The latest medical research on Cardiology

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 cardiology gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Heart Failure Site-Based Research in the United States: Results of the Heart Failure Society of America Research Network Survey.

JACC

This study sought to determine clinician and scientist involvement in heart failure (HF) clinical research and to describe the challenges of conducting clinical trials in the United States.

Improvements in the current capability, potential, and deficiencies of the HF clinical research infrastructure in the United States are needed in order to enhance efficiency and impact.

The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) distributed an electronic survey regarding HF clinical trial activity for the purpose of understanding the barriers that exist to conducting high-quality HF clinical research.

Overall, 1,794 HFSA members were queried, and 434 members (24%) completed surveys, whereas a total of 7,589 individuals with interest in HF were queried, and 615 completed surveys. Of the respondents, 410 (67%) were actively engaged in HF research and 120 (20%) were interested in research. Most respondents, 270, were physicians (44%); 311 of the total (76% of the total and 80% of physicians) practiced in academic institutions; 333 respondents (81%) had served as principal investigators and 73 (18%) as site coordinators. Respondents active in clinical research usually participated in 1 to 5 trials and enrolled 1 to 20 patients annually. Institutional review board (IRB) approval typically required 3 months, and contract completion required 3 to 6 months per site. The greatest barriers to research were insufficient site budgets, delay in contracting, inability to find participants meeting trial entry criteria, and unavailability of qualified study coordinators.

Many U.S. clinical research sites are constrained by budgetary, staffing, and contractual issues. The HFSA Research Network seeks to unify interested sites and deconstruct barriers to permit high-value HF research.

Prior Pacemaker Implantation and Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Heart Failure and Preserved Ejection Fraction.

JACC

This study examined the relationship between prior pacemaker implantation and clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Conventional right ventricular pacing causes electrical and mechanical left ventricular dys-synchrony and may worsen left ventricular systolic dysfunction and HF. Whether conventional pacing is also associated with worse outcomes in HFpEF is unknown.

Patient data were pooled from the CHARM-Preserved (Candesartan in Heart failure: Assessment of Reduction in Mortality and morbidity), I-PRESERVE (Irbesartan in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction), and TOPCAT (Treatment of Preserved Cardiac Function Heart Failure with an Aldosterone Antagonist trial) studies and were examined for the association between having a pacemaker and the risk of the primary composite of cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization, the individual components of the composite, the 2 main modes of cardiovascular death (i.e., sudden death and pump failure death), and all-cause death in unadjusted and adjusted analyses.

Of the 8,466 patients included, 682 patients (8%) had a pacemaker. Pacemaker patients were older and more often men and had lower body mass indexes, estimated glomerular filtration rates, and blood pressures but higher concentrations of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide than those without a pacemaker. The rate of the primary composite outcome in pacemaker patients was almost twice that in patients without a pacemaker (13.6 vs. 7.6 per 100 patient-years of follow up, respectively), with a similar finding for HF hospitalizations (10.8 vs. 5.1 per 100 patient-years, respectively). This risk rate persisted after adjusting for other prognostic variables (hazard ratio [HR] for the composite outcome: 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02 to 1.33; p = 0.026), driven mainly by HF hospitalization (HR: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.12 to 1.60; p < 0.001). The risk of death was not significantly higher in pacemaker patients in the adjusted analyses.

These findings raise the possibility that right ventricular pacing-induced left ventricular dys-synchony may be detrimental in HFpEF patients.

Impact of Hemodynamic Ramp Test-Guided HVAD Speed and Medication Adjustments on Clinical Outcomes.

Circulation. Heart failure

URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT03021239.

This prospective, multicenter, randomized, pilot study compared outcomes in LVAD patients using an HR-guided (HR group) versus a standard transthoracic echocardiography-guided (control group) management strategy. Patients were enrolled and randomized 1 to 3 months post-HVAD implantation and followed for 6 months. Twenty-two patients (57±10 years, 73% male) were randomized to the HR group and 19 patients (51±13 years, 63% male) to the control group. HR group patients had double the number of LVAD speed changes (1.68 versus 0.84 changes/patient, P=0.09 with an incidence rate ratio 2.0, 95% CI, 0.9-4.7) with twice the magnitude of rotations per minute changes (130 versus 60 rotations per minute/patient, P=0.004) during the study. The HR group also had 2-fold greater heart failure medication changes (4.32 versus 2.53 changes/patient, P=0.072, incidence rate ratio 1.7 with 95% CI, 0.8-3.5) predominantly because of changes in diuretic dose (40 versus 0 mg/patient, P<0.001). The HR group had numerically but not statistically higher event-free survival (62% versus 46%, P=0.087; hazard ratio, 0.46 with 95% CI, 0.2-1.2), with numerically but not statistically lower events per patient-year ( P=0.084). There were no significant differences in the 6-minute walk or Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire tests at 6 months.

In this randomized pilot study of LVAD patient management we demonstrated the feasibility of standardized HR testing at multiple institutions and that a strategy guided by hemodynamics was associated with more LVAD speed and medication adjustments and a nonsignificant reduction in adverse events. A pivotal study to demonstrate the clinical benefit of HR testing is warranted.

Safety steps for a non-fluoroscopic approach in right-sided electrophysiology procedures: A point of view.

Indian Pacing and Electrophysiology Journal

Electro-anatomic 3D mapping systems enable the fluoroscopy (FL) exposure to be reduced. In right-heart supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) procedures, FL could potentially be avoided. Our aim was to discuss some steps focusing on safety.

The patient cohort comprised 70 consecutive SVT patients who underwent electrophysiologic (EP) catheterization. FL was routinely avoided in all cases (54.2% males, age 57.2 ± 13.3 years): 51 ablations and 19 EP study procedures. The Carto®3 (Biosense Webster) mapping system was used in 17/70 cases (24.3%), and the EnSite Precision™ (Abbott) system in the remaining 53/70 (75.7%). The mean procedure time was 94.1 ± 33.2 min; no FL was used. No major complications occurred. Acute procedural success was achieved in all 51 patients who underwent ablation. Over 3-month follow-up, arrhythmia recurred in 1 patient. There were no significant differences in procedural times between the two mapping systems, except for the time dedicated to the full geometry creation, which was longer for the EnSite Precision™ system: 10 min (8.5-15 IQR) vs 8 min (5-10 IQR) for the Carto® system (p < 0.001) mainly due to the sub-diaphragmatic navigation. The following procedural steps were considered critical in order to safely avoid FL use: "loop" advancing of catheters, the use of a fixed intracardiac reference, His signal landmark centered maps and the careful acquisition of sub-diaphragmatic extracardiac geometry.

A routine zero X-ray approach by means of electro-anatomic 3D mapping systems is safe and effective in right-atrium procedures. Some ad-hoc discussed procedural steps may enhance safety.

Association between antithrombotic treatment and outcomes at 1-year follow-up in patients with atrial fibrillation: the EORP-AF General Long-Term Registry.

European Heart Journal

In recent years, stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) has radically changed, with increasing use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs). Contemporary European data on AF thromboprophylaxis are needed.

We report 1-year follow-up data from the EURObservational Research Programme in Atrial Fibrillation (EORP-AF) General Long-Term Registry. Outcomes were assessed according to antithrombotic therapy. At 1-year follow-up, 9663 (88.0%) patients had available data for analysis: 586 (6.1%) were not treated with any antithrombotic; 681 (7.0%) with antiplatelets only; 4066 (42.1%) with vitamin K antagonist (VKA) only; 3167 (32.8%) with NOACs only; and 1163 (12.0%) with antiplatelet and oral anticoagulant. At 1-year follow-up, there was a low rate of stroke (0.7%) and any thromboembolic event (TE) (1.2%), while haemorrhagic events occurred in 222 patients (2.3%). Cardiovascular (CV) death and all-cause death occurred in 3.9% and 5.2% of patients, respectively. Cumulative survival for all the three main outcomes considered was highest amongst patients treated only with NOACs (P < 0.0001). Multivariable-adjusted Cox regression analysis found that VKA or NOACs use was independently associated with a lower risk for any TE/acute coronary syndrome/CV death, while all treatments were independently associated with a lower risk for CV death and all-cause death.

The 1-year follow-up of EORP-AF General Long-Term Registry reported a low occurrence of thromboembolic and haemorrhagic events, although mortality was high. Both VKA and NOACs were associated with a lower risk of all main adverse outcomes. All treatments were associated with a lower risk for CV death and all-cause death.

ESC e-Cardiology Working Group Position Paper: Overcoming challenges in digital health implementation in cardiovascular medicine.

European Heart Journal

Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite the availability of highly effective treatments, the...

Assessment of ablation catheter contact on valve annulus: Implications on accessory pathway ablation.

Indian Pacing and Electrophysiology Journal

Catheter-tissue contact force is an important factor influencing lesion size and efficacy and thereby potential for arrhythmia recurrence following accessory pathway (AP) radiofrequency ablation. We aim to evaluate adequacy and perception of catheter contact on the tricuspid and mitral annuli.

Data were collected from 42 patients undergoing catheter ablation. Operators were blinded to contact force information and reported perceived contact (poor, moderate, or good) while positioning the catheter at four tricuspid annular sites (12, 9, 6 and 4 o'clock positions; abbreviated as TA12, TA9, TA6 and TA4) and three mitral annular sites (3, 5 and 7 o'clock positions; abbreviated as MA3, MA5 and MA7) through long vascular sheaths.

The highest and lowest mean contact forces were obtained at MA7 (13.3 ± 1.7g) and TA12 (3.6g ± 1.3g) respectively. Mean contact force on tricuspid annulus (6.1g ± 0.9g) was lower than mitral annulus (9.8 ± 0.9g) locations (p = 0.0036), with greater proportion of sites with <10g contact force (81.7% vs 60.4%; p = 0.0075). Perceived contact had no impact on measured mean contact force for both mitral and tricuspid annular positions (p = 0.959 and 0.671 respectively). There was correlation of both impedance and atrial electrogram amplitude with contact force, though insufficient to be clinically applicable.

A high proportion of annular catheter applications have low contact force despite being performed with long vascular sheaths in the hands of experienced operators. In addition, there was no impact of operator perceived contact force on actual measured contact force. This may carry implications for success of AP ablation.

Pathogenic RBM20-Variants Are Associated With a Severe Disease Expression in Male Patients With Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

Circulation. Heart failure

Background As pathogenic variants in the gene for RBM20 appear with a frequency of 6% among Danish patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), it w...

N-Terminal Pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels for Risk Prediction in Patients With Heart Failure and Preserved Ejection Fraction According to Atrial Fibrillation Status.

Circulation. Heart failure

Background NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) is useful in diagnosis and prognostication in heart failure (HF). We examined the ...

Regional Variation in RBM20 Causes a Highly Penetrant Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy.

Circulation. Heart failure

Background Variants in the cardiomyocyte-specific RNA splicing factor RBM20 have been linked to familial cardiomyopathy, but the causative genetic ...

Paced QRS morphology predicts incident left ventricular systolic dysfunction and atrial fibrillation.

Indian Pacing and Electrophysiology Journal

The prognostic significance of paced QRS complex morphology on surface ECG remains unclear. This study aimed to assess long-term outcomes associated with variations in the paced QRS complex.

Adult patients who underwent dual-chamber pacemaker implantation with 20% or more ventricular pacing and a 12-lead ECG showing a paced complex were included. The paced QRS was analyzed in leads I and aVL. Long-term clinical and echocardiographic outcomes were compared at 5 years.

The study included 844 patients (43.1% female; age 75.0 ± 12.1). Patients with a longer paced QRS (pQRS) duration in lead I had a lower rate of atrial fibrillation (HR 0.80; p = 0.03) and higher rate of systolic dysfunction (HR 1.17; p < 0.001). Total pacing complex (TPC) duration was linked to higher rates of ICD implantation (HR 1.18; p = 0.04) and systolic dysfunction (HR 1.22, p < 0.001). Longer paced intrinsicoid deflection (pID) was associated with less atrial fibrillation (HR 0.75; p = 0.01), more systolic dysfunction (HR 1.17; p < 0.001), ICD implantation (HR 1.23; p = 0.04), and CRT upgrade (HR 1.23; p = 0.03). Exceeding thresholds for TPC, pQRS, and pID of 170, 146, and 112 ms in lead I, respectively, was associated with a substantial increase in systolic dysfunction over 5 years (p < 0.001).

Longer durations of all tested parameters in lead I were associated with increased rates of left ventricular systolic dysfunction. ICD implantation and CRT upgrade were also linked to increased TPC and pID durations. Paradoxically, patients with longer pID and pQRS had less incident atrial fibrillation.

Evaluation of early myocardial dysfunction with strain echocardiography in chronic hepatitis B patients.

Echocardiography

It is well known that chronic hepatitis B virus infection (CHBV) can be associated with cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma but it can also be associated with extra-hepatic effects, of which cardiac manifestations are the one of the least known. There is a limited amount of data about myocardial dysfunction in CHBV and insufficient data of strain echocardiography in CHBV. The aim of this study was to detect early myocardial dysfunction in CHBV using strain echocardiography.

This prospective study included 40 CHBV patients without anti-viral treatment, 40 CHBV patients under anti-viral treatment, and 40 healthy volunteers as control group from 2017 October to 2018 May. The patients in all groups were aged 30-60 years, with no co-morbid diseases. Any patients with pathologies that would cause myocardial dysfunction were excluded from the study. All patients were evaluated with transthoracic two-dimensional (2D), tissue Doppler, and strain echocardiography.

The mean age and gender distribution were similar in all groups (P = 0.677). A statistically significant difference was determined between the groups in respect of the global circumferential strain and global longitudinal strain values (P < 0.01). The difference in the mean lateral s' was of statistical significance between the CHBV patients and the control group (P = 0.035). No statistically significant difference was determined in respect of the other echocardiographic parameters.

As it is a chronic necro-inflammatory period, chronic HBV can affect myocardial functions. Traditional echocardiographic parameters may not be useful in the detection of early myocardial dysfunction. The results of this study showed that strain echocardiography may be more valuable in early myocardial dysfunction rather than routine 2D echocardiography in CHBV patients.