Background:Some studies comparing minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have reported MIDCAB’s superiority, but they did not investigate contemporary PCI with newer generation drug-eluting stents (DES). We compared clinical outcomes after MIDCAB with previously reported outcomes after PCI with second-generation DES.
Methods and Results:We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients treated with MIDCAB. Baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes after MIDCAB were compared with those for left anterior descending artery disease treated via PCI. The primary outcomes were major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), a composite of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and target vessel revascularization (TVR). A propensity score-matching (PSM) analysis was conducted to adjust for between-group differences in baseline characteristics. We analyzed 77 patients treated with MIDCAB and 2,206 treated with PCI. The MIDCAB group was older and had more severe coronary disease and a higher incidence of left ventricular dysfunction. Over a 3-year follow-up, the PCI group had favorable MACCE outcomes. After PSM, there were no between-group differences in MACCE (MIDCAB, 15.6% vs. PCI, 23.4%; hazard ratio [HR], 0.80; 95% CI: 0.38–1.68, P=0.548) or TVR (MIDCAB, 2.6% vs. PCI, 5.2%; HR, 0.51; 95% CI: 0.10–3.09, P=0.509).
Conclusions:Clinical outcomes were similar between MIDCAB and PCI using second-generation DES over 3 years of follow-up.
Background:Telomere length is a biologic aging marker. This study investigated leukocyte telomere length (LTL) as a new biomarker to predict recurrence after paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) ablation.
Methods and Results:A total of 131 participants (26 healthy individuals and 105 symptomatic PAF patients) were enrolled. PAF patients (54.1±10.8 years) who received catheter ablation therapy were divided into 2 groups: recurrent AF (n=25) and no recurrent AF after catheter ablation (n=80). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected from all subjects to measure LTL. Under 50 years old, LTL in healthy individuals (n=17) was longer than in PAF patients (n=31; 7.34±0.58 kbp vs. 6.44±0.91 kbp, P=0.01). In PAF patients, LTL was positively correlated with left atrial bipolar voltage (R=0.497, P<0.001), and negatively correlated with biatrial scar area (R=−0.570, P<0.001) and left atrial diameter (R=−0.214, P=0.028). LTL was shorter in the patients with recurrent AF than in those without recurrent AF after catheter ablation (5.68±0.82 kbp vs. 6.66±0.71 kbp; P<0.001). On receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, LTL cut-off <6.14 kbp had a specificity of 0.68 and sensitivity of 0.79 to predict recurrent AF after catheter ablation.
Conclusions:Young PAF patients (≤50 years) had shorter LTL. Shorter LTL was associated with a degenerative atrial substrate and recurrence after catheter ablation in younger PAF patients.
Background:We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of landiolol in Japanese patients with recurrent hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia or recurrent ventricular fibrillation (recurrent VT/VF).
Methods and Results:This was an open-label, uncontrolled, multicenter study. Patients with hemodynamically unstable VT or VF 24 h prior to providing informed consent, and who were refractory to class III antiarrhythmic drugs, were enrolled. Landiolol was started at a dose of 1 μg/kg/min, after VT/VF was suppressed with electrical defibrillation. Landiolol was titrated up to 10 μg/kg/min in 1 h and adjusted between 1 and 40 μg/kg/min for the efficacy assessment (1–49 h). The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients free from recurrent VT/VF. Secondary efficacy endpoints included the number of recurrent VT/VF events and the survival rate 30 days after the start of landiolol treatment. Adverse events (AEs) were assessed for safety; 27 and 29 patients were analyzed for efficacy and safety, respectively. The proportion of patients free from recurrent VT/VF was 77.8% (95% CI 57.1–89.3). The mean (±standard deviation) number of recurrent VT/VF events was 9.3±7.9. The survival rate was 96.3%. The overall incidence of AEs and of serious AEs was 72.4% and 6.9%, respectively.
Conclusions:Landiolol may be useful for Japanese patients with recurrent VT/VF who do not respond to class III antiarrhythmic drugs.
Background:Little is known about late outcomes after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in dialysis patients.
Methods and Results:We enrolled 25 dialysis patients (mean age 76.5 years; mean STS score 14.7%; men 60.0%) with aortic valve stenosis undergoing TAVR at our institute. Cardiovascular mortality and stroke were defined according to the VARC-2 criteria, and major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) were investigated. Twenty-three patients (92.0%) were discharged, and the median hospital stay after TAVR was 9 days (IQR, 7.5–11 days). Mortality at 30 days was not observed. The overall survival rate at 1 and 3 years were 80.0% and 55.7%, respectively (follow-up period, 879±493 days; range, 40–1,826 days). At 1 and 3 years, rates of freedom from cardiovascular mortality, disabling stroke, and MACCE were 100% and 83.0%, 91.2% and 84.7%, and 69.8% and 39.9%, respectively. Three patients required redo-TAVR for valve dysfunction at 23, 36, and 38 months after the first TAVR, respectively (The rate of freedom from severe structural valve deterioration at 1 and 3 years was 100% and 85.9%, respectively).
Conclusions:Satisfactory in-hospital outcomes were achieved in dialysis patients after TAVR. Various problems, however, such as complications particular to dialysis patients and valve durability, remained at midterm follow-up. Further studies are recommended to solve these problems, and prudent preoperative assessments should be mandatory.
Background:Statin therapy has been shown to result in coronary plaque regression, but the relationship between statin use and stabilization of coronary plaque has not been elucidated. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of statin therapy on fibrous cap thickness (FCT) on optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Methods and Results:Nine OCT studies (6 randomized controlled trials and 3 observational studies) were enrolled with a total of 341 patients (390 lesions). Arms of the studies were grouped according to statin type and/or dose. Random effects meta-analysis was used to estimate a pooled mean change in FCT from baseline to follow-up. The overall effect mean FCT change was 67.7 µm (95% CI: 51.4–84.1, I2=95.0%, P<0.001). All statin groups had an increase in FCT, but the magnitude of the increase differed according to the statin. Two homogeneous subgroups with I2=0 were identified: mean FCT change was 27.8 µm (for subgroup atorvastatin 5 mg and rosuvastatin), and 61.9 µm (for subgroup atorvastatin 20 mg, fluvastatin 30 mg, and pitavastatin 4 mg). On meta-regression modeling, statin therapy alone explained most of the change in FCT.
Conclusions:Statin therapy induced a significant increase in FCT as assessed on OCT, independent of coronary risk factors and other medications.
Background:In Japan, tolvaptan is indicated for patients with heart failure and volume overload who have inadequate response to other diuretics. In contrast to the USA and Europe, tolvaptan can be used in Japan in patients with normal sodium levels.
Methods and Results:In this multicenter, non-interventional, post-marketing surveillance study, prospective data from 3,349 patients treated with tolvaptan over a 5-year period were analyzed to identify benefits and risks. By Day 2 of treatment, 76.9% of evaluable patients had an increase in baseline 24-h urine volume (tolvaptan responders). Mean change in body weight was similar between 7.5 mg and 15 mg dosage groups (−3.6±3.9 kg and −3.7±4.0 kg, respectively). Improvement or disappearance rates for congestive symptoms from baseline to Day 14 ranged from 77.7% for lower limb edema to 51.1% for 3rd sound. Adverse drug reactions were reported in 18.1% of patients, most frequently thirst (8.4%). No case of central pontine myelinolysis was reported. All-cause mortality was significantly lower in patients with improved sodium concentration and increased 24-h urine volume.
Conclusions:The effectiveness and safety of tolvaptan in real-world clinical settings was confirmed in this large-scale analysis. The 7.5-mg dose was equally as effective as the 15-mg dose and had a better safety profile. Improvements in all-cause mortality were suggested in tolvaptan responders.
Background:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which have the potential to differentiate into cardiomyocytes or vascular endothelial cells, have been used clinically as therapy for cardiomyopathy. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the long-term follow-up results.
Methods and Results:We studied 8 patients with symptomatic heart failure (HF) on guideline-directed therapy (ischemic cardiomyopathy, n=3; nonischemic cardiomyopathy, n=5) who underwent intracardiac MSC transplantation using a catheter-based injection method between May 2004 and April 2006. Major adverse events and hospitalizations were investigated up to 10 years afterward. Compared with baseline, there were no significant differences in B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) (from 211 to 173 pg/mL), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (from 24% to 26%), and peak oxygen uptake (from 16.5 to 19.2 mL/min/kg) at 2 months. During the follow-up period, no patients experienced serious adverse events such as arrhythmias. Three patients died of pneumonia in the 1st year, liver cancer in the 6th year, and HF in the 7th year. Of the remaining 5 patients, 3 patients were hospitalized for exacerbated HF, 1 of whom required heart transplantation in the 2nd year; 2 patients survived for 10 years without worsening HF.
Conclusions:The results of this exploratory study of intracardiac MSCs administration suggest further research regarding the feasibility and efficacy is warranted.
Background:Several cohort studies have demonstrated an association between socioeconomic status (SES) and health outcomes in Japan. As long-term employment is common in Japan, the size of the company may be related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risk. We examined the association of employment conditions with CVD mortality risk among working-age Japanese men (30–59 years, n=2,091).
Methods and Results:We used 20-year follow-up data from NIPPON DATA90, for which baseline data were obtained from the 4th National Survey on Circulatory Disorders in 1990. Participants were classified into 4 groups: 3 strata for indefinite-term employees according to company size (large company/public office, moderate-sized, or small), and the self-employed/administrator group. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted for age, lifestyle, and CVD risk factors. Smokers were more common, habitual exercise was less common, and the average systolic blood pressure was higher among indefinite-term employees of small companies compared with employees at large companies/public offices. There was no significant difference in the total CVD mortality risk between indefinite-term employees and self-employed/administrator participants. The age-adjusted HR (95% confidence interval) for total CVD using indefinite-term employees of large companies/public office as a reference was 2.53 (1.12, 5.69) for employees of small companies.
Conclusions:Working as an indefinite-term employee at a small company in Japan was significantly associated with elevated risk of CVD mortality among Japanese men.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD) is an inflammatory phenomenon that leads to structural abnormality in the vascular lumen due to the formation of atheroma by the deposition of lipid particles and inflammatory cytokines. There is a close interaction between innate immune cells (neutrophils, monocyte, macrophages, dendritic cells) and adaptive immune cells (T and B lymphocytes) in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. According to novel insights into the role of adaptive immunity in atherosclerosis, the activation of CD4+T cells in response to oxidized low-density lipoprotein-antigen initiates the formation and facilitates the propagation of atheroma, whereas CD8+T cells cause the rupture of a developed atheroma by their cytotoxic nature. Peripheral CD4+and CD8+T-cell counts were altered in patients with other cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, on evaluation of the feasibility of immune cells as a diagnostic tool, the blood CD4+(helper), CD8+(cytotoxic), and CD4+CD25+Foxp3+(regulatory) T cells and the ratio of CD4 to CD8 cells hold promise as biomarkers of coronary artery disease and their subtypes. T cells also could be a therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases. The goal of this review was therefore to summarize the available information regarding immune disorders in ACVD with a special focus on the clinical implications of circulating T-cell subsets as biomarkers.
Background:Diastolic dysfunction (DD) is a characteristic of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which is thought to be caused by cardiac hypertrophy or fibrosis. Activin A is involved in the inflammatory response and myocardial fibrosis, but the relationship between the activin A level and DD remains unclear.
Methods and Results:A total of 209 patients with stable angina were enrolled. Serum activin A levels were assessed, and echocardiography and cross-sectional analysis were performed. Among the subjects (65% male; mean age, 70±13 years), 84 (40%) subjects had DD. The subjects were divided into tertiles based on activin A levels. Patients in the high activin A group had enhanced left ventricular mass indexes, medial E/e’ ratios, left atrial diameter, and right ventricular systolic pressure compared with those in the lower activin A groups (all P<0.001). Prevalence of DD (P=0.001), HFpEF at enrollment (P=0.007), and the composite endpoints including new-onset heart failure (HF) or death within 3 years (P<0.001) correlated positively with high activin A levels. After adjusting for confounding factors, high activin A levels remained significantly associated with DD (P=0.036) and the composite endpoints (P=0.012).
Conclusions:Enhanced serum activin A levels were associated with the incidence of DD and development of HF.
Background:To analyze the effect of myocardial fibrosis on left ventricular (LV) function evaluated by feature-tracking strain analysis by cine cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in competitive male triathletes with normal ejection fraction (EF).
Methods and Results:78 asymptomatic male triathletes with >10 weekly training hours (43±11 years) and 28 male age-matched controls were studied by late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and cine CMR. Global and segmental radial, longitudinal and circumferential strains were analyzed using feature-tracking cine CMR. Focal non-ischemic LGE was observed in 15 of 78 triathletes (19%, LGE+) with predominance in the basal inferolateral segments. LVEF was normal in LGE+ (62±6%) and LGE− triathletes (62±5%, P=0.958). In contrast, global radial strain was lower in LGE+ triathletes at 40±7% compared with LGE− triathletes (45±7%, P<0.05). Reduced segmental radial strain occurred either in LGE+ segments or in directly adjacent segments. Strain analysis revealed regional differences in controls, with the highest radial and longitudinal strain in the inferolateral segments, which were typically affected by fibrosis in LGE+ triathletes.
Conclusions:Reduced global and regional radial strain suggests a negative effect of myocardial fibrosis on LV function in LGE+ triathletes with normal EF. The observed regional differences in controls with the highest radial and longitudinal strain in the inferolateral segments may explain the typical occurrence of fibrosis in this myocardial region in triathletes.
Background:Carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS) is emerging as an alternative treatment for carotid stenosis, but neointimal hyperplasia (NIH) remains a drawback of this treatment strategy. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of variations of carotid bifurcation geometry on local hemodynamics and NIH.
Methods and Results:Hemodynamic and geometric effects on NIH were compared between 2 groups, by performing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations both on synthetic models and patient-specific models. In the idealized models, multiple regression analysis revealed a significant negative relationship between internal carotid artery (ICA) angle and the local hemodynamics. In the patient-derived models, which were reconstructed from digital subtraction angiography (DSA) of 25 patients with bilateral CAS, a low time-average wall shear stress (TAWSS) and a high oscillatory shear index (OSI) were often found at the location of NIH. Larger difference values of the OSI percentage area (10.56±20.798% vs. −5.87±18.259%, P=0.048) and ECA/CCA diameter ratio (5.64±12.751% vs. −3.59±8.697%, P=0.047) were detected in the NIH-asymmetric group than in the NIH-symmetric group.
Conclusions:Changes in carotid bifurcation geometry can make apparent differences in hemodynamic distribution and lead to bilateral NIH asymmetry. It may therefore be reasonable to consider certain geometric variations as potential local risk factors for NIH.