A recent trial by Dr. Jordana B Cohen, published in The LANCET, indicated that consistent with international society recommendations, patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 can safely continue treatment with renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)) unless there is a distinct medical contraindication to ongoing therapy.
The emergent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of unstable plaques, compared to stable plaques, was associated with a better survival rate among patients with sudden cardiac arrest in a recent study by Dr. Louis Pechmajou et al. The results of the study were recently published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions. Continue reading
A recent study by Dr. Salaun, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, demonstrated that aortic valve replacement in patients with the low gradient (LG, defined as mean gradient <40 mmHg) severe aortic stenosis (AS) and preserved ejection fraction (EF) has resulted in better outcomes versus in those with the high gradient (HG, defined as a mean transvalvular gradient (MG) ≥ 40 mmHg) AS. Also, the study revealed that patients with classical low flow, low gradient (CLF-LG, defined as MG <40 mmHg and LVEF <50%) AS were at higher risk of death, rehospitalization, or stroke at 2 years.
A recent study by Dr. Alice M. Jackson M.D., published in Circulation journal, showed that the use of dapagliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor, in patients with reduced ejection fraction heart failure (HF) is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular (CV) death or a worsening HF event, and all-cause death. These effects remained consistent among different subgroups of diuretic therapy.
A recent study by Dr. Lopez-Sendon, published in European Heart Journal, showed that cardiotoxicity in the form of left ventricular dysfunction or myocardial injury affects a large portion of patients receiving high-risk anticancer therapy with only severe form strongly associated with all-cause mortality.
Cardiotoxicity has been known as one of the major side effects of anti-cancer therapy that may present with left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure. Given that the early recognition and treatment of these side effects have been associated with a higher recovery rate, a united diagnostic and management guideline seems necessary.
The CARDIOTOX (CARDIOvascular TOXicity induced by cancer-related therapies) registry has been established to determine the prevalence of cardiotoxicity markers as well as their association with guideline-based heart failure criteria and treatment in patients receiving chemotherapeutic agents. To achieve this purpose, a total of 865 patients receiving anticancer regimens associated with moderate to high cardiotoxicity were selected and followed for a median of 24 months. Clinical data, blood samples, and echocardiographic features were collected before the initiation of anticancer therapy and then at 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1.5 years, and 2 years afterward. Patients with past or current history of heart failure or reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (< 40%) and those with a history of previous cancer therapy including chemotherapy and radiation therapy were excluded from the study. Cardiotoxicity was defined as any new deterioration from the baseline of myocardial/ventricular function during follow-up periods. Cardiotoxicity was also sub-classified into four stages depending on the worst myocardial dysfunction/injury observed in the follow-up period. Myocardial dysfunction/injury stages include the following: normal, normal biomarkers (high-sensitivity troponin T and N-terminal natriuretic pro-peptide), and left ventricular (LV) function; mild, abnormal biomarkers, and/or LV dysfunction (LVD) maintaining an LV ejection fraction (LVEF) ≥ 50%; moderate, LVD with LVEF 40–49%; and severe, LVD with LVEF ≤ 40% or symptomatic heart failure.
The study indicated a high incidence (37.5%) of ventricular dysfunction among the patients, of whom only 3.1% were classified as having severe dysfunction and the majority have been classified as mild (31.6%). All-cause mortality was also observed to be higher among those with severe cardiotoxicity than other groups. According to the author, the relatively low prevalence of severe cardiotoxicity in the study population was due to the exclusion of patients with a previous history of cardiac dysfunction and the improvement in the follow-up of the cancer patients in the context of cardio-oncology service. Severe cardiotoxicity has also been associated with a 10-fold increase in total mortality compared to a less severe form of cardiotoxicity. A classification of cardiotoxicity using current heart failure guidelines is also proposed by the authors for future studies. This study acknowledged the critical role of comprehensive monitoring and follow-up for the development of cardiovascular symptoms and left ventricular dysfunction in patients receiving chemotherapeutic agents with potential cardiotoxicity.
Limitations that are worthy of mentioning include the inclusion of patients with some degree of abnormality in biomarkers and echocardiographic findings at baseline. Secondly, the prevalence of myocardial damage may be underestimated due to a number of missing visits or incomplete data collection during the follow-up period. Future research is warranted to approve the relationship of different stages of cardiotoxicity with clinical outcomes.
A recent study by Dr. Chapman, published in Circulation, showed that implementation of high sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) and the fourth universal definition of myocardial infarction (MI) increased the identification of patients at risk for cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular events, but failed to improve the outcomes. This study warrants the importance of seeking new strategies to improve outcomes in patients with type 2 MI and myocardial injury. Continue reading
The study by Dr. Ajijola, published in JAMA Cardiology, found that elevated coronary sinus neuropeptide Y (NPY) level is associated with adverse cardiovascular events in stable patients with chronic heart failure and therefore, it may have prognostic value in this population.
Increased cardiac sympathetic signaling has been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Biomarkers of the sympathetic system are of significant interest in the assessment of cardiovascular outcomes. NPY is one of the circulating catecholamines, which may predict the risk of death in patients with chronic heart failure.
Dr. Ajijola and his colleagues conducted a prospective observational cohort study at a single-center, tertiary care hospital. They observed 105 patients with stable heart failure undergoing elective cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device implantation between 2013 and 2015. Patients with NYHA class I, severe aortic stenosis, cardiac surgery within prior 90 days, severe obstructive pulmonary disease requiring oxygen or with recent decompensation (< 30 days), current pregnancy, primary pulmonary hypertension, continuous intravenous drug infusion for heart failure, and life expectancy under 6 months were excluded from the study. At the time of the intervention, the coronary sinus blood sample was taken and checked for the NPY levels. Patients were evaluated for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) as well as responses to CRT. Composite endpoint was defined as death, cardiac transplant (OHT), or ventricular assist device (VAD) placement.
The results of the study showed that NPY levels of coronary sinus were associated with prognostic implications in patients with heart failure. 20 out of 105 (19%) patients showed composite endpoints at a median follow-up of 29 months. Also, the NPY levels of greater than 130 pg/mL were associated with worse outcomes compared with those with lower levels (HR, 8.9; 95% CI, 3.1 – 25.7; P < 0.001). The results remained significant even after adjusting for age, eGFR, and LVEF (HR, 9.5; 95% CI, 2.92 – 30.5; P < 0.001). According to Dr. Ajijola, “Coronary sinus NPY levels may identify patients in whom close clinical monitoring and more aggressive interventions are needed to prevent adverse events. It may also identify those in whom CRT is likely to be ineffective, and such patients may be considered sooner for OHT or VAD.”
This study is limited by some points. First, although NPY levels were irrespective of CRT response, the presence of CRT devices limits the external validity of the study. Second, the sample size was small for formal statistical validation of the study including the NPY thresholds. Future studies are warranted to further validate the results of this study and to clarify the prognostic value of NPY levels.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited genetic disorder of the myocardium, and the number one culprit of sudden cardiac death in athletes, particularly African Americans.
“Is race associated with differential disease expression, inequitable care provision, or disparate clinical outcomes among patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?”
In order to answer the above question, Lauren A. Eberly, et al. studied 2,467 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In a retrospective cohort study, black and white patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy from the US-based sites of the Sarcomeric Human Cardiomyopathy Registry from 1989 through 2018 compared in terms of baseline characteristics; genetic architecture; adverse outcomes such as cardiac arrest, cardiac transplantation or left ventricular assist device implantation, cardioverter-defibrillator implantation, all-cause mortality, atrial fibrillation, stroke, prevalence and likelihood of developing heart failure; and receiving septal reduction therapies.
According to the results of this study (8.3 percent black; 91.7 percent white), published in the JAMA CARDIOLOGY (December 2019), compared with white patients, black patients with HCM were younger (mean age, 36.5 versus 41.9 years), were less likely to have sarcomere mutations (26.1 versus 40.5 percent), had a higher prevalence of New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III or IV heart failure at presentation (22.6 versus 15.8 percent) and were more prone to developing heart failure (hazard ratio, 1.45). Lower rates of genetic testing (26.1 versus 40.5 percent) have been observed in black patients. Although there were no racial differences in implantation of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, the invasive septal reduction was less common among African Americans (14.6 versus 23 percent). Nevertheless, Black patients had fewer incidents of atrial fibrillation (35 [17.1 percent] versus 608 [26.9 percent].
The results of this study were in accordance with the previous studies that mentioned a higher prevalence of complicated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in African Americans in contrast to the lower prevalence of HCM in this community. Eberly, et al. believe that racial differences in disease expression and adverse clinical outcomes are not only because of different characteristics of the disease in African Americans but also inequities in clinical care provision might be responsible for these observed differences.
An expanded analysis of 231 patients from the GALILEO trial comparing rivaroxaban-aspirin based anti-thrombotic therapy with clopidogrel-aspirin based dual anti-platelet therapy post transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), has shown that the rivaroxaban based regimen protects from valve leaflet motion abnormalities. The rivaroxaban based strategy led to decreased prosthetic valve leaflet thickening and motion reduction following TAVR performed for severe aortic valve stenosis. Continue reading
A registry-based cohort study including 72,660 Medicare patients with and without atrial fibrillation (AF) who underwent non-apical transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) from 2014 to 2016, has shown that, TAVR patients with new-onset AF have the highest rate of all-cause mortality (32%) compared to patients with pre-existing or no AF (23.3% and 12.8%, respectively). New-onset AF was also associated with an increased risk of bleeding, stroke and heart failure (HF) hospitalizations.
In a meta-analysis of RCTs comparing TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) versus SAVR (Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement) in low-risk patients with severe AS, TAVR was associated with a significantly lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality at 1 year follow up. The study conducted by Kolte et.al was recently published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology.
In the largest updated meta-analysis study conducted to understand the inverse association between low serum vitamin D supplementation and increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks, vitamin D supplementation was not associated with reduced major adverse cardiovascular events, individual CVD end points (myocardial infarction, stroke, CVD mortality) or all-cause mortality. The findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology suggest vitamin D supplementation may not confer cardiovascular protection and may not be indicated for this purpose. Continue reading
A randomized multi-center trial which enrolled 1000 patients from 71 centers around the world has shown that in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at low surgical risk, the rate of the composite of death, stroke, or rehospitalization at 1 year is significantly lower with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) than with surgery. Continue reading
A multicenter, prospective nation-wide French registry evaluated whether oral anticoagulation therapy was an independent correlate of long-term survival and early bioprosthetic valve dysfunction (BVD) in patients who underwent successful Transcatheter Valve Implantation (TAVI). The French registry was launched in 2007 and involved 11,469 patients with a mean duration follow-up was 495±3.5 days. This registry contained 11 years of data and analyzed patients from January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2015. Continue reading
In a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), it was found that patients undergoing uncomplicated TAVR have a safe next-day discharge (NDD) profile with no difference in 30-day mortality rate in comparison to an increased length of hospital stay. In addition, the study also highlighted better 1-year clinical outcomes in patients as compared to non-NDD group. Continue reading
A contemporary cohort study recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology highlighted the clinical significance of age and other associated comorbidities in determining the clinical outcome in patients undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). The 10-year mortality rate was found to be considerably high in elderly SAVR recipients of a bioprosthetic valve and almost one-third of the population exhibited subclinical structural valve degeneration (SVD). Continue reading