The latest medical research on Heart Failure

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The association of the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score at intensive care unit discharge with intensive care unit readmission in the cardiac intensive care unit.

European Heart Journal

Unplanned intensive care unit (ICU) readmissions contribute to increased morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. The severity of patient illness at ICU discharge may predict early ICU readmission. Thus, in this study, we investigated the association of cardiac ICU (CICU) discharge Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score with unplanned CICU readmission in patients admitted to the CICU.

We retrospectively reviewed the hospital medical records of 4659 patients who were admitted to the CICU from 2012 to 18. Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores at CICU admission and discharge were obtained. The predictive performance of organ failure scoring was evaluated by using area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves. The primary outcome was unplanned CICU readmission. Of the 3949 patients successfully discharged from the CICU, 184 (4.7%) had an unplanned CICU readmission or they experienced a deteriorated condition but died without being readmitted to the CICU (readmission group). The readmission group had significantly higher rates of organ failure in all organ systems at both CICU admission and discharge than the non-readmission group. The AUROC of the discharge SOFA score for CICU readmission was 0.731, showing good predictive performance. The AUROC of the discharge SOFA score was significantly greater than that of either the initial SOFA score (P = 0.020) or the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score (P < 0.001). In the multivariable regression analysis, SOFA score, overweight or obese status, history of heart failure, and acute heart failure as reasons for ICU admission were independent predictors of unplanned ICU readmission during the same hospital stay.

The discharge SOFA score may identify patients at a higher risk of unplanned CICU readmission, enabling targeted interventions to reduce readmission rates and improve patient outcomes.

In-hospital Prognosis of Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction in Patients with Recent Recreational Drug use.

European Heart Journal


From April 7 to 22, 2021, recreational drug use was detected prospectively by a systematic urine multidrug test in all consecutive patients admitted for STEMI in 39 ICCUs across France. The primary endpoint was major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) defined by death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, or cardiogenic shock.

Among the 325 patients (age 62 ± 13 years, 79% men), 41 (12.6%) had a positive multidrug test (cannabis: 11.1%, opioids: 4.6%, cocaine: 1.2%, 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine: 0.6%). Prevalence increased to 34.0% in patients under 50 years of age. Recreational drug users were more frequently men (93% vs. 77%, p = 0.02), younger (50 ± 12 years vs. 63 ± 13 years, p < 0.001), and more active smokers (78% vs. 34%, p < 0.001). During hospitalization, 17 MACEs occurred (5.2%), including 6 deaths (1.8%), 10 cardiogenic shocks (3.1%), and 7 resuscitated cardiac arrests (2.2%). MACEs (17.1% vs. 3.5%, p < 0.001) and ventricular arrhythmia (9.8% vs. 1.4%, p = 0.01) were more frequent in recreational drug users. Use of recreational drugs was associated with more MACEs after adjustment for comorbidities (OR = 13.1; 95%CI: 3.4-54.6).

In patients with STEMI, recreational drug use is prevalent, especially in patients under 50 years of age, and is independently associated with an increase of MACEs with more ventricular arrhythmia.

Racial Differences in Donor-Derived Cell-Free DNA and Mitochondrial DNA After Heart Transplantation, on Behalf of the GRAfT Investigators.

Circulation. Heart failure

Black heart transplant patients are at higher risk of acute rejection (AR) and death than White patients. We hypothesized that this risk may be associated with higher levels of donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) and cell-free mitochondrial DNA.

The Genomic Research Alliance for Transplantation is a multicenter, prospective, longitudinal cohort study. Sequencing was used to quantitate dd-cfDNA and polymerase chain reaction to quantitate cell-free mitochondrial DNA in plasma. AR was defined as ≥2R cellular rejection or ≥1 antibody-mediated rejection. The primary composite outcome was AR, graft dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction <50% and decrease by ≥10%), or death.

We included 148 patients (65 Black patients and 83 White patients), median age was 56 years and 30% female sex. The incidence of AR was higher in Black patients compared with White patients (43% versus 19%; P=0.002). Antibody-mediated rejection occurred predominantly in Black patients with a prevalence of 20% versus 2% (P<0.001). After transplant, Black patients had higher levels of dd-cfDNA, 0.09% (interquartile range, 0.001-0.30) compared with White patients, 0.05% (interquartile range, 0.001-0.23; P=0.003). Beyond 6 months, Black patients showed a persistent rise in dd-cfDNA with higher levels compared with White patients. Cell-free mitochondrial DNA was higher in Black patients (185 788 copies/mL; interquartile range, 101 252-422 133) compared with White patients (133 841 copies/mL; interquartile range, 75 346-337 990; P<0.001). The primary composite outcome occurred in 43% and 55% of Black patients at 1 and 2 years, compared with 23% and 27% in White patients, P<0.001. In a multivariable model, Black patient race (hazard ratio, 2.61 [95% CI, 1.35-5.04]; P=0.004) and %dd-cfDNA (hazard ratio, 1.15 [95% CI, 1.03-1.28]; P=0.010) were associated with the primary composite outcome.

Elevated dd-cfDNA and cell-free mitochondrial DNA after heart transplant may mechanistically be implicated in the higher incidence of AR and worse clinical outcomes in Black transplant recipients.

URL:; Unique identifier: NCT02423070.

The outcomes of patients with septic shock treated with propafenone compared to amiodarone for supraventricular arrhythmias are related to end-systolic left atrial volume.

European Heart Journal Identifier: NCT03029169, registered on 24th of January 2017.

Patients with SVA and a left ventricular ejection fraction ≥35% were randomized to receive intravenous propafenone (70mg bolus followed by 400-840mg/24h) or amiodarone (300mg bolus followed by 600-1800mg/24h). They were divided into groups based on whether their end-systolic left atrial volume (LAVI) was ≥40 ml/m². The subgroup outcomes assessed were survival at ICU discharge, 1-month, 3-months, 6-months, and 12-months.

Propafenone cardioverted earlier (p=0.009) and with fewer recurrences (p=0.001) in the patients without LA enlargement (n=133). Patients with LAVI˂40ml/m2 demonstrated a mortality benefit of propafenone over the follow up of 1-year (Cox regression, HR 0.6 (95% CI 0.4; 0.9), p=0.014). Patients with dilated LA (n=37) achieved rhythm control earlier in amiodarone (p=0.05) with similar rates of recurrences (p=0.5) compared to propafenone. The outcomes for patients with LAVI≥40 ml/m2 were less favourable with propafenone compared to amiodarone at 1-month (HR 3.6 (95% CI 1.03; 12.5), p=0.045) however, it did not reach statistical significance at 1 year (HR 1.9 (95% CI 0.8; 4.4), p=0.138).

Patients with non-dilated LA who achieved rhythm control with propafenone in the setting of septic shock had better short-term and long-term outcomes than those treated with amiodarone, which seemed to be more effective in patients with LAVI≥40 ml/m².

Rate of cardiovascular events up to 8 years after uncomplicated myocarditis: A nationwide cohort study.

European Heart Journal

While prognosis of acute myocarditis with uncomplicated presentation is perceived as benign, data on long-term outcomes is scarce. We evaluated rates of myocarditis-associated cardiovascular events after a first-time hospitalization with uncomplicated acute myocarditis in patients without known heart disease.

In this retrospective nationwide population-based cohort study from 2013 to 2020, hospitalized patients with uncomplicated acute myocarditis but without known heart disease were 1:1 propensity score-matched with surgical controls hospitalized for laparoscopic appendectomy. As assessed in time-to-event analyses, the primary outcome was a composite of rehospitalization for myocarditis, pericardial disease, heart failure and its complications, arrhythmias, implantation of cardiac devices, and heart transplant.

After matching, we identified 1,439 patients with uncomplicated acute myocarditis (median age of 35 years, 74.0% male) and 1,439 surgical controls (median age of 36 years, 74.4% male). Over a median follow-up of 39 months, compared with surgical controls, the hazard ratio (HR) for the primary composite outcome was 42.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.4 to 102.8), corresponding to an incidence rate (IR) of 43.7 vs. 0.9 per 1,000 patient-years (py) and an incidence rate difference (IRD) of 42.7 (95% CI, 36.7 to 48.8) per 1,000 py.

Patients hospitalized with uncomplicated acute myocarditis and no known prior heart disease were associated with substantial risk for cardiovascular events over a follow-up of up to 8 years. This calls for a more efficient therapeutic management of this population of patients.

Failing to Make the Grade: Conventional Cardiac Allograft Rejection Grading Criteria Are Inadequate for Predicting Rejection Severity.

Circulation. Heart failure

Cardiac allograft rejection is the leading cause of early graft failure and is a major focus of postheart transplant patient care. While histological grading of endomyocardial biopsy samples remains the diagnostic standard for acute rejection, this standard has limited diagnostic accuracy. Discordance between biopsy rejection grade and patient clinical trajectory frequently leads to both overtreatment of indolent processes and delayed treatment of aggressive ones, spurring the need to investigate the adequacy of the current histological criteria for assessing clinically important rejection outcomes.

N=2900 endomyocardial biopsy images were assigned a rejection grade label (high versus low grade) and a clinical trajectory label (evident versus silent rejection). Using an image analysis approach, n=370 quantitative morphology features describing the lymphocytes and stroma were extracted from each slide. Two models were constructed to compare the subset of features associated with rejection grades versus those associated with clinical trajectories. A proof-of-principle machine learning pipeline-the cardiac allograft rejection evaluator-was then developed to test the feasibility of identifying the clinical severity of a rejection event.

The histopathologic findings associated with conventional rejection grades differ substantially from those associated with clinically evident allograft injury. Quantitative assessment of a small set of well-defined morphological features can be leveraged to more accurately reflect the severity of rejection compared with that achieved by the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation grades.

Conventional endomyocardial samples contain morphological information that enables accurate identification of clinically evident rejection events, and this information is incompletely captured by the current, guideline-endorsed, rejection grading criteria.

Sex and Age Differences in the Association Between Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Fatty Liver Disease and Heart Failure: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Circulation. Heart failure

Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is a risk factor for heart failure (HF) occurrence, but it remains unclear whether the association between MAFLD and HF differs in different sexes and ages.

A total of 96 576 participants of Kailuan Study were included. MAFLD was defined as presence of hepatic steatosis and metabolic dysfunction and classified as mild and significant by ultrasound. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated by Cox regression models.

After a median follow-up of 14.0 years, 2939 participants developed HF. Adjusting for confounding factors, mild-MAFLD (HR, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.16-1.39]) and significant-MAFLD (HR, 1.45 [95% CI, 1.31-1.63]) were associated with a higher risk of HF in all participants, and the risk differed by sex (Pinteraction<0.05) and age (Pinteraction<0.001). Compared with non-MAFLD participants, in women, significant-MAFLD was associated with an 84% (HR, 1.84 [95% CI, 1.43-2.37]) increased risk of HF; however, in men, the risk was 36% (HR, 1.36 [95% CI, 1.20-1.53]). In participants under 45 years, mild-MAFLD and significant-MAFLD had a 55% (HR, 1.55 [95% CI, 1.07-2.25]) and 172% (HR, 2.72 [95% CI, 1.87-3.97]) increased risk of HF; however, in participants over 65 years, even significant-MAFLD did not associate with a higher risk of HF (HR, 1.11 [95% CI, 0.92-1.34]). Afterwards, we stratified all participants by both sex and age and found that the risk of MAFLD-associated HF decreased with age in men (Pinteraction<0.05) and women (Pinteraction<0.05), but the sex difference in this risk was only present in participants younger than 45 years (Pinteraction<0.05).

MAFLD greatly increased the risk of HF in women, especially young women. With increasing age, MAFLD-related risk of HF decreased and the difference between men and women disappeared.

Nutritional support in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

European Heart Journal

Optimal care of critically ill patients in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) includes adequate nutritional support. This review highlights the...

Periprocedural Myocardial Infarction and Injury.

European Heart Journal

Periprocedural myocardial infarction (PMI) and injury, pertinent to both cardiac and non-cardiac procedures, have gained increasing recognition in ...

Enhancing the Prediction of Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy Using Intravascular Ultrasound and Machine Learning: A Proof of Concept.

Circulation. Heart failure

Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is the leading cause of late graft dysfunction in heart transplantation. Building on previous unsupervised learning models, we sought to identify CAV clusters using serial maximal intimal thickness and baseline clinical risk factors to predict the development of early CAV.

This is a single-center retrospective study including adult heart transplantation recipients. A latent class mixed-effects model was used to identify patient clusters with similar trajectories of maximal intimal thickness posttransplant and pretransplant covariates associated with each cluster.

Among 186 heart transplantation recipients, we identified 4 patient phenotypes: very low, low, moderate, and high risk. The 5-year risk (95% CI) of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation-defined CAV in the high, moderate, low, and very low risk groups was 49.1% (35.2%-68.5%), 23.4% (13.3%-41.2%), 5.0% (1.3%-19.6%), and 0%, respectively. Only patients in the moderate to high risk cluster developed the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation CAV 2-3 at 5 years (P=0.02). Of the 4 groups, the low risk group had significantly younger female recipients, shorter ischemic time, and younger female donors compared with the high risk group.

We identified 4 clusters characterized by distinct maximal intimal thickness trajectories. These clusters were shown to discriminate against the development of angiographic CAV. This approach allows for the personalization of surveillance and CAV-directed treatment before the development of angiographically apparent disease.

The Association of Off-Hour vs. On-Hour ICU Admission Time with Mortality in Patients with Cardiogenic Shock - a Retrospective Multicenter Analysis.

European Heart Journal

Studies have shown a so-called off-hour effect for many different diseases, but data are scarce concerning cardiogenic shock. We therefore assessed the association of off-hour vs. on-hour intensive care unit (ICU) admission with 30-day mortality in patients with cardiogenic shock.

In total, 1720 cardiogenic shock patients (666 admitted during off-hours) from two large university hospitals in Germany were included in retrospect.

An admission during off-hours was associated with an increased 30-day mortality compared to an admission during on-hours (crude mortality 48% vs. 41%, HR 1.17 (1.03-1.33), p = 0.017). This effect remained significant after propensity score matching (p = 0.023). Neither patients with a combined SCAI stage D and E (p = 0.088) or C (p = 0.548) nor those requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (p = 0.114) had a higher mortality at off-hour admission. In contrast, those without veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) (HR 1.17 (1.00-1.36), p = 0.049), without acute myocardial infarction (HR 1.27 (1.02-1.56), p = 0.029) or a with combined SCAI stage A and B (HR 2.23 (1.08-4.57), p = 0.025) had an increased mortality at off-hour admission.

Our study showed an increased mortality in patients with cardiogenic shock admitted during off-hours especially in those with a milder onset of disease. This stresses the importance of a thorough workup of each patient especially at times of limited resources, the menace of underestimating the severity of cardiogenic shock and the need for an improved twenty-four seven available risk stratification.

Waitlist Outcomes in Candidates With Rare Causes of Heart Failure After Implementation of the 2018 French Heart Allocation Scheme.

Circulation. Heart failure

In 2018, an algorithm-based allocation system for heart transplantation (HT) was implemented in France. Its effect on access to HT of patients with rare causes of heart failure (HF) has not been assessed.

In this national study, including adults listed for HT between 2018 and 2020, we analyzed waitlist and posttransplant outcomes of candidates with rare causes of HF (restrictive cardiomyopathy [RCM], hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and congenital heart disease). The primary end point was death on the waitlist or delisting for clinical deterioration. Secondary end points included access to HT and posttransplant mortality. The cumulative incidence of waitlist mortality estimated with competing risk analysis and incidence of transplantation were compared between diagnosis groups. The association of HF cause with outcomes was determined by Fine-Gray or Cox models.

Overall, 1604 candidates were listed for HT. At 1 year postlisting, 175 patients met the primary end point and 1040 underwent HT. Candidates listed for rare causes of HF significantly differed in baseline characteristics and had more frequent score exceptions compared with other cardiomyopathies (31.3%, 32.0%, 36.4%, and 16.7% for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, RCM, congenital heart disease, and other cardiomyopathies). The cumulative incidence of death on the waitlist and probability of HT were similar between diagnosis groups (P=0.17 and 0.40, respectively). The adjusted risk of death or delisting for clinical deterioration did not significantly differ between candidates with rare and common causes of HF (subdistribution hazard ratio (HR): hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.19-1.38]; P=0.18; RCM, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.42-2.58]; P=0.94; congenital heart disease, 1.82 [95% CI, 0.78-4.26]; P=0.17). Similarly, the access to HT did not significantly differ between causes of HF (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: HR, 1.18 [95% CI, 0.92-1.51]; P=0.19; RCM: HR, 1.19 [95% CI, 0.90-1.58]; P=0.23; congenital heart disease: HR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.53-1.09]; P=0.14). RCM was an independent risk factor for 1-year posttransplant mortality (HR, 2.12 [95% CI, 1.06-4.24]; P=0.03).

Our study shows equitable waitlist outcomes among HT candidates whatever the indication for transplantation with the new French allocation scheme.