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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Predictors of heart failure and all-cause mortality in asymptomatic patients with moderate and severe aortic regurgitation.


Class I indications for aortic valve replacement (AVR) for severe chronic aortic regurgitation (AR) include AR attributable symptoms or left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction <50%. As noninvasive estimates of elevated LV filling pressures (LVFP's) have been noted to predict heart failure (HF) readmission and all-cause mortality (ACM) in HF patients, we hypothesize that elevated LVFP's may also be independent predictors of HF and ACM in chronic AR.

We developed a single center patient database of moderate or greater AR diagnoses between 2003 and 2008 and followed each patient through January 2013. We included patients with >30 days follow-up with interpretable Doppler-echocardiograms. We recorded demographic variables, EuroScore II, incident HF and ACM, and Doppler-echo variables of LV size, systolic and diastolic function.

Patients with severe AR (105 patients) and moderate AR (201 patients) had similar EuroScore II values and similar incident HF and ACM. For the 180 patients who developed HF, effective arterial elastance (aHR = 1.70 (1.01-2.83), p = .041), LV end-diastolic dimension (aHR = 1.83, (1.11-3.03), p = .0176), E/e' (aHR = 3.04, (1.83-5.05), p < .0001), eccentric hypertrophy (EH) (aHR = 2.39, (1.62-5.12), p = .0004), and tricuspid regurgitation (TR) velocity (aHR = 5.75, (3.70-10.36), p < .0001) were independent predictors. For the 118 patients with ACM, EH (aHR = 1.73, (1.02-3.28), p = .0414), systolic blood pressure (aHR = .58, (.33-.95), p = .0301), left atrial volume index (aHR = 1.82, (1.06-3.06), p = .0293), E/e' (aHR = 1.83, (1.07-3.08), p = .0280), and TR velocity (aHR = 4.14, (2.22-6.49), p < .0001) were independent predictors.

Elevated TR velocity and EH were strong markers of HF and ACM in patients with asymptomatic severe AR and in moderate AR.

Evaluation of the HEFESTOS scale to predict outcomes in emergency department acute heart failure patients.

European Heart Journal

The HEFESTOS scale was developed in 14 Spanish primary care centres and validated in 9 primary care centres of other European countries. It showed ...

Contemporary management of atrial fibrillation in primary and secondary care in the UK: the prospective long-term AF-GEN-UK Registry.

European Heart Journal

This study established a prospective registry of contemporary management of UK patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) by cardiologists, general practitioners, stroke, acute, and emergency medicine physicians at baseline and 1-year follow-up.

Data on patients with recently diagnosed AF (≤12 months) were collected from medical records from 101 UK sites to permit comparison of patient characteristics and treatments between specialities. The impact of guideline-adherent oral anticoagulation (OAC) use on outcomes was assessed using Cox regression analysis. One thousand five hundred and ninety-five AF patients [mean (standard deviation) age 70.5 (11.2) years; 60.1% male; 97.4% white] were recruited on June 2017-June 2018 and followed-up for 1 year. Overall OAC prescription rates were 84.2% at baseline and 87.1% at 1 year, with non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) predominating (74.9 and 79.2% at baseline and 1 year, respectively). Vitamin K antagonist prescription was significantly higher in primary care with NOAC prescription higher among stroke physicians. Guideline-adherent OAC (CHA2DS2-VASc ≥2) at baseline significantly reduced risk of death and stroke at 1 year [adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval): 0.48 (0.27-0.84) and 0.11 (0.02-0.48), respectively]. Rhythm control is evident in ∼25%, only 1.6% received catheter ablation.

High OAC use (>80%, mainly NOACs), rates varied by speciality, with VKA prescription higher in primary care. Guideline-adherent OAC therapy at baseline was associated with significant reduction in death and stroke at 1 year, regardless of speciality. Rhythm-control management is evident in only one-quarter despite AF symptoms reported in 56.6%. This registry extends the knowledge of contemporary AF management outside cardiology and demonstrates good implementation of clinical guidelines for the management of AF, particularly for stroke prevention.

Comparing a knowledge-based 3D reconstruction algorithm to TomTec 3D echocardiogram algorithm in measuring left cardiac chamber volumes in the pediatric population.


Three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) is an emerging method for volumetric cardiac measurements; however, few vendor-neutral analysis packages exist. Ventripoint Medical System Plus (VMS3.0+) proprietary software utilizes a validated Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) database of normal ventricular and atrial morphologies to calculate chamber volumes. This study aimed to compare left ventricular (LV) and atrial (LA) volumes obtained using VMS3.0+ to Tomtec echocardiography analysis software.

Healthy controls (n = 98) aged 0-18 years were prospectively recruited and 3D DICOM datasets focused on the LV and LA acquired. LV and LA volumes and ejection fractions were measured using TomTec Image Arena 3D LV analysis package and using VMS3.0+. Pearson correlation coefficients, Bland-Altman's plots, and intraclass coefficients (ICC) were calculated, along with analysis time.

There was a very good correlation between Ventripoint Medical System (VMS) and Tomtec LV systolic (r2  = .88, ICC .89 [95% CI .81, .94]), and diastolic (r2  = .88, ICC .90 [95% CI .77, .95]) volumes, and between VMS and Tomtec LA diastolic (r2  = .75, ICC .89 [95% CI .81, .93]) and systolic (r2  = .88, ICC .91 [95% CI .78, .96]) volumes on linear regression models. Natural log transformations eliminated heteroscedasticity, and power transformations provided the best fit. The time (mins) to analyze volumes using VMS were less than using Tomtec (LV VMS 2.3 ± .5, Tomtec 3.3 ± .8, p < .001; LA: VMS 1.9 ± .4, Tomtec 3.4 ± 1.0, p < .001).

There was a very good correlation between knowledge-based (VMS3.0+) and 3D (Tomtec) algorithms when measuring 3D echocardiography-derived LA and LV volumes in pediatric patients. VMS was slightly faster than Tomtec in analyzing volumetric measurements.

Transthoracic echocardiography for arrhythmic mitral valve prolapse: Phenotypic characterization as first step.


Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is the most frequent valvulopathy with a prevalence of 1.2%-2.4% in general population and it is characterized by a ben...

Fetal echocardiographic evaluation before and after nifedipine treatment in preterm labor.


To assess the effect of nifedipine used for tocolysis on cardiac morphology and functions.

The study included 47 pregnant women diagnosed with preterm labor at 32-33 weeks. Fetal echocardiographic evaluation was performed with two-dimensional (2D) imaging, M-mode, pulsed wave (PW) Doppler, and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) before and after the 48th hour of nifedipine treatment.

No significant change was observed in Doppler parameters (pulsatility indices of the umbilical artery, middle cerebral artery, ductus venosus) and cardiac morphology (cardiothoracic ratio, end-diastolic longitudinal diameters, sphericity indices, wall thickness) after nifedipine treatment. The parameters obtained with TDI (e', a', s', e'/a', E/e' of mitral and tricuspid valves), M- mode (TAPSE, MAPSE), pulsed Doppler (myocardial performance index, left cardiac output, right cardiac output, tricuspid E, A waves, tricuspid E/A ratio, mitral E, A waves, mitral E/A ratio) did not change after nifedipine treatment.

To date, this is the first study to examine the effects of nifedipine on the fetal heart using the TDI. Since nifedipine is a drug that is frequently used and well-tolerated in the prevention of preterm labor, it is crucial that it does not cause changes in fetal cardiac parameters during tocolysis. Therefore, we used TDI in addition to conventional methods to evaluate the effect of nifedipine, which is frequently used in obstetrics, on cardiac functions in the early period. Nifedipine treatment seems not to affect systolic or diastolic functions. This indicates that nifedipine is reliable on cardiac functions and morphology in pregnancies treated for preterm labor.

Assessment of left ventricular function by spatio-temporal image correlation in fetuses with fetal growth restriction.


To compare the evaluation of left ventricular function by spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC) between fetal growth restriction (FGR) fetuses and normal fetuses.

Forty-two FGR fetuses and 50 normal fetuses with gestational age ranging from 28 to 35 weeks, were chosen for the study group and control group, respectively. The fetal heart was acquired using the STIC modality, beginning with a four-chamber view. A 7.5-12.5 s acquisition time and 20-35°angle of the acquisition were used for the acquisition. The resulting STIC dataset was saved for offline analysis. Ventricular volumes were measured using the Virtual Organ Computer-aided Analysis (VOCAL) mode, where the observer defines the contours of the ventricle and traces the endocardia. Stroke volume (SV) = end diastolic volume (EDV)-end systolic volume (ESV) and ejection fraction (EF) = SV/EDV × 100%. The data of the two groups were analyzed.

(1) SV increased with fetal growth in both groups and was positively correlated with gestational age (p < .01), whereas EF remained constant throughout gestation and had no correlation with gestational age (p > .05). (2) There was no difference found in EF between the two groups, (p > .05), SV was significantly lower in FGR group than those in the normal group (p < .01).

The STIC is a precise method for calculating fetal ventricular volume changes and functions. Reduced SV occurred at the initial stage of fetal deterioration before the discovery of abnormal EF in FGR fetuses, indicating cardiac dysfunction. SV could be a sensitive indicator of cardiac dysfunction. The use of EF to assess fetal cardiac function is not perfect.

High-sensitivity troponin I with or without ultra-sensitive copeptin for the instant rule-out of acute myocardial infarction.

European Heart Journal

The instant, single-sampling rule-out of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is still an unmet clinical need. We aimed at testing and comparing diagnostic performance and prognostic value of two different single-sampling biomarker strategies for the instant rule-out of AMI.

From the Biomarkers in Acute Cardiac Care (BACC) cohort, we recruited consecutive patients with acute chest pain and suspected AMI presenting to the Emergency Department of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. We compared safety, effectiveness and 12-month incidence of the composite endpoint of all-cause death and myocardial infarction between (i) a single-sampling, dual-marker pathway combining high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) and ultra-sensitive copeptin (us-Cop) at presentation (hs-cTnI ≤ 27 ng/L, us-Cop < 10 pmol/L and low-risk ECG) and (ii) a single-sampling pathway based on one-off hs-cTnI determination at presentation (hs-cTnI < 5 ng/L and low-risk ECG). As a comparator, we used the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 0/1-h dual-sampling algorithm.

We enrolled 1,136 patients (male gender 65%) with median age of 64 years (interquartile range, 51-75). Overall, 228 (20%) patients received a final diagnosis of AMI. The two single-sampling instant rule-out pathways yielded similar negative predictive value (NPV): 97.4% (95%CI: 95.4-98.7) and 98.7% (95%CI: 96.9-99.6) for dual-marker and single hs-cTnI algorithms, respectively (P = 0.11). Both strategies were comparably safe as the ESC 0/1-h dual-sampling algorithm and this was consistent across subgroups of early-comers, low-intermediate risk (GRACE-score < 140) and renal dysfunction. Despite a numerically higher rate of false-negative results, the dual-marker strategy ruled-out a slightly but significantly higher percentage of patients compared with single hs-cTnI determination (37.4% versus 32.9%; P < 0.001). There were no significant between-group differences in 12-month composite outcome.

Instant rule-out pathways based on one-off determination of hs-cTnI alone or in combination with us-Cop are comparably safe as the ESC 0/1 h algorithm for the instant rule-out of AMI, yielding similar prognostic information. Instant rule-out strategies are safe alternatives to the ESC 0/1 h algorithm and allow the rapid and effective triage of suspected AMI in patients with low-risk ECG. However, adding copeptin to hs-cTn does not improve the safety of instant rule-out compared with the single rule-out hs-cTn at very low cut-off concentrations.

Short-term outcomes by chronic betablocker treatment in patients presenting to emergency departments with acute heart failure: BB-EAHFE.

European Heart Journal

To evaluate the association between chronic treatment with betablockers (BB) and the severity of decompensation and short-term outcomes of patients with acute heart failure (AHF).

We consecutively included all patients presenting with AHF to 45 Spanish emergency departments (ED) during six different time-periods between 2007 and 2018. Patients were stratified according to whether they were on chronic treatment with BB at the time of ED consultation. Those receiving BB were compared (adjusted odds ratio-OR-with 95% confidence interval-CI-) with those not receiving BB group in terms of in-hospital and 7-day all-cause mortality, need for hospitalization, and prolonged length of stay (≥7 days). Among the 17 923 recruited patients (median age: 80 years; 56% women), 7795 (43%) were on chronic treatment with BB. Based on the MEESSI-AHF risk score, those on BB were at lower risk. In-hospital mortality was observed in 1310 patients (7.4%), 7-day mortality in 765 (4.3%), need for hospitalization in 13 428 (75.0%), and prolonged length of stay (43.3%). After adjustment for confounding, those on chronic BB were at lower risk for in-hospital all-cause mortality (OR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.79-0.92, P < 0.001); 7-day all-cause mortality (OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.70-0.85, P < 0.001); need for hospitalization (OR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.85-0.94, P < 0.001); prolonged length of stay (OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.86-0.94, P < 0.001). A propensity matching approach yielded consistent findings.

In patients presenting to ED with AHF, those on BB had better short-term outcomes than those not receiving BB.

De-frailing intervention for hospitalized cardiovascular patients in the TARGET-EFT randomized clinical trial.

European Heart Journal

Frailty is disproportionately prevalent in cardiovascular disease patients and exacerbated during hospital admissions, heightening the risk for adverse events and functional decline. Using the Essential Frailty Toolset (EFT) to target physical weakness, cognitive impairment, malnourishment, and anemia, we tested a multicomponent intervention to de-frail older adults with acute cardiovascular conditions during their hospital admission.

The TARGET-EFT trial was a single-center randomized clinical trial at the Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Canada. We compared a multicomponent de-frailing intervention with usual clinical care. Intervention group patients received exercise, cognitive stimulation, protein supplementation, and iron replacement, as required. In this study, the primary outcome was frailty, as assessed by the SPPB score (Short Physical Performance Battery) at discharge, and the secondary outcome was the SARC-F score (Strength, Assistance walking, Rising from chair, Climbing, Falls) 30 days later. The analysis consisted of 135 patient (mean age of 79.3 years; 54% female) who survived and completed the frailty assessments.Compared to control patients, intervention group patients had a 1.52-point superior SPPB score and a 0.74-point superior SARC-F score. Subgroup analysis suggested that patients with low left ventricular ejection fraction may have attenuated benefits, and that patients who underwent invasive cardiac procedures had the greatest benefits from the intervention.

We achieved our objective of de-frailing older cardiac inpatients on a short-term basis by improving their physical performance and functioning using a pragmatic multicomponent intervention. This could have positive impacts on their clinical outcomes and ability to maintain independent living in the future.

Remdesivir-induced Bradycardia is not Associated with Worse Outcome in Patients with COVID-19: A Retrospective Analysis.

Cardiovascular Drugs

COVID-19, is primarily a respiratory illness but is known to cause extrapulmonary manifestations, especially on the cardiovascular system. Bradycardia is commonly reported in COVID-19 patients despite no prior history of occurrence, and many studies have shown an association with increased mortality. Multiple case reports have been published showcasing remdesivir potentially causing bradycardia. Our aim was to investigate the incidence of bradycardia in patients receiving remdesivir and examine the association with disease severity and survival outcomes.

A retrospective study was performed including 160 COVID-19 patients receiving remdesivir for 5 days. Patients' demographics, comorbidities, medication, vital signs, laboratory tests and outcome were recorded. Bradycardia was defined as a heart rate < 60 beats/min and severe bradycardia < 50 beats/min.

One hundred eighteen (73.8%) patients experienced at least one episode of bradycardia during hospitalisation. Bradycardia was present in 12 (7.5%) patients before treatment with remdesivir. The rate of bradycardia increased up to the 6th day of hospitalisation (40.6%) and subsequently diminished and normalised within 5 days after the last remdesivir dose (5% at Day 10). Severe bradycardia was observed in 13 (7.5%) patients. No difference was observed in ICU admission between groups (bradycardia vs no bradycardia). When we stratified patients according to the outcome of hospitalisation, no significant difference was observed in the occurrence of bradycardia between groups (alive vs dead) [p = 0.853].

Treatment with remdesivir may be associated with new-onset bradycardia in hospitalised patients with COVID-19. However, bradycardia is transient and is not associated with ICU admission and mortality.

Angiographic outcome in patients treated with deferred stenting after ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction-results from DANAMI-3-DEFER.

European Heart Journal: Acute Cardio Care

Stent implantation during primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) occasionally results in flow disturbances and distal embolization, which may cause adverse clinical outcomes. Deferred stent implantation seems to reduce the impairment on myocardial function, although the mechanisms have not been clarified. We sought to evaluate whether deferred stenting could reduce flow disturbance in patients treated with primary PCI.

Patients with STEMI included in the DANAMI-3-DEFER trial were randomized to deferred versus immediate stent implantation. The primary and secondary outcomes of this substudy were the incidences of slow/no reflow and distal embolization. A total of 1205 patients were included. Deferred stenting (n = 594) resulted in lower incidences of distal embolization [odds ratio (OR) 0.67, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.46-0.98, P = 0.040] and slow/no reflow (OR 0.60, 95%CI 0.37-0.97, P = 0.039). In high-risk subgroups, the protective effect was greatest in patients >65 years of age (slow/no reflow: OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.17-0.72, P = 0.004 and distal embolization: OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.18-0.63, P = 0.001), in patients presenting with occluded culprit artery at admission (slow/no reflow: OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.16-0.65, P = 0.001 and distal embolization: OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.31-0.96, P = 0.036) and in patients with thrombus grade >3 (slow/no reflow: OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.20-0.67, P = 0.001 and distal embolization: OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.24-0.64, P < 0.001) with a significant P for interaction for all.

Deferred stent implantation reduces the incidences of slow/no reflow and distal embolization, especially in older patients and in those with total coronary occlusion or high level of thrombus burden.