Topic: Imaging

Abstract

Left atrial appendage thrombus and cerebrovascular events post-transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

van Wiechen MP, Faure ME, Hokken TW, Ooms JF, ... Budde RPJ, Van Mieghem NM
Aims
To elucidate the frequency and clinical impact of left atrial appendage thrombus (LAAT) in patients set for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
Methods and results
All patients undergoing TAVI between January 2014 and June 2020 with analysable multislice computed tomography (MSCT) for LAAT were included. Baseline and procedural characteristics were collected, pre-procedural MSCT\'s were retrospectively analysed for LAAT presence. The primary endpoint was defined as the cumulative incidence of any cerebrovascular event (stroke or transient ischaemic attack) within the first year after TAVI. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify predictors.A total of 1050 cases had analysable MSCT. Median age was 80 [interquartile range (IQR) 74-84], median Society of Thoracic Surgeons\' Predicted Risk Of Mortality (STS-PROM) was 3.4% (IQR 2.3-5.5). Thirty-six percent were on oral anticoagulant therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF). LAAT was present in 48 (4.6%) of cases. Patients with LAAT were at higher operative risk [STS-PROM: 4.9% (2.9-7.1) vs. 3.4% (2.3-5.5), P = 0.01], had worse systolic left ventricular function [EF 52% (35-60) vs. 55% (45-65), P = 0.01] and more permanent pacemakers at baseline (35% vs. 10%, P < 0.01). All patients with LAAT had a history of AF and patients with LAAT were more often on vitamin K antagonist-treatment than patients without LAAT [43/47 (91%) vs. 232/329 (71%), P < 0.01]. LAAT [hazard ratio (HR) 2.94 (1.39-6.22), P < 0.01] and the implantation of more than one valve [HR 4.52 (1.79-11.25), P < 0.01] were independent predictors for cerebrovascular events.
Conclusion
Patients with MSCT-identified LAAT were at higher risk for cerebrovascular events during the first year after TAVI.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1345-1353
van Wiechen MP, Faure ME, Hokken TW, Ooms JF, ... Budde RPJ, Van Mieghem NM
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1345-1353 | PMID: 34322706
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Abstract

Left atrial strain is a predictor of left ventricular systolic and diastolic reverse remodelling in CRT candidates.

Galli E, Oger E, Aalen JM, Duchenne J, ... Smiseth OA, Donal E
Aims
The left atrium (LA) has a pivotal role in cardiac performance and LA deformation is a well-known prognostic predictor in several clinical conditions including heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) on both LA morphology and function and to assess the impact of LA reservoir strain (LARS) on left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic remodelling after CRT.
Methods and results
Two hundred and twenty-one CRT-candidates were prospectively included in the study in four tertiary centres and underwent echocardiography before CRT-implantation and at 6-month follow-up (FU). CRT-response was defined by a 15% reduction in LV end-systolic volume. LV systolic and diastolic remodelling were defined as the percent reduction in LV end-systolic and end-diastolic volume at FU. Indexed LA volume (LAVI) and LV-global longitudinal (GLS) strain were the main parameters correlated with LARS, with LV-GLS being the strongest determinant of LARS (r = -0.59, P < 0.0001). CRT induced a significant improvement in LAVI and LARS in responders (both P < 0.0001). LARS was an independent predictor of both LV systolic and diastolic remodelling at follow-up (r = -0.14, P = 0.049 and r = -0.17, P = 0.002, respectively).
Conclusion
CRT induces a significant improvement in LAVI and LARS in responders. In CRT candidates, the evaluation of LARS before CRT delivery is an independent predictor of LV systolic and diastolic remodelling at FU.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1373-1382
Galli E, Oger E, Aalen JM, Duchenne J, ... Smiseth OA, Donal E
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1373-1382 | PMID: 34432006
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Abstract

Adverse right ventricular remodelling, function, and stress responses in obesity: insights from cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

Lewis AJM, Abdesselam I, Rayner JJ, Byrne J, ... Neubauer S, Rider OJ
Aims
We aimed to determine the effect of increasing body weight upon right ventricular (RV) volumes, energetics, systolic function, and stress responses using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR).
Methods and results
We first determined the effects of World Health Organization class III obesity [body mass index (BMI) > 40 kg/m2, n = 54] vs. healthy weight (BMI < 25 kg/m2, n = 49) upon RV volumes, energetics and systolic function using CMR. In less severe obesity (BMI 35 ± 5 kg/m2, n = 18) and healthy weight controls (BMI 21 ± 1 kg/m2, n = 9), we next performed CMR before and during dobutamine to evaluate RV stress response. A subgroup undergoing bariatric surgery (n = 37) were rescanned at median 1 year to determine the effects of weight loss. When compared with healthy weight, class III obesity was associated with adverse RV remodelling (17% RV end-diastolic volume increase, P < 0.0001), impaired cardiac energetics (19% phosphocreatine to adenosine triphosphate ratio reduction, P < 0.001), and reduction in RV ejection fraction (by 3%, P = 0.01), which was related to impaired energetics (R = 0.3, P = 0.04). Participants with less severe obesity had impaired RV diastolic filling at rest and blunted RV systolic and diastolic responses to dobutamine compared with healthy weight. Surgical weight loss (34 ± 15 kg weight loss) was associated with improvement in RV end-diastolic volume (by 8%, P = 0.006) and systolic function (by 2%, P = 0.03).
Conclusion
Increasing body weight is associated with significant alterations in RV volumes, energetic, systolic function, and stress responses. Adverse RV modelling is mitigated with weight loss. Randomized trials are needed to determine whether intentional weight loss improves symptoms and outcomes in patients with obesity and heart failure.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1383-1390
Lewis AJM, Abdesselam I, Rayner JJ, Byrne J, ... Neubauer S, Rider OJ
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1383-1390 | PMID: 34453521
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Abstract

Clinical impact of left atrial appendage filling defects in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

Okuno T, Lanz J, Stortecky S, Heg D, ... Windecker S, Pilgrim T
Aims
Incidental detection of left atrial appendage (LAA) filling defects is a common finding on multi-detector computed tomography in aortic stenosis patients under evaluation for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). We aimed to investigate the incidence of LAA filling defects before TAVI and its impact on clinical outcomes.
Methods and results
In a prospective registry, LAA filling defects were retrospectively evaluated and categorized into one of four sub-types: thrombus-like, heterogeneous, horizontal, and Hounsfield Unit (HU)-run-off. The primary endpoint was the composite of cardiovascular death or disabling stroke up to 1-year follow-up. Among 1621 patients undergoing TAVI between August 2007 and June 2018, LAA filling defects were present in 177 patients (11%), and categorized as thrombus-like in 22 (1.4%), heterogeneous in 37 (2.3%), horizontal in 80 (4.9%), and HU-run-off in 38 (2.4%). Compared to patients with normal LAA filling, patients with LAA filling defects had greater prevalence of atrial fibrillation (84.7% vs. 26.4%, P < 0.001) and history of cerebrovascular events (16.4% vs. 10.9%, P = 0.045). The primary endpoint occurred in 131 patients (9.2%) with normal LAA filling and in 36 patients (21.2%) with LAA filling defects (P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis suggested that the risk of disabling stroke was greatest in the thrombus-like pattern (23.0%), followed by the HU-run-off (8.0%), the heterogeneous (6.2%), and the horizontal pattern (1.2%).
Conclusion
LAA filling defects were observed in 11% of aortic stenosis patients undergoing TAVI and associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death and disabling stroke up to 1 year following TAVI.
Trial registration
https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. NCT01368250.

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Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1354-1364
Okuno T, Lanz J, Stortecky S, Heg D, ... Windecker S, Pilgrim T
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1354-1364 | PMID: 34463717
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Abstract

Measurement of compensatory arterial remodelling over time with serial coronary computed tomography angiography and 3D metrics.

van den Hoogen IJ, van Rosendael AR, Lin FY, Gianni U, ... Shaw LJ, Bax JJ
Aims
The magnitude of alterations in which coronary arteries remodel and narrow over time is not well understood. We aimed to examine changes in coronary arterial remodelling and luminal narrowing by three-dimensional (3D) metrics from serial coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA).
Methods and results
From a multicentre registry of patients with suspected coronary artery disease who underwent clinically indicated serial CCTA (median interscan interval = 3.3 years), we quantitatively measured coronary plaque, vessel, and lumen volumes on both scans. Primary outcome was the per-segment change in coronary vessel and lumen volume from a change in plaque volume, focusing on arterial remodelling. Multivariate generalized estimating equations including statins were calculated comparing associations between groups of baseline percent atheroma volume (PAV) and location within the coronary artery tree. From 1245 patients (mean age 61 ± 9 years, 39% women), a total of 5721 segments were analysed. For each 1.00 mm3 increase in plaque volume, the vessel volume increased by 0.71 mm3 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63 to 0.79 mm3, P < 0.001] with a corresponding reduction in lumen volume by 0.29 mm3 (95% CI -0.37 to -0.21 mm3, P < 0.001). Serial 3D arterial remodelling and luminal narrowing was similar in segments with low and high baseline PAV (P ≥ 0.496). No differences were observed between left main and non-left main segments, proximal and distal segments and side branch and non-side branch segments (P ≥ 0.281).
Conclusions
Over time, atherosclerotic coronary plaque reveals prominent outward arterial remodelling that co-occurs with modest luminal narrowing. These findings provide additional insight into the compensatory mechanisms involved in the progression of coronary atherosclerosis.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1336-1344
van den Hoogen IJ, van Rosendael AR, Lin FY, Gianni U, ... Shaw LJ, Bax JJ
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Sep 2022; 23:1336-1344 | PMID: 34468717
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Abstract

Long-term prognostic value of right ventricular dysfunction on cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging in anthracycline-treated cancer survivors.

Chhikara S, Hooks M, Athwal PSS, Hughes A, ... Blaes AH, Shenoy C
Aims
We aimed to determine the prevalence of right ventricular (RV) systolic dysfunction on cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and its impact on long-term adverse outcomes in a large cohort of cancer survivors treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapy.
Methods and results
Consecutive cancer survivors treated with anthracyclines who underwent clinical CMR for suspected anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy were studied. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause death or major adverse cardiac events (MACE): heart failure hospitalization, heart transplantation, ventricular assist device implantation, resuscitated cardiac arrest, or life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia. The secondary endpoints were all-cause death, and cardiac death or MACE. Among 249 survivors who underwent CMR at a median of 2.9 years after cancer treatment, RV systolic dysfunction was present in 54 (21.7%). Of these, 50 (92.6%) had an abnormal left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). At a median follow-up time after the CMR of 2.7 years, 105 survivors experienced the primary endpoint. On Kaplan-Meier analyses, the cumulative incidence of the primary endpoint was significantly higher in survivors with abnormal RVEF compared with those with normal RVEF (P = 0.002). However, on Cox multivariable analyses, RVEF was not associated with the primary endpoint (HR 1.04 per 5% decrease; 95% CI 0.93-1.17; P = 0.46) after adjustment for non-imaging variables and LVEF. RVEF was also not associated with the secondary endpoints.
Conclusion
Among anthracycline-treated cancer survivors undergoing CMR for suspected cardiotoxicity, RV systolic dysfunction was present in one in five cases, accompanied by LV systolic dysfunction in nearly all cases, and was not independently associated with long-term outcomes.

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Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Aug 2022; 23:1222-1230
Chhikara S, Hooks M, Athwal PSS, Hughes A, ... Blaes AH, Shenoy C
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Aug 2022; 23:1222-1230 | PMID: 34297807
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Abstract

A simplified wall-based model for regional innervation/perfusion mismatch assessed by cardiac 123I-mIBG and rest 99mTc-tetrofosmin SPECT to predict arrhythmic events in ischaemic heart failure.

Verschure DO, Poel E, Travin MI, Henzlova MJ, ... Jacobson AF, Verberne HJ
Aims
Cardiac 123iodine-meta-iodobenzylguanidine (123I-mIBG) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging provides information on regional myocardial innervation. However, the value of the commonly used 17-segment summed defect score (SDS) as a prognostic marker is uncertain. The present study examined whether a simpler regional scoring approach for evaluation of 123I-mIBG SPECT combined with rest 99mTc-tetrofosmin SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging could improve prediction of arrhythmic events (AEs) in patients with ischaemic heart failure (HF).
Methods and results
Five hundred and two ischaemic HF subjects of the ADMIRE-HF study with complete cardiac 123I-mIBG and rest 99mTc-tetrofosmin SPECT studies were included. Both SPECT image sets were read together by two experienced nuclear imagers and scored by consensus. In addition to standard 17-segment scoring, the readers classified walls (i.e. anterior, lateral, inferior, septum and apex) as normal, matched defect, mismatched (innervation defect > perfusion defect), or reverse mismatched (perfusion defect > innervation defect). Cox proportional hazards ratios (HRs) were used to determine if age, body mass index, functional class, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), norepinephrine, 123I-mIBG SDS, 99mTc-tetrofosmin SDS, innervation/perfusion mismatch SDS, and our simplified visual innervation/perfusion wall classification were associated with occurrence of AEs (i.e. sudden cardiac death, sustained ventricular tachycardia, resuscitated cardiac arrest, appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy). At 2-year median follow-up, 52 subjects (10.4%) had AEs. Subjects with 1 or 2 mismatched walls were twice as likely to have AEs compared with subjects with either 0 or 3-5 mismatched walls (16.3% vs. 8.3%, P = 0.010). Cox regression analyses showed that patients with a visual mismatch in 1-2 walls had an almost two times higher risk of AEs [HR 2.084 (1.109-3.914), P = 0.001]. None of the other innervation, perfusion and mismatch scores using standard 17 segments were associated with AEs. BNP (ng/L) was the only non-imaging parameter associated with AEs.
Conclusion
A visual left ventricular wall-level based scoring method identified highest AE risk in ischaemic HF subjects with intermediate levels of innervation/perfusion mismatches. This simple technique for the evaluation of SPECT studies, which are often challenging in HF subjects, seems to be superior to the 17-segment scoring method.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Aug 2022; 23:1201-1209
Verschure DO, Poel E, Travin MI, Henzlova MJ, ... Jacobson AF, Verberne HJ
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Aug 2022; 23:1201-1209 | PMID: 34427293
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Abstract

Diagnostic accuracy of dynamic CZT-SPECT in coronary artery disease. A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Panjer M, Dobrolinska M, Wagenaar NRL, Slart RHJA
Background
With the appearance of cadmium-zinc-telluride (CZT) cameras, dynamic myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) has been introduced, but comparable data to other MPI modalities, such as quantitative coronary angiography (CAG) with fractional flow reserve (FFR) and positron emission tomography (PET), are lacking. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of dynamic CZT single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) in coronary artery disease compared to quantitative CAG, FFR, and PET as reference.
Materials and methods
Different databases were screened for eligible citations performing dynamic CZT-SPECT against CAG, FFR, or PET. PubMed, OvidSP (Medline), Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, and EMBASE were searched on the 5th of July 2020. Studies had to meet the following pre-established inclusion criteria: randomized controlled trials, retrospective trails or observational studies relevant for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, and performing CZT-SPECT and within half a year the methodological references. Studies which considered coronary stenosis between 50% and 70% as significant based only on CAG were excluded. Data extracted were sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios, and diagnostic odds ratios. Quality was assessed with QUADAS-2 and statistical analysis was performed using a bivariate model.
Results
Based on our criteria, a total of 9 studies containing 421 patients were included. For the assessment of CZT-SPECT, the diagnostic value pooled analysis with a bivariate model was calculated and yielded a sensitivity of 0.79 (% CI 0.73 to 0.85) and a specificity of 0.85 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.92). Diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) was 17.82 (95% CI 8.80 to 36.08, P < 0.001). Positive likelihood ratio (PLR) and negative likelihood ratio (NLR) were 3.86 (95% CI 2.76 to 5.38, P < 0.001) and 0.21 (95% CI 0.13 to 0.33, P < 0.001), respectively.
Conclusion
Based on the results of the current systematic review and meta-analysis, dynamic CZT-SPECT MPI demonstrated a good sensitivity and specificity to diagnose CAD as compared to the gold standards. However, due to the heterogeneity of the methodologies between the CZT-SPECT MPI studies and the relatively small number of included studies, it warrants further well-defined study protocols.

© 2021. The Author(s).

J Nucl Cardiol: 01 Aug 2022; 29:1686-1697
Panjer M, Dobrolinska M, Wagenaar NRL, Slart RHJA
J Nucl Cardiol: 01 Aug 2022; 29:1686-1697 | PMID: 34350553
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Abstract

Accuracy of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Diagnosing Pediatric Cardiac Masses: A Multicenter Study.

Beroukhim RS, Ghelani S, Ashwath R, Balasubramanian S, ... Valsangiacomo E, Geva T
Background
After diagnosis of a cardiac mass, clinicians must weigh the benefits and risks of ascertaining a tissue diagnosis. Limited data are available on the accuracy of previously developed noninvasive pediatric cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR)-based diagnostic criteria.
Objectives
The goals of this study were to: 1) evaluate the CMR characteristics of pediatric cardiac masses from a large international cohort; 2) test the accuracy of previously developed CMR-based diagnostic criteria; and 3) expand diagnostic criteria using new information.
Methods
CMR studies (children 0-18 years of age) with confirmatory histological and/or genetic diagnosis were analyzed by 2 reviewers, without knowledge of prior diagnosis. Diagnostic accuracy was graded as: 1) single correct diagnosis; 2) correct diagnosis among a differential; or 3) incorrect diagnosis.
Results
Of 213 cases, 174 (82%) had diagnoses that were represented in the previously published diagnostic criteria. In 70% of 174 cases, both reviewers achieved a single correct diagnosis (94% of fibromas, 71% of rhabdomyomas, and 50% of myxomas). When ≤2 differential diagnoses were included, both reviewers reached a correct diagnosis in 86% of cases. Of 29 malignant tumors, both reviewers indicated malignancy as a single diagnosis in 52% of cases. Including ≤2 differential diagnoses, both reviewers indicated malignancy in 83% of cases. Of 6 CMR sequences examined, acquisition of first-pass perfusion and late gadolinium enhancement were independently associated with a higher likelihood of a single correct diagnosis.
Conclusions
CMR of cardiac masses in children leads to an accurate diagnosis in most cases. A comprehensive imaging protocol is associated with higher diagnostic accuracy.

Crown Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Aug 2022; 15:1391-1405
Beroukhim RS, Ghelani S, Ashwath R, Balasubramanian S, ... Valsangiacomo E, Geva T
JACC Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Aug 2022; 15:1391-1405 | PMID: 34419404
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Abstract

Left ventricular longitudinal strain alterations in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic paediatric patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Sirico D, Di Chiara C, Costenaro P, Bonfante F, ... Giaquinto C, Di Salvo G
Aims
Compared with adult patients, clinical manifestations of children\'s coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) are generally perceived as less severe. The objective of this study was to evaluate cardiac involvement in previously healthy children with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.
Methods and results
We analysed a cohort of 53 paediatric patients (29 males, 55%), mean age 7.5 ± 4.7 years, who had a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and were asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic for COVID-19. Patients underwent standard transthoracic echocardiogram and speckle tracking echocardiographic study at least 3 months after diagnosis. Thirty-two age, sex, and body surface area comparable healthy subjects were used as control group. Left ventricular ejection fraction was within normal limits but significantly lower in the cases group compared to controls (62.4 ± 4.1% vs. 65.2 ± 5.5%; P = 0.012). Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (20.1 ± 3 mm vs. 19.8 ± 3.4 mm; P = 0.822) and left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (-21.9 ± 2.4% vs. -22.6 ± 2.5%; P = 0.208) were comparable between the two groups. Regional LV strain analysis showed a significant reduction of the LV mid-wall segments strain among cases compared to controls. Furthermore, in the cases group, there were 14 subjects (26%) with a regional peak systolic strain below -16% (-2.5 Z score in our healthy cohort) in at least two segments. These subjects did not show any difference regarding symptoms or serological findings.
Conclusion
SARS-CoV-2 infection may affect left ventricular deformation in 26% of children despite an asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic acute illness. A follow-up is needed to verify the reversibility of these alterations and their impact on long-term outcomes.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jul 2022; 23:1083-1089
Sirico D, Di Chiara C, Costenaro P, Bonfante F, ... Giaquinto C, Di Salvo G
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jul 2022; 23:1083-1089 | PMID: 34219155
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Abstract

Association between computed tomography-derived tricuspid annular dimensions and prognosis: insights from whole-beat computed tomography assessment.

Hirasawa K, Fortuni F, van Rosendael PJ, Ajmone Marsan N, Bax JJ, Delgado V
Aims
Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) has been associated with outcome in patients treated with transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Tricuspid annulus (TA) dimensions are associated with TR. However, the TA is highly dynamic during the cardiac cycle, and the interaction between the TA dimensions, TR, and patient prognosis has never been evaluated. This study aimed to characterize the dynamics of the TA along with the cardiac cycle and its association with prognosis in patients undergoing TAVI.
Methods and results
Patients with severe aortic stenosis who underwent whole-beat computed tomography (n = 393, mean age 80 ± 7 years, 53% male) were included. The ratio between anterior-posterior (AP) and septal-lateral (SL) diameter of the TA was calculated at end-systole (ES), mid-diastole (MD), and end-diastole (ED) to characterize the TA shape throughout the cardiac cycle. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. During a median follow-up of 3.6 (1.7-5.5) years, 146 patients died. While all the TA parameters at ES and MD were not associated with all-cause mortality, a low AP/SL ratio at ED (more circular geometry) was independently related with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio: 4.717, 95% confidence interval: 1.481-15.152; P = 0.009). In addition, a more circular TA shape at ED (AP/SL ratio < 1.20) was also associated with more right atrial and ventricular dilation, more frequently significant TR, and a higher prevalence of atrial fibrillation.
Conclusion
Circular remodelling of the TA shape at ED is associated with more right atrial and ventricular dilation, and a higher long-term mortality after TAVI. The evaluation of the TA shape at ED may be a useful parameter in the risk stratification of patients undergoing TAVI.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jul 2022; 23:1090-1097
Hirasawa K, Fortuni F, van Rosendael PJ, Ajmone Marsan N, Bax JJ, Delgado V
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jul 2022; 23:1090-1097 | PMID: 34279577
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Abstract

Non-invasive characterization of pleural and pericardial effusions using T1 mapping by magnetic resonance imaging.

Rosmini S, Seraphim A, Knott K, Brown JT, ... Moon JC, Manisty C
Aims
Differentiating exudative from transudative effusions is clinically important and is currently performed via biochemical analysis of invasively obtained samples using Light\'s criteria. Diagnostic performance is however limited. Biochemical composition can be measured with T1 mapping using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and hence may offer diagnostic utility for assessment of effusions.
Methods and results
A phantom consisting of serially diluted human albumin solutions (25-200 g/L) was constructed and scanned at 1.5 T to derive the relationship between fluid T1 values and fluid albumin concentration. Native T1 values of pleural and pericardial effusions from 86 patients undergoing clinical CMR studies retrospectively analysed at four tertiary centres. Effusions were classified using Light\'s criteria where biochemical data was available (n = 55) or clinically in decompensated heart failure patients with presumed transudative effusions (n = 31). Fluid T1 and protein values were inversely correlated both in the phantom (r = -0.992) and clinical samples (r = -0.663, P < 0.0001). T1 values were lower in exudative compared to transudative pleural (3252 ± 207 ms vs. 3596 ± 213 ms, P < 0.0001) and pericardial (2749 ± 373 ms vs. 3337 ± 245 ms, P < 0.0001) effusions. The diagnostic accuracy of T1 mapping for detecting transudates was very good for pleural and excellent for pericardial effusions, respectively [area under the curve 0.88, (95% CI 0.764-0.996), P = 0.001, 79% sensitivity, 89% specificity, and 0.93, (95% CI 0.855-1.000), P < 0.0001, 95% sensitivity; 81% specificity].
Conclusion
Native T1 values of effusions measured using CMR correlate well with protein concentrations and may be helpful for discriminating between transudates and exudates. This may help focus the requirement for invasive diagnostic sampling, avoiding unnecessary intervention in patients with unequivocal transudative effusions.

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Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jul 2022; 23:1117-1126
Rosmini S, Seraphim A, Knott K, Brown JT, ... Moon JC, Manisty C
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jul 2022; 23:1117-1126 | PMID: 34331054
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Abstract

Comprehensive echocardiographic evaluation of the right heart in patients with pulmonary vascular diseases: the PVDOMICS experience.

Jellis CL, Park MM, Abidov A, Borlaug BA, ... Thomas JD, PVDOMICS Study Group
Aims
There is a wide spectrum of diseases associated with pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vascular remodelling, and right ventricular dysfunction. The NIH-sponsored PVDOMICS network seeks to perform comprehensive clinical phenotyping and endophenotyping across these disorders to further evaluate and define pulmonary vascular disease.
Methods and results
Echocardiography represents the primary non-invasive method to phenotype cardiac anatomy, function, and haemodynamics in these complex patients. However, comprehensive right heart evaluation requires the use of multiple echocardiographic parameters and optimized techniques to ensure optimal image acquisition. The PVDOMICS echo protocol outlines the best practice approach to echo phenotypic assessment of the right heart/pulmonary artery unit.
Conclusion
Novel workflow processes, methods for quality control, data for feasibility of measurements, and reproducibility of right heart parameters derived from this study provide a benchmark frame of reference. Lessons learned from this protocol will serve as a best practice guide for echocardiographic image acquisition and analysis across the spectrum of right heart/pulmonary vascular disease.

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Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jun 2022; 23:958-969
Jellis CL, Park MM, Abidov A, Borlaug BA, ... Thomas JD, PVDOMICS Study Group
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 21 Jun 2022; 23:958-969 | PMID: 34097027
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Impact:
Abstract

Left atrial strain by speckle tracking predicts atrial fibrosis in patients undergoing heart transplantation.

Lisi M, Mandoli GE, Cameli M, Pastore MC, ... Mondillo S, Henein MY
Aims
In patients with heart failure (HF), chronically raised left ventricular (LV) filling pressures lead to progressive left atrial (LA) dysfunction and fibrosis. We aimed to assess the correlation of LA reservoir strain (peak atrial longitudinal strain, PALS) by speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) and LA fibrosis assessed by myocardial biopsy in patients undergoing heart transplantation (HTx).
Methods and results
Forty-eight patients with advanced HF [mean age 51.2 ± 8.1 years, 29% females; LV ejection fraction ≤25% and New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III-IV] referred for HTx were enrolled and underwent pre-operative echocardiographic evaluation, right heart catheterization, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Exclusion criteria were non-sinus rhythm, mechanical ventilation, severe mitral/tricuspid regurgitation, or other valvular disease and poor acoustic window. After HTx, LA bioptic samples were collected and analysed to determine the extent of myocardial fibrosis (%). LA fibrosis showed correlation with PALS (R = -0.88, P < 0.0001), VO2max (R = -0.68, P < 0.0001), NYHA class (R = 0.66, P < 0.0001), LA stiffness (R = 0.58, P = 0.0002), and E/e\' (R = 0.44, P = 0.005), while poorly correlated with E/A ratio (R = 0.23, P = 0.21). PALS had a good correlation with NYHA class (R = -0.64, P < 0.0001), PAoP (R = -0.61, P = 0.03) and VO2max (R = 0.57, P = 0.0001). Multivariate regression analysis identified PALS (beta = -0.91, P < 0.001) and LA Volume (beta = -0.19, P = 0.03) as predictors of LA Fibrosis, while E/e\' was not a significant predictor (beta = 0.15, P = 0.08).
Conclusion
Emerging as a possible index of myocardial fibrosis in patients with advanced HF, PALS could help to optimize the management and the selection of those patients with irreversible LA structural damage for advanced therapeutic strategies.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:829-835
Lisi M, Mandoli GE, Cameli M, Pastore MC, ... Mondillo S, Henein MY
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:829-835 | PMID: 34118154
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Impact:
Abstract

Risk predicting for acute coronary syndrome based on machine learning model with kinetic plaque features from serial coronary computed tomography angiography.

Wang Y, Chen H, Sun T, Li A, ... Wang X, Cao F
Aims
More patients with suspected coronary artery disease underwent coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) as gatekeeper. However, the prospective relation of plaque features to acute coronary syndrome (ACS) events has not been previously explored.
Methods and results
One hundred and one out of 452 patients with documented ACS event and received more than once CCTA during the past 12 years were recruited. Other 101 patients without ACS event were matched as case control. Baseline, follow-up, and changes of anatomical, compositional, and haemodynamic parameters [e.g. luminal stenosis, plaque volume, necrotic core, calcification, and CCTA-derived fractional flow reserve (CT-FFR)] were analysed by independent CCTA measurement core laboratories. Baseline anatomical, compositional, and haemodynamic parameters of lesions showed no significant difference between the two cohorts (P > 0.05). While the culprit lesions exhibited significant increase of luminal stenosis (10.18 ± 2.26% vs. 3.62 ± 1.41%, P = 0.018), remodelling index (0.15 ± 0.14 vs. 0.09 ± 0.01, P < 0.01), and necrotic core (4.79 ± 1.84% vs. 0.43 ± 1.09%, P = 0.019) while decrease of CT-FFR (-0.05 ± 0.005 vs. -0.01 ± 0.003, P < 0.01) and calcium ratio (-4.28 ± 2.48% vs. 4.48 ± 1.46%, P = 0.004) between follow-up CCTA and baseline scans in comparison to that of non-culprit lesion. The XGBoost model comprising the top five important plaque features revealed higher predictive ability (area under the curve 0.918, 95% confidence interval 0.861-0.968).
Conclusions
Dynamic changes of plaque features are highly relative with subsequent ACS events. The machine learning model of integrating these lesion characteristics (e.g. CT-FFR, necrotic core, remodelling index, plaque volume, and calcium) can improve the ability for predicting risks of ACS events.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:800-810
Wang Y, Chen H, Sun T, Li A, ... Wang X, Cao F
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:800-810 | PMID: 34151931
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Impact:
Abstract

Utility of echocardiographic right ventricular subcostal strain in critical care.

Bleakley C, de Marvao A, Morosin M, Androulakis E, ... Cowie M, Price S
Aims
Right ventricular (RV) strain is a known predictor of outcomes in various heart and lung pathologies but has been considered too technically challenging for routine use in critical care. We examined whether RV strain acquired from the subcostal view, frequently more accessible in the critically ill, is an alternative to conventionally derived RV strain in intensive care.
Methods and results
RV strain data were acquired from apical and subcostal views on transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in 94 patients (35% female), mean age 50.5 ± 15.2 years, venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VVECMO) (44%). RV strain values from the apical (mean ± standard deviation; -20.4 ± 6.7) and subcostal views (-21.1 ± 7) were highly correlated (Pearson\'s r -0.89, P < 0.001). RV subcostal strain correlated moderately well with other echocardiography parameters including tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (r -0.44, P < 0.001), RV systolic velocity (rho = -0.51, P < 0.001), fractional area change (r -0.66, P < 0.01), and RV outflow tract velocity time integral (r -0.49, P < 0.001). VVECMO was associated with higher RV subcostal strain (non-VVECMO -19.6 ± 6.7 vs. VVECMO -23.2 ± 7, P = 0.01) but not apical RV strain. On univariate analysis, RV subcostal strain was weakly associated with survival at 30 days (R2 = 0.04, P = 0.05, odds ratio =1.08) while apical RV was not (P = 0.16).
Conclusion 
RV subcostal deformation imaging is a reliable surrogate for conventionally derived strain in critical care and may in time prove to be a useful diagnostic marker in this cohort.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:820-828
Bleakley C, de Marvao A, Morosin M, Androulakis E, ... Cowie M, Price S
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:820-828 | PMID: 34160032
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Impact:
Abstract

Reasons for discordance between positron emission tomography (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) results and subsequent management.

Thomas M, Spertus JA, Kennedy KF, Thompson RC, ... Bateman TM, Patel KK
Background
Referral patterns to coronary angiography following positron emission tomography (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and reasons for non-referral following abnormal PET MPI are largely unknown.
Methods
Referral rates to coronary angiography within 90 days post PET MPI were determined. A random subset of 100 patients with severe (≥ 10%) ischemia on MPI between 2014-16 who were not referred for angiography were examined to better understand reasons as to why patients with high-risk MPI findings did not undergo coronary angiography.
Results
Among 19,282 unique patients, overall rate of 90-day coronary angiography was 18.5% (3574/19282). Among patients with severe ischemia, 64.1% (1930/3011) underwent angiography within 90 days; the rate was lower in those with mild-moderate (20.6% [1010/4898]) and no ischemia (5.6% [634/11373]). In the random sample of 100 patients, the most common physician reasons for non-referral were uncertainty regarding whether the test results were responsible for the patient\'s presenting symptoms, renal failure, and patient age, frailty, or cognitive status, while patient preference for medical management was by far the most common patient reason.
Conclusion
Referral rates for coronary angiography after PET correlate with severity of ischemia. However, there appear to be opportunities to reconsider testing for instances when results will not change clinical management.

© 2021. American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

J Nucl Cardiol: 01 Jun 2022; 29:1109-1116
Thomas M, Spertus JA, Kennedy KF, Thompson RC, ... Bateman TM, Patel KK
J Nucl Cardiol: 01 Jun 2022; 29:1109-1116 | PMID: 34169476
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Impact:
Abstract

2D high resolution vs. 3D whole heart myocardial perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

Nazir MS, Shome J, Villa ADM, Ryan M, ... Chiribiri A, Plein S
Aims
Developments in myocardial perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) allow improvements in spatial resolution and/or myocardial coverage. Whole heart coverage may provide the most accurate assessment of myocardial ischaemic burden, while high spatial resolution is expected to improve detection of subendocardial ischaemia. The objective of this study was to compare myocardial ischaemic burden as depicted by 2D high resolution and 3D whole heart stress myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary artery disease.
Methods and results
Thirty-eight patients [age 61 ± 8 (21% female)] underwent 2D high resolution (spatial resolution 1.2 mm2) and 3D whole heart (in-plane spatial resolution 2.3 mm2) stress CMR at 3-T in randomized order. Myocardial ischaemic burden (%) was visually quantified as perfusion defect at peak stress perfusion subtracted from subendocardial myocardial scar and expressed as a percentage of the myocardium. Median myocardial ischaemic burden was significantly higher with 2D high resolution compared with 3D whole heart [16.1 (2.0-30.6) vs. 13.4 (5.2-23.2), P = 0.004]. There was excellent agreement between myocardial ischaemic burden (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.81; P < 0.0001), with mean ratio difference between 2D high resolution vs. 3D whole heart 1.28 ± 0.67 (95% limits of agreement -0.03 to 2.59). When using a 10% threshold for a dichotomous result for presence or absence of significant ischaemia, there was moderate agreement between the methods (κ = 0.58, P < 0.0001).
Conclusion
2D high resolution and 3D whole heart myocardial perfusion stress CMR are comparable for detection of ischaemia. 2D high resolution gives higher values for myocardial ischaemic burden compared with 3D whole heart, suggesting that 2D high resolution is more sensitive for detection of ischaemia.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:811-819
Nazir MS, Shome J, Villa ADM, Ryan M, ... Chiribiri A, Plein S
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:811-819 | PMID: 34179941
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Impact:
Abstract

Left ventricular function, strain, and infarct characteristics in patients with transient ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction compared to ST-segment and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions.

Demirkiran A, van der Hoeven NW, Janssens GN, Lemkes JS, ... Robbers LFHJ, Nijveldt R
Aims
This study aims to explore cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR)-derived left ventricular (LV) function, strain, and infarct size characteristics in patients with transient ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (TSTEMI) compared to patients with ST-segment and non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI and NSTEMI, respectively).
Methods and results
In total, 407 patients were enrolled in this multicentre observational prospective cohort study. All patients underwent CMR examination 2-8 days after the index event. CMR cine imaging was performed for functional assessment and late gadolinium enhancement to determine infarct size and identify microvascular obstruction (MVO). TSTEMI patients demonstrated the highest LV ejection fraction and the most preserved global LV strain (longitudinal, circumferential, and radial) across the three groups (overall P ≤ 0.001). The CMR-defined infarction was less frequently observed in TSTEMI than in STEMI patients [77 (65%) vs. 124 (98%), P < 0.001] but was comparable with NSTEMI patients [77 (65%) vs. 66 (70%), P = 0.44]. A remarkably smaller infarct size was seen in TSTEMI compared to STEMI patients [1.4 g (0.0-3.9) vs. 13.5 g (5.3-26.8), P < 0.001], whereas infarct size was not significantly different from that in NSTEMI patients [1.4 g (0.0-3.9) vs. 2.1 g (0.0-8.6), P = 0.06]. Whilst the presence of MVO was less frequent in TSTEMI compared to STEMI patients [5 (4%) vs. 53 (31%), P < 0.001], no significant difference was seen compared to NSTEMI patients [5 (4%) vs. 5 (5%), P = 0.72].
Conclusion
TSTEMI yielded favourable cardiac LV function, strain, and infarct-related scar mass compared to STEMI and NSTEMI. LV function and infarct characteristics of TSTEMI tend to be more similar to NSTEMI than STEMI.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:836-845
Demirkiran A, van der Hoeven NW, Janssens GN, Lemkes JS, ... Robbers LFHJ, Nijveldt R
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 01 Jun 2022; 23:836-845 | PMID: 34195800
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Impact:
Abstract

Is there a benefit of ICD treatment in patients with persistent severely reduced systolic left ventricular function after TAVI?

Nies RJ, Frerker C, Adam M, Kuhn E, ... Baldus S, Schmidt T
Background
In patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and heart failure with severely reduced ejection fraction, prediction of postprocedural left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improvement is challenging. Decision-making and timing for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) treatment are difficult and benefit is still unclear in this patient population.
Objective

Aims:
of the study were to analyse long-term overall mortality in TAVI-patients with a preprocedural LVEF ≤ 35% regarding LVEF improvement and effect of ICD therapy.
Methods and results
Retrospective analysis of a high-risk TAVI-population suffering from severe AS and heart failure with a LVEF ≤ 35%. Out of 1485 TAVI-patients treated at this center between January 2013 and April 2018, 120 patients revealed a preprocedural LVEF ≤ 35% and had sufficient follow-up. 36.7% (44/120) of the patients suffered from persistent reduced LVEF without a postprocedural increase above 35% within 1 year after TAVI or before death, respectively. Overall mortality was neither significantly reduced by LVEF recovery above 35% (p = 0.31) nor by additional ICD treatment in patients with persistent LVEF ≤ 35% (p = 0.33).
Conclusion
In high-risk TAVI-patients suffering from heart failure with LVEF ≤ 35%, LVEF improvement to more than 35% did not reduce overall mortality. Patients with postprocedural persistent LVEF reduction did not seem to benefit from ICD treatment. Effects of LVEF improvement and ICD treatment on mortality are masked by the competing risk of death from relevant comorbidities.

© 2021. The Author(s).

Clin Res Cardiol: 01 May 2022; 111:492-501
Nies RJ, Frerker C, Adam M, Kuhn E, ... Baldus S, Schmidt T
Clin Res Cardiol: 01 May 2022; 111:492-501 | PMID: 33758967
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Impact:
Abstract

Impact of HAS-BLED Score on outcome after percutaneous left atrial appendage closure: insights from the German Left Atrial Appendage Occluder Registry LAARGE.

Ledwoch J, Franke J, Brachmann J, Lewalter T, ... Krapivsky A, Sievert H
Aim
Percutaneous left atrial appendage (LAA) closure has been established as alternative stroke prophylaxis in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) and high bleeding risk. However, little is known regarding the outcome after LAA closure depending on the HAS-BLED score.
Methods
A sub-analysis of the prospective, multicenter, Left-Atrium-Appendage Occluder Register-GErmany (LAARGE) registry was performed assessing three different groups with respect to the HAS-BLED score (0-2 [group 1] vs. 3-4 [group 2] vs. 5-7 [group 3]).
Results
A total of 633 patients at 38 centers were enrolled. Of them, 9% (n = 59) were in group 1, 63% (n = 400) in group 2 and 28% (n = 174) in group 3. The Kaplan-Meier estimated 1-year composite of death, stroke and systemic embolism was 3.4% in group 1 vs. 10.4% in group 2 vs. 20.1% in group 3, respectively (p log-rank < 0.001). The difference was driven by death since stroke and systemic embolism did not show a significant difference between the groups. The rate of major bleeding at 1 year was 0% vs. 0% vs. 2.4%, respectively (p = 0.016).
Conclusion
The present data show that patients had similarly low rates of ischemic complications 1 year after LAA closure irrespective of the baseline bleeding risk. Higher HAS-BLED scores were associated with increased mortality due to higher age and more severe comorbidity of these patients.

© 2021. Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Clin Res Cardiol: 01 May 2022; 111:541-547
Ledwoch J, Franke J, Brachmann J, Lewalter T, ... Krapivsky A, Sievert H
Clin Res Cardiol: 01 May 2022; 111:541-547 | PMID: 34455462
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Impact:
Abstract

Age- and sex-based normal values of layer-specific longitudinal and circumferential strain by speckle tracking echocardiography: the Copenhagen City Heart Study.

Skaarup KG, Lassen MCH, Johansen ND, Olsen FJ, ... Møgelvang R, Biering-Sørensen T
Aims
Technical advancements in 2D-speckle tracking echocardiography (2DSTE) have allowed for quantification of layer-specific global longitudinal strain (GLS) and circumferential strain (GCS) of the left ventricle (LV). The aim of this study was to establish age- and sex-based reference ranges of peak systolic layer-specific GLS and GCS and to assess normal values of regional strain.
Methods and results
We performed 2DSTE analysis of 1997 members of the general population from the fifth round of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, who were free of cardiovascular disease and risk factors. The mean age was 46 ± 16 years (range 21-97) and 62% were female. Mean values for peak systolic whole wall GLS (GLSWW.Sys), endomycardial (GLSEndo.Sys), and epimyocardial (GLSEpi.Sys) were 19.9 ± 2.1% (prediction interval [PI]: 15.8-24.0%), 23.5 ± 2.5% (PI: 18.6-28.4%), and 17.3 ± 1.9% (PI: 13.6-21.1%), respectively. Mean peak systolic whole wall GCS (GCSWW.Sys), was 21.6 ± 3.7% (PI: 14.3-28.9%), endomyocardial (GCSEndo.Sys) was 31.9 ± 4.7% (PI: 22.7-41.1%), and epimyocardial (GCSEpi.Sys) was 14.3 ± 3.8% (PI: 6.8-21.8%). A significant discrepancy in normal strain values between males and females was observed. Men had lower mean values and lower reference limits for all strain parameters. Furthermore, GLS and GCS changed differently with age in males and females. Finally, regional LS decreased from the apical to the basal LV region in both sexes, and regional CS varied significantly by LV segment.
Conclusion
In this study, we reported age- and sex-based reference ranges of layer-specific GLS and GCS. These reference ranges varied significantly with sex and age.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:629-640
Skaarup KG, Lassen MCH, Johansen ND, Olsen FJ, ... Møgelvang R, Biering-Sørensen T
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:629-640 | PMID: 33624014
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Impact:
Abstract

Incidence and clinical relevance of left atrial appendage membranes: a new congenital heart disease?

Cresti A, Solari M, Gismondi AL, Baratta P, ... Breschi M, Limbruno U
Aims
Left atrial appendage (LAA) membranes are rare congenital anomalies. Those involving the appendage orifice may obstruct its emptying flows, thus promoting blood stasis and clot formation. However, the epidemiology of LAA membranes has never been studied and a correlation with appendage thrombosis has never been proved. Very few case reports described LAA membranes, therefore, their frequency and clinical significance are not known. Moreover, their presence and degree are of crucial importance in planning LAA percutaneous closure, a procedure whose indication is evolving, and whether their presence can represent technical issues during the device implantation is not known. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and the clinical significance of LAA membranes.
Methods and results
A population of 6030 consecutive transoesophageal echo (TOE) studies has been retrospectively reviewed in order to find those patients in whom an LAA membrane has been found. A literature research has been performed to review previous described cases. Among 6030 TOE cases, an LAA membrane has been described in 6 (prevalence of 1/1000). In one case, the membrane was associated to a severe LAA hypoplasia and in another case to an LAA thrombus (these represent the first cases ever described). All patients had an atrial fibrillation (AF) history and two were in AF during the TOE exam.
Conclusion
LAA membranes are rare congenital abnormalities occasionally discovered during a TOE exam, frequently in patients affected by AF. In half of the cases, they obstruct the LAA flow, thus theoretically pre-disposing to clot formation. They may be rarely associated to an appendage hypoplasia. During a TOE exam, cardiac imagers should always rule out their presence.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:673-679
Cresti A, Solari M, Gismondi AL, Baratta P, ... Breschi M, Limbruno U
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:673-679 | PMID: 33948621
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Impact:
Abstract

Associations of cognitive performance with cardiovascular magnetic resonance phenotypes in the UK Biobank.

Raisi-Estabragh Z, M\'Charrak A, McCracken C, Biasiolli L, ... Petersen SE, Neubauer S
Aims
Existing evidence suggests links between brain and cardiovascular health. We investigated associations between cognitive performance and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) phenotypes in the UK Biobank, considering a range of potential confounders.
Methods and results
We studied 29 763 participants with CMR and cognitive testing, specifically, fluid intelligence (FI, 13 verbal-numeric reasoning questions), and reaction time (RT, a timed pairs matching exercise); both were considered continuous variables for modelling. We included the following CMR metrics: left and right ventricular (LV and RV) volumes in end-diastole and end-systole, LV/RV ejection fractions, LV/RV stroke volumes, LV mass, and aortic distensibility. Multivariable linear regression models were used to estimate the association of each CMR measure with FI and RT, adjusting for age, sex, smoking, education, deprivation, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, prior myocardial infarction, alcohol intake, and exercise level. We report standardized beta-coefficients, 95% confidence intervals, and P-values adjusted for multiple testing. In this predominantly healthy cohort (average age 63.0 ± 7.5 years), better cognitive performance (higher FI, lower RT) was associated with larger LV/RV volumes, higher LV/RV stroke volumes, greater LV mass, and greater aortic distensibility in fully adjusted models. There was some evidence of non-linearity in the relationship between FI and LV end-systolic volume, with reversal of the direction of association at very high volumes. Associations were consistent for men and women and in different ages.
Conclusion
Better cognitive performance is associated with CMR measures likely representing a healthier cardiovascular phenotype. These relationships remained significant after adjustment for a range of cardiometabolic, lifestyle, and demographic factors, suggesting possible involvement of alternative disease mechanisms.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:663-672
Raisi-Estabragh Z, M'Charrak A, McCracken C, Biasiolli L, ... Petersen SE, Neubauer S
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:663-672 | PMID: 33987659
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Impact:
Abstract

Prognostic implications of left ventricular myocardial work index in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction.

Butcher SC, Lustosa RP, Abou R, Marsan NA, Bax JJ, Delgado V
Aims
This study aimed to determine whether lower values of left ventricular (LV) global work index (GWI) at baseline were associated with a reduction in LV functional recovery and poorer long-term prognosis in patients with reduced LV ejection fraction (LVEF ≤40%) following ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
Methods and results
A total of 197 individuals (62 ± 12 years, 75% male) with STEMI treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention and reduced LVEF were evaluated. All patients were followed up for the occurrence of all-cause mortality and the presence of LVEF normalization at 6 months (LVEF ≥50%). The median LVEF was 36% (interquartile range 32-38) and the mean value of LV GWI was 1041 ± 404 mmHg% at baseline. At 6-month follow-up, 41% of patients had normalized LVEF. On multivariable logistic regression, higher values of LV GWI were independently associated with LVEF normalization at 6 months of follow-up (odds ratio 1.32 per 250 mmHg%, P = 0.038). Over a median follow-up of 112 months, 40 patients (20%) died. LV GWI <750 mmHg% was independently associated with all-cause mortality (HR 3.85, P < 0.001) and was incremental to LV global longitudinal strain (P = 0.039) and LVEF (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
In individuals with an LVEF ≤40% following STEMI, higher values of LV GWI were associated with a greater probability of LVEF normalization at 6-month follow-up. In addition, lower values of LV GWI were independently associated with increased all-cause mortality at long-term follow-up, providing incremental prognostic value over LVEF and minor incremental prognostic value over LV global longitudinal strain.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:699-707
Butcher SC, Lustosa RP, Abou R, Marsan NA, Bax JJ, Delgado V
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:699-707 | PMID: 33993227
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Impact:
Abstract

Dynamic nature of the LVOT following transcatheter mitral valve replacement with LAMPOON: new insights from post-procedure imaging.

Kohli K, Wei ZA, Sadri V, Khan JM, ... Yoganathan AP, Babaliaros VC
Aims
To characterize the dynamic nature of the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) geometry and flow rate in patients following transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) with anterior leaflet laceration (LAMPOON) and derive insights to help guide future patient selection.
Methods and results
Time-resolved LVOT geometry and haemodynamics were analysed with post-procedure computed tomography and echocardiography in subjects (N = 19) from the LAMPOON investigational device exemption trial. A novel post hoc definition for LVOT obstruction was employed to account for systolic flow rate and quality of life improvement [obstruction was defined as LVOT gradient >30 mmHg or LVOT effective orifice area (EOA) ≤1.15 cm2]. The neo-LVOT and skirt neo-LVOT were observed to vary substantially in area throughout systole (64 ± 27% and 25 ± 14% change in area, respectively). The peak systolic flow rate occurred most commonly just prior to mid-systole, while minimum neo-LVOT (and skirt neo-LVOT) area occurred most commonly in early-diastole. Subjects with LVOT obstruction (n = 5) had smaller skirt neo-LVOT values across systole. Optimal thresholds for skirt neo-LVOT area were phase-specific (260, 210, 200, and 180 mm2 for early-systole, peak flow, mid-systole, and end-systole, respectively).
Conclusion
The LVOT geometry and flow rate exhibit dynamic characteristics following TMVR with LAMPOON. Subjects with LVOT obstruction had smaller skirt neo-LVOT areas across systole. The authors recommend the use of phase-specific threshold values for skirt neo-LVOT area to guide future patient selection for this procedure. LVOT EOA is a \'flow-independent\' metric which has the potential to aid in characterizing LVOT obstruction severity.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:650-662
Kohli K, Wei ZA, Sadri V, Khan JM, ... Yoganathan AP, Babaliaros VC
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 18 Apr 2022; 23:650-662 | PMID: 34009283
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Impact:
Abstract

Computed tomography-based selection of transseptal puncture site for percutaneous left atrial appendage closure.

Fukutomi M, Fuchs A, Bieliauskas G, Wong I, ... Søndergaard L, De Backer O
Background
An inferoposterior transseptal puncture (TSP) is generally recommended for percutaneous left atrial appendage (LAA) closure. However, the LAA is a highly variable anatomical structure. This may have an impact on the preferred TSP site.
Aims
This study aimed to determine the optimal TSP site for percutaneous LAA closure in different LAA morphologies.
Methods
In this prospective study, 182 patients undergoing percutaneous LAA closure were included. The spatial relationship of the LAA to the fossa ovalis and its consequence for TSP was assessed at preprocedural cardiac computed tomography (CCT).
Results
Based on CCT analysis, it was predicted that coaxial alignment between the delivery sheath and the LAA would be obtained by an inferoposterior, inferocentral, or inferoanterior TSP in 75%, 16% and 8% of cases, respectively. This was also confirmed by procedural LAA angiogram in 175 cases (96%) with <30° angle between the delivery sheath and the LAA central axis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified reverse chicken wing LAA (odds ratio [OR] 6.36 [1.85-29.3]; p=0.005) and posterior bending of the proximal LAA (OR 17.2 [3.3-96.2]; p<0.001) as independent predictors of a central or anterior TSP - this to increase the chance of obtaining coaxial alignment between the delivery sheath and the LAA.
Conclusions
An inferoposterior TSP is recommended in the majority of percutaneous LAA closure procedures in order to obtain coaxial alignment between the delivery sheath and the LAA. An inferior but more central/anterior TSP should be recommended in case of a reverse chicken wing LAA or posterior bending of the proximal LAA, which occurs in 20-25% of cases.



EuroIntervention: 01 Apr 2022; 17:e1435-e1444
Fukutomi M, Fuchs A, Bieliauskas G, Wong I, ... Søndergaard L, De Backer O
EuroIntervention: 01 Apr 2022; 17:e1435-e1444 | PMID: 34483092
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Impact:
Abstract

Reference values of left and right atrial volumes and phasic function based on a large sample of healthy Chinese adults: A cardiovascular magnetic resonance study.

Gao Y, Zhang Z, Zhou S, Li G, ... Li K, Pohost GM
Background
The left and right atrial (LA and RA) size and function are tightly linked to the morbidity and mortality of multiple cardiovascular diseases. We aimed to establish cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) reference values for LA and RA volumes and phasic function based on a large sample of healthy Chinese adults.
Methods
408 validated healthy Chinese adults (54% men; aged 21-70 years) were included. LA and RA maximum, minimum, and pre-atrial contraction volumes (Vmax, Vmin, and Vpac); total, passive, and booster emptying fractions (EF total, EF passive, and EF booster); and total, passive, and active emptying volumes (TEV, PEV, and AEV) were measured on cine CMR. Normal reference values were calculated and were stratified by sex and age decades.
Results
Men demonstrated greater LAVmax, LAVmin, LAVpac, LAPEV, RAVmax, RAVmin, RAVpac, RATEV, and RAAEV, while women had higher LAEF total, LAEF booster, RAEF total, RAEF passive, and RAEF booster (all p < 0.05). Age was positively correlated with LAVpac and RAVpac in both sexes but was positively correlated with LAVmax, LAVmin, RAVmax, and RAVmin only in women (all p < 0.05). For both sexes, aging was associated with decreased LAEF total, LAEF passive, RAEF total, and RAEF passive, but increased LAEF booster (all p < 0.05).
Conclusion
We systematically provide age- and sex-specific CMR reference values for LA and RA volumes and phasic function based on a large sample of healthy Chinese adults with a wide age range. Both age and sex are closely associated with biatrial volumes and function.

Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Int J Cardiol: 31 Mar 2022; 352:180-187
Gao Y, Zhang Z, Zhou S, Li G, ... Li K, Pohost GM
Int J Cardiol: 31 Mar 2022; 352:180-187 | PMID: 35124105
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Impact:
Abstract

Cardiac imaging for the assessment of patients being evaluated for kidney transplantation.

Kassab K, Doukky R
Cardiac risk assessment before kidney transplantation has become widely accepted. However, the optimal patient selection and screening tool for cardiac assessment remain controversial. Clinicians face several challenges in this process, including the ever-growing pre-transplant population, aging transplant candidates, increasing prevalence of coronary artery disease, and scarcity of donor organs. Optimizing the cardiovascular risk profile in kidney transplant candidates is necessary to better appropriate limited donor organs and improve patient outcomes. Increasing waiting times from the initial evaluation for transplant candidacy to the actual transplant raises questions regarding re-testing and re-stratification of risk. In this review, we summarize and discuss the current literature on cardiac evaluation prior to kidney transplantation. We also propose simple evidence-based evaluation algorithms for initial and follow-up CAD surveillance in patients being wait-listed for kidney transplantation.

© 2021. American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

J Nucl Cardiol: 31 Mar 2022; 29:543-557
Kassab K, Doukky R
J Nucl Cardiol: 31 Mar 2022; 29:543-557 | PMID: 33666870
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Abstract

A quick glance at selected topics in this issue.

Bhambhvani P, Hage FG, Iskandrian AE
\"A quick glance at selected topics in this issue\" aims to highlight contents of the Journal and provide a quick review to the readers.

© 2022. The Author(s) under exclusive licence to American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

J Nucl Cardiol: 31 Mar 2022; 29:392-394
Bhambhvani P, Hage FG, Iskandrian AE
J Nucl Cardiol: 31 Mar 2022; 29:392-394 | PMID: 35288811
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Impact:
Abstract

The utility of strain imaging in the cardiac surveillance of bone marrow transplant patients.

Deshmukh T, Emerson P, Geenty P, Mahendran S, ... Gottlieb D, Thomas L
Objective
To evaluate the utility of two-dimensional multiplanar speckle tracking strain to assess for cardiotoxicity post allogenic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for haematological conditions.
Methods
Cross-sectional study of 120 consecutive patients post-BMT (80 pretreated with anthracyclines (BMT+AC), 40 BMT alone) recruited from a late effects haematology clinic, compared with 80 healthy controls, as part of a long-term cardiotoxicity surveillance study (mean duration from BMT to transthoracic echocardiogram 6±6 years). Left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LV GLS), global circumferential strain (LV GCS) and right ventricular free wall strain (RV FWS) were compared with traditionl parameters of function including LV ejection fraction (LVEF) and RV fractional area change.
Results
LV GLS (-17.7±3.0% vs -20.2±1.9%), LV GCS (-14.7±3.5% vs -20.4±2.1%) and RV FWS (-22.6±4.7% vs -28.0±3.8%) were all significantly (p=0.001) reduced in BMT+AC versus controls, while only LV GCS (-15.9±3.5% vs -20.4±2.1%) and RV FWS (-23.9±3.5% vs -28.0±3.8%) were significantly (p=0.001) reduced in BMT group versus controls. Even in patients with LVEF >53%, ~75% of patients in both BMT groups demonstrated a reduction in GCS.
Conclusion
Multiplanar strain identifies a greater number of BMT patients with subclinical LV dysfunction rather than by GLS alone, and should be evaluated as part of post-BMT patient surveillence. Reduction in GCS is possibly due to effects of preconditioning, and is not fully explained by AC exposure.

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Heart: 30 Mar 2022; 108:550-557
Deshmukh T, Emerson P, Geenty P, Mahendran S, ... Gottlieb D, Thomas L
Heart: 30 Mar 2022; 108:550-557 | PMID: 34301770
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Impact:
Abstract

A novel non-invasive and echocardiography-derived method for quantification of right ventricular pressure-volume loops.

Richter MJ, Yogeswaran A, Husain-Syed F, Vadász I, ... Gall H, Tello K
Aims
We sought to assess the feasibility of constructing right ventricular (RV) pressure-volume (PV) loops solely by echocardiography.
Methods and results
We performed RV conductance and pressure wire (PW) catheterization with simultaneous echocardiography in 35 patients with pulmonary hypertension. To generate echocardiographic PV loops, a reference RV pressure curve was constructed using pooled PW data from the first 20 patients (initial cohort). Individual pressure curves were then generated by adjusting the reference curve according to RV isovolumic and ejection phase duration and estimated RV systolic pressure. The pressure curves were synchronized with echocardiographic volume curves. We validated the reference curve in the remaining 15 patients (validation cohort). Methods were compared with correlation and Bland-Altman analysis. In the initial cohort, echocardiographic and conductance-derived PV loop parameters were significantly correlated {rho = 0.8053 [end-systolic elastance (Ees)], 0.8261 [Ees/arterial elastance (Ea)], and 0.697 (stroke work); all P < 0.001}, with low bias [-0.016 mmHg/mL (Ees), 0.1225 (Ees/Ea), and -39.0 mmHg mL (stroke work)] and acceptable limits of agreement. Echocardiographic and PW-derived Ees were also tightly correlated, with low bias (-0.009 mmHg/mL) and small limits of agreement. Echocardiographic and conductance-derived Ees, Ees/Ea, and stroke work were also tightly correlated in the validation cohort (rho = 0.9014, 0.9812, and 0.9491, respectively; all P < 0.001), with low bias (0.0173 mmHg/mL, 0.0153, and 255.1 mmHg mL, respectively) and acceptable limits.
Conclusion
The novel echocardiographic method is an acceptable alternative to invasively measured PV loops to assess contractility, RV-arterial coupling, and RV myocardial work. Further validation is warranted.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:498-507
Richter MJ, Yogeswaran A, Husain-Syed F, Vadász I, ... Gall H, Tello K
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:498-507 | PMID: 33668064
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Impact:
Abstract

Orientation of the right superior pulmonary vein affects outcome after pulmonary vein isolation.

Szegedi N, Vecsey-Nagy M, Simon J, Szilveszter B, ... Merkely B, Gellér L
Aims
Controversial results have been published regarding the influence of pulmonary vein (PV) anatomical variations on outcomes after pulmonary vein isolation (PVI). However, no data are available on the impact of PV orientation on the long-term success rates of point-by-point PVI. We sought to determine the impact of PV anatomy and orientation on atrial fibrillation (AF)-free survival in patients undergoing PVI using the radiofrequency point-by-point technique.
Methods and results
We retrospectively included 448 patients who underwent initial point-by-point radiofrequency ablation for AF at our department. Left atrial computed tomography angiography was performed before each procedure. PV anatomical variations, ostial parameters (area, effective diameter, and eccentricity), orientation, and their associations with 24-month AF-free survival were analysed. PV anatomical variations and ostial parameters were not predictive for AF-free survival (all P > 0.05). Univariate analysis showed that female sex (P = 0.025) was associated with higher rates of AF recurrence, ventral-caudal (P = 0.002), dorsal-cranial (P = 0.034), and dorsal-caudal (P = 0.042) orientation of the right superior PV (RSPV), on the other hand, showed an association with lower rates of AF recurrence, when compared with the reference ventral-cranial orientation. On multivariate analysis, both female sex [odds ratio (OR) 1.83, 95% CI 1.15-2.93, P = 0.011] and ventral-caudal RSPV orientation, compared with ventral-cranial orientation, proved to be independent predictors of 24-month AF recurrence (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.19-0.71, P = 0.003).
Conclusion
Female sex and ventral-caudal RSPV orientation have an impact on long-term arrhythmia-free survival. Assessment of PV orientation may be a useful tool in predicting AF-free survival and may contribute to a more personalized management of AF.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:515-523
Szegedi N, Vecsey-Nagy M, Simon J, Szilveszter B, ... Merkely B, Gellér L
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:515-523 | PMID: 33693618
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Impact:
Abstract

Machine learning phenotyping of scarred myocardium from cine in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Mancio J, Pashakhanloo F, El-Rewaidy H, Jang J, ... Maron M, Nezafat R
Aims
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) with late-gadolinium enhancement (LGE) is increasingly being used in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) for diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring. However, recent data demonstrating brain gadolinium deposits have raised safety concerns. We developed and validated a machine-learning (ML) method that incorporates features extracted from cine to identify HCM patients without fibrosis in whom gadolinium can be avoided.
Methods and results
An XGBoost ML model was developed using regional wall thickness and thickening, and radiomic features of myocardial signal intensity, texture, size, and shape from cine. A CMR dataset containing 1099 HCM patients collected using 1.5T CMR scanners from different vendors and centres was used for model development (n=882) and validation (n=217). Among the 2613 radiomic features, we identified 7 features that provided best discrimination between +LGE and -LGE using 10-fold stratified cross-validation in the development cohort. Subsequently, an XGBoost model was developed using these radiomic features, regional wall thickness and thickening. In the independent validation cohort, the ML model yielded an area under the curve of 0.83 (95% CI: 0.77-0.89), sensitivity of 91%, specificity of 62%, F1-score of 77%, true negatives rate (TNR) of 34%, and negative predictive value (NPV) of 89%. Optimization for sensitivity provided sensitivity of 96%, F2-score of 83%, TNR of 19% and NPV of 91%; false negatives halved from 4% to 2%.
Conclusion
An ML model incorporating novel radiomic markers of myocardium from cine can rule-out myocardial fibrosis in one-third of HCM patients referred for CMR reducing unnecessary gadolinium administration.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:532-542
Mancio J, Pashakhanloo F, El-Rewaidy H, Jang J, ... Maron M, Nezafat R
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:532-542 | PMID: 33779725
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Impact:
Abstract

Prognostic value of right ventricular dilatation in patients with COVID-19: a multicentre study.

Soulat-Dufour L, Fauvel C, Weizman O, Barbe T, ... Coisne A, Cohen A
Aims
Although cardiac involvement has prognostic significance in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is associated with severe forms, few studies have explored the prognostic role of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). We investigated the link between TTE parameters and prognosis in COVID-19.
Methods and results
Consecutive patients with COVID-19 admitted to 24 French hospitals were retrospectively included. Comprehensive data, including clinical and biological parameters, were recorded at admission. Focused TTE was performed during hospitalization, according to clinical indication. Patients were followed for a primary composite outcome of death or transfer to intensive care unit (ICU) during hospitalization. Among 2878 patients, 445 (15%) underwent TTE. Most of these had cardiovascular risk factors, a history of cardiovascular disease, and were on cardiovascular treatments. Dilatation and dysfunction were observed in, respectively, 12% (48/412) and 23% (102/442) of patients for the left ventricle, and in 12% (47/407) and 16% (65/402) for the right ventricle (RV). Primary composite outcome occurred in 44% (n = 196) of patients [9% (n = 42) for death without ICU transfer and 35% (n = 154) for admission to ICU]. RV dilatation was the only TTE parameter associated with the primary outcome. After adjustment, male sex [hazard ratio (HR) 1.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 - 2.25; P = 0.02], higher body mass index (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02 - 1.18; P = 0.01), anticoagulation (HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.33 - 0.86; P = 0.01), and RV dilatation (HR 1.66, 95% CI 1.05 - 2.64; P = 0.03) remained independently associated with the primary outcome.
Conclusion
Echocardiographic evaluation of RV dilatation could be useful for assessing risk of severe COVID-19 developing in hospitalized patients.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:569-577
Soulat-Dufour L, Fauvel C, Weizman O, Barbe T, ... Coisne A, Cohen A
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 22 Mar 2022; 23:569-577 | PMID: 34008835
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Impact:
Abstract

Multi-chamber speckle tracking imaging and diagnostic value of left atrial strain in cardiac amyloidosis.

Aimo A, Fabiani I, Giannoni A, Mandoli GE, ... Cameli M, Emdin M
Aims
Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) affects the four heart chambers, which can all be evaluated through speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE).
Methods and results
We evaluated 423 consecutive patients screened for CA over 5 years at two referral centres. CA was diagnosed in 261 patients (62%) with either amyloid transthyretin (ATTR; n = 144, 34%) or amyloid light-chain (AL; n = 117, 28%) CA. Strain parameters of all chambers were altered in CA patients, particularly those with ATTR-CA. Nonetheless, only peak left atrial longitudinal strain (LA-PALS) displayed an independent association with the diagnosis of CA or ATTR-CA beyond standard echocardiographic variables and cardiac biomarkers (Model 1), or with the diagnosis of ATTR-CA beyond the validated IWT score in patients with unexplained left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy. Patients with the most severe impairment of LA strain were those most likely to have CA or ATTR-CA. Specifically, LA-PALS and/or LA-peak atrial contraction strain (PACS) in the first quartile (i.e. LA-PALS <6.65% and/or LA-PACS <3.62%) had a 3.60-fold higher risk of CA, and a 3.68-fold higher risk of ATTR-CA beyond Model 1. Among patients with unexplained LV hypertrophy, those with LA-PALS or LA-PACS in the first quartile had an 8.76-fold higher risk for CA beyond Model 1, and a 2.04-fold higher risk of ATTR-CA beyond the IWT score.
Conclusions
Among STE measures of the four chambers, PALS and PACS are the most informative ones to diagnose CA and ATTR-CA. Patients screened for CA and having LA-PALS and/or LA-PACS in the first quartile have a high likelihood of CA and ATTR-CA.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2022. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 15 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Aimo A, Fabiani I, Giannoni A, Mandoli GE, ... Cameli M, Emdin M
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 15 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35292807
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Impact:
Abstract

Multi-modality imaging assessment of native valvular regurgitation: an EACVI and ESC council of valvular heart disease position paper.

Lancellotti P, Pibarot P, Chambers J, La Canna G, ... Donal E, Cosyns B
Valvular regurgitation represents an important cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Imaging is pivotal in the evaluation of native valve regurgitation and echocardiography is the primary imaging modality for this purpose. The imaging assessment of valvular regurgitation should integrate quantification of the regurgitation, assessment of the valve anatomy and function, and the consequences of valvular disease on cardiac chambers. In clinical practice, the management of patients with valvular regurgitation largely relies on the results of imaging. It is crucial to provide standards that aim at establishing a baseline list of measurements to be performed when assessing native valve regurgitation. The present document aims to present clinical guidance for the multi-modality imaging assessment of native valvular regurgitation.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2022. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 15 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Lancellotti P, Pibarot P, Chambers J, La Canna G, ... Donal E, Cosyns B
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 15 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35292799
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Impact:
Abstract

Low voltage zones detected by omnipolar Vmax map accurately identifies the potential atrial substrate and predicts the AF ablation outcome after PV isolation.

Kuo MJ, Lo LW, Lin YJ, Chang SL, ... Kim S, Chen SA
Introduction
The presence of bipolar low-voltage zone (LVZ) is a predictor of AF recurrence after PV isolation (PVI). However, changes of wavefront and bipole directions may cause different electrogram characteristics. We aimed to investigate whether using omnipolar maximum voltage (Vmax) map derived from high density (HD) Grid mapping catheter could assess LVZ and AF ablation outcome accurately.
Methods
Fifty paroxysmal AF patients (27 males, 57.8 ± 9.5 years old) who underwent 3D mapping guided PVI were enrolled. Left atrial voltage mapping during sinus rhythm before ablation was performed. The significant LVZ (<0.5 mV with area > 5 cm2) were defined as sites by omnipolar Vmax, bipolar HD wave map, conventional bipolar electrograms acquired from electrode pairs along to and across to the catheter shaft. The primary end point was the first documented recurrence of any AF during follow-ups.
Results
PVI was performed in all patients, and there were 2 patients (4%) who also received additional non-PV triggers ablation. After a follow-up of 11.4 ± 5.4 months, recurrence of AF occurred in 12 patients (24%). The presence of a significant LVZ was less detected by omnipolar Vmax map, compared to HD wave map (24.0% vs. 58.0%, p = 0.001). LVZ detected by omnipolar Vmax map independently predicted the AF recurrence (odds ratio 16.91; 95% CI, 3.17-90.10; p = 0.001).
Conclusion
LVZ detected by omnipolar Vmax map accurately predicts the AF recurrence following ablation in paroxysmal AF, compared to conventional bipolar and HD wave maps, suggesting the omnipolar Vmax map can precisely define the atrial substrate property.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Int J Cardiol: 14 Mar 2022; 351:42-47
Kuo MJ, Lo LW, Lin YJ, Chang SL, ... Kim S, Chen SA
Int J Cardiol: 14 Mar 2022; 351:42-47 | PMID: 34954276
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Impact:
Abstract

Characterization of cardiac amyloidosis using cardiac magnetic resonance fingerprinting.

Eck BL, Seiberlich N, Flamm SD, Hamilton JI, ... Tang WHW, Kwon DH
Background
Cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is an infiltrative cardiomyopathy with poor prognosis absent appropriate treatment. Elevated native myocardial T1 and T2 have been reported for CA, and tissue characterization by cardiac MRI may expedite diagnosis and treatment. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (cMRF) has the potential to enable tissue characterization for CA through rapid, simultaneous T1 and T2 mapping. Furthermore, cMRF signal timecourses may provide additional information beyond myocardial T1 and T2.
Methods
Nine CA patients and five controls were scanned at 3 T using a prospectively gated cMRF acquisition. Two cMRF-based analysis approaches were examined: (1) relaxometric-based linear discriminant analysis (LDA) using native T1 and T2, and (2) signal timecourse-based LDA. The Fisher coefficient was used to compare the separability of patient and control groups from both approaches. Leave-two-out cross-validation was employed to evaluate the classification error rates of both approaches.
Results
Elevated myocardial T1 and T2 was observed in patients vs controls (T1: 1395 ± 121 vs 1240 ± 36.4 ms, p < 0.05; T2: 36.8 ± 3.3 vs 31.8 ± 2.6 ms, p < 0.05). LDA scores were elevated in patients for relaxometric-based LDA (0.56 ± 0.28 vs 0.18 ± 0.13, p < 0.05) and timecourse-based LDA (0.97 ± 0.02 vs 0.02 ± 0.02, p < 0.05). The Fisher coefficient was greater for timecourse-based LDA (60.8) vs relaxometric-based LDA (1.6). Classification error rates were lower for timecourse-based LDA vs relaxometric-based LDA (12.6 ± 24.3 vs 22.5 ± 30.1%, p < 0.05).
Conclusions
These findings suggest that cMRF may be a valuable technique for the detection and characterization of CA. Analysis of cMRF signal timecourse data may improve tissue characterization as compared to analysis of native T1 and T2 alone.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Int J Cardiol: 14 Mar 2022; 351:107-110
Eck BL, Seiberlich N, Flamm SD, Hamilton JI, ... Tang WHW, Kwon DH
Int J Cardiol: 14 Mar 2022; 351:107-110 | PMID: 34963645
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Impact:
Abstract

Left Ventricular Thrombus Following Acute Myocardial Infarction: JACC State-of-the-Art Review.

Camaj A, Fuster V, Giustino G, Bienstock SW, ... Dweck MR, Goldman ME
The incidence of left ventricular (LV) thrombus following acute myocardial infarction has markedly declined in recent decades caused by advancements in reperfusion and antithrombotic therapies. Despite this, embolic events remain the most feared complication of LV thrombus necessitating systemic anticoagulation. Mechanistically, LV thrombus development depends on Virchow\'s triad (ie, endothelial injury from myocardial infarction, blood stasis from LV dysfunction, and hypercoagulability triggered by inflammation, with each of these elements representing potential therapeutic targets). Diagnostic modalities include transthoracic echocardiography with or without ultrasound-enhancing agents and cardiac magnetic resonance. Most LV thrombi develop within the first 2 weeks post-acute myocardial infarction, and the role of surveillance imaging appears limited. Vitamin K antagonists remain the mainstay of therapy because the efficacy of direct oral anticoagulants is less well established. Only meager data support the routine use of prophylactic anticoagulation, even in high-risk patients.

Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.

J Am Coll Cardiol: 14 Mar 2022; 79:1010-1022
Camaj A, Fuster V, Giustino G, Bienstock SW, ... Dweck MR, Goldman ME
J Am Coll Cardiol: 14 Mar 2022; 79:1010-1022 | PMID: 35272796
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Impact:
Abstract

Change in positron emission tomography perfusion imaging quality with a data-driven motion correction algorithm.

Han Y, Ahmed AI, Hayden C, Jung AK, ... Nabi F, Al-Mallah MH
Introduction
Cardiac motion frequently reduces the interpretability of PET images. This study utilized a prototype data-driven motion correction (DDMC) algorithm to generate corrected images and compare DDMC images with non-corrected images (NMC) to evaluate image quality and change of perfusion defect size and severity.
Methods
Rest and stress images with NMC and DDMC from 40 consecutive patients with motion were rated by 2 blinded investigators on a 4-point visual ordinal scale (0: minimal motion; 1: mild motion; 2: moderate motion; 3: severe motion/uninterpretable). Motion was also quantified using Dwell Fraction, which is the fraction of time the motion vector shows the heart to be within 6 mm of the corrected position and was derived from listmode data of NMC images.
Results
Minimal motion was seen in 15% of patients, while 40%, 30%, and 15% of patients had mild moderate and severe motion, respectively. All corrected images showed an improvement in quality and were interpretable after processing. This was confirmed by a significant correlation (Spearman\'s correlation coefficient 0.626, P < .001) between machine measurement of motion quantification and physician interpretation.
Conclusion
The novel DDMC algorithm improved quality of cardiac PET images with motion. Correlation between machine measurement of motion quantification and physician interpretation was significant.

© 2022. The Author(s) under exclusive licence to American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

J Nucl Cardiol: 10 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Han Y, Ahmed AI, Hayden C, Jung AK, ... Nabi F, Al-Mallah MH
J Nucl Cardiol: 10 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35275348
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Impact:
Abstract

Effect of tafamidis on global longitudinal strain and myocardial work in transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis.

Giblin GT, Cuddy SAM, González-López E, Sewell A, ... Dorbala S, Falk RH
Aims
In patients with transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM), the effect of tafamidis on myocardial function using serial speckle tracking echocardiography has not been reported. The purpose of this study was to describe the natural history of myocardial function in untreated ATTR-CM and determine the effect of tafamidis on myocardial functional parameters over 12 months of treatment.
Methods and results
A total of 45 subjects with ATTR-CM were retrospectively studied: 23 treated with tafamidis and 22 untreated. Two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography was analysed at baseline and 1 year. Serial longitudinal, circumferential, and radial strain, twist, torsion, and myocardial work were measured. Over 1 year, absolute global longitudinal strain (GLS) deteriorated more in the untreated group by a median of 1.1% [inter-quartile range (IQR) 0.95] compared with 0.3% (IQR 1) in the tafamidis group (P = 0.02). Myocardial work index and efficiency also deteriorated to a greater degree: 142.5 mmHg% (IQR 197) and 4% (IQR 8), respectively, in the untreated group compared with 61.5 mmHg% (IQR 210) and 1% (IQR 7) in the tafamidis group (P = 0.04). There were no significant between group differences in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), tissue Doppler velocities, circumferential or radial strain, LV twist or torsion at 1 year. The stabilization effect of tafamidis on myocardial function at 1 year did not differ according to baseline GLS, LVEF, or National Amyloidosis Centre disease stage.
Conclusions
In ATTR-CM, tafamidis resulted in a lesser deterioration in GLS, myocardial work index, and efficiency over a 12-month period compared with a cohort not treated with tafamidis.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Giblin GT, Cuddy SAM, González-López E, Sewell A, ... Dorbala S, Falk RH
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 10 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35274130
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Impact:
Abstract

DSPECT-specific normative limits for left ventricular size and function.

Ibrahim J, Nieves RA, Barakat AF, Hynal K, Shpilsky D, Soman P
Background
Differences in spatial resolution and image filtering between the solid-state DSPECT and traditional Anger SPECT (ASPECT) cameras are likely to result in differences in LV measurements. However, DSPECT-specific normal values are not available. The traditional approach of using patients deemed to have a low (< 5%) probability of coronary artery disease for the derivation of normative values has a number of limitations. We used healthy organ-donor subjects without known disease or medication use for derivation of normal values.
Methods
Subjects were 92 consecutive kidney or liver donors who underwent single-day rest (5 mCi)-stress (15 mCi) Tc-99m sestamibi-gated SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) on the DSPECT camera for pre-operative evaluation and had normal perfusion and LV function. Exclusion criteria included any known cardiac disease or medications. LV measurements were made on the post-stress supine stress images using QGS®.
Results
Of 92 subjects (mean age 54.4 ± 15.0 and 39% men), mean EF ± 2SD for women and men was 77.2% ± 14.1% and 70.0 % ± 14.7%, respectively. Mean end-diastolic volume ± 2SD for women and men was 67.0 ± 32.2 mL and 99.6 ± 51.6 mL (indexed 38.3 ± 17.2 mL/m2 and 48.1 ± 25.9 mL/m2), respectively. Mean end-systolic volume ± 2SD for women and men was 16.1 ± 15.7 mL and 31.2 ± 29.2 mL (indexed 9.2 ± 8.8 mL/m2 and 15.0 ± 14.2 mL/m2), respectively. Mean LV wall volume ± 2SD for women and men was 95.9 ± 26.0 mL and 112.0 ± 48.8 mL (indexed 55.0 ± 13.8 mL/m2 and 54.1 ± 24.6 mL/m2), respectively.
Conclusion
We report DSPECT-specific LV measurements from normal subjects from which limits of normality can be derived for clinic use. Organ donors who undergo pre-operative MPI are a suitable cohort for the derivation of normal values.

© 2022. The Author(s) under exclusive licence to American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

J Nucl Cardiol: 09 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Ibrahim J, Nieves RA, Barakat AF, Hynal K, Shpilsky D, Soman P
J Nucl Cardiol: 09 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35274213
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Abstract

Multi-task Deep Learning of Myocardial Blood Flow and Cardiovascular Risk Traits from PET Myocardial Perfusion Imaging.

Yeung MW, Benjamins JW, Knol RJJ, van der Zant FM, ... van der Harst P, Juarez-Orozco LE
Background
Advanced cardiac imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) is a powerful tool for the evaluation of known or suspected cardiovascular disease. Deep learning (DL) offers the possibility to abstract highly complex patterns to optimize classification and prediction tasks.
Methods and results
We utilized DL models with a multi-task learning approach to identify an impaired myocardial flow reserve (MFR <2.0 ml/g/min) as well as to classify cardiovascular risk traits (factors), namely sex, diabetes, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia and smoking at the individual-patient level from PET myocardial perfusion polar maps using transfer learning. Performance was assessed on a hold-out test set through the area under receiver operating curve (AUC). DL achieved the highest AUC of 0.94 [0.87-0.98] in classifying an impaired MFR in reserve perfusion polar maps. Fine-tuned DL for the classification of cardiovascular risk factors yielded the highest performance in the identification of sex from stress polar maps (AUC = 0.81 [0.73, 0.88]). Identification of smoking achieved an AUC = 0.71 [0.58, 0.85] from the analysis of rest polar maps. The identification of dyslipidemia and arterial hypertension showed poor performance and was not statistically significant.
Conclusion
Multi-task DL for the evaluation of quantitative PET myocardial perfusion polar maps is able to identify an impaired MFR as well as cardiovascular risk traits such as sex, smoking and possibly diabetes at the individual-patient level.

© 2022. The Author(s).

J Nucl Cardiol: 09 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Yeung MW, Benjamins JW, Knol RJJ, van der Zant FM, ... van der Harst P, Juarez-Orozco LE
J Nucl Cardiol: 09 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35274211
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Abstract

Precision measurement of cardiac structure and function in cardiovascular magnetic resonance using machine learning.

Davies RH, Augusto JB, Bhuva A, Xue H, ... Schelbert E, Moon JC
Background
Measurement of cardiac structure and function from images (e.g. volumes, mass and derived parameters such as left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction [LVEF]) guides care for millions. This is best assessed using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), but image analysis is currently performed by individual clinicians, which introduces error. We sought to develop a machine learning algorithm for volumetric analysis of CMR images with demonstrably better precision than human analysis.
Methods
A fully automated machine learning algorithm was trained on 1923 scans (10 scanner models, 13 institutions, 9 clinical conditions, 60,000 contours) and used to segment the LV blood volume and myocardium. Performance was quantified by measuring precision on an independent multi-site validation dataset with multiple pathologies with n = 109 patients, scanned twice. This dataset was augmented with a further 1277 patients scanned as part of routine clinical care to allow qualitative assessment of generalization ability by identifying mis-segmentations. Machine learning algorithm (\'machine\') performance was compared to three clinicians (\'human\') and a commercial tool (cvi42, Circle Cardiovascular Imaging).
Findings
Machine analysis was quicker (20 s per patient) than human (13 min). Overall machine mis-segmentation rate was 1 in 479 images for the combined dataset, occurring mostly in rare pathologies not encountered in training. Without correcting these mis-segmentations, machine analysis had superior precision to three clinicians (e.g. scan-rescan coefficients of variation of human vs machine: LVEF 6.0% vs 4.2%, LV mass 4.8% vs. 3.6%; both P < 0.05), translating to a 46% reduction in required trial sample size using an LVEF endpoint.
Conclusion
We present a fully automated algorithm for measuring LV structure and global systolic function that betters human performance for speed and precision.

© 2022. The Author(s).

J Cardiovasc Magn Reson: 09 Mar 2022; 24:16
Davies RH, Augusto JB, Bhuva A, Xue H, ... Schelbert E, Moon JC
J Cardiovasc Magn Reson: 09 Mar 2022; 24:16 | PMID: 35272664
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Abstract

Impaired Right Atrial Reserve Function in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction.

Kagami K, Harada T, Yoshida K, Amanai S, ... Adachi T, Obokata M
Background
Patients with heart failure (HF) with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) have multiple cardiac reserve limitations during exercise. However, no data are available regarding RA reserve capacity in HFpEF. We sought to determine the association of right atrial (RA) reserve impairments with right ventricular (RV) function and exercise capacity in HFpEF and to explore its diagnostic value.
Methods
Patients with HFpEF (n=89) and control subjects without HF (n=108) underwent bicycle exercise echocardiography. RA reservoir, conduit, and booster pump strain at rest and during exercise were measured using speckle tracking echocardiography. In a subset, simultaneous expired gas analysis was performed to measure peak oxygen consumption (VO2).
Results
At rest, RA reservoir strain was lower in HFpEF patients than controls (27.0±17.1 vs. 38.6±17.1 %, p<0.0001) while RA conduit and booster pump strain were similar between groups. During peak exercise, patients with HFpEF displayed marked reserve limitations in RA reservoir and booster pump function compared to controls and the differences remained significant even after adjusting for confounding factors. During peak exercise, RA reservoir and booster pump strain were correlated with RV systolic function. Lower RA booster pump strain during exercise was also weakly associated with lower cardiac output (r=0.34, p<0.0001) and reduced peak VO2 (r=0.47, p<0.0001). RA reservoir strain during exercise had incremental diagnostic value to differentiate HFpEF from controls over the established HFpEF diagnostic algorithms and left-sided strain parameters.
Conclusions
Limitations in RA reservoir and booster pump function during exercise are present in HFpEF and the severity is associated with RV systolic reserve, poor cardiac output, and depressed exercise capacity. Exercise RA strain assessment may help the diagnosis of HFpEF.

Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr: 09 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Kagami K, Harada T, Yoshida K, Amanai S, ... Adachi T, Obokata M
J Am Soc Echocardiogr: 09 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35283241
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Abstract

Radiation safety for cardiovascular computed tomography imaging in paediatric cardiology: a joint expert consensus document of the EACVI, ESCR, AEPC, and ESPR.

Francone M, Gimelli A, Budde RPJ, Caro-Dominguez P, ... Secinaro A, Di Salvo G
Children with congenital and acquired heart disease may be exposed to relatively high lifetime cumulative doses of ionizing radiation from necessary medical invasive and non-invasive imaging procedures. Although these imaging procedures are all essential to the care of these complex paediatric population and have contributed to meaningfully improved outcomes in these patients, exposure to ionizing radiation is associated with potential risks, including an increased lifetime attributable risk of cancer. The goal of this manuscript is to provide a comprehensive review of radiation dose management and cardiac computed tomography performance in the paediatric population with congenital and acquired heart disease, to encourage informed imaging to achieve indication-appropriate study quality at the lowest achievable dose.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2022. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 08 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Francone M, Gimelli A, Budde RPJ, Caro-Dominguez P, ... Secinaro A, Di Salvo G
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 08 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35262687
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Abstract

Effects of left ventricular mass on computed tomography derived fractional flow reserve in significant obstructive coronary artery disease.

Tsugu T, Tanaka K, Belsack D, Devos H, ... De Maeseneer M, De Mey J
Background
In significant obstructive coronary artery disease (SOCAD), a mismatch in assessment of severity of coronary artery stenosis may occur between invasive coronary angiography (ICA) and computed tomography (CT) derived fractional flow reserve (FFRCT). The present study aimed to identify the factors giving an FFRCT > 0.80 and leading to an underestimation of coronary artery severity in SOCAD vessels.
Methods
A total of 141 consecutive patients who underwent both CT angiography including FFRCT and ICA, the latter showing >75% coronary artery stenosis were evaluated. Vessels were divided into two groups according to FFRCT at the distal aspect of the vessel: FFRCT > 0.80 (n = 12) and FFRCT ≤ 0.80 (n = 153). Vessel morphology, plaque characteristics, left-ventricular (LV) wall thickness at each site of the myocardium, and LV mass were also assessed.
Results
LV myocardium-related parameters including LV wall thickness (base, middle, apex, average, and maximal), LV mass, and LV mass index were higher in FFRCT > 0.80, whereas vessel-related parameters including, vessel morphology and plaque characteristics were not significantly different between >0.80 and < 0.80. Vessel morphology and plaque characteristics had no effect on FFRCT, whereas maximum LV wall thickness, LV mass, and LV mass index influenced FFRCT. LV mass index was the strongest predictor of distal FFRCT > 0.80 with an area under the curve of 0.81, and an optimal cut-off value of 66.5 g/m2 (sensitivity 77.8%, specificity 89.6%).
Conclusions
The presence of a high LV mass is a major cause for underestimation of coronary artery severity on FFRCT in SOCAD vessels. LV myocardium-related parameters should be considered when interpreting numerical values of FFRCT.

Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Int J Cardiol: 08 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Tsugu T, Tanaka K, Belsack D, Devos H, ... De Maeseneer M, De Mey J
Int J Cardiol: 08 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35278570
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Abstract

Vessel-specific plaque features on coronary computed tomography angiography among patients of varying atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk.

Bax AM, Yoon YE, Gianni U, van Rosendael AR, ... Shaw LJ, PARADIGM investigators
Aims
The relationship between AtheroSclerotic CardioVascular Disease (ASCVD) risk and vessel-specific plaque evaluation using coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), focusing on plaque extent and composition, has not been examined. To evaluate differences in quantified plaque characteristics (using CCTA) between the three major coronary arteries [left anterior descending (LAD), right coronary (RCA), and left circumflex (LCx)] among subgroups of patients with varying ASCVD risk.
Methods and results
Patients were included from a prospective, international registry of consecutive patients who underwent CCTA for evaluation of coronary artery disease. ASCVD risk groups were <7.5% (low), 7.5-20% (intermediate), and ≥20% (high). Among the ASCVD risk groups, the three coronary arteries were compared regarding quantified plaque volume and composition. Whole-heart plaque quantification was performed in 1340 patients (age 60 ± 9 years, 58% men). Across low, intermediate, and high ASCVD risk patients, the volume of plaque increased proportionally but was least in the LCx (7.4, 9.0, and 25.3 mm3, respectively) as compared with the RCA (19.3, 32.6, and 67.0 mm3, respectively, all P ≤ 0.006) and LAD (39.9, 60.8, and 93.3 mm3, respectively, all P < 0.001). In each ASCVD risk group, the composition of plaque in the LCx exhibited the least necrotic core and fibrofatty plaque (P < 0.05 vs. LAD and RCA).
Conclusion
Among patients with varying risk of ASCVD, plaque in the LCx is decidedly less and is comprised of less non-calcified plaque supporting prior evidence of the lower rates of acute coronary events in this vessel.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2022. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 06 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Bax AM, Yoon YE, Gianni U, van Rosendael AR, ... Shaw LJ, PARADIGM investigators
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 06 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35253854
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Abstract

Impaired biventricular contractile reserve in patients with diastolic dysfunction: insights from exercise stress echocardiography.

Claeys M, Petit T, La Gerche A, Herbots L, ... Verwerft J, Claessen G
Aims
Cardiac output limitation is a fundamental feature of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) but the relative contribution of its determinants in symptomatic vs. asymptomatic stages are not well characterized. We aimed to gain insight into disease mechanisms by performing comprehensive comparative non-invasive exercise imaging in patients across the disease spectrum.
Methods and results
We performed bicycle stress echocardiography in 10 healthy controls, 13 patients with hypertensive left ventricular (LV) concentric remodelling and asymptomatic diastolic dysfunction (HTDD), 15 HFpEF patients, and 15 subjects with isolated right ventricular (RV) dysfunction secondary to chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). During exercise, ventricular performance differed across the groups (all P ≤ 0.01 for interaction). Notably in controls, LV and RV function significantly increased (all P < 0.05) while both LV systolic and diastolic reserve were significantly reduced in HFpEF patients. Likewise, RV systolic reserve was also impaired in HFpEF but not to the extent of CTEPH patients (P < 0.001 between groups). HTDD patients behaved as an intermediary group with borderline LV systolic and diastolic reserve and reduced RV systolic reserve. The increased pulmonary vascular (PV) load in HFpEF and CTEPH patients in combination with impaired RV reserve resulted in RV-pulmonary artery uncoupling during exercise.
Conclusion
The multifaceted decline of cardiac and PV function accompanying disease progression in HFpEF is unmasked by exercise and already emerges in preclinical disease. The revelation of these subtle abnormalities during exercise illustrates the benefit of exercise imaging and creates new prospects for early diagnosis and management.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2022. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 06 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Claeys M, Petit T, La Gerche A, Herbots L, ... Verwerft J, Claessen G
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging: 06 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35253849
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