Background:Although anticoagulation is the key treatment to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), including elderly patients, anticoagulation is sometimes withheld for elderly people because of concerns about frailty. However, it remains unknown whether frailty increases bleeding events.
Methods and Results:A total of 120 consecutive non-valvular AF patients admitted with symptoms of AF or congestive heart failure were included in this study. Frailty was assessed using the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) frailty index. We performed a retrospective analysis of the risk factors associated with major bleeding events. After a median follow-up of 518 days, major bleeding events occurred in 17 (14.2%) patients. Patients with major bleeding events had a higher CHS frailty index (P=0.015). The cutoff value for high-risk CHS frailty index was 2 (area under the ROC curve: 0.68 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.57–0.78]). The event-free rates at 2 years were 97.6% (95% CI: 83.9–99.7) in patients with a CHS frailty index <2 and 59.6% (95% CI: 27.9–81.0) for those with a CHS frailty index ≥2 (P<0.001).
Conclusions:Frailty is associated with increased bleeding events related to anticoagulant therapy in patients previously hospitalized with AF. Greater care should be taken with patients with a CHS frailty index ≥2.
Background:The associations between body mass index (BMI) and incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in young men are scarce, especially in Asian countries, given the differences in BMI between Asians and Western populations.
Methods and Results:This study analyzed 17,865 middle-aged Japanese men without AF from a cohort of employees undergoing annual health examinations. AF incidence was evaluated during a follow-up period (median 4.0 years, interquartile range 2.0–7.1 years). Among young men aged 30–49 years, AF incidence was 0.64/1,000 person-years, whereas it was 2.54/1,000 and 7.60/1,000 person-years among men aged 50–59 and ≥60 years, respectively. Multivariable Cox regression analysis among young men revealed age (hazard ratio [HR] 3.28 by 10-years’ increase, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.72–6.25, P<0.001), BMI (BMI-quadratic, HR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00–1.01, P<0.001, BMI-linear, HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.86–1.05, P=0.33), and electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities, such as PQ prolongation, supraventricular beat, and p wave abnormality (HR 8.79, 95% CI 3.05–25.32, P<0.001), were significantly associated with AF incidence. There was a reverse J-shaped association between BMI and AF incidence in young men, whereby the presence of ECG abnormality inversely influenced the BMI-incident AF relationship. A linear association between BMI and AF incidence in men aged 50–59 and ≥60 years was present.
Conclusions:AF incidence displays a reverse J-shaped relationship with BMI in young men, but a linear association in men aged ≥50 years. The paradoxical relationship seen in young men only may reflect atrial electrical or structural abnormalities.
Background:Whether all atrial fibrillation (AF) patients should be evaluated for sleep apnea before catheter ablation (CA) remains controversial. Watch-type peripheral arterial tonometry (W-PAT) is a home sleep testing device and an easier tool for diagnosing sleep apnea than polysomnography. We investigated the prevalence and predictors of sleep apnea using W-PAT in unscreened sleep apnea patients with AF before CA.
Methods and Results:The study was conducted under a retrospective, single-center, observational design. We included 776 consecutive patients who underwent both W-PAT and AF ablation. Sleep apnea assessments were successfully performed in 774 patients (99.7%; age 65±11 years, 73.3% male; body mass index [BMI] 24.1±3.5, 56.8% paroxysmal AF). The mean apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was 20.1±15.6. Although 81.7% of the patients had normal Epworth sleepiness scores (mean 6.5), only 88 (11.4%) had a normal AHI (AHI <5) and 412 (53.2%) had moderate-severe sleep apnea (AHI ≥15). Obesity, male sex, nonparoxysmal AF, hypertension, and a left atrial diameter (LAd) ≥40 mm were predictors of moderate-severe sleep apnea. However, the prevalence of moderate-severe sleep apnea in patients without those predictors (i.e., non-obesity (44.2%), female sex (43.0%), paroxysmal AF (43.9%), no hypertension (45.5%)), and LAd <40 mm (41.0%) was considerably high.
Conclusions:Almost all patients successfully underwent W-PAT to diagnose sleep apnea. Patients undergoing AF ablation had a high prevalence of sleep apnea, and screening for sleep apnea was important in those patients even if they did not have sleepiness or risk factors.
Background:Coronary artery spasms (CASs), which can cause angina attacks and sudden death, have been recently reported during catheter ablation. The aim of the present study was to report the incidence, characteristics, and prognosis of CASs related to atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation procedures.
Methods and Results:The AF ablation records of 22,232 patients treated in 15 Japanese hospitals were reviewed. CASs associated with AF ablation occurred in 42 of 22,232 patients (0.19%). CASs occurred during ablation energy applications in 21 patients (50%). CASs also occurred before ablation in 9 patients (21%) and after ablation in 12 patients (29%). The initial change in the electrocardiogram was ST-segment elevation in the inferior leads in 33 patients (79%). Emergency coronary angiography revealed coronary artery stenosis and occlusions, which were relieved by nitrate administration. No air bubbles were observed. A comparison of the incidence of CASs during pulmonary vein isolation between the different ablation energy sources revealed a significantly higher incidence with cryoballoon ablation (11/3,288; 0.34%) than with radiofrequency catheter, hot balloon, or laser balloon ablation (8/18,596 [0.04%], 0/237 [0%], and 0/111 [0%], respectively; P<0.001). CASs most often occurred during ablation of the left superior pulmonary vein. All patients recovered without sequelae.
Conclusions:CASs related to AF ablation are rare, but should be considered as a dangerous complication that can occur anytime during the periprocedural period.
Background:Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation (PVI) with balloon-based visually guided laser ablation (VGLA) is useful for treating atrial fibrillation (AF), but phrenic nerve injury (PNI) is an important complication. We investigated the predictors of developing PNI during VGLA.
Methods and Results:We included 130 consecutive patients who underwent an initial VGLA of non-valvular paroxysmal AF. Twenty patients developed PNI during the PVI. The patients with PNI had a significantly larger right superior PV ostial area (RSPVOA) than the other patients (mean [±SD] 284.7±47.0 vs. 233.1±46.4 mm2, respectively; P<0.01). Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed that the area under the RSPVOA curve was 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69–0.90) with an optimal cut-off point of 238.0 mm2(sensitivity, 0.58; specificity, 0.95). In multivariate analyses, a large RSPVOA (HR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01–1.03, P<0.01) and small balloon size (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.50–0.99, P=0.04) were independent risk factors for PNI during VGLA. PNI remained in 13 patients after the procedure, but 12 of these patients recovered from the PNI during the follow-up period.
Conclusions:The incidence of PNI during VGLA was relatively high, but PNI improved in most cases. A large RSPVOA and small balloon size were predictors of PNI during VGLA.
Background:Frequency and distribution of left ventricular (LV) venous collaterals were studied in vivo to evaluate the ease and feasibility of implanting a new ultra-thin LV quadripolar microlead for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).
Methods and Results:Evaluable venograms were analyzed to define the prevalence of venous collaterals (>0.5 mm diameter) between: (1) different LV segments; and (2) different major LV veins in: unselected patients who underwent CRT from 2008 to 2012 at Rouen Hospital, France (retrospective); and CRT patients from the Axone Acute pilot study in 2018 (prospective). In prospective patients with evaluable venograms, LV microlead implantation was attempted. Thirty-six (21/65 retrospective, 15/20 prospective) patients had evaluable venograms with ≥1 visible venous collaterals. Collaterals were found between LV veins in all CRT patients with evaluable venograms. Regionally, prevalence was highest between: the apical inferior and apical lateral (42%); and mid inferior and mid inferolateral (42%) segments. Collateral connections were most prevalent between: the inferior interventricular vein (IIV) and lateral vein (64% [23/36]); and IIV and infero-lateral vein (36% [13/36]). Cross-vein microlead implantation was possible in 18 patients (90%), and single-vein implantation was conducted in the other 2 patients (10%).
Conclusions:Venous collaterals were found in vivo between LV veins in all CRT patients with evaluable venograms, making this network an option for accessing multiple LV sites using a single LV microlead.
Background:Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapies, even when appropriate, are associated with increased risk. Therapy-reducing strategies have been shown to reduce the mortality rate.
Methods and Results:In total, 895 patients with ICD and cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillation function (CRT-D) were included in the study; of these, 506 (57%) patients undergoing secondary prevention were included. Devices implanted before May 2014 were programmed according to conventional programming (CP), the others according to our novel programming (NP) with high rate cut-off, longer detection intervals and 4–6 anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) trains in the ventricular tachycardia (VT) zone. Time-to-first-event for mortality, appropriate and inappropriate therapies were analyzed. Follow-up time was 24.0 months (IQR 13.0–24.0 months). There was a significant reduction in mortality rate (11.4% vs. 25.4%, P<0.001) and in the rate of appropriate (18.8% vs. 42.2%, P<0.001) and inappropriate therapies (5.2% vs. 18.0%, P<0.001) with NP according to Kaplan-Meier analyses. In multivariate analysis, NP (hazard ratio [HR]=0.35; P<0.001), chronic kidney disease (HR=1.55), reduced ejection fraction (EF) (HR=1.35), secondary ICD indication (HR=2.35) and age at implantation (HR=1.02) were associated with mortality reduction. NP was also associated with significant reduction in the rate of appropriate and inappropriate therapies. These results were consistent after stratification for primary and secondary prevention.
Conclusions:Novel ICD programming reduced mortality and morbidity due to appropriate or inappropriate ICD therapies in secondary as well as in primary ICD indication.
Background:We assessed the relationship between day-to-day variation of the early repolarization (ER) pattern and ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VTA) events in Brugada syndrome (BrS) patients because the clinical implications are unclear.
Methods and Results:This retrospective study consisted of 41 patients with BrS who underwent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation. BrS was diagnosed by a spontaneous or drug-induced type 1 ECG without structural heart disease. Day-to-day variation of the ER pattern was defined as temporal change in the J-point (≥0.1 mV) on ECG. VTA events were detected via ICD interrogation: 15 patients experienced VTA events during 124±62 months’ observation. Day-to-day variation of the ER pattern was positive in 7 patients (17%). In the multivariate Cox proportional hazards model, day-to-day variation of a positive ER pattern (hazard ratio [HR]: 3.475, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.105–10.414, P=0.034) and documented history of VTA (HR: 4.802, 95% CI: 1.547–17.995, P=0.006) were independent predictors of VTA events. In patients with electrical storm (ES: n=9), day-to-day variation of the ER pattern was positive in 5 patients (56%). ES events were more frequently observed in patients with a positive day-to-day variation of ER pattern than in those without (P<0.05).
Conclusions:The incidence of day-to-day variation of the ER pattern was higher in patients with arrhythmic events of VTA and/or ES among BrS patients with ICD.
Background:Suspicion that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused venous thromboembolism (VTE).
Methods and Results:We conducted a case series study of 5 VTE patients with COVID-19 in Japan. The median body mass index was 27.7 kg/m2, and all patients required mechanical ventilation during hospitalization. Patients were diagnosed as VTE in the intensive care unit (ICU), general ward, and outpatient ward.
Conclusions:The current case series study revealed some clinical features of VTE patients with COVID-19 in Japan, including obese patients and those requiring mechanical ventilation during hospitalization, who should be followed closely for VTE, even after leaving the ICU.
Although many efforts have been made to prevent death from acute myocardial infarction (MI) by quick revascularization therapy and use of mechanical circulation support devices, and to prevent the occurrence of acute MI by optimal medical therapy, acute MI is still a leading cause of death worldwide. Because the majority of fatal MI cases occur outside hospital and death occurs so rapidly after MI onset, it is difficult to effectively prevent deaths from acute MI by improving the in-hospital treatment strategy of acute MI or by reducing the prehospital delay in the treatment. Therefore, we need a new strategy to prevent death from acute MI, mainly by preventing the occurrence of acute MI itself. In this review, we summarize the present status and propose a new strategy, the “STOP MI Campaign”, to prevent acute MI by public education.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 84thAnnual Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society (JCS) was held in a web-based format for the first time in its history as “The Week for JCS 2020” from Monday, July 27 to Sunday, August 2, 2020. All sessions, including general abstracts, were streamed live or on-demand. The main theme of the meeting was “Change Practice!” and the aim was to organize the latest findings in the field of cardiovascular medicine and discuss how to change practice. The total number of registered attendees was over 16,800, far exceeding our expectations, and many of the sessions were viewed by far more people than at conventional face-to-face scientific meetings. At this conference, the power of online information dissemination was fully demonstrated, and the evolution of online academic meetings will be a direction that cannot be reversed in the future. The meeting was completed with great success, and we express our heartfelt gratitude to all affiliates for their enormous amount of work, cooperation, and support.