressure-lowering. Older endurance athletes may want to check out this week’s cardiology coverage as well. 

MAKES NO DIFFERENCE: Blood Pressure Reduction Same with Coaching App vs. Tracking App

Results of this study indicated that after six months, corresponding mean systolic blood pressure was 132.3 mm Hg in the intervention group and 135.0 mm Hg in the control group (between-group adjusted difference of -2.0 mm Hg; P=0.16). Self-confidence was higher in the intervention group compared with the control group at six months (P<0.001). The authors reported no significant differences between the groups for secondary outcomes. “Among individuals with uncontrolled hypertension, those randomized to a smartphone coaching app plus home monitor had similar systolic blood pressure compared with those who received a blood pressure tracking app plus home monitor,” the authors concluded in their paper. “Given the direction of the difference in systolic blood pressure between groups and the possibility for differences in treatment effects across subgroups, future studies are warranted.”

Blood Pressure Coaching App Same as Tracking App When Added to Home Pressure Monitoring

DR. ROBOTO: Robotics Offer New Options for Endovascular Procedures

The study, published in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, focused on the CorPath 200 system, which is currently approved in the United States for interventional procedures. Specifically, this research focused on whether the robotics were effective at being used in diagnostic cerebral angiograms and transradial carotid artery stenting. Patients living in remote geographic areas who suffer from strokes have further to travel for stroke intervention and have a critical loss in time in that window. The researchers included 10 consecutive patients undergoing neurovascular robotic-assisted procedures between December 2019 to December 2020. Of those, seven patients underwent elective diagnostic cerebral angiography, and three underwent carotid artery angioplasty and stenting with the CorPath GRX robotic-assisted platform. The authors reported procedural success with no complications. Three of the procedures switched over to manual operation due to bovine arches that were previously unknown. Fluoroscopy time and procedure times also continued to improve with subsequent procedures Despite the small sample size, the study results, according to the authors bode well for future applications of the technology in this clinical setting for these patients.

(UPDATE: Interview Added) Robotics Offer Promise for Complex and Dangerous Endovascular Procedures

INTERVIEW WITH THE EXPERT: Dr. Pascal Jabbour Talks Robotics in Endovascular

As one of the lead researchers in the previous article, Dr. Pascal Jabbour, of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, answer a few follow-up questions from DocWire News.

Interview with the Expert: Pascal Jabbour, MD, on Remote Endovascular Procedures Using Robotics

AGE OF MASTERS: Aortic Dilatation in Aging Athletes

This JAMA Cardiology study looked at veteran endurance athletes aged between 50 and 75 years of age.  analysis included 442 athletes, with a mean (SD) age of 61 (6) years, of whom 267 (60%) were male. A similar proportion of rowers (n=228; 52%) and runners (n=214; 48%) was included for analysis. Among the total cohort, clinically relevant aortic dilatation was observed in about one-fifth of participants. A rightward shift with a rightward tail was reported in the distribution of measured aortic size (P<0.001 for all). Just under a quarter of participants had at 1 z score ≥2, which is associated with an aortic measurement >2 SDs higher than the mean of the population. When adjusting for age, sex, body size, hypertension, and statin use, independent associations were observed between both elite competitor status (rowing participation in world championships or Olympics or marathon time under 2 hours and 45 minutes) and sport type (rowing) and aortic size. “Clinically relevant aortic dilatation is common among aging endurance athletes, raising the possibility of vascular remodeling in response to long-term exercise,” wrote the researchers. “Longitudinal follow-up is warranted to establish corollary clinical outcomes in this population.”


Study Assesses the Prevalence of Clinically Relevant Aortic Dilatation in Aging Masters-Level Athletes