Topic: Journal Club Selection

Abstract

Endovascular Therapy for Stroke Due to Basilar-Artery Occlusion.

Langezaal LCM, van der Hoeven EJRJ, Mont\'Alverne FJA, de Carvalho JJF, ... Schonewille WJ, BASICS Study Group
Background
The effectiveness of endovascular therapy in patients with stroke caused by basilar-artery occlusion has not been well studied.
Methods
We randomly assigned patients within 6 hours after the estimated time of onset of a stroke due to basilar-artery occlusion, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive endovascular therapy or standard medical care. The primary outcome was a favorable functional outcome, defined as a score of 0 to 3 on the modified Rankin scale (range, 0 to 6, with 0 indicating no disability, 3 indicating moderate disability, and 6 indicating death) at 90 days. The primary safety outcomes were symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage within 3 days after the initiation of treatment and mortality at 90 days.
Results
A total of 300 patients were enrolled (154 in the endovascular therapy group and 146 in the medical care group). Intravenous thrombolysis was used in 78.6% of the patients in the endovascular group and in 79.5% of those in the medical group. Endovascular treatment was initiated at a median of 4.4 hours after stroke onset. A favorable functional outcome occurred in 68 of 154 patients (44.2%) in the endovascular group and 55 of 146 patients (37.7%) in the medical care group (risk ratio, 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.50). Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in 4.5% of the patients after endovascular therapy and in 0.7% of those after medical therapy (risk ratio, 6.9; 95% CI, 0.9 to 53.0); mortality at 90 days was 38.3% and 43.2%, respectively (risk ratio, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.12).
Conclusions
Among patients with stroke from basilar-artery occlusion, endovascular therapy and medical therapy did not differ significantly with respect to a favorable functional outcome, but, as reflected by the wide confidence interval for the primary outcome, the results of this trial may not exclude a substantial benefit of endovascular therapy. Larger trials are needed to determine the efficacy and safety of endovascular therapy for basilar-artery occlusion. (Funded by the Dutch Heart Foundation and others; BASICS ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01717755; Netherlands Trial Register number, NL2500.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 19 May 2021; 384:1910-1920
Langezaal LCM, van der Hoeven EJRJ, Mont'Alverne FJA, de Carvalho JJF, ... Schonewille WJ, BASICS Study Group
N Engl J Med: 19 May 2021; 384:1910-1920 | PMID: 34010530
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Abstract

Multivessel PCI Guided by FFR or Angiography for Myocardial Infarction.

Puymirat E, Cayla G, Simon T, Steg PG, ... Danchin N, FLOWER-MI Study Investigators
Background
In patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who have multivessel disease, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for nonculprit lesions (complete revascularization) is superior to treatment of the culprit lesion alone. However, whether complete revascularization that is guided by fractional flow reserve (FFR) is superior to an angiography-guided procedure is unclear.
Methods
In this multicenter trial, we randomly assigned patients with STEMI and multivessel disease who had undergone successful PCI of the infarct-related artery to receive complete revascularization guided by either FFR or angiography. The primary outcome was a composite of death from any cause, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or unplanned hospitalization leading to urgent revascularization at 1 year.
Results
The mean (±SD) number of stents that were placed per patient for nonculprit lesions was 1.01±0.99 in the FFR-guided group and 1.50±0.86 in the angiography-guided group. During follow-up, a primary outcome event occurred in 32 of 586 patients (5.5%) in the FFR-guided group and in 24 of 577 patients (4.2%) in the angiography-guided group (hazard ratio, 1.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.78 to 2.23; P = 0.31). Death occurred in 9 patients (1.5%) in the FFR-guided group and in 10 (1.7%) in the angiography-guided group; nonfatal myocardial infarction in 18 (3.1%) and 10 (1.7%), respectively; and unplanned hospitalization leading to urgent revascularization in 15 (2.6%) and 11 (1.9%), respectively.
Conclusions
In patients with STEMI undergoing complete revascularization, an FFR-guided strategy did not have a significant benefit over an angiography-guided strategy with respect to the risk of death, myocardial infarction, or urgent revascularization at 1 year. However, given the wide confidence intervals for the estimate of effect, the findings do not allow for a conclusive interpretation. (Funded by the French Ministry of Health and Abbott; FLOWER-MI ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02943954.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Puymirat E, Cayla G, Simon T, Steg PG, ... Danchin N, FLOWER-MI Study Investigators
N Engl J Med: 15 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33999545
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Abstract

Comparative Effectiveness of Aspirin Dosing in Cardiovascular Disease.

Jones WS, Mulder H, Wruck LM, Pencina MJ, ... Hernandez AF, ADAPTABLE Team
Background
The appropriate dose of aspirin to lower the risk of death, myocardial infarction, and stroke and to minimize major bleeding in patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a subject of controversy.
Methods
Using an open-label, pragmatic design, we randomly assigned patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease to a strategy of 81 mg or 325 mg of aspirin per day. The primary effectiveness outcome was a composite of death from any cause, hospitalization for myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for stroke, assessed in a time-to-event analysis. The primary safety outcome was hospitalization for major bleeding, also assessed in a time-to-event analysis.
Results
A total of 15,076 patients were followed for a median of 26.2 months (interquartile range [IQR], 19.0 to 34.9). Before randomization, 13,537 (96.0% of those with available information on previous aspirin use) were already taking aspirin, and 85.3% of these patients were previously taking 81 mg of daily aspirin. Death, hospitalization for myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for stroke occurred in 590 patients (estimated percentage, 7.28%) in the 81-mg group and 569 patients (estimated percentage, 7.51%) in the 325-mg group (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 1.14). Hospitalization for major bleeding occurred in 53 patients (estimated percentage, 0.63%) in the 81-mg group and 44 patients (estimated percentage, 0.60%) in the 325-mg group (hazard ratio, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.79 to 1.77). Patients assigned to 325 mg had a higher incidence of dose switching than those assigned to 81 mg (41.6% vs. 7.1%) and fewer median days of exposure to the assigned dose (434 days [IQR, 139 to 737] vs. 650 days [IQR, 415 to 922]).
Conclusions
In this pragmatic trial involving patients with established cardiovascular disease, there was substantial dose switching to 81 mg of daily aspirin and no significant differences in cardiovascular events or major bleeding between patients assigned to 81 mg and those assigned to 325 mg of aspirin daily. (Funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; ADAPTABLE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02697916.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 14 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Jones WS, Mulder H, Wruck LM, Pencina MJ, ... Hernandez AF, ADAPTABLE Team
N Engl J Med: 14 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33999548
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Abstract

Stress-associated neurobiological activity is linked with acute plaque instability via enhanced macrophage activity: a prospective serial 18F-FDG-PET/CT imaging assessment.

Kang DO, Eo JS, Park EJ, Nam HS, ... Yoo H, Kim JW
Aims
Emotional stress is associated with future cardiovascular events. However, the mechanistic linkage of brain emotional neural activity with acute plaque instability is not fully elucidated. We aimed to prospectively estimate the relationship between brain amygdalar activity (AmygA), arterial inflammation (AI), and macrophage haematopoiesis (HEMA) in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) as compared with controls.
Methods and results
18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) imaging was performed within 45 days of the index episode in 62 patients (45 with AMI, mean 60.0 years, 84.4% male; 17 controls, mean 59.6 years, 76.4% male). In 10 patients of the AMI group, serial 18F-FDG-PET/CT imaging was performed after 6 months to estimate the temporal changes. The signals were compared using a customized 3D-rendered PET reconstruction. AmygA [target-to-background ratio (TBR), mean ± standard deviation: 0.65 ± 0.05 vs. 0.60 ± 0.05; P = 0.004], carotid AI (TBR: 2.04 ± 0.39 vs. 1.81 ± 0.25; P = 0.026), and HEMA (TBR: 2.60 ± 0.38 vs. 2.22 ± 0.28; P < 0.001) were significantly higher in AMI patients compared with controls. AmygA correlated significantly with those of the carotid artery (r = 0.350; P = 0.005), aorta (r = 0.471; P < 0.001), and bone marrow (r = 0.356; P = 0.005). Psychological stress scales (PHQ-9 and PSS-10) and AmygA assessed by PET/CT imaging correlated well (P < 0.001). Six-month after AMI, AmygA, carotid AI, and HEMA decreased to a level comparable with the controls.
Conclusion
AmygA, AI, and HEMA were concordantly enhanced in patients with AMI, showing concurrent dynamic changes over time. These results raise the possibility that stress-associated neurobiological activity is linked with acute plaque instability via augmented macrophage activity and could be a potential therapeutic target for plaque inflammation in AMI.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: [email protected]

Eur Heart J: 13 May 2021; 42:1883-1895
Kang DO, Eo JS, Park EJ, Nam HS, ... Yoo H, Kim JW
Eur Heart J: 13 May 2021; 42:1883-1895 | PMID: 33462618
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Abstract

Patterns of myocardial injury in recovered troponin-positive COVID-19 patients assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

Kotecha T, Knight DS, Razvi Y, Kumar K, ... Cole GD, Fontana M
Background
Troponin elevation is common in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but underlying aetiologies are ill-defined. We used multi-parametric cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) to assess myocardial injury in recovered COVID-19 patients.
Methods and results
One hundred and forty-eight patients (64 ± 12 years, 70% male) with severe COVID-19 infection [all requiring hospital admission, 48 (32%) requiring ventilatory support] and troponin elevation discharged from six hospitals underwent convalescent CMR (including adenosine stress perfusion if indicated) at median 68 days. Left ventricular (LV) function was normal in 89% (ejection fraction 67% ± 11%). Late gadolinium enhancement and/or ischaemia was found in 54% (80/148). This comprised myocarditis-like scar in 26% (39/148), infarction and/or ischaemia in 22% (32/148) and dual pathology in 6% (9/148). Myocarditis-like injury was limited to three or less myocardial segments in 88% (35/40) of cases with no associated LV dysfunction; of these, 30% had active myocarditis. Myocardial infarction was found in 19% (28/148) and inducible ischaemia in 26% (20/76) of those undergoing stress perfusion (including 7 with both infarction and ischaemia). Of patients with ischaemic injury pattern, 66% (27/41) had no past history of coronary disease. There was no evidence of diffuse fibrosis or oedema in the remote myocardium (T1: COVID-19 patients 1033 ± 41 ms vs. matched controls 1028 ± 35 ms; T2: COVID-19 46 ± 3 ms vs. matched controls 47 ± 3 ms).
Conclusions
During convalescence after severe COVID-19 infection with troponin elevation, myocarditis-like injury can be encountered, with limited extent and minimal functional consequence. In a proportion of patients, there is evidence of possible ongoing localized inflammation. A quarter of patients had ischaemic heart disease, of which two-thirds had no previous history. Whether these observed findings represent pre-existing clinically silent disease or de novo COVID-19-related changes remain undetermined. Diffuse oedema or fibrosis was not detected.

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

Eur Heart J: 13 May 2021; 42:1866-1878
Kotecha T, Knight DS, Razvi Y, Kumar K, ... Cole GD, Fontana M
Eur Heart J: 13 May 2021; 42:1866-1878 | PMID: 33596594
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Abstract

Autologous Ex Vivo Lentiviral Gene Therapy for Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency.

Kohn DB, Booth C, Shaw KL, Xu-Bayford J, ... Thrasher AJ, Gaspar HB
Background
Severe combined immunodeficiency due to adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency (ADA-SCID) is a rare and life-threatening primary immunodeficiency.
Methods
We treated 50 patients with ADA-SCID (30 in the United States and 20 in the United Kingdom) with an investigational gene therapy composed of autologous CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) transduced ex vivo with a self-inactivating lentiviral vector encoding human ADA. Data from the two U.S. studies (in which fresh and cryopreserved formulations were used) at 24 months of follow-up were analyzed alongside data from the U.K. study (in which a fresh formulation was used) at 36 months of follow-up.
Results
Overall survival was 100% in all studies up to 24 and 36 months. Event-free survival (in the absence of reinitiation of enzyme-replacement therapy or rescue allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation) was 97% (U.S. studies) and 100% (U.K. study) at 12 months; 97% and 95%, respectively, at 24 months; and 95% (U.K. study) at 36 months. Engraftment of genetically modified HSPCs persisted in 29 of 30 patients in the U.S. studies and in 19 of 20 patients in the U.K. study. Patients had sustained metabolic detoxification and normalization of ADA activity levels. Immune reconstitution was robust, with 90% of the patients in the U.S. studies and 100% of those in the U.K. study discontinuing immunoglobulin-replacement therapy by 24 months and 36 months, respectively. No evidence of monoclonal expansion, leukoproliferative complications, or emergence of replication-competent lentivirus was noted, and no events of autoimmunity or graft-versus-host disease occurred. Most adverse events were of low grade.
Conclusions
Treatment of ADA-SCID with ex vivo lentiviral HSPC gene therapy resulted in high overall and event-free survival with sustained ADA expression, metabolic correction, and functional immune reconstitution. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01852071, NCT02999984, and NCT01380990.).

Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 10 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Kohn DB, Booth C, Shaw KL, Xu-Bayford J, ... Thrasher AJ, Gaspar HB
N Engl J Med: 10 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33974366
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Abstract

Genetic insight into sick sinus syndrome.

Thorolfsdottir RB, Sveinbjornsson G, Aegisdottir HM, Benonisdottir S, ... Stefansson K, DBDS Genomic Consortium
Aims
The aim of this study was to use human genetics to investigate the pathogenesis of sick sinus syndrome (SSS) and the role of risk factors in its development.
Methods and results
We performed a genome-wide association study of 6469 SSS cases and 1 000 187 controls from deCODE genetics, the Copenhagen Hospital Biobank, UK Biobank, and the HUNT study. Variants at six loci associated with SSS, a reported missense variant in MYH6, known atrial fibrillation (AF)/electrocardiogram variants at PITX2, ZFHX3, TTN/CCDC141, and SCN10A and a low-frequency (MAF = 1.1-1.8%) missense variant, p.Gly62Cys in KRT8 encoding the intermediate filament protein keratin 8. A full genotypic model best described the p.Gly62Cys association (P = 1.6 × 10-20), with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.44 for heterozygotes and a disproportionally large OR of 13.99 for homozygotes. All the SSS variants increased the risk of pacemaker implantation. Their association with AF varied and p.Gly62Cys was the only variant not associating with any other arrhythmia or cardiovascular disease. We tested 17 exposure phenotypes in polygenic score (PGS) and Mendelian randomization analyses. Only two associated with the risk of SSS in Mendelian randomization, AF, and lower heart rate, suggesting causality. Powerful PGS analyses provided convincing evidence against causal associations for body mass index, cholesterol, triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes (P > 0.05).
Conclusion
We report the associations of variants at six loci with SSS, including a missense variant in KRT8 that confers high risk in homozygotes and points to a mechanism specific to SSS development. Mendelian randomization supports a causal role for AF in the development of SSS.

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

Eur Heart J: 20 May 2021; 42:1959-1971
Thorolfsdottir RB, Sveinbjornsson G, Aegisdottir HM, Benonisdottir S, ... Stefansson K, DBDS Genomic Consortium
Eur Heart J: 20 May 2021; 42:1959-1971 | PMID: 33580673
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Abstract

Short-coupled ventricular fibrillation represents a distinct phenotype among latent causes of unexplained cardiac arrest: a report from the CASPER registry.

Steinberg C, Davies B, Mellor G, Tadros R, ... Simpson CS, Krahn AD
Aims 
The term idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF) describes survivors of unexplained cardiac arrest (UCA) without a specific diagnosis after clinical and genetic testing. Previous reports have described a subset of IVF individuals with ventricular arrhythmia initiated by short-coupled trigger premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) for which the term short-coupled ventricular fibrillation (SCVF) has been proposed. The aim of this article is to establish the phenotype and frequency of SCVF in a large cohort of UCA survivors.
Methods and results 
We performed a multicentre study including consecutive UCA survivors from the CASPER registry. Short-coupled ventricular fibrillation was defined as otherwise unexplained ventricular fibrillation initiated by a trigger PVC with a coupling interval of <350 ms. Among 364 UCA survivors, 24/364 (6.6%) met diagnostic criteria for SCVF. The diagnosis of SCVF was obtained in 19/24 (79%) individuals by documented ventricular fibrillation during follow-up. Ventricular arrhythmia was initiated by a mean PVC coupling interval of 274 ± 32 ms. Electrical storm occurred in 21% of SCVF probands but not in any UCA proband (P < 0.001). The median time to recurrent ventricular arrhythmia in SCVF was 31 months. Recurrent ventricular fibrillation resulted in quinidine administration in 12/24 SCVF (50%) with excellent arrhythmia control.
Conclusion 
Short-coupled ventricular fibrillation is a distinct primary arrhythmia syndrome accounting for at least 6.6% of UCA. As documentation of ventricular fibrillation onset is necessary for the diagnosis, most cases are diagnosed at the time of recurrent arrhythmia, thus the true prevalence of SCVF remains still unknown. Quinidine is effective in SCVF and should be considered as first-line treatment for patients with recurrent episodes.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: [email protected]

Eur Heart J: 18 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Steinberg C, Davies B, Mellor G, Tadros R, ... Simpson CS, Krahn AD
Eur Heart J: 18 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34010395
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Abstract

Genetically determined NLRP3 inflammasome activation associates with systemic inflammation and cardiovascular mortality.

Schunk SJ, Kleber ME, März W, Pang S, ... eQTLGen consortium, BIOS consortium
Aims
Inflammation plays an important role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) development. The NOD-like receptor protein-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome contributes to the development of atherosclerosis in animal models. Components of the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway such as interleukin-1β can therapeutically be targeted. Associations of genetically determined inflammasome-mediated systemic inflammation with CVD and mortality in humans are unknown.
Methods and results
We explored the association of genetic NLRP3 variants with prevalent CVD and cardiovascular mortality in 538 167 subjects on the individual participant level in an explorative gene-centric approach without performing multiple testing. Functional relevance of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on NLRP3 inflammasome activation has been evaluated in monocyte-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Genetic analyses identified the highly prevalent (minor allele frequency 39.9%) intronic NLRP3 variant rs10754555 to affect NLRP3 gene expression. rs10754555 carriers showed significantly higher C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A plasma levels. Carriers of the G allele showed higher NLRP3 inflammasome activation in isolated human PBMCs. In carriers of the rs10754555 variant, the prevalence of coronary artery disease was significantly higher as compared to non-carriers with a significant interaction between rs10754555 and age. Importantly, rs10754555 carriers had significantly higher risk for cardiovascular mortality during follow-up. Inflammasome inducers (e.g. urate, triglycerides, apolipoprotein C3) modulated the association between rs10754555 and mortality.
Conclusion
The NLRP3 intronic variant rs10754555 is associated with increased systemic inflammation, inflammasome activation, prevalent coronary artery disease, and mortality. This study provides evidence for a substantial role of genetically driven systemic inflammation in CVD and highlights the NLRP3 inflammasome as a therapeutic target.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2021. For permissions, please email: [email protected]

Eur Heart J: 06 May 2021; 42:1742-1756
Schunk SJ, Kleber ME, März W, Pang S, ... eQTLGen consortium, BIOS consortium
Eur Heart J: 06 May 2021; 42:1742-1756 | PMID: 33748830
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Abstract

Increased Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Ca/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II Activation Contributes to Calcium Handling Abnormalities and Impaired Contraction in Barth Syndrome.

Liu X, Wang S, Guo X, Li Y, ... Bezzerides VJ, Pu WT
Background
Mutations in tafazzin (TAZ), a gene required for biogenesis of cardiolipin, the signature phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane, causes Barth syndrome (BTHS). Cardiomyopathy and risk of sudden cardiac death are prominent features of BTHS, but the mechanisms by which impaired cardiolipin biogenesis causes cardiac muscle weakness and arrhythmia are poorly understood.
Methods
We performed in vivo electrophysiology to define arrhythmia vulnerability in cardiac-specific TAZ knockout mice. Using cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells and cardiac-specific TAZ knockout mice as model systems, we investigated the effect of TAZ inactivation on Ca2+ handling. Through genome editing and pharmacology, we defined a molecular link between TAZ mutation and abnormal Ca2+ handling and contractility.
Results
A subset of mice with cardiac-specific TAZ inactivation developed arrhythmias, including bidirectional ventricular tachycardia, atrial tachycardia, and complete atrioventricular block. Compared with wild-type controls, BTHS-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes had increased diastolic Ca2+ and decreased Ca2+ transient amplitude. BTHS-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes had higher levels of mitochondrial and cellular reactive oxygen species than wild-type controls, which activated CaMKII (Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II). Activated CaMKII phosphorylated the RYR2 (ryanodine receptor 2) on serine 2814, increasing Ca2+ leak through RYR2. Inhibition of this reactive oxygen species-CaMKII-RYR2 pathway through pharmacological inhibitors or genome editing normalized aberrant Ca2+ handling in BTHS-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and improved their contractile function. Murine Taz knockout cardiomyocytes also exhibited elevated diastolic Ca2+ and decreased Ca2+ transient amplitude. These abnormalities were ameliorated by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II or reactive oxygen species inhibition.
Conclusions
This study identified a molecular pathway that links TAZ mutation with abnormal Ca2+ handling and decreased cardiomyocyte contractility. This pathway may offer therapeutic opportunities to treat BTHS and potentially other diseases with elevated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production.



Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1894-1911
Liu X, Wang S, Guo X, Li Y, ... Bezzerides VJ, Pu WT
Circulation: 10 May 2021; 143:1894-1911 | PMID: 33793303
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Abstract

Inhibition of xanthine oxidase in the acute phase of myocardial infarction prevents skeletal muscle abnormalities and exercise intolerance.

Nambu H, Takada S, Maekawa S, Matsumoto J, ... Sabe H, Kinugawa S
Aims
Exercise intolerance in patients with heart failure (HF) is partly attributed to skeletal muscle abnormalities. We have shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a crucial role in skeletal muscle abnormalities, but the pathogenic mechanism remains unclear. Xanthine oxidase (XO) is reported to be an important mediator of ROS overproduction in ischaemic tissue. Here, we tested the hypothesis that skeletal muscle abnormalities in HF are initially caused by XO-derived ROS and are prevented by the inhibition of their production.
Methods and results
Myocardial infarction (MI) was induced in male C57BL/6J mice, which eventually led to HF, and a sham operation was performed in control mice. The time course of XO-derived ROS production in mouse skeletal muscle post-MI was first analysed. XO-derived ROS production was significantly increased in MI mice from Days 1 to 3 post-surgery (acute phase), whereas it did not differ between the MI and sham groups from 7 to 28 days (chronic phase). Second, mice were divided into three groups: sham + vehicle (Sham + Veh), MI + vehicle (MI + Veh), and MI + febuxostat (an XO inhibitor, 5 mg/kg body weight/day; MI + Feb). Febuxostat or vehicle was administered at 1 and 24 h before surgery, and once-daily on Days 1-7 post-surgery. On Day 28 post-surgery, exercise capacity and mitochondrial respiration in skeletal muscle fibres were significantly decreased in MI + Veh compared with Sham + Veh mice. An increase in damaged mitochondria in MI + Veh compared with Sham + Veh mice was also observed. The wet weight and cross-sectional area of slow muscle fibres (higher XO-derived ROS) was reduced via the down-regulation of protein synthesis-associated mTOR-p70S6K signalling in MI + Veh compared with Sham + Veh mice. These impairments were ameliorated in MI + Feb mice, in association with a reduction of XO-derived ROS production, without affecting cardiac function.
Conclusion
XO inhibition during the acute phase post-MI can prevent skeletal muscle abnormalities and exercise intolerance in mice with HF.

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2020. For permissions, please email: [email protected]

Cardiovasc Res: 21 Mar 2021; 117:805-819
Nambu H, Takada S, Maekawa S, Matsumoto J, ... Sabe H, Kinugawa S
Cardiovasc Res: 21 Mar 2021; 117:805-819 | PMID: 32402072
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Abstract

Patterns of oral anticoagulation use with cardioversion in clinical practice.

Geurink K, Holmes D, Ezekowitz MD, Pieper K, ... Peterson ED, Pokorney SD
Background
Cardioversion is common among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We hypothesised that novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) used in clinical practice resulted in similar rates of stroke compared with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) for cardioversion.
Methods
Using the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation II, patients with AF who had a cardioversion, follow-up data and an AF diagnosis within 6 months of enrolment were identified retrospectively. Clinical outcomes were compared for patients receiving a NOAC or VKA for 1 year following cardioversion.
Results
Among 13 004 patients with AF, 2260 (17%) underwent cardioversion. 1613 met the inclusion criteria for this analysis. At the time of cardioversion, 283 (17.5%) were receiving a VKA and 1330 (82.5%) a NOAC. A transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) was performed in 403 (25%) cardioversions. The incidence of stroke/transient ischaemic attack (TIA) at 30 days was the same for patients having (3.04 per 100 patient-years) or not having (3.04 per 100 patient-years) a TOE (p=0.99). There were no differences in the incidence of death (HR 1.19, 95% CI 0.62 to 2.28, p=0.61), cardiovascular hospitalisation (HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.35, p=0.91), stroke/TIA (HR 1.18, 95% CI 0.30 to 4.74, p=0.81) or bleeding-related hospitalisation (HR 1.29, 95% CI 0.66 to 2.52, p=0.45) at 1 year for patients treated with either a NOAC or VKA.
Conclusions
Cardioversion was a low-risk procedure for patients treated with NOAC, and there were statistically similar rates of stroke/TIA 30 days after cardioversion as for patients treated with VKA. There were no statically significant differences in death, stroke/TIA or major bleeding at 1 year among patients treated with NOAC compared with VKA after cardioversion.

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Heart: 30 Mar 2021; 107:642-649
Geurink K, Holmes D, Ezekowitz MD, Pieper K, ... Peterson ED, Pokorney SD
Heart: 30 Mar 2021; 107:642-649 | PMID: 32591363
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Impact:
Abstract

Comparison of one-month versus twelve-month dual antiplatelet therapy after implantation of drug-eluting stents guided by either intravascular ultrasound or angiography in patients with acute coronary syndrome: rationale and design of prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled IVUS-ACS and ULTIMATE-DAPT trial.

Ge Z, Gao XF, Kan J, Kong XQ, ... Zhang JJ, Chen SL
Background
Current guidelines recommend administering dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) for 12 months to patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and without contraindications after drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation. A recent study reported that 3 months of DAPT followed by ticagrelor monotherapy is effective and safe in ACS patients undergoing DES implantation compared with the standard duration of DAPT. However, it is unclear whether antiplatelet monotherapy with ticagrelor alone versus ticagrelor plus aspirin reduces the incidence of clinically relevant bleeding without increasing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCEs) in ACS patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with DES implantation guided by either intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) or angiography who have completed a 1-month course of DAPT with aspirin plus ticagrelor.
Methods
The IVUS-ACS and ULTIMATE-DAPT is a prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial designed to determine (1) whether IVUS-guided versus angiography-guided DES implantation in patients with ACS reduces the risk of target vessel failure (TVF) at 12 months and (2) whether ticagrelor alone versus ticagrelor plus aspirin reduces the risk of clinically relevant bleeding without increasing the risk of MACCE 1-12 months after the index PCI in ACS patients undergoing DES implantation guided by either IVUS or angiography. This study will enroll 3486 ACS patients eligible for DES implantation, as confirmed by angiographic studies. The patients who meet the inclusion criteria and none of the exclusion criteria will be randomly assigned in a 1:1 fashion to the IVUS- or angiography-guided group (first randomization). All enrolled patients will complete a 1-month course of DAPT with aspirin plus ticagrelor after the index PCI. Patients with no MACCEs or major bleeding (≥Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (BARC) 3b) within 30 days will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to either the ticagrelor plus matching placebo (SAPT)group or ticagrelor plus aspirin (DAPT)group for an additional 11 months (second randomization). The primary endpoint of the IVUS-ACS trial is TVF at 12 months, including cardiac death, target vessel myocardial infarction (TVMI), or clinically driven target vessel revascularization (CD-TVR). The primary superiority endpoint of the ULTIMATE-DAPT trial is clinically relevant bleeding, defined as BARC Types 2, 3, or 5 bleeding, and the primary non-inferiority endpoint of the ULTIMATE-DAPT trial is MACCE, defined as cardiac death, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, CD-TVR, or definite stent thrombosis occurring 1-12 months in the second randomized population.
Conclusion
The IVUS-ACS and ULTIMATE-DAPT trial is designed to test the efficacy and safety of 2 different antiplatelet strategies in ACS patients undergoing PCI with DES implantation guided by either IVUS or angiography. This study will provide novel insights into the optimal DAPT duration in ACS patients undergoing PCI and provide evidence on the clinical benefits of IVUS-guided PCI in ACS patients.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Am Heart J: 30 May 2021; 236:49-58
Ge Z, Gao XF, Kan J, Kong XQ, ... Zhang JJ, Chen SL
Am Heart J: 30 May 2021; 236:49-58 | PMID: 33621541
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Abstract

Positron emission tomography in clinically suspected myocarditis - STREAM study design.

Ozierański K, Tymińska A, Kobylecka M, Caforio ALP, ... Opolski G, Grabowski M
Aim
Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease associated with increased glucose uptake. The hypothesis of this study assumes that 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) may improve specificity and sensitivity in the diagnosis of myocarditis and referral for endomyocardial biopsy (EMB), adding additional information for post-discharge risk stratification. The aim of the study is to assess the diagnostic and prognostic feasibility of FDG-PET/CT in comparison to cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) (alone or in combination) in patients with clinically suspected myocarditis undergoing EMB.
Methods
Fifty hospitalized patients with clinically suspected myocarditis who meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria will be enrolled in a prospective, observational, multicentre, cohort study (NCT04085718). The primary endpoint is the sensitivity and specificity of FDG-PET/CT imaging in the diagnosis of myocarditis. The main secondary endpoints include correlation of FDG-PET/CT imaging with CMR, echocardiography, and EMB results. The patients will undergo the following evaluations: clinical examination, blood tests (including biomarkers of fibrosis and anti-heart autoantibodies (AHA)), ECG, 24 h Holter ECG, echocardiography, CMR, as well as resting single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to assess possible myocardial perfusion defects, cardiac FDG-PET/CT and right ventricular EMB. After 6-months a follow-up visit will be performed (including 24 h Holter ECG, echocardiography and CMR). Investigators evaluating individual studies (CMR, SPECT, FDG-PET/CT and EMB) are to be blinded to the other tests\' results.
Conclusion
We believe that FDG-PET/CT alone or in combination with CMR may be a useful tool for improving diagnostic accuracy in patients with clinically suspected myocarditis.

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

Int J Cardiol: 31 May 2021; 332:113-118
Ozierański K, Tymińska A, Kobylecka M, Caforio ALP, ... Opolski G, Grabowski M
Int J Cardiol: 31 May 2021; 332:113-118 | PMID: 33657398
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Abstract

Scan-rescan measurement repeatability of F-FDG PET/MR imaging of vascular inflammation.

Robson PM, Kaufman A, Pruzan A, Dweck MR, ... Fayad ZA, Mani V
Non-invasive positron emission tomography (PET) of vascular inflammation and atherosclerotic plaque by identifying increased uptake of 18F-fluordeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) is a powerful tool for monitoring disease activity, progression, and its response to therapy. 18F-FDG PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) of the aorta and carotid arteries has become widely used to assess changes in inflammation in clinical trials. However, the recent advent of hybrid PET/magnetic resonance (PET/MR) scanners has advantages for vascular imaging due to the reduction in radiation exposure and improved soft tissue contrast of MR compared to CT. Important for research and clinical use is an understanding of the scan-rescan repeatability of the PET measurement. While this has been studied for PET/CT, no data is currently available for vascular PET/MR imaging. In this study, we determined the scan-rescan measurement repeatability of 18F-FDG PET/MR in the aorta and carotid arteries was less than 5%, comparable to similar findings for 18F-FDG PET/CT.



J Nucl Cardiol: 26 May 2021; epub ahead of print
Robson PM, Kaufman A, Pruzan A, Dweck MR, ... Fayad ZA, Mani V
J Nucl Cardiol: 26 May 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 34046803
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Abstract

Thoracoscopic ablation delays progression from paroxysmal to persistent atrial fibrillation.

Li X, Li M, Shao Y, Gu W, ... Gu J, Chen M
Objective
The study objective was to determine whether mini-invasive transthoracoscopic atrial fibrillation ablation can delay the progression of atrial fibrillation from paroxysmal to persistent.
Methods
Patients aged 18 to 80 years with paroxysmal nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and a history of stroke or systemic thromboembolism were consecutively enrolled from September 2014 to June 2019. In the treatment group, patients underwent transthoracoscopic atrial fibrillation ablation plus left atrial appendage excision (atrial fibrillation ablation plus left atrial appendage excision group). Patients unwilling to receive surgical intervention were treated with antiarrhythmic drugs and oral anticoagulants and recruited as a control group (atrial fibrillation plus antiarrhythmic drugs group). The primary end point was the progression of atrial fibrillation from paroxysmal to persistent.
Results
This study included 49 patients in the atrial fibrillation plus antiarrhythmic drugs group (29 men) and 77 patients in the atrial fibrillation ablation plus left atrial appendage excision group (48 men). In the atrial fibrillation ablation plus left atrial appendage excision group, after a median follow-up of 951 days (interquartile range, 529-1366 days), 8 patients (10.4%) progressed to persistent atrial fibrillation. In the atrial fibrillation plus antiarrhythmic drugs group, after a median follow-up of 835 days (interquartile range, 548-1214 days), 14 patients (28.6%) progressed to persistent atrial fibrillation. The atrial fibrillation ablation plus left atrial appendage excision group had a significantly lower incidence of atrial fibrillation progression than the atrial fibrillation plus antiarrhythmic drugs group during follow-up (3.9 vs 12.3 per 100 person-years, log-rank 8.6, P = .003).
Conclusions
Patients with paroxysmal nonvalvular atrial fibrillation who chose to undergo transthoracoscopic atrial fibrillation ablation had a lower incidence of progression to persistent atrial fibrillation than patients who chose conservative therapy. This strategy might be especially suitable for patients with paroxysmal nonvalvular atrial fibrillation at high risk of stroke and high risk of bleeding.

Copyright © 2021 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg: 18 Apr 2021; epub ahead of print
Li X, Li M, Shao Y, Gu W, ... Gu J, Chen M
J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg: 18 Apr 2021; epub ahead of print | PMID: 33992460
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This program is still in alpha version.