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Genetic Predisposition to High Blood Pressure and Lifestyle Factors [Original Research Article]

2018-02-12T10:40:37-08:00

Background:High blood pressure (BP) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Both heritable and lifestyle risk factors contribute to elevated BP levels. We aimed to investigate the extent to which lifestyle factors could offset the effect of an adverse BP genetic profile and its effect on CVD risk.Methods:We constructed a genetic risk score for high BP by using 314 published BP loci in 277 005 individuals without previous CVD from the UK Biobank study, a prospective cohort of individuals aged 40 to 69 years, with a median of 6.11 years of follow-up. We scored participants according to their lifestyle factors including body mass index, healthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption, smoking, and urinary sodium excretion levels measured at recruitment. We examined the association between tertiles of genetic risk and tertiles of lifestyle score with BP levels and incident CVD by using linear regression and Cox regression models, respectively.Results:Healthy lifestyle score was strongly associated with BP (P<10–320) for systolic and diastolic BP and CVD events regardless of the underlying BP genetic risk. Participants with a favorable in comparison with an unfavorable lifestyle (bottom versus top tertile lifestyle score) had 3.6, 3.5, and 3.6 mm Hg lower systolic BP in low, middle, and high genetic risk groups, respectively (P for interaction=0.0006). Similarly, favorable in comparison with unfavorable lifestyle showed 30%, 31%, and 33% lower risk of CVD among participants in low, middle, and high genetic risk groups, respectively (P for interaction=0.99).Conclusions:Our data further support population-wide efforts to lower BP in the population via lifestyle modification. The advantages and disadvantages of disclosing genetic predisposition to high BP for risk stratification needs careful evaluation.






Value of Progression of Coronary Artery Calcification for Risk Prediction of Coronary and Cardiovascular Events [Original Research Article]

2018-02-12T10:40:37-08:00

Background:Computed tomography (CT) allows estimation of coronary artery calcium (CAC) progression. We evaluated several progression algorithms in our unselected, population-based cohort for risk prediction of coronary and cardiovascular events.Methods:In 3281 participants (45–74 years of age), free from cardiovascular disease until the second visit, risk factors, and CTs at baseline (b) and after a mean of 5.1 years (5y) were measured. Hard coronary and cardiovascular events, and total cardiovascular events including revascularization, as well, were recorded during a follow-up time of 7.8±2.2 years after the second CT. The added predictive value of 10 CAC progression algorithms on top of risk factors including baseline CAC was evaluated by using survival analysis, C-statistics, net reclassification improvement, and integrated discrimination index. A subgroup analysis of risk in CAC categories was performed.Results:We observed 85 (2.6%) hard coronary, 161 (4.9%) hard cardiovascular, and 241 (7.3%) total cardiovascular events. Absolute CAC progression was higher with versus without subsequent coronary events (median, 115 [Q1–Q3, 23–360] versus 8 [0–83], P<0.0001; similar for hard/total cardiovascular events). Some progression algorithms added to the predictive value of baseline CT and risk assessment in terms of C-statistic or integrated discrimination index, especially for total cardiovascular events. However, CAC progression did not improve models including CAC5y and 5-year risk factors. An excellent prognosis was found for 921 participants with double-zero CACb=CAC5y=0 (10-year coronary and hard/total cardiovascular risk: 1.4%, 2.0%, and 2.8%), which was for participants with incident CAC 1.8%, 3.8%, and 6.6%, respectively. When CACb progressed from 1 to 399 to CAC5y≥400, coronary and total cardiovascular risk were nearly 2-fold in comparison with subjects who remained below CAC5y=400. Participants with CACb≥400 had high rates of hard coronary and hard/total cardiovascular events (10-year risk: 12.0%, 13.5%, and 30.9%, respectively).Conclusions:CAC progression is associated with coronary and cardiovascular event rates, but adds only weakly to risk prediction. What counts is the most recent CAC value and risk factor assessment. Therefore, a repeat scan >5 years after the first scan may be of additional value, except when a double-zero CT scan is present or when the subjects are already at high risk.



Coronary Artery Calcium [Editorials]

2018-02-12T10:40:37-08:00




Frequency, Predictors, and Impact of Combined Antiplatelet Therapy on Venous Thromboembolism in Patients With Symptomatic Atherosclerosis [Original Research Article]

2018-02-12T10:40:37-08:00

Background:Observational studies suggest that symptomatic atherosclerosis may be associated with risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Prior randomized studies have demonstrated a significant reduction in recurrent VTE with aspirin monotherapy. Whether VTE risk is associated with more severe symptomatic atherosclerosis and more intensive antiplatelet therapy reduces VTE risk beyond aspirin monotherapy is unknown.Methods:TRA2P-TIMI 50 (Thrombin Receptor Antagonist in Secondary Prevention of Atherothrombotic Ischemic Events–Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction) (vorapaxar) and PEGASUS-TIMI 54 (Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Prior Heart Attack Using Ticagrelor Compared to Placebo on a Background of Aspirin–Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 54) (ticagrelor) were blinded, randomized placebo-controlled trials of antiplatelet therapy for the prevention of ischemic events in stable patients with symptomatic atherosclerosis. Two blinded vascular specialists systematically identified symptomatic venous thromboembolic events in both trials.Results:Of 47 611 patients with stable vascular disease followed for 3 years in both studies there were 343 VTE events in 301 patients (Kaplan-Meier rate at 3 years, 0.9% for placebo). The risk of VTE was independently associated with age, body mass index, polyvascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and malignancy. The burden of atherosclerosis manifested as an increasing number of symptomatic vascular territories was associated with a graded increase in the 3-year rates of VTE (0.76% for 1, 1.53% for 2, and 2.45% for 3 territories). More intensive antiplatelet therapy (vorapaxar and ticagrelor pooled) significantly reduced the risk of VTE by 29% compared with background antiplatelet therapy, from 0.93% to 0.64% at 3 years (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.56–0.89; P=0.003).Conclusions:The rate of VTE in patients with atherosclerosis is ≈0.3% per year while on treatment with ≥1 antiplatelet agent, with increased risk independently associated with the number of symptomatic vascular territories. More intensive antiplatelet therapy reduces the risk of VTE. These data suggest a relationship between atherosclerosis burden and VTE risk, and they support inclusion of VTE as a prospective end point in long-term secondary prevention trials evaluating the risks and benefits of antiplatelet therapies in patients with atherosclerosis.Clinical Trial Registration:URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01225562.



Prognostic Value of Follow-Up Hemodynamic Variables After Initial Management in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension [Original Research Article]

2018-02-12T10:40:37-08:00

Background:Hemodynamic variables such as cardiac index and right atrial pressure have consistently been associated with survival in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) at the time of diagnosis. Recent studies have suggested that pulmonary arterial compliance may also predict prognosis in PAH. The prognostic importance of hemodynamic values achieved after treatment initiation is less well established.Methods:Our objective was to evaluate the prognostic importance of clinical and hemodynamic variables during follow-up, including pulmonary arterial compliance, after initial management in PAH. We evaluated incident patients with idiopathic, drug- and toxin-induced, or heritable PAH enrolled in the French pulmonary hypertension registry between 2006 and 2016 who had a follow-up right-sided heart catheterization (RHC). The primary outcome was death or lung transplantation. We used stepwise Cox regression and the Kaplan-Meier method to assess variables obtained at baseline and at first follow-up RHC.Results:Of 981 patients, a primary outcome occurred in 331 patients (33.7%) over a median follow-up duration of 2.8 years (interquartile range, 1.1–4.6 years). In a multivariable model considering only baseline variables, no hemodynamic variables independently predicted prognosis. Median time to first follow-up RHC was 4.6 months (interquartile range, 3.7–7.8 months). At first follow-up RHC (n=763), New York Heart Association functional class, 6-minute walk distance, stroke volume index (SVI), and right atrial pressure were independently associated with death or lung transplantation, adjusted for age, sex, and type of PAH. Pulmonary arterial compliance did not independently predict outcomes at baseline or during follow-up. The adjusted hazard ratio for SVI was 1.28 (95% confidence interval, 1.11–1.49; P<0.01) per 10-mL/m2 decrease and for right atrial pressure was 1.05 (95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.09; P<0.01) per 1–mm Hg increase. Among patients who had 2 (n=355) or 3 (n=193) low-risk prognostic features at follow-up, including a cardiac index ≥2.5 L·min−1·m−2, 6-minute walk distance >440 m, and New York Heart Association class I or II functional class, lower SVI was still associated with higher rates of death or lung transplantation (P<0.01).Conclusions:SVI and right atrial pressure were the hemodynamic variables that were independently associated with death or lung transplantation at first follow-up RHC after initial PAH treatment. These findings suggest that the SVI could be a more appropriate treatment target than cardiac index in PAH.






Opposing Actions of Fibroblast and Cardiomyocyte Smad3 Signaling in the Infarcted Myocardium [Original Research Article]

2018-02-12T10:40:37-08:00

Background:Transforming growth factor–βs regulate a wide range of cellular responses by activating Smad-dependent and Smad-independent cascades. In the infarcted heart, Smad3 signaling is activated in both cardiomyocytes and interstitial cells. We hypothesized that cell-specific actions of Smad3 regulate repair and remodeling in the infarcted myocardium.Methods:To dissect cell-specific Smad3 actions in myocardial infarction, we generated mice with Smad3 loss in activated fibroblasts or cardiomyocytes. Cardiac function was assessed after reperfused or nonreperfused infarction using echocardiography. The effects of cell-specific Smad3 loss on the infarcted heart were studied using histological studies, assessment of protein, and gene expression levels. In vitro, we studied Smad-dependent and Smad-independent actions in isolated cardiac fibroblasts.Results:Mice with fibroblast-specific Smad3 loss had accentuated adverse remodeling after reperfused infarction and exhibited an increased incidence of late rupture after nonreperfused infarction. The consequences of fibroblast-specific Smad3 loss were not a result of effects on acute infarct size but were associated with unrestrained fibroblast proliferation, impaired scar remodeling, reduced fibroblast-derived collagen synthesis, and perturbed alignment of myofibroblast arrays in the infarct. Polarized light microscopy in Sirius red–stained sections demonstrated that the changes in fibroblast morphology were associated with perturbed organization of the collagenous matrix in the infarcted area. In contrast, α-smooth muscle actin expression by infarct myofibroblasts was not affected by Smad3 loss. Smad3 critically regulated fibroblast function, activating integrin-mediated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase–2 (NOX-2) expression. Smad3 loss in cardiomyocytes attenuated remodeling and dysfunction after infarction. Cardiomyocyte-specific Smad3 loss did not affect acute infarct size but was associated with attenuated cardiomyocyte apoptosis in the remodeling myocardium, accompanied by decreased myocardial NOX-2 levels, reduced nitrosative stress, and lower matrix metalloproteinase–2 expression.Conclusions:In healing myocardial infarction, myofibroblast- and cardiomyocyte-specific activation of Smad3 has contrasting functional outcomes that may involve activation of an integrin/reactive oxygen axis.



Developing a Clinical Approach to Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health [In Depth]

2018-02-12T10:40:37-08:00

Nearly 3 billion people are exposed to household air pollution emitted from inefficient cooking and heating stoves, and almost the entire global population is exposed to detectable levels of outdoor air pollution from traffic, industry, and other sources. Over 3 million people die annually of ischemic heart disease or stroke attributed to air pollution, more than from traditional cardiac risk factors such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, or smoking. Clinicians have a role to play in reducing the burden of pollution-attributable cardiovascular disease. However, there currently exists no clear clinical approach to this problem. Here, we provide a blueprint for an evidence-based clinical approach to assessing and mitigating cardiovascular risk from exposure to air pollution. We begin with a discussion of the global burden of pollution-attributable cardiovascular disease, including a review of the mechanisms by which particulate matter air pollution leads to cardiovascular outcomes. Next, we offer a simple patient-screening tool using known risk factors for pollution exposure. We then discuss approaches to quantifying air pollution exposures and cardiovascular risk, including the development of risk maps for clinical catchment areas. We review a collection of interventions for household and outdoor air pollution, which clinicians can tailor to patients and populations at risk. Finally, we identify future research needed to quantify pollution exposures and validate clinical interventions. Overall, we demonstrate that clinicians can be empowered to mitigate the global burden of cardiovascular disease attributable to air pollution.

































Validating Utility of Dual Antiplatelet Therapy Score in a Large Pooled Cohort From 3 Japanese Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Studies [Original Research Article]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00

Background:The dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) score was developed to estimate ischemic and bleeding risks from the DAPT study. However, few studies validated its utility externally. We sought to validate the utility of the DAPT score in the Japanese population.Methods:In a pooled cohort of 3 studies conducted in Japan (the CREDO-Kyoto [Coronary Revascularization Demonstrating Outcome Study in Kyoto] Registry Cohort-2, RESET [Randomized Evaluation of Sirolimus-Eluting Versus Everolimus-Eluting Stent Trial], and NEXT [NOBORI Biolimus-Eluting Versus XIENCE/PROMUS Everolimus-Eluting Stent Trial]), we compared risks for ischemic and bleeding events from 13 to 36 months after percutaneous coronary intervention among patients with a DAPT score ≥2 (high DS) and a DAPT score <2 (low DS).Results:Among 12 223 patients receiving drug-eluting stents who were free from ischemic or bleeding events at 13 months after percutaneous coronary intervention, 3944 patients had high DS and 8279 had low DS. The cumulative incidence of primary ischemic end point (myocardial infarction/stent thrombosis) was significantly higher in high DS than in low DS (1.5% versus 0.9%, P=0.002), whereas the cumulative incidence of primary bleeding end point (GUSTO moderate/severe) tended to be lower in high DS than in low DS (2.1% versus 2.7%, P=0.07). The cumulative incidences of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and stent thrombosis were also significantly higher in high DS than in low DS (2.0% versus 1.4%, P=0.03; 1.5% versus 0.8%, P=0.002; 0.7% versus 0.3%, P<0.001, respectively), whereas the cumulative incidences of noncardiac death and GUSTO severe bleeding were significantly lower in high DS than in low DS (2.4% versus 3.9%, P<0.001; 1.0% versus 1.6%, P=0.03, respectively).Conclusions:In the current population, the DAPT score successfully stratified ischemic and bleeding risks, although the ischemic event rate was remarkably low even in high DS. Further studies would be warranted to evaluate the utility of prolonged DAPT guided by the DAPT score.






Higher Risk of Vascular Dementia in Myocardial Infarction Survivors [Original Research Article]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00

Background:Increased risk of dementia after myocardial infarction (MI) may be mediated by shared risk factors (eg, atherosclerosis) and post-MI stroke. We examined risk of dementia in 1-year survivors of MI.Methods:Using Danish medical registries, we conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study of all patients with first-time MI and a sex-, birth year–, and calendar year–matched general population comparison cohort without MI (1980–2012). Cox regression analysis was used to compute 1- to 35-year adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for dementia, controlled for matching factors and adjusted for comorbidities and socioeconomic status.Results:We identified 314 911 patients with MI and 1 573 193 matched comparison cohort members randomly sampled from the general population (median age, 70 years; 63% male). After 35 years of follow-up, the cumulative incidence of all-cause dementia in the MI cohort was 9% (2.8% for Alzheimer disease, 1.6% for vascular dementia, and 4.5% for other dementias). Compared with the general population cohort, MI was not associated with all-cause dementia (aHR, 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98–1.03). Risk of Alzheimer disease (aHR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.88–0.95) and other dementias (aHR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.95–1.01) also approximated unity. However, MI was associated with higher risk of vascular dementia (aHR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.28–1.43), which was substantially strengthened for patients experiencing stroke after MI (aHR, 4.48; 95% CI, 3.29–6.12).Conclusions:MI was associated with higher risk of vascular dementia throughout follow-up, and this association was stronger in patients with stroke. The risk of Alzheimer disease and other dementias was not higher in patients with MI.



Survivor’s Remorse [Editorials]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00




Duct Stenting Versus Modified Blalock-Taussig Shunt in Neonates With Duct-Dependent Pulmonary Blood Flow [Original Research Article]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00

Background:Infants born with cardiac abnormalities causing dependence on the arterial duct for pulmonary blood flow are often palliated with a shunt usually between the subclavian artery and either pulmonary artery. A so-called modified Blalock-Taussig shunt allows progress through early life to an age and weight at which repair or further more stable palliation can be safely achieved. Modified Blalock-Taussig shunts continue to present concern for postprocedural instability and early mortality such that other alternatives continue to be explored. Duct stenting (DS) is emerging as one such alternative with potential for greater early stability and improved survival.Methods:The purpose of this study was to compare postprocedural outcomes and survival to next-stage palliative or reparative surgery between patients undergoing a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt or a DS in infants with duct-dependent pulmonary blood flow. All patients undergoing cardiac surgery and congenital interventions in the United Kingdom are prospectively recruited to an externally validated national outcome audit. From this audit, participating UK centers identified infants <30 days of age undergoing either a Blalock-Taussig shunt or a DS for cardiac conditions with duct-dependent pulmonary blood flow between January 2012 and December 31, 2015. One hundred seventy-one patients underwent a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt, and in 83 patients, DS was attempted. Primary and secondary outcomes of survival and need for extracorporeal support were analyzed with multivariable logistic regression. Longer-term mortality before repair and reintervention were analyzed with Cox proportional hazards regression. All multivariable analyses accommodated a propensity score to balance patient characteristics between the groups.Results:There was an early (to discharge) survival advantage for infants before next-stage surgery in the DS group (odds ratio, 4.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.37–13.14; P=0.012). There was also a difference in the need for postprocedural extracorporeal support in favor of the DS group (odds ratio, 0.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.05–1.05; P=0.058). Longer-term survival outcomes showed a reduced risk of death before repair in the DS group (hazard ratio, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.07–0.85; P=0.026) but a slightly increased risk of reintervention (hazard ratio, 1.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.85–2.64; P=0.165).Conclusions:DS is emerging as a preferred alternative to a surgical shunt for neonatal palliation with evidence for greater postprocedural stability and improved patient survival to destination surgical treatment.



Comparison Between Patent Ductus Arteriosus Stent and Modified Blalock-Taussig Shunt as Palliation for Infants With Ductal-Dependent Pulmonary Blood Flow [Original Research Article]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00

Background:Infants with ductal-dependent pulmonary blood flow may undergo palliation with either a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) stent or a modified Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt. A balanced multicenter comparison of these 2 approaches is lacking.Methods:Infants with ductal-dependent pulmonary blood flow palliated with either a PDA stent or a BT shunt from January 2008 to November 2015 were reviewed from the 4 member centers of the Congenital Catheterization Research Collaborative. Outcomes were compared by use of propensity score adjustment to account for baseline differences between groups.Results:One hundred six patients with a PDA stent and 251 patients with a BT shunt were included. The groups differed in underlying anatomy (expected 2-ventricle circulation in 60% of PDA stents versus 45% of BT shunts; P=0.001) and presence of antegrade pulmonary blood flow (61% of PDA stents versus 38% of BT shunts; P<0.001). After propensity score adjustment, there was no difference in the hazard of the primary composite outcome of death or unplanned reintervention to treat cyanosis (hazard ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52–1.23; P=0.31). Other reinterventions were more common in the PDA stent group (hazard ratio, 29.8; 95% CI, 9.8–91.1; P<0.001). However, the PDA stent group had a lower adjusted intensive care unit length of stay (5.3 days [95% CI, 4.2–6.7] versus 9.19 days [95% CI, 7.9–10.6]; P<0.001), a lower risk of diuretic use at discharge (odds ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.25–0.64; P<0.001) and procedural complications (odds ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2–0.77; P=0.006), and larger (152 mm2/m2 [95% CI, 132–176] versus 125 mm2/m2 [95% CI, 113–138]; P=0.029) and more symmetrical (symmetry index, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.8–0.89] versus 0.77 [95% CI, 0.75–0.8]; P=0.008] pulmonary arteries at the time of subsequent surgical repair or last follow-up.Conclusions:In this multicenter comparison of palliative PDA stent and BT shunt for infants with ductal-dependent pulmonary blood flow adjusted for differences in patient factors, there was no difference in the primary end point, death or unplanned reintervention to treat cyanosis. However, other markers of morbidity and pulmonary artery size favored the PDA stent group, supporting PDA stent as a reasonable alternative to BT shunt in select patients.






Increased Cardiac Arrhythmogenesis Associated With Gap Junction Remodeling With Upregulation of RNA-Binding Protein FXR1 [Original Research Article]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00

Background:Gap junction remodeling is well established as a consistent feature of human heart disease involving spontaneous ventricular arrhythmia. The mechanisms responsible for gap junction remodeling that include alterations in the distribution of, and protein expression within, gap junctions are still debated. Studies reveal that multiple transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulatory pathways are triggered in response to cardiac disease, such as those involving RNA-binding proteins. The expression levels of FXR1 (fragile X mental retardation autosomal homolog 1), an RNA-binding protein, are critical to maintain proper cardiac muscle function; however, the connection between FXR1 and disease is not clear.Methods:To identify the mechanisms regulating gap junction remodeling in cardiac disease, we sought to identify the functional properties of FXR1 expression, direct targets of FXR1 in human left ventricle dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) biopsy samples and mouse models of DCM through BioID proximity assay and RNA immunoprecipitation, how FXR1 regulates its targets through RNA stability and luciferase assays, and functional consequences of altering the levels of this important RNA-binding protein through the analysis of cardiac-specific FXR1 knockout mice and mice injected with 3xMyc-FXR1 adeno-associated virus.Results:FXR1 expression is significantly increased in tissue samples from human and mouse models of DCM via Western blot analysis. FXR1 associates with intercalated discs, and integral gap junction proteins Cx43 (connexin 43), Cx45 (connexin 45), and ZO-1 (zonula occludens-1) were identified as novel mRNA targets of FXR1 by using a BioID proximity assay and RNA immunoprecipitation. Our findings show that FXR1 is a multifunctional protein involved in translational regulation and stabilization of its mRNA targets in heart muscle. In addition, introduction of 3xMyc-FXR1 via adeno-associated virus into mice leads to the redistribution of gap junctions and promotes ventricular tachycardia, showing the functional significance of FXR1 upregulation observed in DCM.Conclusions:In DCM, increased FXR1 expression appears to play an important role in disease progression by regulating gap junction remodeling. Together this study provides a novel function of FXR1, namely, that it directly regulates major gap junction components, contributing to proper cell-cell communication in the heart.



Classification and Reporting of Potentially Proarrhythmic Common Genetic Variation in Long QT Syndrome Genetic Testing [White Paper]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00

The acquired and congenital forms of long QT syndrome represent 2 distinct but clinically and genetically intertwined disorders of cardiac repolarization characterized by the shared final common pathway of QT interval prolongation and risk of potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. Over the past 2 decades, our understanding of the spectrum of genetic variation that (1) perturbs the function of cardiac ion channel macromolecular complexes and intracellular calcium-handling proteins, (2) underlies acquired/congenital long QT syndrome susceptibility, and (3) serves as a determinant of QT interval duration in the general population has grown exponentially. In turn, these molecular insights led to the development and increased utilization of clinically impactful genetic testing for congenital long QT syndrome. However, the widespread adoption and potential misinterpretation of the 2015 American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics variant classification and reporting guidelines may have contributed unintentionally to the reduced reporting of common genetic variants, with compelling epidemiological and functional evidence to support a potentially proarrhythmic role in patients with congenital and acquired long QT syndrome. As a result, some genetic testing reports may fail to convey the full extent of a patient’s genetic susceptibility for a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia to the ordering healthcare professional. In this white paper, we examine the current classification and reporting (or lack thereof) of potentially proarrhythmic common genetic variants and investigate potential mechanisms to facilitate the reporting of these genetic variants without increasing the risk of diagnostic miscues.



From the Literature [Cardiology News]

2018-02-05T10:40:39-08:00






















Childhood and Adolescent Adversity and Cardiometabolic Outcomes: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association [AHA Scientific Statements]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

Adverse experiences in childhood and adolescence, defined as subjectively perceived threats to the safety or security of the child’s bodily integrity, family, or social structures, are known to be associated with cardiometabolic outcomes over the life course into adulthood. This American Heart Association scientific statement reviews the scientific literature on the influence of childhood adversity on cardiometabolic outcomes that constitute the greatest public health burden in the United States, including obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. This statement also conceptually outlines pathways linking adversity to cardiometabolic health, identifies evidence gaps, and provides suggestions for future research to inform practice and policy. We note that, despite a lack of objective agreement on what subjectively qualifies as exposure to childhood adversity and a dearth of prospective studies, substantial evidence documents an association between childhood adversity and cardiometabolic outcomes across the life course. Future studies that focus on mechanisms, resiliency, and vulnerability factors would further strengthen the evidence and provide much-needed information on targets for effective interventions. Given that childhood adversities affect cardiometabolic health and multiple health domains across the life course, interventions that ameliorate these initial upstream exposures may be more appropriate than interventions remediating downstream cardiovascular disease risk factor effects later in life.









High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin and the Risk Stratification of Patients With Renal Impairment Presenting With Suspected Acute Coronary Syndrome [Original Research Article]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

Background:High-sensitivity cardiac troponin testing may improve the risk stratification and diagnosis of myocardial infarction, but concentrations can be challenging to interpret in patients with renal impairment, and the effectiveness of testing in this group is uncertain.Methods:In a prospective multicenter study of consecutive patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome, we evaluated the performance of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I in those with and without renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60mL/min/1.73m2). The negative predictive value and sensitivity of troponin concentrations below the risk stratification threshold (5 ng/L) at presentation were reported for a primary outcome of index type 1 myocardial infarction, or type 1 myocardial infarction or cardiac death at 30 days. The positive predictive value and specificity at the 99th centile diagnostic threshold (16 ng/L in women, 34 ng/L in men) was determined for index type 1 myocardial infarction. Subsequent type 1 myocardial infarction and cardiac death were reported at 1 year.Results:Of 4726 patients identified, 904 (19%) had renal impairment. Troponin concentrations <5 ng/L at presentation identified 17% of patients with renal impairment as low risk for the primary outcome (negative predictive value, 98.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 96.0%–99.7%; sensitivity 98.9%; 95%CI, 97.5%–99.9%), in comparison with 56% without renal impairment (P<0.001) with similar performance (negative predictive value, 99.7%; 95% CI, 99.4%–99.9%; sensitivity 98.4%; 95% CI, 97.2%–99.4%). The positive predictive value and specificity at the 99th centile were lower in patients with renal impairment at 50.0% (95% CI, 45.2%–54.8%) and 70.9% (95% CI, 67.5%–74.2%), respectively, in comparison with 62.4% (95% CI, 58.8%–65.9%) and 92.1% (95% CI, 91.2%–93.0%) in those without. At 1 year, patients with troponin concentrations >99th centile and renal impairment were at greater risk of subsequent myocardial infarction or cardiac death than those with normal renal function (24% versus 10%; adjusted hazard ratio, 2.19; 95% CI, 1.54–3.11).Conclusions:In suspected acute coronary syndrome, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin identified fewer patients with renal impairment as low risk and more as high risk, but with lower specificity for type 1 myocardial infarction. Irrespective of diagnosis, patients with renal impairment and elevated cardiac troponin concentrations had a 2-fold greater risk of a major cardiac event than those with normal renal function, and should be considered for further investigation and treatment.Clinical Trial Registration:URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01852123.



0/1-Hour Triage Algorithm for Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Renal Dysfunction [Original Research Article]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

Background:The European Society of Cardiology recommends a 0/1-hour algorithm for rapid rule-out and rule-in of non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction using high-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) concentrations irrespective of renal function. Because patients with renal dysfunction (RD) frequently present with increased hs-cTn concentrations even in the absence of non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, concern has been raised regarding the performance of the 0/1-hour algorithm in RD.Methods:In a prospective multicenter diagnostic study enrolling unselected patients presenting with suspected non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction to the emergency department, we assessed the diagnostic performance of the European Society of Cardiology 0/1-hour algorithm using hs-cTnT and hs-cTnI in patients with RD, defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, and compared it to patients with normal renal function. The final diagnosis was centrally adjudicated by 2 independent cardiologists using all available information, including cardiac imaging. Safety was quantified as sensitivity in the rule-out zone, accuracy as the specificity in the rule-in zone, and efficacy as the proportion of the overall cohort assigned to either rule-out or rule-in based on the 0- and 1-hour sample.Results:Among 3254 patients, RD was present in 487 patients (15%). The prevalence of non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction was substantially higher in patients with RD compared with patients with normal renal function (31% versus 13%, P<0.001). Using hs-cTnT, patients with RD had comparable sensitivity of rule-out (100.0% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 97.6–100.0] versus 99.2% [95% CI, 97.6–99.8]; P=0.559), lower specificity of rule-in (88.7% [95% CI, 84.8–91.9] versus 96.5% [95% CI, 95.7–97.2]; P<0.001), and lower overall efficacy (51% versus 81%, P<0.001), mainly driven by a much lower percentage of patients eligible for rule-out (18% versus 68%, P<0.001) compared with patients with normal renal function. Using hs-cTnI, patients with RD had comparable sensitivity of rule-out (98.6% [95% CI, 95.0–99.8] versus 98.5% [95% CI, 96.5–99.5]; P=1.0), lower specificity of rule-in (84.4% [95% CI, 79.9–88.3] versus 91.7% [95% CI, 90.5–92.9]; P<0.001), and lower overall efficacy (54% versus 76%, P<0.001; proportion ruled out, 18% versus 58%, P<0.001) compared with patients with normal renal function.Conclusions:In patients with RD, the safety of the European Society of Cardiology 0/1-hour algorithm is high, but specificity of rule-in and overall efficacy are decreased. Modifications of the rule-in and rule-out thresholds did not improve the safety or overall efficacy of the 0/1-hour algorithm.Clinical Trial Registration:URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00470587.






Pioglitazone Prevents Stroke in Patients With a Recent Transient Ischemic Attack or Ischemic Stroke [Original Research Article]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

Background:The IRIS trial (Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke) demonstrated that pioglitazone reduced the risk for a composite outcome of stroke or myocardial infarction among nondiabetic patients with insulin resistance and a recent stroke or transient ischemic attack. The current planned secondary analysis uses updated 2013 consensus criteria for ischemic stroke to examine the effect of pioglitazone on stroke outcomes.Methods:Participants were randomly assigned to receive pioglitazone (45 mg/d target dose) or placebo within 180 days of a qualifying ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack and were followed for a maximum of 5 years. An independent committee, blinded to treatment assignments, adjudicated all potential stroke outcomes. Time to first stroke event was compared by treatment group, overall and by type of event (ischemic or hemorrhagic), using survival analyses and Cox proportional hazards models.Results:Among 3876 IRIS participants (mean age, 63 years; 65% male), 377 stroke events were observed in 319 participants over a median follow-up of 4.8 years. Pioglitazone was associated with a reduced risk for any stroke at 5 years (8.0% in comparison with 10.7% for the placebo group; hazard ratio [HR], 0.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60–0.94; log-rank P=0.01). Pioglitazone reduced risk for ischemic strokes (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.57–0.91; P=0.005) but had no effect on risk for hemorrhagic events (HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.50–2.00; P=1.00).Conclusions:Pioglitazone was effective for secondary prevention of ischemic stroke in nondiabetic patients with insulin resistance.Clinical Trial Registration:URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00091949.



Three-Year Outcomes With the Absorb Bioresorbable Scaffold [Original Research Article]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

Background:The Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS) completely resorbs within 3 years after coronary artery implantation. The safety and effectiveness of BVS through this critical 3-year period have not been characterized.Methods:We performed an individual-patient-data pooled meta-analysis of the 4 randomized ABSORB trials in which 3389 patients with coronary artery disease were randomly assigned to everolimus-eluting Absorb BVS (n=2164) or cobalt-chromium everolimus-eluting stents (n=1225). The primary efficacy outcome measure was target lesion failure (cardiac mortality, target vessel myocardial infarction, or ischemia-driven target lesion revascularization), and the primary safety outcome measure was device thrombosis.Results:BVS compared with cobalt-chromium everolimus-eluting stents resulted in higher 3-year rates of target lesion failure (11.7% versus 8.1%; risk ratio [RR], 1.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10–1.73; P=0.006), driven by greater target vessel myocardial infarction (7.8% versus 4.2%; RR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.26–2.35; P=0.0006) and ischemia-driven target lesion revascularization (6.6% versus 4.4%; RR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.05–1.98; P=0.02), with comparable cardiac mortality (1.1% versus 1.1%; RR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.47–1.88; P=0.85). Device thrombosis rates through 3 years were also higher with BVS (2.4% versus 0.6%; RR, 3.71; 95% CI, 1.70–8.11; P=0.001). Between 1 and 3 years, target lesion failure rates (6.1% versus 3.9%; P=0.02) and device thrombosis rates (1.1% versus 0.0%; P<0.0001) were higher with BVS than cobalt-chromium everolimus-eluting stents.Conclusions:In the present individual-patient-data pooled meta-analysis of the ABSORB trials, BVS was associated with increased rates of target lesion failure and device thrombosis between 1 and 3 years and cumulatively through 3 years of follow-up compared with everolimus-eluting stents.Clinical Trial Registration:URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifiers: NCT01751906, NCT01844284, NCT01923740, and NCT01425281.



Clinical Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness of Fractional Flow Reserve-Guided Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Patients With Stable Coronary Artery Disease [Original Research Article]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

Background:Previous studies found that percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) does not improve outcome compared with medical therapy (MT) in patients with stable coronary artery disease, but PCI was guided by angiography alone. FAME 2 trial (Fractional Flow Reserve Versus Angiography for Multivessel Evaluation) compared PCI guided by fractional flow reserve with best MT in patients with stable coronary artery disease to assess clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness.Methods:A total of 888 patients with stable single-vessel or multivessel coronary artery disease with reduced fractional flow reserve were randomly assigned to PCI plus MT (n=447) or MT alone (n=441). Major adverse cardiac events included death, myocardial infarction, and urgent revascularization. Costs were calculated on the basis of resource use and Medicare reimbursement rates. Changes in quality-adjusted life-years were assessed with utilities determined by the European Quality of Life–5 Dimensions health survey at baseline and over follow-up.Results:Major adverse cardiac events at 3 years were significantly lower in the PCI group compared with the MT group (10.1% versus 22.0%; P<0.001), primarily as a result of a lower rate of urgent revascularization (4.3% versus 17.2%; P<0.001). Death and myocardial infarction were numerically lower in the PCI group (8.3% versus 10.4%; P=0.28). Angina was significantly less severe in the PCI group at all follow-up points to 3 years. Mean initial costs were higher in the PCI group ($9944 versus $4440; P<0.001) but by 3 years were similar between the 2 groups ($16 792 versus $16 737; P=0.94). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for PCI compared with MT was $17 300 per quality-adjusted life-year at 2 years and $1600 per quality-adjusted life-year at 3 years. The above findings were robust in sensitivity analyses.ConclusionS:PCI of lesions with reduced fractional flow reserve improves long-term outcome and is economically attractive compared with MT alone in patients with stable coronary artery disease.Clinical Trial Registration:URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01132495.



Chronic Rejection of Cardiac Allografts Is Associated With Increased Lymphatic Flow and Cellular Trafficking [Original Research Article]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

Background:Cardiac transplantation is an excellent treatment for end-stage heart disease. However, rejection of the donor graft, in particular, by chronic rejection leading to cardiac allograft vasculopathy, remains a major cause of graft loss. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the alloimmune response, facilitating trafficking of antigen-presenting cells to draining lymph nodes. The encounter of antigen-presenting cells with T lymphocytes in secondary lymphoid organs is essential for the initiation of alloimmunity. Donor lymphatic vessels are not anastomosed to that of the recipient during transplantation. The pathophysiology of lymphatic disruption is unknown, and whether this disruption enhances or hinders the alloimmune responses is unclear. Although histological analysis of lymphatic vessels in donor grafts can yield information on the structure of the lymphatics, the function following cardiac transplantation is poorly understood.Methods:Using single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography lymphoscintigraphy, we quantified the lymphatic flow index following heterotrophic cardiac transplantation in a murine model of chronic rejection.Results:Ten weeks following transplantation of a minor antigen (HY) sex-mismatched heart graft, the lymphatic flow index was significantly increased in comparison with sex-matched controls. Furthermore, the enhanced lymphatic flow index correlated with an increase in donor cells in the mediastinal draining lymph nodes; increased lymphatic vessel area; and graft infiltration of CD4+, CD8+ T cells, and CD68+ macrophages.Conclusions:Chronic rejection results in increased lymphatic flow from the donor graft to draining lymph nodes, which may be a factor in promoting cellular trafficking, alloimmunity, and cardiac allograft vasculopathy.






Systemic Right Ventricle in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease [Primer]

2018-01-29T10:40:39-08:00

The systemic right ventricle (SRV) is commonly encountered in congenital heart disease representing a distinctly different model in terms of its anatomic spectrum, adaptation, clinical phenotype, and variable, but overall guarded prognosis. The most common clinical scenarios where an SRV is encountered are complete transposition of the great arteries with previous atrial switch repair, congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, double inlet right ventricle mostly with previous Fontan palliation, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome palliated with the Norwood-Fontan protocol. The reasons for the guarded prognosis of the SRV in comparison with the systemic left ventricle are multifactorial, including distinct fibromuscular architecture, shape and function, coronary artery supply mismatch, intrinsic abnormalities of the tricuspid valve, intrinsic or acquired conduction abnormalities, and varied SRV adaptation to pressure or volume overload. Management of the SRV remains an ongoing challenge because SRV dysfunction has implications on short- and long-term outcomes for all patients irrespective of underlying cardiac morphology. SRV dysfunction can be subclinical, underscoring the need for tertiary follow-up and timely management of target hemodynamic lesions. Catheter interventions and surgery have an established role in selected patients. Cardiac resynchronization therapy is increasingly used, whereas pharmacological therapy is largely empirical. Mechanical assist device and heart transplantation remain options in end-stage heart failure when other management strategies have been exhausted. The present report focuses on the SRV with its pathological subtypes, pathophysiology, clinical features, current management strategies, and long-term sequelae. Although our article touches on issues applicable to neonates and children, its main focus is on adults with SRV.




































Canagliflozin for Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events [Original Research Article]

2018-01-22T10:40:37-08:00

Background:Canagliflozin is a sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor that significantly reduces the composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and elevated cardiovascular risk. The comparative effects among participants with and without a history of cardiovascular disease (secondary versus primary prevention) were prespecified for evaluation.Methods:The CANVAS Program (Canagliflozin Cardiovascular Assessment Study) randomly assigned 10 142 participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus to canagliflozin or placebo. The primary prevention cohort comprised individuals ≥50 years of age with ≥2 risk factors for cardiovascular events but with no prior cardiovascular event, and the secondary prevention cohort comprised individuals ≥30 years of age with a prior cardiovascular event. The primary end point was a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke. Secondary outcomes included heart failure hospitalization and a renal composite (40% reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate, renal replacement therapy, or renal death).Results:Primary prevention participants (N=3486; 34%) were younger (63 versus 64 years of age), were more often female (45% versus 31%), and had a longer duration of diabetes mellitus (14 versus 13 years) compared with secondary prevention participants (N=6656; 66%). The primary end point event rate was higher in the secondary prevention group compared with the primary prevention group (36.9 versus 15.7/1000 patient-years, P[...]



Canagliflozin [Editorials]

2018-01-22T10:40:37-08:00




Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Lowering With Evolocumab and Outcomes in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease [Original Research Article]

2018-01-22T10:40:37-08:00

Background:The PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) inhibitor evolocumab reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and cardiovascular events in the FOURIER trial (Further Cardiovascular Outcomes Research With PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects With Elevated Risk). We investigated the efficacy and safety of evolocumab in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) as well as the effect on major adverse limb events.Methods:FOURIER was a randomized trial of evolocumab versus placebo in 27 564 patients with atherosclerotic disease on statin therapy followed for a median of 2.2 years. Patients were identified as having PAD at baseline if they had intermittent claudication and an ankle brachial index of [...]






ICare-ACS (Improving Care Processes for Patients With Suspected Acute Coronary Syndrome) [Original Research Article]

2018-01-22T10:40:38-08:00

Background:Efforts to safely reduce length of stay for emergency department patients with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) have had mixed success. Few system-wide efforts affecting multiple hospital emergency departments have ever been evaluated. We evaluated the effectiveness of a nationwide implementation of clinical pathways for potential ACS in disparate hospitals.Methods:This was a multicenter pragmatic stepped-wedge before-and-after trial in 7 New Zealand acute care hospitals with 31 332 patients investigated for suspected ACS with serial troponin measurements. The implementation was a clinical pathway for the assessment of patients with suspected ACS that included a clinical pathway document in paper or electronic format, structured risk stratification, specified time points for electrocardiographic and serial troponin testing within 3 hours of arrival, and directions for combining risk stratification and electrocardiographic and troponin testing in an accelerated diagnostic protocol. Implementation was monitored for >4 months and compared with usual care over the preceding 6 months. The main outcome measure was the odds of discharge within 6 hours of presentationResults:There were 11 529 participants in the preimplementation phase (range, 284–3465) and 19 803 in the postimplementation phase (range, 395–5039). Overall, the mean 6-hour discharge rate increased from 8.3% (range, 2.7%–37.7%) to 18.4% (6.8%–43.8%). The odds of being discharged within 6 hours increased after clinical pathway implementation. The odds ratio was 2.4 (95% confidence interval, 2.3–2.6). In patients without ACS, the median length of hospital stays decreased by 2.9 hours (95% confidence interval, 2.4–3.4). For patients discharged within 6 hours, there was no change in 30-day major adverse cardiac event rates (0.52% versus 0.44%; P=0.96). In these patients, no adverse event occurred when clinical pathways were correctly followed.Conclusions:Implementation of clinical pathways for suspected ACS reduced the length of stay and increased the proportions of patients safely discharged within 6 hours.Clinical Trial Registration:URL: https://www.anzctr.org.au/ (Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry). Unique identifier: ACTRN12617000381381.



Transcatheter Interatrial Shunt Device for the Treatment of Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction (REDUCE LAP-HF I [Reduce Elevated Left Atrial Pressure in Patients With Heart Failure]) [Original Research Article]

2018-01-22T10:40:38-08:00

Background:In nonrandomized, open-label studies, a transcatheter interatrial shunt device (IASD, Corvia Medical) was associated with lower pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), fewer symptoms, and greater quality of life and exercise capacity in patients with heart failure (HF) and midrange or preserved ejection fraction (EF ≥40%). We conducted the first randomized sham-controlled trial to evaluate the IASD in HF with EF ≥40%.Methods:REDUCE LAP-HF I (Reduce Elevated Left Atrial Pressure in Patients With Heart Failure) was a phase 2, randomized, parallel-group, blinded multicenter trial in patients with New York Heart Association class III or ambulatory class IV HF, EF ≥40%, exercise PCWP ≥25 mm Hg, and PCWP-right atrial pressure gradient ≥5 mm Hg. Participants were randomized (1:1) to the IASD versus a sham procedure (femoral venous access with intracardiac echocardiography but no IASD placement). The participants and investigators assessing the participants during follow-up were blinded to treatment assignment. The primary effectiveness end point was exercise PCWP at 1 month. The primary safety end point was major adverse cardiac, cerebrovascular, and renal events at 1 month. PCWP during exercise was compared between treatment groups using a mixed-effects repeated measures model analysis of covariance that included data from all available stages of exercise.Results:A total of 94 patients were enrolled, of whom 44 met inclusion/exclusion criteria and were randomized to the IASD (n=22) and control (n=22) groups. Mean age was 70±9 years, and 50% were female. At 1 month, the IASD resulted in a greater reduction in PCWP compared with sham control (P=0.028 accounting for all stages of exercise). Peak PCWP decreased by 3.5±6.4 mm Hg in the treatment group versus 0.5±5.0 mm Hg in the control group (P=0.14). There were no peri-procedural or 1-month major adverse cardiac, cerebrovascular, and renal events in the IASD group and 1 event (worsening renal function) in the control group (P=1.0).Conclusions:In patients with HF and EF ≥40%, IASD treatment reduces PCWP during exercise. Whether this mechanistic effect will translate into sustained improvements in symptoms and outcomes requires further evaluation.Clinical Trial Registration:URL[...]



Impact of Regionalization of ST-Segment-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Care on Treatment Times and Outcomes for Emergency Medical Services-Transported Patients Presenting to Hospitals With Percutaneous Coronary Intervention [Original Research Article]

2018-01-22T10:40:38-08:00

Background:Regional variations in reperfusion times and mortality in patients with ST-segment–elevation myocardial infarction are influenced by differences in coordinating care between emergency medical services (EMS) and hospitals. Building on the Accelerator-1 Project, we hypothesized that time to reperfusion could be further reduced with enhanced regional efforts.Methods:Between April 2015 and March 2017, we worked with 12 metropolitan regions across the United States with 132 percutaneous coronary intervention–capable hospitals and 946 EMS agencies. Data were collected in the ACTION (Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network)-Get With The Guidelines Registry for quarterly Mission: Lifeline reports. The primary end point was the change in the proportion of EMS-transported patients with first medical contact to device time ≤90 minutes from baseline to final quarter. We also compared treatment times and mortality with patients treated in hospitals not participating in the project during the corresponding time period.Results:During the study period, 10 730 patients were transported to percutaneous coronary intervention–capable hospitals, including 974 in the baseline quarter and 972 in the final quarter who met inclusion criteria. Median age was 61 years; 27% were women, 6% had cardiac arrest, and 6% had shock on admission; 10% were black, 12% were Latino, and 10% were uninsured. By the end of the intervention, all process measures reflecting coordination between EMS and hospitals had improved, including the proportion of patients with a first medical contact to device time of ≤90 minutes (67%–74%; P[...]



Standardized Definition of Structural Valve Degeneration for Surgical and Transcatheter Bioprosthetic Aortic Valves [White Paper]

2018-01-22T10:40:38-08:00

Bioprostheses are prone to structural valve degeneration, resulting in limited long-term durability. A significant challenge when comparing the durability of different types of bioprostheses is the lack of a standardized terminology for the definition of a degenerated valve. This issue becomes especially important when we try to compare the degeneration rate of surgically inserted and transcatheter bioprosthetic valves. This document, by the VIVID (Valve-in-Valve International Data), proposes practical and standardized definitions of valve degeneration and provides recommendations for the timing of clinical and imaging follow-up assessments accordingly. Its goal is to improve the quality of research and clinical care for patients with deteriorated bioprostheses by providing objective and strict criteria that can be utilized in future clinical trials. We hope that the adoption of these criteria by both the cardiological and surgical communities will lead to improved comparability and interpretation of durability analyses.



From the Literature [Cardiology News]

2018-01-22T10:40:38-08:00