173 research outputs found

    Impact of cavotricuspid isthmus ablation for typical atrial flutter and heart failure in the elderly—results of a retrospective multi-center study

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    IntroductionWhile in the CASTLE-AF trial, in patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, interventional therapy using pulmonary vein isolation was associated with outcome improvement, data on cavotricuspid isthmus ablation (CTIA) in atrial flutter (AFL) in the elderly is rare.MethodsWe included 96 patients between 60 and 85 years with typical AFL and heart failure with reduced or mildly reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF/HFmrEF) treated in two medical centers. 48 patients underwent an electrophysiological study with CTIA, whereas 48 patients received rate or rhythm control and guideline-compliant heart failure therapy. Patients were followed up for 2 years, with emphasis on left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) over time. Primary endpoints were cardiovascular mortality and hospitalization for cardiac causes.ResultsPatients with CTIA showed a significant increase in LVEF after 1 (p < 0.001) and 2 years (p < 0.001) in contrast to baseline LVEF. Improvement of LVEF in the CTIA group was associated with significantly lower 2-year mortality (p = 0.003). In the multivariate regression analysis, CTIA remained the relevant factor associated with LVEF improvement (HR: 2.845 CI:95% 1.044–7.755; p = 0.041). Elderly patients (≥ 70 years) further benefited from CTIA, since they showed a significantly reduced rehospitalization (p = 0.042) and mortality rate after 2 years (p = 0.013).ConclusionsCTIA in patients with typical AFL and HFrEF/HFmrEF was associated with significant improvement of LVEF and reduced mortality rates after 2 years. Patient age should not be a primary exclusion criterion for CTIA, since patients ≥70 years also seem to benefit from intervention in terms of mortality and hospitalization

    Prophylactic rivaroxaban in the early post-discharge period reduces the rates of hospitalization for atrial fibrillation and incidence of sudden cardiac death during long-term follow-up in hospitalized COVID-19 survivors

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    Introduction: While acute Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects the cardiovascular (CV) system according to recent data, an increased CV risk has been reported also during long-term follow-up (FU). In addition to other CV pathologies in COVID-19 survivors, an enhanced risk for arrhythmic events and sudden cardiac death (SCD) has been observed. While recommendations on post-discharge thromboprophylaxis are conflicting in this population, prophylactic short-term rivaroxaban therapy after hospital discharge showed promising results. However, the impact of this regimen on the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias has not been evaluated to date.Methods: To investigate the efficacy of this therapy, we conducted a single center, retrospective analysis of 1804 consecutive, hospitalized COVID-19 survivors between April and December 2020. Patients received either a 30-day post-discharge thromboprophylaxis treatment regimen using rivaroxaban 10 mg every day (QD) (Rivaroxaban group (Riva); n = 996) or no thromboprophylaxis (Control group (Ctrl); n = 808). Hospitalization for new atrial fibrillation (AF), new higher-degree Atrioventricular-block (AVB) as well as incidence of SCD were investigated in 12-month FU [FU: 347 (310/449) days].Results: No differences in baseline characteristics (Ctrl vs Riva: age: 59.0 (48.9/66.8) vs 57 (46.5/64.9) years, p = n.s.; male: 41.5% vs 43.7%, p = n.s.) and in the history of relevant CV-disease were observed between the two groups. While hospitalizations for AVB were not reported in either group, relevant rates of hospitalizations for new AF (0.99%, n = 8/808) as well as a high rate of SCD events (2.35%, n = 19/808) were seen in the Ctrl. These cardiac events were attenuated by early post-discharge prophylactic rivaroxaban therapy (AF: n = 2/996, 0.20%, p = 0.026 and SCD: n = 3/996, 0.30%, p < 0.001) which was also observed after applying a logistic regression model for propensity score matching (AF: χ2-statistics = 6.45, p = 0.013 and SCD: χ2-statistics = 9.33, p = 0.002). Of note, no major bleeding complications were observed in either group.Conclusion: Atrial arrhythmic and SCD events are present during the first 12 months after hospitalization for COVID-19. Extended prophylactic Rivaroxaban therapy after hospital discharge could reduce new onset of AF and SCD in hospitalized COVID-19 survivors

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is characterized by alterations of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex proteins: insights from patients with aortic valve stenosis versus hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy

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    Introduction: Hypertrophies of the cardiac septum are caused either by aortic valve stenosis (AVS) or by congenital hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM). As they induce cardiac remodeling, these cardiac pathologies may promote an arrhythmogenic substrate with associated malignant ventricular arrhythmias and may lead to heart failure. While altered calcium (Ca2+) handling seems to be a key player in the pathogenesis, the role of mitochondrial calcium handling was not investigated in these patients to date.Methods: To investigate this issue, cardiac septal samples were collected from patients undergoing myectomy during cardiac surgery for excessive septal hypertrophy and/or aortic valve replacement, caused by AVS and HOCM. Septal specimens were matched with cardiac tissue obtained from post-mortem controls without cardiac diseases (Ctrl).Results and discussion: Patient characteristics and most of the echocardiographic parameters did not differ between AVS and HOCM. Most notably, the interventricular septum thickness, diastolic (IVSd), was the greatest in HOCM patients. Histological and molecular analyses showed a trend towards higher fibrotic burden in both pathologies, when compared to Ctrl. Most notably, the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) complex associated proteins were altered in both pathologies of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). On the one hand, the expression pattern of the MCU complex subunits MCU and MICU1 were shown to be markedly increased, especially in AVS. On the other hand, PRMT-1, UCP-2, and UCP-3 declined with hypertrophy. These conditions were associated with an increase in the expression patterns of the Ca2+ uptaking ion channel SERCA2a in AVS (p = 0.0013), though not in HOCM, compared to healthy tissue. Our data obtained from human specimen from AVS or HOCM indicates major alterations in the expression of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex and associated proteins. Thus, in cardiac septal hypertrophies, besides modifications of cytosolic calcium handling, impaired mitochondrial uptake might be a key player in disease progression

    A Story of PA/BSA and Biomarkers to Diagnose Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients with Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis—The Rise of IGF-BP2 and GDF-15

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    (1) Background: Currently, echocardiography is the primary non-invasive diagnostic method used to screen patients with severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) for pulmonary hypertension (PH) by estimating systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP). Other radiological methods have been a focus of research in the past couple of years, as it was shown that by determining the pulmonary artery (PA) diameter, prognostic statements concerning overall mortality could be made in these patients. This study compared established and novel cardiovascular biomarkers with the PA/BSA value to detect PH in patients with severe AS. (2) Methods: The study cohort comprised 188 patients with severe AS undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), who were then divided into two groups based on PA/BSA values obtained through CT-angiography. The presence of PH was defined as a PA/BSA ≥ 16.6 mm/m2 (n = 81), and absence as a PA/BSA 2 (n = 107). Blood samples were taken before TAVR to assess cardiovascular biomarkers used in this study, namely brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), cardiac troponin I (cTnI), high-sensitive troponin (hsTN), soluble suppression of tumorigenesis-2 (sST2), growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), heart-type fatty acid-binding protein (H-FABP), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGF-BP2), and soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR). (3) Results: Patients with a PA/BSA ≥ 16.6 mm/m2 showed significantly higher levels of BNP (p = p = 0.040), and H-FABP (p = 0.007). The other investigated cardiovascular biomarkers did not significantly differ between the two groups. To predict a PA/BSA ≥ 16.6 mm/m2, cut-off values for the biomarkers were calculated. Here, GDF-15 (p = 0.029; cut-off 1172.0 pg/mL) and BNP (p p = 0.004) as the best result of the two-way analyses and GDF-15 + IGF-BP2 + BNP (AUC = 0.727; 95%CI = 0.590–0.864; p = 0.004) as the best result of the three-way analyses. No significant difference regarding the 1-year survival between patients with PA/BSA 2 and patients with PA/BSA ≥ 16.6 mm/m2 was found (log-rank test: p = 0.452). (4) Conclusions: Although PA/BSA aims to reduce the bias of the PA value caused by different body compositions and sizes, it is still a controversial parameter for diagnosing PH. Combining the parameter with different cardiovascular biomarkers did not lead to a significant increase in the diagnostic precision for detecting PH in patients with severe AS

    The Presence of Ascending Aortic Dilatation in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Is Negatively Correlated with the Presence of Diabetes Mellitus and Does Not Impair Post-Procedural Outcomes

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    Both relevant aortic valve stenosis (AS) and aortic valve insufficiency significantly contribute to structural changes in the ascending aorta (AA) and thus to its dilatation. In patients with severe AS undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), survival data regarding aortic changes and laboratory biomarker analyses are scarce. Methods: A total of 179 patients with severe AS and an available computed tomography were included in this retrospective study. AA was measured, and dilatation was defined as a diameter ≥ 40 mm. Thirty-two patients had dilatation of the AA. A further 32 patients from the present population with a normal AA were matched to the aortic dilatation group with respect to gender, age, body mass index and body surface area, and the resulting study groups were compared with each other. In addition to echocardiographic and clinical characteristics, the expression of cardiovascular biomarkers such as brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2 (sST2), growth/differentiation of factor-15 (GDF-15), heart-type fatty-acid binding protein (H-FABP), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGF-BP2) and soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) was analyzed. Kaplan–Meier curves for short- and long-term survival were obtained, and Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlations were calculated to identify the predictors between the diameter of the AA and clinical parameters. Results: A total of 19% of the total cohort had dilatation of the AA. The study group with an AA diameter ≥ 40 mm showed a significantly low comorbidity with respect to diabetes mellitus in contrast to the comparison cohort with an AA diameter p = 0.010). This result continued in the correlation analyses performed, as the presence of diabetes mellitus correlated negatively not only with the diameter of the AA (r = −0.404; p = 0.001) but also with the presence of aortic dilatation (r = −0.320; p = 0.010). In addition, the presence of AA dilatation after TAVR was shown to have no differences in terms of patient survival at 1, 3 and 5 years. There were no relevant differences in the cardiovascular biomarkers studied between the patients with dilated and normal AAs. Conclusion: The presence of AA dilatation before successful TAVR was not associated with a survival disadvantage at the respective follow-up intervals of 1, 3 and 5 years. Diabetes mellitus in general seemed to have a protective effect against the development of AA dilatation or aneurysm in patients with severe AS

    Systolic Pulmonary Artery Pressure and Cardiovascular Biomarkers—New Non-Invasive Ways to Detect Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients with Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis Undergoing TAVR?

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    Background: Patients with severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) frequently present with pulmonary hypertension (PH). The gold standard for detection of pulmonary hypertension is right heart catheterization, which is not routinely performed as a preoperative standard in cardiology centers today, neither before surgical valve replacement nor before transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. Echocardiographic determination of systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) provides an opportunity to assess the presence or absence of PH. The aim of the present study was to investigate the extent to which plasma levels of common cardiovascular biomarkers behave in patients with severe AS and an sPAP <40 mmHg in comparison to patients with an sPAP ≥40 mmHg. Methods: 179 patients with echocardiographic evidence of severe AS before TAVR procedure were divided into 2 groups based on sPAP. An sPAP of 40 mmHg was considered the cut-off value, with absence of PH defined by an sPAP <40 mmHg (n = 82) and presence of PH defined by an sPAP ≥40 mmHg (n = 97). Directly before TAVR, a blood sample was drawn from each patient, and plasma concentrations of the cardiovascular biomarkers Soluble Suppression of Tumorigenicity-2 (sST2), Growth/Differentiation of Factor-15 (GDF-15), Heart-Type Fatty-Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP), Insulin Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 (IGF-BP2), Soluble Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Receptor (suPAR), Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) and Cardiac Troponin I (cTnI) were determined. Results: Patients with an sPAP ≥40 mmHg had significantly higher sST2 (p = 0.010), GDF-15 (p = 0.005), IGF-BP2 (p = 0.029), suPAR (p = 0.018), BNP (p < 0.001) and cTnI (p = 0.039) plasma levels. Only for H-FABP (p = 0.069), no significant differences were discernible between the two groups. In addition, cut-off values were calculated to predict an sPAP ≥40 mmHg. Significant results were shown with 16045.84 pg/mL for sST2 (p = 0.010), with 1117.54 pg/mL for GDF-15 (p = 0.005), with 107028.43 pg/mL for IGF-BP2 (p = 0.029), with 3782.84 pg/mL for suPAR (p = 0.018), with 2248.00 pg/mL for BNP (p < 0.001) and with 20.50 pg/mL for cTnI (p = 0.002). Conclusions: sPAP as an echocardiographic parameter in combination with supplementary use of cardiovascular biomarkers presented here have the potential to provide more detailed information about the presence or absence of PH in a non-invasive way

    Comparability between Computed Tomography Morphological Vascular Parameters and Echocardiography for the Assessment of Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients with Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis&mdash;Results of a Multi-Center Study

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    Background: Computed tomography (CT) of the aorta and cardiac vessels, which is performed in patients with severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) before transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), offers the possibility of non-invasive detection of pulmonary hypertension (PH), for example, by determining the diameter of the main pulmonary artery (PA), the right pulmonary artery (RPA) or the left pulmonary artery (LPA). An improvement of the significance of these radiological parameters is often achieved by indexing to the body surface area (BSA). The aim of this study was to compare different echocardiographic systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP) values with radiological data in order to define potential clinical cut-off values for the presence or absence of PH. Methods: A total of 138 patients with severe AS undergoing TAVR underwent pre-interventional transthoracic echocardiography with determination of sPAP values and performance of CT angiography (CTA) of the aorta and femoral arteries. Radiologically, the PA, RPA, LPA, and ascending aorta (AA) diameters were obtained. Vascular diameters were not only indexed to BSA but also ratios were created with AA diameter (for example PA/AA-ratio). From these CT-derived vascular parameters, AUROC curves were obtained regarding the prediction of different sPAP values (sPAP 40&ndash;45&ndash;50 mmHg) and finally correlation analyses were calculated. Results: The best AUROC and correlation analyses were generally obtained at an sPAP &ge; 40 mmHg. When considering diameters alone, the PA diameter was superior to the RPA and LPA. Indexing to BSA generally increased the diagnostic quality of the parameters, and finally, in a synopsis of all results, PA/BSA had the best AUC 0.741 (95% CI 0.646&ndash;0. 836; p &lt; 0.001; YI 0.39; sensitivity 0.87; specificity 0.52) and Spearman&rsquo;s correlation coefficient (r = 0.408; p &lt; 0.001) at an sPAP of &ge;40 mmHg. Conclusions: Features related to pulmonary hypertension are fast and easily measurable on pre-TAVR CT and offer great potential regarding non-invasive detection of pulmonary hypertension in patients with severe AS and can support the echocardiographic diagnosis. In this study, the diameter of the main pulmonary artery with the additionally determined ratios were superior to the values of the right and left pulmonary artery. Additional indexing to body surface area and thus further individualization of the parameters with respect to height and weight can further improve the diagnostic quality

    Soluble ST2 as a Potential Biomarker for Risk Assessment of Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients Undergoing TAVR?

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    Background: Severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) is associated with pulmonary hypertension (PH) and has been shown to limit patient survival. Soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2 (sST2) is a cardiovascular biomarker that has proven to be an important prognostic marker for survival in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The aim of this study was to assess the importance of the sST2 biomarker for risk stratification in patients with severe AS in presence or absence of PH. Methods: In 260 patients with severe AS undergoing TAVR procedure, sST2 serum level concentrations were analyzed. Right heart catheter measurements were performed in 152 patients, with no PH detection in 43 patients and with PH detection in 109 patients. Correlation analyses according to Spearman, AUROC analyses and Kaplan–Meier curves were calculated. Results: Patients with severe AS and PH showed significantly higher serum sST2 concentrations (p = 0.006). The sST2 cut-off value for non-PH patients regarding 1-year survival yielded 5521.15 pg/mL, whereas the cut-off value of PH patients was at a considerably higher level of 10,268.78 pg/mL. A cut-off value of 6990.12 pg/mL was related with a significant probability of PH presence. Survival curves showed that patients with severe AS and PH not only had higher 1-year mortality, but also that increased levels of sST2 plasma concentration were associated with earlier death. Conclusion: sST2 definitely has the potential to provide information about the presence of PH in patients with severe AS, in a noninvasive way

    CT-Diagnosed Sarcopenia and Cardiovascular Biomarkers in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Is It Possible to Predict Muscle Loss Based on Laboratory Tests?&mdash;A Multicentric Retrospective Analysis

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    Background: Patients with severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) often present with heart failure and sarcopenia. Sarcopenia, described as progressive degradation of skeletal muscle mass, has frequently been implicated as a cause of increased mortality, prolonged hospitalization and generalized poor outcome after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). At present, sarcopenia is defined by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) based on clinical examination criteria and radiological imaging. The aim of the present study was to compare patients with Computed Tomography (CT)-diagnosed sarcopenia with regard to the expression of cardiovascular biomarkers in order to obtain additional, laboratory-chemical information. Methods: A total of 179 patients with severe AS were included in this retrospective study. Sarcopenia was determined via CT by measurement of the psoas muscle area (PMA), which was indexed to body surface area (PMAi). According to previous studies, the lowest tertile was defined as sarcopenic. Patients with (59/179) and without sarcopenia (120/179) in the overall cohort were compared by gender-specific cut-offs with regard to the expression of cardiovascular biomarkers such as brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), soluble suppression of tumorigenicity-2 (sST2), growth/differentiation of factor-15 (GDF-15), heart-type fatty-acid binding protein (H-FABP), insulin like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGF-BP2) and soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR). Additionally, binary logistic regression analyses were calculated to detect possible predictors of the presence of sarcopenia. Results: No statistical differences regarding one-year survival could be detected between sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients in survival curves (log rank test p = 0.179). In the entire cohort, only BNP and hemoglobin (HB) showed a statistically significant difference, with only HB emerging as a relevant predictor for the presence of sarcopenia after binary logistic regression analysis (p = 0.015). No relevant difference in biomarker expression could be found in the male cohort. Regarding the female cohort, statistically significant differences were found in BNP, HB and hematocrit (HK). In binary logistic regression, however, none of the investigated criteria could be related to sarcopenia. Conclusion: Regardless of gender, patients with imaging-based muscle degradation did not demonstrate significantly different cardiovascular biomarker expression compared to those without it

    Investigation of hs-TnI and sST-2 as Potential Predictors of Long-Term Cardiovascular Risk in Patients with Survived Hospitalization for COVID-19 Pneumonia

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    Introduction: COVID-19 survivors reveal an increased long-term risk for cardiovascular disease. Biomarkers like troponins and sST-2 improve stratification of cardiovascular risk. Nevertheless, their prognostic value for identifying long-term cardiovascular risk after having survived COVID-19 has yet to be evaluated. Methods: In this single-center study, admission serum biomarkers of sST-2 and hs-TnI in a single cohort of 251 hospitalized COVID-19 survivors were evaluated. Concentrations were correlated with major cardiovascular events (MACE) defined as cardiovascular death and/or need for cardiovascular hospitalization during follow-up after hospital discharge [FU: 415 days (403; 422)]. Results: MACE was a frequent finding during FU with an incidence of 8.4% (cardiovascular death: 2.8% and/or need for cardiovascular hospitalization: 7.2%). Both biomarkers were reliable indicators of MACE (hs-TnI: sensitivity = 66.7% & specificity = 65.7%; sST-2: sensitivity = 33.3% & specificity = 97.4%). This was confirmed in a multivariate proportional-hazards analysis: besides age (HR = 1.047, 95% CI = 1.012–1.084, p = 0.009), hs-TnI (HR = 4.940, 95% CI = 1.904–12.816, p = 0.001) and sST-2 (HR = 10.901, 95% CI = 4.509–29.271, p < 0.001) were strong predictors of MACE. The predictive value of the model was further improved by combining both biomarkers with the factor age (concordance index hs-TnI + sST2 + age = 0.812). Conclusion: During long-term FU, hospitalized COVID-19 survivors, hs-TnI and sST-2 at admission, were strong predictors of MACE, indicating both proteins to be involved in post-acute sequelae of COVID-19
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