Heart failure pandemic is rapidly approaching in Japan, requiring nationwide actions. In particular, the Japanese Circulation Society and related societies launched the Stroke and Cardiovascular Disease Control Act, which was passed by the National Diet, as the first ever legislative policy measure against stroke and cardiovascular disease. In association with this, actions against heart failure pandemic from the scientific field are also important. Because heart failure pandemic is a critical problem not only in Japan but also in many developed countries, we believe the nationwide approach, as summarized here, will greatly contribute to the development of cardiovascular medicine, particularly the management and treatment of heart failure worldwide.
Despite the early loss of glycemic differences between the original intensive therapy group and conventional treatment in the DCCT/EDIC and UKPDS 80 trials, a continued reduction in microvascular risk and risk reductions for emergency myocardial infarction and all-cause death were observed 10–30 years after the end of these trials. These observations demonstrated that so-called “metabolic memory” could cause chronic abnormalities in diabetic vessels that are not easily reversed, even by subsequent improvement in blood glucose levels, thus suggesting a long-term beneficial influence of early metabolic control; that is, legacy effects on the risk of vascular complications and death in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Formation and accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are known to progress at an accelerated rate under diabetes. Furthermore, AGEs are hardly degraded and remain for a long time in diabetic vessels even after glycemic control is improved. Therefore, AGEs could explain why former cumulative diabetic exposure could contribute to current progression of vascular complications in diabetes. Here, the clinical utility of measurement of serum and tissue accumulation levels of AGEs for evaluating the prevalence and severity of numerous types of cardiovascular disease is reviewed and novel therapeutic strategies that could target the AGE-RAGE axis in CVD are discussed.
The 83rdAnnual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society was held in Yokohama, Japan, on March 29–31, 2019, just as the cherry blossoms came into full bloom. Because the environment around cardiovascular healthcare is rapidly changing, it becomes highly important to make a breakthrough at the dawn of a new era. The main theme of this meeting was “Renaissance of Cardiology for the Creation of Future Medicine”. The meeting benefited from the participation of 18,825 people, and there were in-depth and extensive discussions at every session, focusing on topics covering clinical and basic research, medical care provision system, human resource development, and public awareness in cardiovascular medicine. The meeting was completed with great success, and we greatly appreciate the tremendous cooperation and support from all affiliates.
Background:The effect of left renal vein division (LRVD) during open surgery (OS) for pararenal and juxtarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm (P/JRAA) on postoperative renal function remains controversial, so we focused on chronic renal decline (CRD) and separately examined renal volume as a surrogate index of split renal function.
Methods and Results:The 115 patients with P/JRAA treated with OS from June 2007 to January 2017 were reviewed: 26 patients without LRVD were matched to 27 patients with LRVD according to preoperative chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage and proximal clamp sites. The effect of LRVD on CRD was investigated by a time-to-event analysis. During a median follow-up of 23.5 months, CRD occurred in 5 patients with LRVD and in 4 patients without LRVD. Comparison of freedom from CRD showed no significant difference between the matched groups (P=0.870). The separate renal volumes were evaluated before surgery and at 1 and 2 years of follow-up using CT images from 18 patients with LRVD. At 2 years, the mean renal volume had decreased by 15% in the left kidney and by 9% in the right kidney (P=0.052 and 0.148, respectively), but the left-to-right renal volume ratio showed no significant change (P=0.647).
Conclusions:LRVD had no significant effect on CRD or left renal volume relative to the right renal volume for up to 2 years.
Background:Lethal ventricular arrhythmia (VA) can be initiated by idiopathic premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) originating from the left ventricular (LV) inferior wall. Furthermore, J-wave elevation in the inferior leads on ECG is sometimes associated with lethal VA. However, the relationship between these PVCs and J-wave elevation in patients with lethal VA is unclear, so we investigated it in the present study.
Methods and Results:We studied 32 consecutive patients who underwent radiofrequency (RF) ablation of idiopathic PVCs with right bundle branch block (RBBB) and superior axis. Thee PVCs were originating from the inferior wall of the LV. Lethal VA was defined as ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT) with loss of consciousness (LOC). Among 32 patients, 3 had VF and 2 had VT with LOC. Other 27 had non-lethal VA. Baseline clinical characteristics were not significantly difference between lethal and non-lethal VA. The ratio of J-wave elevation in lethal VA was significantly higher as compared with non-lethal VA (100% vs. 11.1%, P<0.0001). Furthermore, no patients with J-wave elevation in the inferior leads had recurrence of lethal VA after RF ablation of the PVCs.
Conclusions:We speculate that J-wave elevation in the inferior leads might be a predictor of lethal VA initiated by PVCs with RBBB and superior axis. RF ablation of these PVCs was a useful method of treating lethal VA.
Background:Evidence for the prognostic value of gait speed is largely based on a single measure at baseline, so we investigated the prognostic significance of change in gait speed in hospitalized older acute heart failure (AHF) patients.
Methods and Results:This retrospective study was performed in a cohort of 388 AHF patients ≥60 years old (mean age: 74.8±7.8 years, 228 men). Routine geriatric assessment included gait speed measurement at baseline and at discharge. The primary outcome of this study was all-cause death. Gait speed increased from 0.74±0.25 m/s to 0.98±0.27 m/s after 13.5±11.0 days. Older age, shorter height and lower hemoglobin level at admission, prior HF admission, and higher baseline gait speed were independently associated with lesser improvement in gait speed. A total of 80 patients died and 137 patients were readmitted for HF over a mean follow-up period of 2.1±1.9 years. In multivariate analyses, change in gait speed showed inverse associations with all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR] per 0.1 m/s increase: 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.73 to 0.95; P=0.006) and with risk of readmission for HF (HR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.83 to 0.99; P=0.036).
Conclusions:Short-term improvement in gait speed during hospitalization was associated with reduced risks of death and readmission for HF in older patients with AHF.
Background:Since endovascular aneurysm repair has become predominant, the issue of training young vascular surgeons in open abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery has received significant attention. Through learning curve analysis, we aimed to determine the number of cases needed for young surgeons to achieve satisfactory open surgical skills.
Methods and Results:A total of 562 consecutive patients who underwent open repair either by an attending surgeon (group A) or 6 young vascular surgeons (group Y) were included and assessed with regards to the preparation, clamp, and total operation times. Although some of the patients’ characteristics were different, the surgical procedures were comparable between the 2 groups. There was a clear trend towards a decrease in each 10 successive cases in group Y. The operation times in group A were constant at 72±30 (preparation), 48±10 (clamp), and 231±59 min (total), which were achieved by young vascular surgeons in 10, 30, and 10 cases, respectively. In the cumulative sum analysis, 25–27 cases were necessary for young vascular surgeons to enhance their surgical skills. The complication rate in group Y was no higher than that in group A.
Conclusions:Young vascular surgeons can safely learn open AAA repair without increasing operation time or complications. Approximately 30 cases would be necessary to gain satisfactory surgical skills.
Background:Cardiovascular guidelines include risk prediction models for decision making that lack the capacity to include novel predictors.
Methods and Results:We explored a new “predictor patch” approach to calibrating the predicted risk from a base model according to 2 components from outside datasets: (1) the difference in observed vs. expected values of novel predictors and (2) the hazard ratios (HRs) for novel predictors, in a scenario of adding kidney measures for cardiovascular mortality. Using 4 US cohorts (n=54,425) we alternately chose 1 as the base dataset and constructed a base prediction model with traditional predictors for cross-validation. In the 3 other “outside” datasets, we developed a linear regression model with traditional predictors for estimating expected values of glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria and obtained their adjusted HRs of cardiovascular mortality, together constituting a “patch” for adding kidney measures to the base model. The base model predicted cardiovascular mortality well in each cohort (c-statistic 0.78–0.91). The addition of kidney measures using a patch significantly improved discrimination (cross-validated ∆c-statistic 0.006 [0.004–0.008]) to a similar degree as refitting these kidney measures in each base dataset.
Conclusions:The addition of kidney measures using our new “predictor patch” approach based on estimates from outside datasets improved cardiovascular mortality prediction based on traditional predictors, providing an option to incorporate novel predictors to an existing prediction model.
Background:Intravenous vasodilators are commonly used in patients with hypertensive acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), but little is known about their optimal use in blood pressure (BP) management to avoid acute kidney injury (AKI). The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between systolic BP (SBP) changes and the incidence of AKI in patients with hypertensive ADHF.
Methods and Results:Post-hoc analysis was performed on a prospectively enrolled cohort. We investigated 245 patients with ADHF and SBP >140 mmHg on arrival (mean age, 76 years; 40% female). We defined “SBP-fall” as the maximum percent reduction in SBP 6 h after intravenous treatment. AKI was defined as serum creatinine (SCr) ≥0.3 mg/dL, or urine output <0.5 mL/kg/h (n=66) at 48 h. Mean SBP and SCr levels on arrival were 180 mmHg and 1.21 mg/dL, respectively. Patients with AKI had significantly larger SBP-fall than the others (36.7±15.3% vs. 27.2±15.3%, P<0.0001). Logistic regression analysis showed an odds ratio per 10% SBP-fall for AKI of 1.49 (95% confidence interval 1.29–1.90, P=0.001). SBP-fall was significantly associated with the number of concomitant used intravenous vasodilators (P=0.001). The administration of carperitide was also independently associated with increased incidence of AKI.
Conclusions:Larger SBP-fall from excessive vasodilator use is associated with increased incidence of AKI in patients with hypertensive ADHF.
Background:The association between a change in diastolic function (DF) and long-term clinical outcomes in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic effect of changes in diastolic dysfunction in patients undergoing PCI.
Methods and Results:Consecutive patients who underwent PCI and echocardiography before and after revascularization were prospectively included. Major adverse cardiac event (MACE) was defined as a composite of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and repeat revascularization. A total of 1,235 patients were identified. Baseline diastolic dysfunction was present in 1,033 patients (83.6%). At follow-up echocardiography, DF had worsened in 219 (17.8%) patients and was unchanged in 623 patients (50.4%). The risk of MACE was significantly higher in the worsened DF group compared with the unchanged DF group (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 2.15; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.59 to 2.90; P<0.001) and the improved or normal DF group (aHR: 2.20; 95% CI, 1.49 to 3.27; P<0.001). Patients with worsened DF consistently had a higher risk of MACE in various subgroups, especially irrespective of left ventricular systolic function.
Conclusions:Aggravation of DF was independently associated with an increased risk of MACE in patients undergoing PCI. Evaluating changes in DF after PCI is a simple but useful method for predicting long-term clinical outcomes.
Background:Although previous studies have suggested a certain prevalence of Fabry disease (FD) in left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) patients, the screening of FD is difficult because of its wide-ranging clinical phenotypes. We aimed to clarify the utility of combined measurement of plasma globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3) concentration and α-galactosidase A activity (α-GAL) as a primary screening of FD in unexplained LVH patients.
Methods and Results:Between 2014 and 2016, both lyso-Gb3 and α-GAL were measured in 277 consecutive patients (male 215, female 62, age 25–79 years) with left ventricular wall thickness >12 mm on echocardiogram: 5 patients (1.8%) screened positive (2 (0.7%) showed high lyso-Gb3 and 4 (1.4%) had low α-GAL levels). Finally, 2 patients (0.7%) were diagnosed with clinically significant FD. In 1 case, a female heterozygote with normal α-GAL levels had genetic variants of unknown significance and was diagnosed as FD by endomyocardial biopsy. The other case was a male chronic renal failure patient requiring hemodialysis, and he had a p.R112H mutation. In both cases there were high lyso-Gb3 levels.
Conclusions:The serum lyso-Gb3 level can be relevant for clinically significant FD, and combined measurement of lyso-Gb3 and α-GAL can provide better screening of FD in unexplained LVH patients.
Background:Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is associated primarily with pathogenic mutations in sarcomeric genes. The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence and distribution of disease-causing mutations in HCM-associated genes and the genotype-phenotype relationship in Vietnamese patients with HCM.
Methods and Results:Genetic testing was performed by next-generation sequencing in 104 unrelated probands for 23 HCM-related genes and in 57 family members for the mutation(s) detected. Clinical manifestations were recorded for genotype-phenotype correlation analysis. Mutation detection rate was 43.4%. Mutations inMYBPC3accounted for 38.6%, followed byTPM1(20.5%),MYH7(18.2%),TNNT2(9.1%),TNNI3(4.5%) andMYL2(2.3%). A mutation inGLAassociated with Fabry disease was found in 1 patient. A mutation inTPM1(c.842T>C, p.Met281Thr) was identified in 8 unrelated probands (18.2%) and 8 family members from 5 probands. Genotype-positive status related toMYH7,TPM1, andTNNT2mutations was associated with severe clinical manifestations.MYH7-positive patients displayed worse prognosis compared withMYBPC3-positive patients. Interestingly,TPM1c.842T>C mutation was associated with high penetrance and severe HCM phenotype.
Conclusions:We report for the first time the prevalence of HCM-related gene variants in Vietnamese patients with HCM.MYH7,TPM1, andTNNT2mutations were associated with unfavorable prognosis.
Background:A substantial proportion of patients clinically diagnosed as having familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) do not manifest causative mutation(s) in the FH genes such asLDLR,APOB, andPCSK9. We aimed to evaluate the effect of rare and deleterious mutation(s) inABCG5/ABCG8on hyper-low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterolemia in individuals who meet the clinical criteria for FH.
Methods and Results:We compared the LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) values among 487 subjects with FH; the subjects were grouped according to the presence of mutation(s) in FH andABCG5/ABCG8genes. We identified 276 individuals with a deleterious mutation in 1 FH gene (57%, monogenic FH), but found no causative mutations in 156 individuals (32%, mutation-negative). A total of 37 individuals had deleterious mutations inABCG5orABCG8, but not in FH genes (8%,ABCG5/ABCG8mutation carriers). Among these, 3 individuals had sitosterolemia (0.6%) with double mutations. We also identified 18 individuals with deleterious mutations in an FH gene andABCG5orABCG8(4%,ABCG5/ABCG8-oligogenic FH). Subjects without mutations had significantly higher polygenic scores than those in any other groups. LDL-C levels in oligogenic FH subjects were significantly higher than in the monogenic FH subjects. Moreover, sitosterol/lathosterol levels were significantly affected by those mutations.
Conclusions:The results suggested that rare and deleterious mutations inABCG5/ABCG8contribute substantially to mimicking and exacerbation of the FH phenotype.
Background:Japanese Circulation Society (JCS) guidelines do not include adolescents with coronary artery spasm.
Methods and Results:We recruited 18 adolescents less than 20 years old with vasospastic angina (VSA): 11 were Japanese and 3 had chest symptoms for >12 months before admission. ST-segment elevation was observed in 11 patients and none of the 18 patients had a fixed stenosis. Spasm provocation tests were performed in 9 patients and two-thirds had multiple spasms; 6 suffered from acute myocardial infarction and ventricular fibrillation occurred in 2 patients; 1 patient died and the remaining 17 patents survived.
Conclusions:Clinical status of adolescents with VSA was as severe as in adults with refractory VSA. Cardiologists should cooperate with pediatricians to diagnose and treat adolescents with VSA. There is a need to establish the additional issues for adolescents with coronary spasm in the JCS guidelines.
Background:Guidelines for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) recommend long-term antiplatelet therapy in symptomatic patients to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality risk. Although diabetes is a known risk factor for PAD, PAD has been undertreated in these patients. This study aimed to evaluate risk factors for major amputation in patients with diabetes undergoing antiplatelet therapy for PAD.
Methods and Results:This retrospective analysis of a 2-year observational cohort study (1,745 clinics in Japan, September 2009–2013) evaluated predictors of amputation in patients with diabetes undergoing antiplatelet therapy for PAD. Among 4,016 eligible patients, 52 had an amputation during follow-up. Amputation risk (Cox regression analysis) was predicted at baseline by history of lower extremity revascularization/amputation (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.92; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.39, 6.14), chronic kidney disease (HR: 4.19; 95% CI: 1.95, 8.97), and comorbid cerebrovascular and heart disease (HR: 3.32; 95% CI: 1.19, 9.30), and was unaffected by choice of oral antiplatelet therapy. In patients with PAD and diabetes, amputation event rate was highest for those with ankle-brachial pressure index (ABI) <0.40 and progressively decreased at higher ABI cut-offs.
Conclusions:These findings inform real-world understanding of PAD in diabetic patients receiving antiplatelet therapy in Japan, and showed that ABI <0.4 was the strongest risk factor for amputation.
Background:The effect of the sex ratio of the team of the attending doctors on clinical outcomes remains unknown.
Methods and Results:This retrospective cohort study included 9,544 patients admitted between 2012 and 2018 for cardiovascular diseases. They were treated by teams of 3 attending doctors comprising a trainee doctor, middle-grade cardiologist who played the main role in the clinical management, and upper-grade cardiologist who was responsible for the management. We explored whether the sex of the attending doctors influenced the risk of emergency readmission within 30 days after discharge. The primary hospitalization periods were similar for male and female middle-grade cardiologists. The risk of emergency readmission of patients hospitalized with cardiovascular diseases was significantly higher for patients treated by male middle-grade cardiologists than in those treated by female middle-grade cardiologists (odds ratio: 2.09, P<0.01). This beneficial effect of treatment by female cardiologists was observed in younger (<65 years) patients, male patients, patients with New York Heart Association stages II–IV, and those with emergency primary hospitalization, and in medical teams led by a male upper-grade cardiologist.
Conclusions:The risk of emergency readmission after discharge in patients hospitalized with cardiovascular diseases was ameliorated when treatment was performed by female middle-grade cardiologists. The combination of male and female cardiologists in the attending doctors’ team could result in better prognoses for cardiovascular patients.
Background:There has not been a previous report on the long-term outcomes of those patients who refuse aortic valve replacement (AVR) despite physicians’ recommendations.
Methods and Results:Among 3,815 consecutive patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) enrolled in the CURRENT AS registry, the study population comprised 2,005 symptomatic patients, who were subdivided into 3 groups by their treatment strategy and the reasons for conservative strategy (Initial AVR group: n=905; Patient rejection group: n=256; Physician judgment group, n=844). The primary outcome measure was a composite of aortic valve-related death and heart failure hospitalization. Patients in the patient rejection group as compared with those in the physician judgment group were younger, and had less comorbidities, and lower surgical risk scores. The cumulative 5-year incidence of the primary outcome measure in the patient rejection group was markedly higher than that in the initial AVR group, and was similar to that in the physician judgment group (60.7%, 19.0%, and 66.4%, respectively).
Conclusions:Patient rejection was the reason for non-referral to AVR in nearly one-quarter of the symptomatic patients with severe AS who were managed conservatively. The dismal outcome in patients who refused AVR was similar to that in patients who were not referred to AVR based on physician judgment despite less comorbidities and lower surgical risk scores in the former than in the latter.
Background:There is accumulating evidence that the AGEs-RAGE interaction plays an important role in accelerated atherosclerosis in diabetes. Our previous study showed that the AGEs-RAGE axis can reduce the cholesterol efflux of THP-1 macrophages through suppression of the expression of ABCG1 and that statins can inhibit the expression of RAGE. However, the role of statins in recovering the cholesterol efflux of macrophages reduced by AGEs has not been assessed.
Methods and Results:ApoE−/−mice and THP-1 macrophages were both treated by AGEs or AGEs combined with anti-RAGE antibody (only in THP-1 cells), ALT711 and atorvastatin separately. Cholesterol efflux of THP-1 macrophages and murine peritoneal macrophages was tested by fluorescence microplate technique. RT-PCR and western blot analysis were used to measure the expression of RAGE and molecules included in cholesterol efflux. After co-incubating with atorvastatin and AGEs, reduction in lipid accumulation in THP-1 macrophages and improvement of lesions complexity occurred compared with treating by AGEs only. Atorvastatin increased cholesterol efflux and ABCG1 expression of macrophages, which were reduced by AGEs, and decreased the expression of RAGE at the same time.
Conclusions:This study demonstrated that atorvastatin can recover the deleterious ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux induced by AGEs in THP-1 macrophages and murine peritoneal macrophages by downregulating RAGE expression. It may contribute to the protective action of atorvastatin in diabetic subjects with atherosclerosis.
Background:His-bundle pacing is an emerging routine technique that avoids pacing-dependent side effects. However, the success rate of His-bundle pacing is not 100%.
Methods and Results:Left bundle pacing or peri-left bundle pacing (LBP/peri-LBP) are recently developed techniques that directly capture the left bundle or ventricular tissue near the left bundle. We evaluated the success rate of LBP/peri-LBP in patients whose treatment with His-bundle pacing failed. In addition, we evaluated left ventricular contraction and desynchrony after LBP/peri-LBP.
Conclusions:LBP/peri-LBP is an alternative ventricular pacing method in atrioventricular block in patients with failure of His-bundle pacing.