The latest medical research on Heart Failure

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 heart failure gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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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.

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.

Sequential Interventions for Major Depression and Heart Failure Self-Care: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Circulation. Heart failure

URL: https://www.

Stepped Care for Depression in HF was a single-site, single-blind, randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) versus usual care (UC) for major depression in patients with HF. The intensive phase of the CBT intervention lasted between 8 and 16 weeks, depending upon the rate of improvement in depression. All participants received a tailored HF self-care intervention that began 8 weeks after randomization. The intensive phase of the self-care intervention ended at 16 weeks post-randomization. The coprimary outcome measures were the Beck Depression Inventory (version 2) and the Maintenance scale of the Self-Care of HF Index (v6.2) at week 16.

gov; Unique identifier: NCT02997865.

CBT is more effective than usual care for major depression in patients with HF. However, initiating CBT before starting a tailored HF self-care intervention does not increase the benefit of the self-care intervention.

Temporal Trends of Heart Failure Hospitalizations in Cardiology Versus Noncardiology Wards According to Ejection Fraction: 16-Year Data From the SwedeHF Registry.

Circulation. Heart failure

Patients hospitalized for acute heart failure (AHF) may receive different care depending on type of ward. We describe temporal changes in triage of HF patients with preserved, mildly reduced, and reduced ejection fraction (HFpEF, HFmrEF, and HFrEF) hospitalized for AHF to cardiology versus noncardiology wards in Sweden.

We analyzed temporal changes in ward type for AHF for HFrEF versus HFmrEF versus HFpEF between 2000 and 2016.

Among 37 918 patients with AHF, 19 777 (52%) had HFrEF, 7712 (20%) had HFmrEF, and 10 429 (28%) had HFpEF. Overall, 19 646 (52%) were hospitalized in cardiology and 18 272 (48%) in noncardiology. The proportions hospitalized in noncardiology in 2000 to 2004 versus in 2013 to 2016 were for HFrEF: 45 versus 47%, for HFmrEF: 52 versus 56%, and for HFpEF: 46 versus 64%, respectively. The overall proportion of HFrEF in 2000 to 2004 versus in 2013 to 2016 decreased (60% versus 49%) especially in noncardiology (58% versus 41%), whereas the overall proportion of HFpEF increased (20% versus 30%) especially in noncardiology (21% versus 37%). The average age and prevalence of comorbidities also increased over time, with older patients with multiple comorbidities being more frequently admitted to noncardiology wards.

Over time, AHF hospitalization for HFpEF occurred increasingly in noncardiology, whereas for HFrEF and HFmrEF the proportions of patients treated in cardiology versus noncardiology were substantially unchanged over time. This may have implications for implementation of emerging HFpEF therapy.

Soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor improves early risk stratification in cardiogenic shock.

European Heart Journal

Soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a biomarker reflecting the level of immune activation. It has been shown to have prognostic value in acute coronary syndrome and heart failure as well as in critical illness. Considering the complex pathophysiology of cardiogenic shock (CS), we hypothesized suPAR might have prognostic properties in CS as well. The aim of this study was to assess the kinetics and prognostic utility of suPAR in CS.

SuPAR levels were determined in serial plasma samples (0-96 h) from 161 CS patients in the prospective, observational, multicentre CardShock study. Kinetics of suPAR, its association with 90-day mortality, and additional value in risk-stratification were investigated. The median suPAR-level at baseline was 4.4 [interquartile range (IQR) 3.2-6.6)] ng/mL. SuPAR levels above median were associated with underlying comorbidities, biomarkers reflecting renal and cardiac dysfunction, and higher 90-day mortality (49% vs. 31%; P = 0.02). Serial measurements showed that survivors had significantly lower suPAR levels at all time points compared with nonsurvivors. For risk stratification, suPAR at 12 h (suPAR12h) with a cut-off of 4.4 ng/mL was strongly associated with mortality independently of established risk factors in CS: OR 5.6 (95% CI 2.0-15.5); P = 0.001) for death by 90 days. Adding suPAR12h > 4.4 ng/mL to the CardShock risk score improved discrimination identifying high-risk patients originally categorized in the intermediate-risk category.

SuPAR associates with mortality and improves risk stratification independently of other previously known risk factors in CS patients.

Healthcare costs of a telemonitoring programme for heart failure: indirect deterministic data linkage analysis.

European Heart Journal

We aim to evaluate the costs associated with healthcare resource consumption for chronic heart failure (HF) management in patients allocated to telemonitoring versus standard of care (SC).

OSICAT-ECO involved 745 patients from the OSICAT trial (NCT02068118) who were successfully linked to the French national healthcare database through an indirect deterministic data linkage approach. OSICAT compared a telemonitoring programme with SC follow-up in adults hospitalized for acute HF ≤ 12 months. Healthcare resource costs included those related to hospital and ambulatory expenditure for HF and were restricted to direct costs determined from the French health data system over 18 months of follow-up. Most of the total costs (69.4%) were due to hospitalization for HF decompensation, followed by ambulatory nursing fees (11.8%). During 18-month follow-up, total costs were 2% lower in the telemonitoring versus the SC group, due primarily to a 21% reduction in nurse fees. Among patients with NYHA class III/IV, a 15% reduction in total costs (€3131 decrease) was observed over 18-month follow-up in the telemonitoring versus the SC group, with the highest difference in hospital expenditure during the first 6 months, followed by a shift in costs from hospital to ambulatory at 12 months.

HF hospitalization and ambulatory nursing fees represented most of the costs related to HF. No benefit was observed for telemonitoring versus SC with regard to cost reductions over 18 months. Patients with severe HF showed a non-significant 15% reduction in costs, largely related to hospitalization for HF decompensation, nurse fees, and medical transport.

Effectiveness and safety of P2Y12 inhibitors in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: a nationwide registry-based study.

European Heart Journal

To compare the effectiveness and safety of clopidogrel, ticagrelor, and prasugrel in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Nationwide, registry-based study of STEMI patients treated with primary PCI (2011-17) and subsequently with aspirin and a P2Y12 inhibitor. The effectiveness outcome was major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) defined as a composite of recurrent myocardial infarction, repeat revascularization, stroke, or cardiovascular death at 12 months. The safety outcome was bleeding requiring hospitalization at 12 months. Multivariable logistic regression with average treatment effect modeling was used to calculate absolute and relative risks for outcomes standardized to the distributions of demographic characteristics of all included subjects. We included 10 832 patients; 1 697 were treated with clopidogrel, 7 508 with ticagrelor, and 1,627 with prasugrel. Median ages were 66, 63, and 59 years (P < 0.001). Standardized relative risks of MACE were 0.75 for ticagrelor vs. clopidogrel (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-0.83), 0.84 for prasugrel vs. clopidogrel (95% CI, 0.73-0.94), and 1.12 for prasugrel vs. ticagrelor (95% CI, 1.00-1.24). Standardized relative risks of bleeding were 0.77 for ticagrelor vs. clopidogrel (95% CI, 0.59-0.93), 0.89 for prasugrel vs. clopidogrel (95% CI, 0.64-1.15), and 1.17 for prasugrel vs. ticagrelor (95% CI, 0.89-1.45).

Ticagrelor and prasugrel were associated with lower risks of MACE after STEMI than clopidogrel, and ticagrelor was associated with a marginal reduction compared with prasugrel. The risk of bleeding was lower with ticagrelor compared with clopidogrel, but did not significantly differ between ticagrelor and prasugrel.

Epidemiology, monitoring, and treatment strategy in cardiogenic shock. A multinational cross-sectional survey of ESC-acute cardiovascular care association research section.

European Heart Journal

Cardiogenic shock (CS) is a life-threatening condition burdened by mortality in up to 50% of cases. Few recommendations exist with intermediate-low level of evidence on CS management and no data on adherence across centres exist. We performed a survey to frame CS management at multinational level.

An international cross-sectional survey was created and approved by European Society of Cardiology-Acute Cardiovascular Care Association board. A total of 337 responses from 60 countries were obtained. Data were assessed by the hospital level of care of the participants. The most common cause of CS was AMI (AMI-CS-79.9%) with significant difference according to hospital levels (P = 0.001), followed by acutely decompensated heart failure (HF) (13.4%), myocarditis (3.5%), and de novo HF (1.75%). In 37.8%, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is performed to all CS-patients as a standard approach, whereas 42.1% used PCI if electrocardiogram suggestive of ischaemia and 20.1% only if Universal definition of myocardial infarction criteria are fulfilled. Management (catecholamine titration and mechanical circulatory support escalation) is driven by mean arterial pressure (87.1%), echocardiography (84.4%), and lactate levels (83.4%). Combination of vasopressor and inotrope is chosen with the same frequency (37.7%) than inotrope alone as first-line pharmacological therapy (differences amongst hospital levels; P > 0.5). Noradrenaline is first-line vasopressor (89.9%) followed by dopamine (8.5%), whereas dobutamine is confirmed as the first-line inotrope (65.9%).

Cardiogenic shock management is heterogenous and often not adherent to current recommendations. Quality improvement on an international level with evidence-based quality indicators should be developed to standardize diagnostic and therapeutic pathways.

Influence of the healthcare pathway on the outcome of patients with infective endocarditis.

European Heart Journal

To determine the prognosis of patients treated for infective endocarditis (IE) according to their healthcare pathway. To assess how the ESC guidelines are implemented concerning the performance of transoesophageal echocardiography, the use of antibiotic therapy, and the performance of valve surgery; and to compare the epidemiological profile of IE according to the type of centres in which the patients are hospitalized.

In a prospective multicentric study including 22 hospitals in the South-East of France, 342 patients were classified into three groups according to their healthcare pathway: 119 patients diagnosed and taken care entirely in a reference centre or hospital with cardiac surgery [Referral Center (RC) group], 111 patients diagnosed and initially taken care in a non-RC (NRC), then referred in a centre including cardiac surgery [transferred to the Referral Center (TRC) group] and 112 patients totally taken care in the NRC (NRC group). One-year mortality was 26% (88 deaths) and was not significantly different between Groups 1 and 2 (20 vs. 21%, P = 0.83). Patients in the NRC group had a higher mortality (37%) compared with patients in the RC and TRC groups (P < 0.001). ESC guidelines were not implemented similarly depending on the healthcare pathway (P = 0.04). Patients in the NRC group were significantly older (P < 0.001) and had more comorbidities (P < 0.001) than patients treated in referral centres.

Prognosis of patients with IE is influenced by their healthcare pathway. Patients treated exclusively in NRC have a worse prognosis than patients treated in referral or surgical centres.