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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Targeted temperature management after out of hospital cardiac arrest: quo vadis?

European Heart Journal

Targeted temperature management (TTM) has become a cornerstone in the treatment of comatose post-cardiac arrest patients over the last two decades....

Benefits and Risks Associated with Low-Dose Aspirin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Control Trials and Trial Sequential Analysis.

Cardiovascular Drugs

The role of aspirin in cardiovascular primary prevention remains controversial. Moreover, evidence for the potential benefits of aspirin in patients with high cardiovascular risk remains limited.

The aim of this study was to explore the role of low-dose aspirin in primary prevention.

The PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were searched for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) from the date of inception to August 2021. The efficacy outcomes were major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), myocardial infarction (MI), ischemic stroke (IS), all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular mortality, whereas safety outcomes were major bleeding, intracranial hemorrhage, and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Subgroup analyses were based on different cardiovascular risks and diabetes statuses. Pooled risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the fixed- and random-effects models, and trial sequential analysis (TSA) was conducted to determine the robustness of the results.

A total of 10 RCTs fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The use of aspirin was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of MACE (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.84-0.93), MI (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.78-0.95), and IS (RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.76-0.93); however, aspirin also increased the risk of safety outcomes, i.e. major bleeding (RR 1.42, 95% CI 1.26-1.60), intracranial hemorrhage (RR 1.33, 95% CI 1.11-1.59), and GI bleeding (RR 1.91, 95% CI 1.44-2.54). Subgroup analyses revealed that in the absence of a statistically significant interaction, a trend toward a net benefit of lower incidence of cardiovascular events (number needed to treat of MACE: high risk: 682 vs. low risk: 2191) and lesser risk of bleeding events (number needed to harm of major bleeding: high risk: 983 vs. low risk: 819) was seen in the subgroup of high cardiovascular risk. Meanwhile, the greater MACE reduction was also detected in the high-risk group of diabetes or nondiabetes patients. Furthermore, a post hoc subgroup analysis indicated a significant rate reduction in patients aged ≤ 70 years but not in patients aged > 70 years. TSA confirmed the benefit of aspirin for MACE up to a relative risk reduction of 10%.

The current study demonstrated that the cardiovascular benefits of low-dose aspirin were equally balanced by major bleeding events. In addition, the potential beneficial effects might be seen in the population ≤ 70 years of age with high cardiovascular risk and no increased risk of bleeding.

The effects of catheter ablation of outflow tract premature ventricular complexes on atrial electromechanical delay.

Echocardiography

Consistent data from several studies have shown that catheter ablation of frequent premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) results in substantial improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), left ventricular diastolic function, and left atrial volume and mechanics. However, the effects of catheter ablation of PVCs on atrial electromechanical properties have not been documented yet.

In the present study, we investigated the short-term effects of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) of outflow tract PVCs on atrial electromechanical delay (EMD).

A total of 71 subjects with idiopathic outflow tract PVCs who underwent RFCA were included. Interatrial and intra-atrial EMDs were measured by tissue Doppler imaging before and 3 months after catheter ablation.

The study population was divided into normal ejection fraction (EF) and low-EF subgroups according to their LVEF. In all study groups, substantial improvement was found in lateral electromechanical coupling time (PA), septal PA, right ventricular PA, interatrial EMD, left-sided intra-atrial EMD, and right-sided intra-atrial EMD. No treatment heterogeneity was observed when comparing low-EF and normal-EF subgroups with respect to atrial EMDs (interatrial EMD, interaction p = .29; left-sided intra-atrial EMD, interaction p = .13; right-sided intra-atrial EMD, interaction p = .88).

RFCA of outflow tract PVC has a favorable early effect on intra- and inter-atrial EMDs irrespective of preprocedural LVEF.

Defects in the Proteome and Metabolome in Human Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Circulation. Heart failure

Defects in energetics are thought to be central to the pathophysiology of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM); yet, the determinants of ATP availability are not known. The purpose of this study is to ascertain the nature and extent of metabolic reprogramming in human HCM, and its potential impact on contractile function.

We conducted proteomic and targeted, quantitative metabolomic analyses on heart tissue from patients with HCM and from nonfailing control human hearts.

In the proteomic analysis, the greatest differences observed in HCM samples compared with controls were increased abundances of extracellular matrix and intermediate filament proteins and decreased abundances of muscle creatine kinase and mitochondrial proteins involved in fatty acid oxidation. These differences in protein abundance were coupled with marked reductions in acyl carnitines, byproducts of fatty acid oxidation, in HCM samples. Conversely, the ketone body 3-hydroxybutyrate, branched chain amino acids, and their breakdown products, were all significantly increased in HCM hearts. ATP content, phosphocreatine, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and its phosphate derivatives, NADP and NADPH, and acetyl CoA were also severely reduced in HCM compared with control hearts. Functional assays performed on human skinned myocardial fibers demonstrated that the magnitude of observed reduction in ATP content in the HCM samples would be expected to decrease the rate of cross-bridge detachment. Moreover, left atrial size, an indicator of diastolic compliance, was inversely correlated with ATP content in hearts from patients with HCM.

HCM hearts display profound deficits in nucleotide availability with markedly reduced capacity for fatty acid oxidation and increases in ketone bodies and branched chain amino acids. These results have important therapeutic implications for the future design of metabolic modulators to treat HCM.

Eligibility of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation on in-hospital cardiac arrests in Sweden: a national registry study.

European Heart Journal

Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) for refractory cardiac arrest (CA) is used in selected cases. The incidence of ECPR-eligible patients is not known. The aim of this study was to identify the ECPR-eligible patients among in-hospital CAs (IHCA) in Sweden and to estimate the potential gain in survival and neurological outcome, if ECPR was to be used.

Data between 1 January 2015 and 30 August 2019 were extracted from the Swedish Cardiac Arrest Register (SCAR). Two arbitrary groups were defined, based on restrictive or liberal inclusion criteria. In both groups, logistic regression was used to determine survival and cerebral performance category (CPC) for conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cCPR). When ECPR was assumed to be possible, it was considered equivalent to return of spontaneous circulation, and the previous logistic regression model was applied to define outcome for comparison of conventional CPR and ECPR. The assumption in the model was a minimum of 15 min of refractory CA and 5 min of cannulation. A total of 9209 witnessed IHCA was extracted from SCAR. Depending on strictness of inclusion, an average of 32-64 patients/year remains in refractory after 20 min of cCPR, theoretically eligible for ECPR. If optimal conditions for ECPR are assumed and potential negative side effects disregarded of, the estimated potential benefit of survival of ECPR in Sweden would be 10-19 (0.09-0.19/100 000) patients/year, when a 30% success rate is expected. The benefit of ECPR on survival and CPC scoring was found to be detrimental over time and minimal at 60 min of cCPR.

The number of ECPR-eligible patients among IHCA in Sweden is dependent on selection criteria and predicted to be low. There is an estimated potential benefit of ECPR, on survival and neurological outcome if initiated within 60 min of the IHCA.

Grading mitral regurgitation using 4D flow CMR: Comparison to transthoracic echocardiography.

Echocardiography

To determine the 4D Flow Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR) thresholds that achieve the best agreement with transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) for grading mitral regurgitation (MR).

We conducted a single-center prospective study of patients evaluated for chronic primary MR in 2016-2020. MR was evaluated blindly by TTE and 4D Flow CMR, respectively by two cardiologists and two radiologists with decades of experience. MR was graded with both methods as mild, moderate, or severe. 4D Flow CMR measurements included MR regurgitant volume per beat (RV) and mitral anterograde flow per beat (MF). RF was obtained as the ratio RV/MF. Additionally, MF was compared to left ventricular stroke volume (LVSV) by cine-CMR.

We included 33 patients in the initial cohort and 33 in the validation cohort. Inter-observer agreement was excellent for 4D Flow CMR ICC = .94 (95% CI, .86-.97, p < 0.0001). Using recommended TTE thresholds (30 ml, 60 ml, 30%, 50%), agreement was moderate for RV and RF. The best agreement between 4D Flow CMR and TTE was obtained with CMR thresholds of 20 and 40 ml for RV (κ = .93; 95% CI, .8-1) and 20% and 37% for RF (κ = .90; 95% CI, .7-.9). In the validation cohort, agreement between TTE and 4D Flow CMR was good with the optimal thresholds (κ = .78; 95% CI, .61-.94).

We propose CMR thresholds that provide a good agreement between TTE and CMR for grading MR. Further studies are needed to fully validate 4D-Flow CMR accuracy for primary MR quantification.

Effect of glutamate infusion on NT-proBNP after coronary artery bypass grafting in high-risk patients (GLUTAMICS II): A randomized controlled trial.

European Heart Journal

ClinicalTrials.gov https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02592824. European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials Database (Eudra CT number 2011-006241-15).

A prospective, randomized, double-blind study enrolled patients from November 15, 2015 to September 30, 2020, with a 30-day follow-up at 4 academic cardiac surgery centers in Sweden. Patients underwent CABG ± valve procedure and had left ventricular ejection fraction ≤0.30 or EuroSCORE II ≥3.0. Intravenous infusion of 0.125 M L-glutamic acid or saline at 1.65 mL/kg/h started 10 to 20 minutes before releasing the aortic cross-clamp, then continued for another 150 minutes. Patients, staff, and investigators were blinded to the treatment. The primary endpoint was the difference between preoperative and day-3 postoperative NT-proBNP levels. Analysis was intention to treat. We studied 303 patients (age 74 ± 7 years; females 26%, diabetes 47%), 148 receiving glutamate group and 155 controls. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint associated with glutamate administration (5,390 ± 5,396 ng/L versus 6,452 ± 5,215 ng/L; p = 0.086). One patient died ≤30 days in the glutamate group compared to 6 controls (0.7% versus 3.9%; p = 0.12). No adverse events linked to glutamate were observed. A significant interaction between glutamate and diabetes was found (p = 0.03). Among patients without diabetes the primary endpoint (mean 4,503 ± 4,846 ng/L versus 6,824 ± 5,671 ng/L; p = 0.007), and the incidence of acute kidney injury (11% versus 29%; p = 0.005) was reduced in the glutamate group. These associations remained significant after adjusting for differences in baseline data. The main limitations of the study are: (i) it relies on a surrogate marker for heart failure; and (ii) the proportion of patients with diabetes had almost doubled compared to the cohort used for the sample size estimation.

Infusion of glutamate did not significantly reduce postoperative rises of NT-proBNP. Diverging results in patients with and without diabetes agree with previous observations and suggest that the concept of enhancing postischemic myocardial recovery with glutamate merits further evaluation.

Impact of Age on Outcomes after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.

European Heart Journal

Usage of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for treatment of severe aortic stenosis is increasing across age groups. However, literature on age-specific TAVI outcomes is lacking. The purpose of this study is to assess the risks of procedural complications, mortality, and readmission in patients undergoing TAVI across different age groups.

The Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) was used to identify 84,017 patients undergoing TAVI from 2016-2018. Patients were stratified into four age groups: younger than 70, 70 to 79, 80 to 89, and older than 90. Complications, mortality, and readmission rates were compared between groups in a proportional hazards regression model. Risk of post-procedural stroke, acute kidney injury, and pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation increased with incremental age grouping. Compared to patients younger than 70, patients aged 70 to 79 had no significant difference in mortality, whereas patients aged 80 to 89 and older than 90 had an increased mortality risk (odds ratio (OR) 1.39; CI 1.14-1.70; p = .001, and OR 1.68; CI 1.33-2.12; p < .001, respectively). Patients aged 80 to 89 and older than 90 had increased overall readmission as compared to patients younger than 70 (HR 1.09; CI 1.03-1.14; p = 0.001 and HR 1.33; CI 1.25-1.41; p < .001, respectively). Cardiac readmissions followed the same trend.

Patients aged 80 to 89 and greater than 90 undergoing TAVI have increased risk of readmission, complications, and mortality compared to patients younger than 70.

Response to acute vasodilator challenge and haemodynamic modifications after MitraClip in patients with functional mitral regurgitation and pulmonary hypertension.

European Heart Journal

The effectiveness of transcatheter edge-to-edge repair (TEER) in patients with functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) and pulmonary hypertension (PH...

Prognostic value of two-dimensional strain in early ischemic heart disease: A 5-year follow-up study.

Echocardiography

Two-dimensional strain echocardiography (2D-SE) is a reliable method for measuring deformation of the left ventricle.

Aim of the study was to determine changes in 2D-SE parameters over time collected during dipyridamole stress echo-cardiography (dipy-stress) and prognosis of patients with non-diagnostic dipy-stress results.

In the first phase of the study, assessment of a prospective enrolled population with a non-diagnostic dipy-stress test result was conducted, checking through coronary CT angiography (CCTA) the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD). In the follow-up phase, an echocardiographic re-evaluation and outcome analysis during a mean follow-up of 78 months was carried out.

In the first phase, Global Circumferential Strain (GCS) values were similar in the CCTA positive and CCTA negative groups at rest and after stress. For Global Longitudinal Strain (GLS), there was a significant reduction (p < .0001) in the CCTA positive group compared to the CCTA negative group. After 78 ± 9 months none of the enrolled patients experimented cardiac events. Values of GCS, both at rest and after stress, did not differ statistically comparing follow-up values with baseline ones. No statistically significant changes were seen in the same analysis for GLS rest and stress values, between baseline and follow-up in the two groups.

Performing 2D-SE during dipy-stress can detect mild CAD that conventional stress-tests miss. Patients with mild coronary stenosis may have a favorable mid-term prognosis, but efforts should be made to investigate the decrease trend in GLS, at rest and after stress, reported in this patient group.

A case of early thrombosis following a percutaneous tricuspid valve in valve implantation managed by thrombolysis.

Echocardiography

Bioprosthetic valve thrombosis (BPVT) is a growing recognized entity, especially with the increasing use of the valve in vale procedures and the ad...

Association between β-blocker dose and quality of life after myocardial infarction: a real-world Swedish register-linked study.

European Heart Journal

β-blockers are routinely administered to patients following myocardial infarction (MI), yet their potential effect on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is not entirely understood. We investigated the relationship between two different doses of β-blockers with HRQoL following MI.

This nationwide observational study used Swedish national registries to collate sociodemographic, clinical, medication, and HRQoL {the latter operationalized using EuroQol [European Quality of Life Five Dimensions Questionnaire (EQ-5D)]}. Estimates at 6-10 weeks and 12-14 months post-MI follow-up from pooled linear and logistic models were calculated after multiple imputation. We identified 35 612 patients with first-time MI, discharged with β-blockers, and enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation between 2006 and 2015. Upon discharge, patients were either dispensed <50% [24 082 (67.6%)] or ≥50% [11 530 (32.4%)] of the target dosage, as defined in previous trials. After adjusting for pre-defined covariates, neither the EQ-5D Index nor the Emotional Distress items were statistically different between groups. The EQ-VAS score was significantly lower in patients treated with ≥50% target β-blocker dose than those treated with <50% of the target dose [-0.87 [-1.23, -0.46], P < .001]. Results were similar at the 12-month follow-up and across sub-groups separated by sex and age.

No difference in HRQoL was found among patients taking <50% vs. ≥50% of the target β-blocker dose, except for the EQ-VAS in which higher scores were reported in those taking a lower dose. The clinical meaningfulness of this statistical significance is likely low.