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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Differential diagnosis of fetal large ventricular septal defect and tetralogy of Fallot based on big data analysis.


To analyze echocardiographic parameters of fetal large ventricular septal defect (VSD) and tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) in the context of multicenter data and big data analysis because these two diseases are often misdiagnosed in fetuses, and to find the key parameters for the differential diagnosis of these two diseases.

A total of 305 cases of large VSD and 192 cases of TOF diagnosed by fetal echocardiography from August 2010 to July 2016 from the database of Beijing Key Laboratory of Fetal Heart Defects were analyzed. Quantile regression of the 48 echocardiographic parameters of the 6272 normal fetuses from seven Chinese medical institutions was performed to determine the Q-score. The forward selection method and the naive Bayesian classification method were used to analyze the core differential diagnostic variables of fetal TOF and VSD.

The Q-score of the internal diameter of the aorta (AO Q-score), the ratio of the diameter of the pulmonary artery to the internal diameter of the aorta (PA/AO), and the Q-score of the ratio of the diameter of the pulmonary artery to the internal diameter of the aorta (PA/AO Q-score) were key parameters for the differential diagnosis of fetal large VSD and TOF. PA/AO was the primary parameter, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.951.

These findings provide a new method for the prenatal diagnosis of large VSD and TOF and a theoretical basis for the intelligent diagnosis of large VSD and TOF.

Mitral annulus morphometry in degenerative mitral regurgitation phenotypes.


Degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR) is classified into different phenotypes based on the extent of leaflet degeneration. Our aim is to demonstrate that phenotype complexity predicts the extent of structural abnormalities of mitral annulus (MA).

Seventy-five patients with DMR and severe valve regurgitation and 23 patients with normal mitral valve were studied using 3D transesophageal echocardiography. Classification of DMR was done by allocating each 3D echocardiography result under five categories: fibroelastic deficiency (FED), FED+, forme fruste, BD MAD- or BD MAD+. MA was reconstructed in early systole and in end systole. We tested for a trend toward enlargement and flattening of MA in end systole and for a difference in MA dynamics from early systole to end systole with a worsening of DMR phenotype, in the whole spectrum of subjects ranging from controls to BD MAD+. A significant trend was observed toward larger anteroposterior diameter, intercommissural diameter, annulus circumference, and annulus area (P < .001). A reduction was found in annulus height to commissural width ratio (P = .003): This indicates a progressive MA flattening. Prolapse height and prolapse volume tended to be larger (P < .001).

Based on the extent of leaflet degeneration, DMR is classified into different phenotypes. As the disease progresses, a related increase in MA size is found, with rounder annular shape, loss of saddle shape, and increase in height and volume of leaflet prolapse. The most pronounced alterations are found in BD MAD+.

An investigation of the relationship between arterial aortic stiffness and coronary slow flow that was detected during coronary angiography.


Increased intimal thickness in coronary arteries, extensive calcification, and atheromatous plaque that does not cause luminal irregularities in a significant portion of the patients with coronary slow flow (CSF). Arterial stiffness is an indicator for atherosclerosis. We aimed to investigate the relation between coronary slow flow phenomenon (CSFP) and arterial stiffness.

Total of 73 patients were included in the study, and a control group was formed with 64 individuals. Aortic stiffness index β (ASIβ) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) were used as the determinant of arterial stiffness in all analyses.

Pulse wave velocity values were significantly higher in the coronary slow flow group than the control group (P < .001). PWV, aortic stiffness index β (ASIβ) values were found to be significantly higher in the CSF group. ASIβ value was 3.4 ± 1.0 in CSF patients and 2.2 ± 0.6 in the control group (P < .001). Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis showed that PWV predicted coronary slow flow with 97% sensitivity and 90% specificity for 7.15 cutoff value. And aortic stiffness index was found to predict coronary slow flow with 83% sensitivity and 75% specificity for 2.63 cutoff value.

Our findings prove that coronary slow flow phenomenon should be considered a subgroup of coronary artery diseases and that increased PWV is an indicator of CSFP.

Regional right ventricular longitudinal systolic strain for detection of severely impaired right ventricular performance in pulmonary hypertension.


Right ventricular (RV) function is identified as a key determinant of the outcome in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Several studies have assessed the role of peak global longitudinal RV strain in PH patients; however, less emphasis was given to the RV regional longitudinal strain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the regional RV systolic strain in PH patients and investigate the relationship of these parameters with the severity of PH.

RV regional longitudinal peak systolic strain (LPSS) and strain rate (LPSSR) were measured using speckle tracking echocardiography on 100 patients with PH who underwent right heart catheterization, and 29 control subjects. Severe PH was identified by a decreased cardiac index (CI) (<2.0 L/min/m2 ).

LPSS and LPSSR of the RV free wall were significantly lower in PH patients than control subjects, especially when comparing the basal and mid regions (P < .001). When comparing severe PH and nonsevere PH, basal and mid LPSS and LPSSR were significantly lower (P < .001). RV free wall mid LPSSR correlated with CI (r = -.703, P < .001). In the multiple logistic regression analysis, mid LPSSR was identified as an independent predictor of severe PH (odds ratio 1.82; 95% confidential interval 1.39-2.40; P < .001). In the receiver operating characteristics curve analysis, a cutoff value of mid LPSSR of -0.92 s-1 predicted severe PH, with a sensitivity and specificity of 75.0% and 93.7%, respectively (AUC = 0.889, P < .001).

RV free wall mid longitudinal peak systolic strain rate may be useful for the detection of severely impaired RV performance in PH.

Multimodality approach to the diagnosis and management of constrictive pericarditis.


Despite advances in cardiovascular imaging, the diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis remains challenging. A multimodality approach to the diagnos...

Impact of global longitudinal strain on left ventricular remodeling and clinical outcome in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).


Predicting left ventricle (LV) remodeling is important for outcome prediction in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Novel echocardiographic techniques may be beneficial for those patients.

We hypothesized that the semiautomated calculation of baseline global longitudinal strain (GLS) can predict LV remodeling and 6-month clinical outcomes in these patients.

During the period from March to December 2018, 130 patients with successful reperfusion of STEMI were prospectively included. Within 48 hours, patients underwent a baseline GLS study with follow-up study at 6 months. Patients were divided into two groups: group I: patients who showed adverse LV remodeling and group II: patients who did not. The endpoint was a composite of cardiovascular mortality, readmission due to heart failure, and urgent revascularization.

The mean baseline GLS changed from -13.1 ± 3.5% for group I and -16.8 ± 3.1% for group II, to -10.2 ± 4.7% and -12.6 ± 3.1%, respectively, at 6-month follow-up. ROC analysis demonstrated a cutoff value of baseline GLS > -12.5% predicted LV remodeling with 64.5% sensitivity and 89% specificity (AUC 0.797, 95% CI 0.690-0.904). Multivariate logistic regression analysis model using 6-month MACEs occurrence as a dependent factor showed baseline GLS value> -12.5% to be the only significant independent predictor MACEs occurrence (OR 0.704, 95% CI 0.597-0.829, P < .001). Linear regression analysis showed that for every point estimate deterioration of baseline GLS, there was a significant corresponding 2.55 mL increase in LVEDV at 6-month follow-up (CI -4.501 to -0.612, P = .01).

GLS measurement can predict remodeling and adverse clinical events in STEMI patients.

Clinical, hemodynamic, and functional variables affecting success rate of coronary flow velocity reserve detection during vasodilator stress echocardiography.


Stress echocardiography (SE) with state-of-the-art imaging protocol allows a comprehensive assessment of regional wall-motion abnormalities and Doppler-based coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) in left anterior descending artery (LAD). We sought to assess the variables potentially impacting on success rate of SE with CFVR.

In a single-center, prospective, observational study design, from 2007 to 2019, we enrolled 2989 consecutive patients (age 67 ± 12 years; 1723 men) referred for SE, without contrast, for chronic known (n = 1130) or suspected (n = 1859) coronary syndromes. Coronary flow velocity reserve was measured as stress/rest peak diastolic flow velocity. The same operator (LC) performed all examinations with the same machine (GE Vivid 7). Interpretable CFVR was obtained in 2808 patients (feasibility = 93.9%). Overall success rate was lowest (91.4%) in 2007-2008 and steadily rose to 97.8% in 2017-2019 (P for trend <.0001). Feasibility was excellent for men (93.7%) and women (94.3%) (P = .47) across all values of body mass index (BMI): <25 (P = .09), 25-29 (P = .84), and ≥30 (P = .23). At multivariable logistic regression analysis, women with BMI ≥ 30 (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.14-3.29, P = .02), resting heart rate ≥77 beats/min (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.64-3.11; P < .0001), and stress-induced ischemia in the LAD territory (OR 3.14, 95% CI 1.67-5.90; P < .0001) predicted unfeasible CFVR.

Vasodilator SE with CFVR combined with wall-motion analysis is highly feasible also without contrast although with a slight decline in presence of high resting heart rate (reducing diastolic time essential for flow imaging), women with BMI ≥ 30 (increasing tissue thickness interposed between transducer and artery), and anterior ischemia (for underlying low-absent anterograde flow for severely stenotic or occluded LAD).

E/e' in relation to outcomes in ST-elevation myocardial infarction.


Myocardial infarction (MI) is a high-risk condition especially when filling pressure is raised, and earlier reports have suggested that E/e' is associated with poor outcome. However, whether E/e' predicts risk better than LVEF, which is the current standard of practice, is not known. We investigated this question in the largest and most rigorous study of MI patients so far.

We studied 660 patients with ST-elevation MI (STEMI) treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention and related E/e' to short-term mortality (in-hospital death), as well as long-term events at 2 years comprising (a) a composite of MI, stroke, heart failure, and death, and (b) death alone. Short-term models were adjusted for age, sex, and LVEF. Long-term models were adjusted for age, sex, diabetes, revascularization procedure, history of MI, hypertension, renal function, drugs on discharge, and LVEF. Elevated E/e'> 15 indicated higher risk of short-term events (n = 19:7.0% (95% confidence interval 3.4-10.8%) vs. 1.0% (0.3 - 2.3%); adjusted odds ratio 3.7 (1.3-10.5)). While elevated E/e' was also associated with long-term outcomes (n = 103 composite events: 15.9% (11.9% - 21.4%) vs 6.8% (5.2% - 8.7%), P < .001; n = 38 death events: 6.0% (3.9% - 9.5%) vs 2.0% (1.3% - 3.2%), P = .001), E/e' was rendered nonsignificant for long-term outcomes by multivariable adjustment (p = ns for both). LVEF, on the contrary, was a highly significant predictor in the adjusted long-term model.

E/e' is associated with poor outcome in STEMI, but LVEF is a stronger predictor of long-term risk.

Acute type A aortic dissection: Aortic Dissection Detection Risk Score in emergency care - surgical delay because of initial misdiagnosis.

European Heart Journal

Acute type A aortic dissection requires immediate surgical treatment, but the correct diagnosis is often delayed. This study aimed to analyse how initial misdiagnosis affected the time intervals before surgical treatment, symptoms associated with correct or incorrect initial diagnosis and the potential of the Aortic Dissection Detection Risk Score to improve the sensitivity of initial diagnosis.

We conducted a retrospective analysis of 350 patients with acute type A aortic dissection. Patients were divided into two groups: initial misdiagnosis (group 0) and correct initial diagnosis of acute type A aortic dissection (group 1). Symptoms were analysed as predictors for the correct or incorrect initial diagnosis by multivariate analysis. Based on these findings, the Aortic Dissection Detection Risk Score was calculated retrospectively; a result ⩾2 was defined as a positive score.

The early suspicion of aortic dissection significantly shortened the median time from pain to surgical correction from 8.6 h in patients with an initial misdiagnosis to 5.5 h in patients with the correct initial diagnosis (p<0.001). Of all acute type A aortic dissection patients, 49% had a positive Aortic Dissection Detection Risk Score. Of all initial misdiagnosed patients, 41% had a positive score (⩾2). The presence of lumbar pain (p<0.001), any paresis (p=0.037) and sweating (p=0.042) was more likely to lead to the correct initial diagnosis.

An early consideration of acute aortic dissection may reduce the delay of surgical care. The suggested Aortic Dissection Detection Risk Score may be a useful tool to improve the preclinical assessment.

Noninvasive detection of coronary artery stents by transthoracic echocardiography postprocessing subtraction technique.


To explore the feasibility and value of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) postprocessing subtraction technique in the detection of a stent in the coronary artery.

Transthoracic echocardiography was used to examine 46 coronary artery stents in 30 patients by two-dimensional ultrasound postprocessing subtraction technique. The shape of each stent and its flow patency were observed. The patency was assessed according to blood flow and mosaic flow in the stent. Then, the results were compared with those of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) records and coronary angiography (CAG).

Transthoracic echocardiography detected 36 stents among 46 stents (two in the LMCA, 23 in the LAD, seven in the RCA, and two in the LCX); the detection rate was 78.3%. The average length of the stents was 21.8 ± 4.1 mm, and the average diameter was 2.4 ± 0.5 mm; both are shorter than those from PCI records (P < .001). Of the 36 stents, blood flow could be observed in 27. Compared with the results of CAG, TTE had 75% feasibility and 92.6% accuracy in detecting flow patency in the stents.

Transthoracic echocardiography postprocessing subtraction technique could be a noninvasive method for detecting a coronary artery stent and, although the measurements of stent length and diameter were shorter than those of PCI records, an accurate detection of flow patency in the stents was achieved.

Right ventricle assessment in patients with severe aortic stenosis undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation.


Limited data are available regarding the evaluation of right ventricular (RV) performance in patients with aortic stenosis (AS) undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

To evaluate the prevalence of RV dysfunction in patients with severe AS undergoing TAVI and long-term changes.

Consecutive patients with severe AS undergoing TAVI from January 2016 to July 2017 were included. RV anatomical and functional parameters were analyzed: RV diameters, fractional area change, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), S-wave tissue Doppler of the tricuspid annulus (RV-S'TDI), global longitudinal strain (RV-GLS), and free wall strain (RV-FWS). Preprocedure and 1-year echo were analyzed.

Final population included 114 patients, mean age 83.63 ± 6.31 years, and 38.2% women. The prevalence of abnormal RV function was high, variable depending on the parameter that we analyzed, and it showed a significant reduction 1 year after TAVI implantation: 13.9% vs 6.8% (TAPSE < 17mm), P = .04; 26.3% vs 20% (fractional area change < 35%), P = .048; 41.2% vs 29.2% (RV-S'TDI < 9.5cm/s), P = .04; 48.7% vs 39.5% (RV-GLS > [20]), P = .049; and 48.7% vs 28.9% (RV-FWS > [20]), P = .03. Significant differences were noted between patients with low-flow (LF) vs normal-flow (NF) AS in RV dysfunction prevalence as well as in RV function recovery which is less evident in LF compared with NF patients.

RV dysfunction is high among symptomatic AS patients undergoing TAVI, with variable prevalence depending on the echocardiographic parameter used.

Focused cardiac ultrasound training in medical students: Using an independent, simulator-based curriculum to objectively measure skill acquisition and learning curve.


Using simulators built and validated at the University of Washington (UW), the study sought to test whether medical students can learn the basic skills of focused cardiac ultrasound (FoCUS) from an individually paced, simulator-based curriculum, how skills improve, and the rate at which these skills are acquired.

The curriculum presented didactic material interspersed with hands-on practice. Psychomotor skill was measured by the angle error of the acquired image view plane relative to the correct image view plane. The rate of learning was assessed at baseline, after 7 practice cases, and after 10 cases. To assess the rate of learning, the same case was repeatedly presented at all three tests. To assess students' ability to apply their learning, a previously unseen post-test was included.

A total of 41 students completed the course. Average angle error improved from 43° ± 24 pretraining to 23° ± 16 post-training, with most students falling within one SD of the view angle acquired by sonographers. Regarding learning curve, or the rate of skill acquisition, an angle error of 43 ± 24° (pre) changed to 22 ± 14° (interim test, P < .0001 vs. pretest) and remained at that level for the post-test evaluation on both the repeated case (23 ± 16°) and the new case (26 ± 18°).

This study describes the learning curve and technical skill acquisition in FoCUS. A simulator-based curriculum improved medical student's skills in an objective and quantifiable manner. The individually paced curriculum allowed for independent knowledge and skill attainment, without facilitator oversight.