The latest medical research on Atrial Fibrillation

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about atrial fibrillation gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Impact of Guideline-Directed Medical Therapy on 10-Year Mortality after Revascularization for Patients with Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia.


This study aimed to investigate the long-term impact of guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) on 10-year mortality in patients with chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI) after revascularization.

We performed a retrospective multicentre study enrolle 459 patients with CLTI who underwent revascularization (396 endovascular therapy [EVT] and 63 bypass surgery [BSX] cases) between January 2007 and December 2011. The primary outcome measure was all-cause mortality. We additionally explored the predictors for all-cause mortality using Cox regression hazard models; the influence of GDMT, defined as prescription of antiplatelet agents, statins, and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in aggregate, on all-cause mortality, and the association between baseline characteristics using interaction effects.

During the 10-year follow-up after revascularization, 234 patients died. In Kaplan-Meier analysis, 10-year mortality was significantly lower in patients who received statins (p<.001) and ACE inhibitors or ARBs (p=.010) than those who did not. However, there were no differences in 10-year mortality between patients who received anti-platelet agents and those who did not (p=.62). Interaction analysis revealed that GDMT had a significantly different hazard ratio in patients who were and were not on hemodialysis and in those treated with EVT or BSX (p for interaction =.002 and .044, respectively). In the multivariate analysis, age >75 years, non-ambulatory status, hemodialysis, congestive heart failure, left ventricular ejection fraction <50%, and GDMT were significantly associated with all-cause mortality.

Appropriate GDMT use was independently associated with 10-year mortality in patients with CLTI after revascularization.

Clinical Outcomes and Unique Restenosis of Calcified Nodule in Heavily Calcified Coronary Artery.


Calcified nodule (CN) has been known as the advanced stage of coronary calcification. However, clinical outcomes following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to CN remain unknown. This study aimed to compare clinical outcomes, including target lesion revascularization (TLR), between calcified coronary lesions with and without CN.

Two hundred forty-nine lesions undergoing intravascular ultrasound-guided PCI with rotational atherectomy (RA) were enrolled and divided into the CN group (n=100) and the non-CN group (n=149) according to the presence of CN. The cumulative incidence of clinically driven TLR (CD-TLR) and the reasons for CD-TLR were compared between the CN and non-CN groups.

The incidence of CD-TLR was significantly higher in the CN group than in the non-CN group. In the landmark analysis at 1 year, the CN group showed a significantly higher incidence of CD-TLR within 1 year. However, the incidence of CD-TLR beyond 1 year was numerically lower in the CN group than in the non-CN group. In the multivariate Cox hazard model, CN was significantly associated with CD-TLR. In the CN group, in-stent CN was the major reason for CD-TLR (52%) and was observed mainly within 1 year (90%).

In the heavily calcified lesions requiring RA, CN was the factor associated with the higher rate of CD-TLR especially within 1 year. The timing of CD-TLR in lesions with CN may indicate that the process of CN protruding through the struts was progressed monthly.

Relevance of Carotid Reocclusion in Tandem Lesions.


Carotid reocclusion (CRO) after mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) due to tandem lesion (TL) or isolated internal carotid occlusion (ICO) is associated with worse clinical outcomes. Our aim was to analyze the predictors and clinical impact of CRO.

A retrospective single-center analysis of all patients with anterior circulation strokes who underwent MT prospectively included in a registry between 2017 and 2020 was performed. ICO and TL as stroke causes were included. Stent deployment was left to the discretion of the interventionist. All patients received at least intravenous aspirin during MT. CRO was assessed using ultrasound within the first 24 h after MT. Efficacy and safety of stenting were assessed.

Among 1304 AIS cases, 218 (16.7%) were related to TL or ICO. Of them, 5% (n=11) were associated with internal CRO 24 h after the endovascular procedure. After adjusting per confounders, multivariate analysis showed that the independent variables associated with CRO were the TICI recanalization grade [TICI 2b-3; OR 0.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01-0.89, p=0.040], pial collateral circulation presence (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.02-0.45, p=0.03), stent deployment during MT (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.03-0.84, p=0.030), and general anesthesia use (OR 2.92, 95% CI 1.13-7.90, p=0.034). CRO showed a trend toward worst outcomes (modified Rankin scale 3-6) at 3 months (OR 3.4, 95% CI 0.96-12, p=0.057). After multivariate analysis, variables independently associated with worse outcomes at 90 days were intrastent platelet aggregation phenomena during endovascular therapy, admission National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, and age. Conversely, intravenous thrombolysis and TICI 2b-3 recanalization grade were identified as independent predictors of good outcomes at 90 days.

CRO has a relevant clinical impact in our study, associating lower rates of good functional outcomes at 3 months. Independent factors of CRO were the recanalization degree, presence of pial collateral circulation, use of a stent as a protective factor, and use of general anesthesia during thrombectomy.

Cutoff Values of Brachial-Ankle Pulse Wave Velocity for Atherosclerotic Risks by Age and Sex in the Japanese General Population.


In this study, we aim to analyze the correlation between brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and Suita score or Framingham risk score and obtain the cutoff value of baPWV by sex and age for cardiovascular risk, as assessed by these scores in the large Japanese annual health checkup data.

In total, 25,602 participants (14,539 men and 11,063 women), who had their annual health checkups, were included in this study. Cutoff values of baPWV for the moderate- and high-risk groups stratified by sex and age were obtained using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.

As per our findings, the Suita score demonstrated better correlations with baPWV than the Framingham risk score in both sexes (men, Suita score R2=0.41 and Framingham risk score R2=0.37; women, Suita score R2 =0.54 and Framingham risk score R 2=0.33). The ROC curve analysis demonstrated the cutoff values of baPWV for moderate- and high-risk groups estimated using the Suita score, and they are as follows: in men, the baPWV cutoff values were 1,350 cm/s in the 40s, 1,430 cm/s in the 50s, 1,520 cm/s in the 60s, and 1,880 cm/s in the 70s. In women, the baPWV cutoff values were 1,350 cm/s in the 40s, 1,430 cm/s in the 50s, 1,570 cm/s in the 60s, and 1,800 cm/s in the 70s.

We demonstrated that baPWV significantly correlated with the Suita score or Framingham risk score in both men and women, with the former presenting a stronger correlation than the latter. We propose the cutoff values of baPWV for moderate- and high-risk groups estimated using the Suita score.

Paradoxical Long-Term Impact Between Serum Apolipoprotein E and High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.


Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) strongly affects arteriosclerosis but has atheroprotective effects in combination with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The impact of the quantitative relationship between serum ApoE and HDL-C levels in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) remains unclear.

A total of 3632 consecutive patients who underwent their first intervention between 2000 and 2016 were included. They were categorized into normal and abnormal HDL-C groups based on the normal HDL-C value, and each group was subdivided into high and low ApoE subgroups based on the group-specific median ApoE value. We evaluated the incidence of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), including cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, and all-cause death Results: During a 6.4-year follow-up, 419 patients developed MACCE and 570 patients died. The interaction term between ApoE levels and HDL-C status in MACCE and all-cause death proved to be statistically significant. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the cumulative incidence of MACCE was significantly higher for elevated pre-procedural ApoE levels than for reduced preprocedural ApoE levels in the normal HDL-C group. Conversely, the cumulative incidence of MACCE was significantly higher for reduced pre-procedural ApoE levels than for elevated pre-procedural ApoE levels in the abnormal HDL-C group. After adjustment for important covariates, multivariable Cox hazard analysis revealed that the serum ApoE level was a strongly independent predictor of MACCE; this was inversely related in both groups.

Serum ApoE levels may have a paradoxical impact on the future cardiovascular risk depending on the HDL-C status in patients with CAD.

Elevated hs-CRP and Symptomatic Intracranial/Extracranial Artery Stenosis Predict Stroke Recurrence after Acute Ischemic Stroke or TIA.


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between symptomatic or asymptomatic intracranial/extracranial artery stenosis and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

This study included 10404 patients from the Third China National Stroke Registry. Patients were divided into four or six groups according to patterns of intracranial or extracranial artery stenosis and hs-CRP levels. The outcomes were recurrence of ischemic stroke, stroke, and combined vascular events (CVE) at 1 year. The associations between different combinations of hsCRP levels and patterns of artery stenosis and recurrent events were analyzed by multivariable Cox regression models.

Patients in Group III (hs-CRP <3+symptomatic intracranial or extracranial artery stenosis) had higher risk of recurrent ischemic stroke (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20-2.48,p=0.003). Those in Group VI (hs-CRP ≥ 3+symptomatic intracranial or extracranial artery stenosis) had the highest risk of recurrent ischemic stroke (HR 2.04, 95% CI 1.42-2.92, p=0.0001) within 1 year compared with Group I (hs-CRP <3+no artery stenosis). Asymptomatic intracranial or extracranial artery stenosis did not increase the risk of ischemic events compared with no artery stenosis regardless of hs-CRP levels.

Symptomatic intracranial or extracranial artery stenosis was associated with increased risk of recurrent ischemic stroke, stroke, and CVE at 1 year in patients with AIS or TIA, especially in patients with elevated hs-CRP levels. Asymptomatic intracranial or extracranial artery stenosis did not increase the risk of ischemic events compared with no artery stenosis regardless of hs-CRP levels.

Optimal Antithrombotic Therapy in Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: A Focused Review on High Bleeding Risk.


Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is a therapeutic cornerstone to prevent stent thrombosis following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for co...

Significant Impact of Age on Mortality and Non-significant Impact of Age on Thrombosis and Major Bleeding in Patients with COVID-19: From the CLOT-COVID Study.


There is scarce data on the impact of age on clinical outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The CLOT-COVID Study was a retrospective, multicenter cohort study enrolling 2894 consecutive hospitalized patients with COVID-19 among 16 centers in Japan from April 2021 to September 2021. We divided the entire cohort into five groups according to age strata; -19, 20-39, 40-59, 60-79, and 80- years.

Most patients under 19 had mild COVID-19 on admission (99%), while older patients had more severe COVID-19. The incidence rates of clinical outcomes during hospitalization in patients aged ≤ 19, 20-39, 40-59, 60-79, and 80 ≥ years were 0.0%, 0.5%, 2.2%, 2.7%, and 1.5% for thrombosis; 0.0%, 1.2%, 1.5%, 3.4%, and 2.0% for major bleeding; and 0.0%, 0.4%, 2.0%, 12.1%, and 16.8% for all-cause death, respectively. In the stratified analysis according to COVID-19 severity on admission, the incidences of thrombosis were generally higher among patients with more severe status, although those were not significantly different among age strata in all sub-types of COVID-19 severity. However, the incidences of all-cause death were significantly higher with increasing age in all sub-types of COVID-19 severity.

In the current large observational study of patients with COVID-19, the risk of mortality became markedly higher with increased age. However, the risks of thrombosis and major bleeding did not necessarily increase as age increases, which seemed to be consistent irrespective of COVID-19 severity on admission.

Evaluating the Potential Pathology and Short-Term Outcomes of Cryptogenic Stroke Using the Etiological Classification System.


Various embolic sources and pathogenetic mechanisms underlie cryptogenic stroke (CS). We investigated the association of etiological diversity with short-term outcomes in patients with CS using a modified atherosclerosis (A), small-vessel disease (S), cardiac pathology (C), other causes (O), and dissection (D) (ASCOD) system.

Patients with CS who underwent transesophageal echocardiography were registered in this multicenter, observational study. In the modified classification system, O and D were inapplicable and thus excluded. Instead, atherosclerosis, small-vessel disease, cardiac pathology-CS classification was specifically constructed for the etiological diagnosis of CS. We utilized this system to explore the mechanism of CS by grading each pathology and evaluated its association with poorer modified Rankin Scale scores of 3-6 at hospital discharge.

A total of 672 patients (68.7±12.8 years, 220 females) were analyzed. In the multiple logistic regression model, female sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.87 [1.15-3.04]; P=0.012), body mass index (OR, 0.93 [0.88-0.99]; P=0.025), National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score (OR, 1.16 [1.12-1.21]; P<0.001), CHADS2 score (OR, 1.56 [1.30-1.86]; P<0.001), D-dimer (OR, 1.04 [1.01-1.08]; P=0.015), diffusion-weighted image (DWI) lesion size (OR, 1.44 [1.10-1.89]; P=0.009), and S+C score (OR, 1.26 [1.03-1.56]; P=0.029) were associated with poor functional outcome at discharge whereas the S+C score was marginally associated with poor functional outcome after excluding 137 patients with a premorbid modified Rankin Scale score of ≥ 3.

The coexistence of small-vessel disease and cardiac pathology might be associated with poor in-hospital functional outcome in CS.

Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Postprandial Metabolism of Apolipoprotein(a) in Familial Hypercholesterolemia.


Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is a low-density lipoprotein-like particle containing apolipoprotein(a) (apo(a)) that increases the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Postprandial redistribution of apo(a) protein from Lp(a) to triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) may also increase the atherogenicity of TRL particles. Omega-3 fatty acid (ω3FA) supplementation improves postprandial TRL metabolism in FH subjects. However, its effect on postprandial apo(a) metabolism has yet to be investigated.

We carried out an 8-week open-label, randomized, crossover trial to test the effect of ω3FA supplementation (4 g/day) on postprandial apo(a) responses in FH patients following ingestion of an oral fat load. Postprandial plasma total and TRL-apo(a) concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry, and the corresponding areas under the curve (AUCs) (0-10h) were determined using the trapezium rule.

Compared with no ω3FA treatment, ω3FA supplementation significantly lowered the concentrations of postprandial TRL-apo(a) at 0.5 (-17.9%), 1 (-18.7%), 2 (-32.6%), and 3 h (-19.2%) (P<0.05 for all). Postprandial TRL-apo(a) AUC was significantly reduced with ω3FA by 14.8% (P<0.05). By contrast, ω3FA had no significant effect on the total AUCs of apo(a), apoC-III, and apoE (P>0.05 for all). The decrease in postprandial TRL-apo(a) AUC was significantly associated with changes in the AUC of triglycerides (r=0.600; P <0.01) and apoB-48 (r=0.616; P<0.01).

Supplementation with ω3FA reduces postprandial TRL-apo(a) response to a fat meal in FH patients; this novel metabolic effect of ω3FA may have implications on decreasing the risk of ASCVD in patients with FH, especially in those with elevated plasma triglyceride and Lp(a) concentrations. However, the clinical implications of these metabolic findings require further evaluation in outcome or surrogate endpoint trials.

Lipid Droplet Protein PLIN1 Regulates Inflammatory Polarity in Human Macrophages and is Involved in Atherosclerotic Plaque Development by Promoting Stable Lipid Storage.


Perilipins (PLINs), peripheral lipid droplet (LD) proteins, play important roles in lipid accumulation and maturation in adipocytes. The relationship between PLIN family proteins and macrophage polarization in atherosclerosis has not been elucidated.

The experiments used tissues from human arteries of 65 patients who had undergone a carotid endarterectomy, and cultured macrophages generated from healthy human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Plaque immunohistochemistry demonstrated co-expression of PLIN1 and PLIN2 in both symptomatic (n=31) and asymptomatic patients (n=34). PLIN2 mRNA expression increased 3.38-fold in the symptomatic group compared with those from asymptomatic. PLIN1 was not expressed on small LDs at a shorter incubation but was on large LDs at longer incubation with oxidized LDL and VLDL, while PLIN2 was observed after 24 h and increased with a longer incubation in cultured M1 macrophage. In M2 macrophages, PLIN1 was seen as early as 24 h following incubation with VLDL, and LD size increased with longer incubation. PLIN1 overexpression increased the size of LDs in M1 macrophages, even after a short incubation, and reduced the RNA expression of TNFA, MMP2, ABCA1, and ABCG1 versus the M1 control. Conversely, silencing of PLIN1 in M2 macrophages had the opposite effects on LD size and RNA expression.

There was a relationship between macrophage polarity, cytosolic LD size, and PLIN1/PLIN2 expression levels. PLIN2 was mainly expressed in arterial plaques in symptomatic stroke patients, and associated with the inflammatory phenotype of human macrophages, while PLIN1 expression is closely associated with plaque stability and the anti-inflammatory phenotype.

Injury Precipitating Tissue Loss and Time to Referral to a Vascular Center in Patients with Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia.


This study aimed to report injury precipitating tissue loss and to provide updated information on the time from tissue loss occurrence to referral to a vascular center for patients who developed chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) in Japan.

We examined 450 patients who developed CLTI with tissue loss and were registered in a multicenter prospective study between October 2017 and June 2020. They were referred to the participating vascular centers for revascularization. Information on the injury precipitating tissue loss and time to referral was collected at registration. The severity of tissue loss was evaluated using the Wound, Ischemia, and foot Infection classification.

Injury precipitating tissue loss was absent in 52.0% (95% confidence interval, 47.3%-56.6%) of the patients. The absence was associated with lower albumin levels and preserved pressure sensation. Although the time to referral was significantly shorter in cases without a history of prereferral revascularization, 16.8% (12.8%-20.7%) of the patients were referred to the vascular centers more than 3 months after tissue loss occurrence. Time to referral, but not the lack of a clear precipitant for tissue loss, was significantly associated with the severity of tissue loss.

A clear precipitant for tissue loss was often lacking, particularly in patients with low albumin levels and preserved pressure sensation. Delayed referral to a vascular center is still common.