Commentary by Dr Peter Chang, Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS, highlighted facts on peripheral artery disease and how this disease can be treated.
Patients suffering from severe mitral regurgitation can now undergo a new minimally invasive surgery, through the areola into the heart to repair the mitral valve. The wound is only two centimetres in size, and patients can be discharged from the hospital a few days after the operation. A/Prof Kofidis Theodoros, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, NUHCS, shared that currently about 95% of patients with mitral regurgitation are suitable for minimally invasive surgery, and about 40% are suitable for minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery. He hopes more patients can benefit from this type of surgery in the next two years.
Commentary by Dr Lin Weiqin, Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS, shed light on heart failure and how new medications together with healthy diet and lifestyle can make a positive change to patients’ heart health.
In an interview with Channel 8 Frontline, Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director, NUHCS, shed light on the common symptoms of heart attack and elaborated on the differences between heart attack and cardiac arrest.
Dr Raymond Wong, Senior Consultant and Director of Clinical Services, Department of Cardiology, NUHCS, discussed on the recently approved dapagliflozin for heart failure treatment in adults with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) with and without type-2 diabetes. The medication has been approved for reduction of risk of hospitalisation due to heart failure in type-2 diabetes patients with high risk factors since 2019.
In the commentary, Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director, NUHCS, reviewed the development of coronary artery bypass grafting procedure over the decades and discussed the opportunities and limitations of coronary artery bypass procedure.
He mentioned NUHCS has taken the lead in minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS), which is a good treatment option for heart valve repair or replacement. Research has revealed that as compared to traditional bypass surgery, length of hospital stay, readmission rate, and infection rate are significantly reduced.
Commenting on the best course of action to take when someone collapses from what appears to be signs of a heart attack, Dr Loh Poay Huan, Senior Consultant with NUHCS Department of Cardiology, said one is better off calling the ambulance for one foremost reason: early treatment limits the damage to the heart muscle. He noted that at NUHCS, the ratio of walk-ins to ambulance cases is about 30:70 as compared to the national average of 50:50, which can be attributed to the establishment of the Western STEMI Network to centralise STEMI treatment in a tertiary cardiac centre.
Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director of NUHCS, explained what happens during an aortic dissection, and how it is different from a heart attack.
Dr Ronald Lee, Senior Consultant, NUHCS Department of Cardiology, shared that chronic sleep deficiency is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. He cautioned that our immune system deteriorates with sleep deficiency, and people with less than five or six hours of sleep a day are especially at risk of developing high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director of NUHCS, contributed an educational article on how diabetes is linked to heart diseases with tips and advice to readers on the prevention of these conditions.
Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director of NUHCS, commented that aortic dissection is a rare disease and most local patients are male between 50-70 years old, with 77% of them having hypertension. Prof Tan added that the mortality rate of local patients with aortic dissection has dropped to 20% in recent years, and young patients make up less than 10% of the cases with majority caused by a genetic disease called Marfan syndrome.
Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Director of NUHCS shared that the survival rate of cardiac arrest at home is only 2%. He added that most cardiac arrest victims are the elderly who suffer from coronary artery diseases Prof Tan also highlighted four main causes - congenital heart disease, family history, arrhythmia and heart diseases caused by viruses.
Led by A/Prof Mark Chan from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Senior Consultant of the Department of Cardiology at the NUHCS; Professor A. Mark Richards, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Senior Consultant of the Department of Cardiology, National University Heart Centre, Singapore, the study discovered six “highest-priority” proteins for other researchers to focus their efforts on - NPPB, TNNT2, ANGPT2, THBS2, LTBP4 and FSTL3. Of these six proteins, two were well-established biomarkers of heart failure after a heart attack: TNNT2 and NT-proBNP. Identifying heart attack patients who are at high risk of developing heart failure would enable doctors to intervene earlier and prevent heart failure from occurring.
Dedicated to the frontline healthcare workers battling Covid-19 pandemic, episode 3 of the One Metre Apart docuseries featured NUH’s longest staying patient, Mdm Choy Wai Chee, and her care team including Dr Ramanathan K.R. and Dr Winn Maung Maung Aye from the Department of Cardiac Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, NUHCS; and Dr See Kay Choong, Head and Senior Consultant from the Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, NUH. The documentary also featured A/Prof Zubair Amin, Head and Senior Consultant at the Department of Neonatology and Dr Maleena Suppiah, Senior Assistant Director, Clinical Education Office, NTFGH, who volunteered to provide medical care for the migrant workers at the dormitories under the care of NUHS. SSN Shelly Kia from the NUH isolation wards was featured as one of the frontliners, who spent many of her working hours caring for people who are suspected to have Covid-19.
Researchers from NUS Medicine and NUH have developed a coherent map of genes in the heart and looked at how they may cause heart diseases, which could pave the way for new treatments for these illnesses. Led by Prof Roger Foo, Department of Medicine at NUS Medicine and Senior Consultant at NUHCS, the research is part of the Cardiovascular Disease Translational Research Programme, one of nine new strategic research focus areas established by NUS Medicine to create greater synergy and collaboration between basic and clinical scientists within NUHS, and deliver research outcomes that address current clinical and national healthcare issues. Prof Chng Wee Joo, Vice-Dean of Research at NUS Medicine, commented that the school hopes that the nine programmes will make some real impact on patient treatments and on the health of the population.