Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
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Focus on issue: Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy
Reviews
  • Toshiyuki Nagai, Motoki Nakao, Toshihisa Anzai
    Type: REVIEW
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 576-583
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 02, 2021
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    Clinical risk stratification is a key strategy used to identify low- and high-risk subjects to optimize the management, ranging from pharmacological treatment to palliative care, of patients with heart failure (HF). Using statistical modeling techniques, many HF risk prediction models that combine predictors to assess the risk of specific endpoints, including death or worsening HF, have been developed. However, most risk prediction models have not been well-integrated into the clinical setting because of their inadequacy and diverse predictive performance. To improve the performance of such models, several factors, including optimal sampling and biomarkers, need to be considered when deriving the models; however, given the large heterogeneity of HF, the currently advocated one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for every patient. Recent advances in techniques to analyze biological “omics” information could allow for the development of a personalized medicine platform, and there is growing awareness that an integrated approach based on the concept of system biology may be an excessively naïve view of the multiple contributors and complexity of an individual’s HF phenotype. This review article describes the progress in risk stratification strategies and perspectives of emerging precision medicine in the field of HF management.

Original Articles
Medical Therapy
  • Hiroyuki Tsutsui, Shin-ichi Momomura, Yoshihiko Saito, Hiroshi Ito, Ka ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Medical Therapy
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 584-594
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 16, 2021
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    Supplementary material

    Background:In the Prospective Comparison of angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) With ACEi to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) study, treatment with sacubitril/valsartan reduced the primary outcome of cardiovascular (CV) death and heart failure (HF) hospitalization compared with enalapril in patients with chronic HF and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). A prospective randomized trial was conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of sacubitril/valsartan in Japanese HFrEF patients.

    Methods and Results:In the Prospective comparison of ARNI with ACEi to determine the noveL beneficiaL trEatment vaLue in Japanese Heart Failure patients (PARALLEL-HF) study, 225 Japanese HFrEF patients (New York Heart Association [NYHA] class II–IV, left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] ≤35%) were randomized (1 : 1) to receive sacubitril/valsartan 200 mg bid or enalapril 10 mg bid. Over a median follow up of 33.9 months, no significant between-group difference was observed for the primary composite outcome of CV death and HF hospitalization (HR 1.09; 95% CI 0.65–1.82; P=0.6260). Early and sustained reductions in N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) from baseline were observed with sacubitril/valsartan compared with enalapril (between-group difference: Week 2: 25.7%, P<0.01; Month 6: 18.9%, P=0.01, favoring sacubitril/valsartan). There was no significant difference in the changes in NYHA class and Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) clinical summary score at Week 8 and Month 6. Sacubitril/valsartan was well tolerated with fewer study drug discontinuations due to adverse events, although the sacubitril/valsartan group had a higher proportion of patients with hypotension.

    Conclusions:In Japanese patients with HFrEF, there was no difference in reduction in the risk of CV death or HF hospitalization between sacubitril/valsartan and enalapril, and sacubitril/valsartan was safe and well tolerated.

  • Jung Min Choi, Seung-Hwa Lee, Yu Jeong Jang, Mira Kang, Jin-Ho Choi
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Medical Therapy
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 595-603
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 31, 2021
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Non-compliance with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) or statin is one of the major hurdles to optimal medical treatment. This study investigated whether fixed-dose combination (FDC) improved compliance to medication compared with traditional free combination (FC).

    Methods and Results:In this retrospective nationwide cohort study, medication persistency, medication adherence measured by proportion of days covered (PDC), and all-cause death of 123,992 patients who started ARB and stain were investigated for 540 days. Patients had a mean age of 63 years and 48% were male. Persistency, PDC, and proportion of PDC ≥80% of FDC (N=34,776) were higher than those for FC (N=89,216) in both unadjusted analysis (54.5% vs. 27.8%; 84.1% vs. 63.1%; 75.5% vs. 48.1%) and propensity-score matched analysis (P<0.001, all). Death risk for the investigation period (0–540 days) was lower in FDC in unadjusted (1.8% vs. 2.6%, P<0.001) and adjusted cohort (P<0.05). In landmark analyses at days 180 and 360, there was no significant difference of death risk between FDC and FC (P>0.05).

    Conclusions:In this real-world data analysis, patients taking FDC of ARB and statin showed higher medication persistence and adherence compared to patients taking FC of ARB and statin up to 540 days. The risk of all-cause death was not different between FDC and FC despite better medication compliance in the FDC patients.

HFpEF
  • Yoshihiro Seo, Tomoko Ishizu, Masaki Ieda, Nobuyuki Ohte, for the J-LO ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: HFpEF
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 604-611
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: November 28, 2020
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Diagnosis of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) remains challenging in elderly. This study investigated the diagnostic ability of the HFA-PEFF scoring system in elderly patients (>75 years of age).

    Methods and Results:This study enrolled 286 subjects aged >75 years (130 men; mean [± SD] age 81.5±5.1 years): 95 healthy controls, 98 with hypertension (HT), and 93 with HFpEF. The HFA-PEFF score was calculated as a sum of points in functional, morphological, and biomarker domains. In the HFpEF group, 84%, 84%, and 70% of subjects met the major functional, morphological, and biomarker criteria for HFpEF, respectively. Thus, 73 subjects with HFpEF (78%) were diagnosed as having HFpEF using the HFA-PEFF scoring system. In contrast, among the healthy controls and subjects with HT, 52% and 72%, respectively, met the major functional criteria for HFpEF, 28% and 53%, respectively, met the morphological criteria, and 0% and 24%, respectively, met the biomarker criteria. As such, 32 subjects with HT (33%) were diagnosed with HFpEF. Even in the healthy control group, 72% were classified as having an intermediate probability of HFpEF, and 3 were diagnosed with HFpEF.

    Conclusions:In the late elderly, the HFA-PEFF scoring system diagnosed subjects with HFpEF precisely. In addition, this scoring system may be able to detect early stage HFpEF in the subclinical population.

Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Yuichiro Sasamoto, Noriko Endo, Kohko Kanazawa, Taeko Utsumi, Tomomi T ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Cardiac Rehabilitation
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 612-622
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2021
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    Background:This study investigated the effect of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (OCR) and physical activity on the estimated glomerular filtration rate based on serum cystatin C (eGFRcys) in patients with heart disease (HD) aged ≥75 years.

    Methods and Results:This non-randomized prospective intervention study involved 136 patients (non-OCR group, n=66; OCR group, n=70), 55 of whom were aged ≥75 years (non-OCR group, n=29; OCR group, n=26). Renal function (eGFRcys) was evaluated at discharge and 3 months thereafter. A linear mixed model (LMM) was used to assess changes in renal function over time. The hospital readmission rate within 3 months after discharge was also evaluated. LMM analysis showed that the change in eGFRcys was −2.27 and +0.48 mL/min/1.73 m2in the non-OCR and OCR groups, respectively (F=2.960, P=0.022). Further, among patients aged ≥75 years in the non-OCR and OCR groups, the change in eGFRcys was −3.83 and −1.08 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively (F=2.719, P=0.039). The proportion of patients aged ≥75 years who were rehospitalized due to exacerbation of HD was 16.9% (n=10) and 6.7% (n=2) in the non-OCR and OCR groups, respectively.

    Conclusions:Among patients with HD aged ≥75 years, participation in OCR reduces the decline in renal function and hospital readmission rates.

  • Chun-Ping Huang, Wei-Liang Chen
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Cardiac Rehabilitation
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 623-630
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: January 08, 2021
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    Background:This study explored the relationship between fitness performance, in terms of muscular endurance and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

    Methods and Results:The study was performed on 51,500 eligible participants from the Republic of China Armed Forces. Participants were divided into 4 groups (obese or non-obese males and females). Correlations between the Framingham risk score of coronary artery disease (FRS-CAD) and physical fitness (evaluated using 2-min push-ups, 2-min sit-ups, and 3,000-m non-weight-bearing running tests) were calculated using univariate and multivariate linear regression, as well as an extended model that adjusted for covariates. In males, regardless of obesity status, there were significant negative correlations between quartiles of fitness performance and the FRS-CAD (P<0.001) in the unadjusted and adjusted models, except for the sit-up test in the model adjusted for age, serum uric acid, hemoglobin, creatinine, current drinking, betel nut chewing, and running test speed. FRS-CAD was lower for higher quartiles of physical fitness (P for trend <0.001) in male participants. However, no significant relationship between fitness performance and FRS-CAD was observed in females, regardless of obesity status.

    Conclusions:The findings highlighted a substantial association between fitness performance and FRS-CAD, especially in adult males. Muscular endurance and CRF may be a convenient risk evaluation tool for future CVD risk in the general, healthy, young to middle-aged male population in Taiwan.

Imaging
  • Miki Tsujiuchi, Mio Ebato, Hideyuki Maezawa, Naoko Ikeda, Takuya Mizuk ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Imaging
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 631-639
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: November 14, 2020
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Left atrial (LA) volume and left ventricular longitudinal strain (LVLS) have significant prognostic values for major cardiovascular events (MACEs). Prognostic values of LA reservoir functional indices measured by 3-dimensional (3D) speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) were evaluated.

    Methods and Results:A total of 264 patients, who underwent 2-dimensional (2D) echocardiography and 3DSTE for various underlying heart diseases, were followed up to record MACE. After a mean follow up of 547±435 days, 30 patients developed MACE: 7 cardiac deaths, 6 strokes, 1 non-fatal myocardial infarction, and 22 admissions for heart failure (5 of these had cardiac death after discharge, whereas 1 sustained stroke after discharge). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to determine the optimal cut-off levels of 4 LA functional indices: LA emptying fraction (LAEmpF), LA longitudinal strain (LALS), LA circumferential strain (LACS), and LA area change ratio (LAAC), using 3DSTE. Among these factors, 2DLVLS, 3DLAEmpF, and 3DLALS demonstrated a higher hazard ratio (>5.0) than other variables. The 3DLAEmpF and 3DLALS had a higher average treatment effect (ATE) and ATE on the treated (ATT), respectively, than the other indices after propensity score matching. Addition of 3DLAEmpF to the base model using clinical variables and LV ejection fraction or 2DLVLS demonstrated higher prognostic power.

    Conclusions:LAEmpF calculated using 3DSTE possessed additive prognostic values for the prediction of MACE.

Population Science
  • Shaozhao Zhang, Xiaodong Zhuang, Qiyuan Lv, Zhimin Du, Huimin Zhou, Xi ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Population Science
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 640-646
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: December 02, 2020
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Few studies have investigated the association between temporal change in QT interval and incident heart failure (HF). The aim of this study is to examine this association in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.

    Methods and Results:A secondary analysis was performed for the ARIC study. Overall, 10,274 participants (age 60.0±5.7 years, 45.7% male and 19.5% black) who obtained a 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG) at both Visit 1 (1987–1989) and Visit 3 (1993–1995) in the ARIC study were included. QT interval duration was corrected by using Bazett’s formula (QTc). The change in corrected QT interval duration (∆QTc) was calculated by subtracting QTc at Visit 3 from Visit 1. The main outcome measure was incident HF. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to assess the association between ∆QTc and incident HF. During a median follow up of 19.5 years, 1,833 cases (17.8%) of incident HF occurred. ∆QTc was positively associated with incident HF (HR: 1.06, 95% CI 1.03, 1.08, per 10 ms increase, P<0.001; HR 1.22, 95% CI 1.08, 1.36, T3 vs. T1, P=0.002), after adjusting for traditional cardiovascular risk factor, QTc and QRS duration.

    Conclusions:Temporal increases in QTc are independently associated with increased risk of HF.

  • Hyo-In Choi, Mi Yeon Lee, Byeong Kil Oh, Seung Jae Lee, Jeong Gyu Kang ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Population Science
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 647-654
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 30, 2021
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Data regarding complex relationships between age, sex, obesity and N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) remain scarce. Thus, we investigated sex-specific associations of obesity and NT-proBNP levels among adults in the general healthy population in Korea.

    Methods and Results:The associations of age, sex and obesity-associated parameters (waist circumference [WC], body mass index [BMI] and body weight) with NT-proBNP were analyzed in 39,937 healthy adult participants. Multivariable regression models adjusted for factors known to affect NT-proBNP were used to identify associations between NT-proBNP and obesity-related parameters. NT-proBNP levels were higher in females than males. Older age was also associated with higher NT-proBNP levels in the overall population (P<0.001). When accounting for age in multivariable linear regression models, there was a strong inverse association between WC, BMI, and NT-proBNP in females and a weaker inverse association in males, with a significant difference between the sexes (P interaction <0.001). After adjusting for the effects of WC and BMI on each other, abdominal obesity was associated with lower NT-proBNP levels in females but not males (P interaction <0.001).

    Conclusions:In this large sample of young and healthy Asians, younger age, male sex, and increases in obesity-related parameters were related to lower levels of NT-proBNP. Further comprehensive studies are needed to understand the factors affecting NT-proBNP levels in different populations.

  • Tomohisa Nagoshi
    Type: EDITORIAL
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 655-656
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: April 08, 2021
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Basic Science
  • Mai Watanabe, Hiromu Horie, Yasutaka Kurata, Yumiko Inoue, Tomomi Nots ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Basic Science
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 657-666
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 12, 2021
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Although adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) sheets improve the cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI), underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to determine the fate of transplanted ADSC sheets and candidate angiogenic factors released from ADSCs for their cardiac protective actions.

    Methods and Results:MI was induced by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Sheets of transgenic (Tg)-ADSCs expressing green fluorescence protein (GFP) and luciferase or wild-type (WT)-ADSCs were transplanted 1 week after MI. Both WT- and Tg-ADSC sheets improved cardiac functions evaluated by echocardiography at 3 and 5 weeks after MI. Histological examination at 5 weeks after MI demonstrated that either sheet suppressed fibrosis and increased vasculogenesis. Luciferase signals from Tg-ADSC sheets were detected at 1 and 2 weeks, but not at 4 weeks, after transplantation. RNA sequencing of PKH (yellow-orange fluorescent dye with long aliphatic tails)-labeled Tg-ADSCs identified mRNAs of 4 molecules related to angiogenesis, including those of Esm1 and Stc1 that increased under hypoxia. Administration of Esm1 or Stc1 promoted tube formation by human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

    Conclusions:ADSC sheets improved cardiac contractile functions after MI by suppressing cardiac fibrosis and enhancing neovascularization. Transplanted ADSCs existed for >2 weeks on MI hearts and produced the angiogenic factors Esm1 and Stc1, which may improve cardiac functions after MI.

  • Rei Shibata, Toyoaki Murohara
    Type: EDITORIAL
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 667-668
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 31, 2021
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Cardiomyopathy
  • Toshihiro Moriki, Toru Kubo, Kenta Sugiura, Yuri Ochi, Yuichi Baba, Ta ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Cardiomyopathy
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 669-674
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: January 23, 2021
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a primary myocardial disorder with an autosomal-dominant disorder mainly caused by mutations in sarcomere genes. Recently, a phenotype-based genetic test prediction score for patients with HCM was introduced by Mayo Clinic. The genotype score was derived on the basis of the predictive effect of 6 clinical markers, and the total score was shown to be correlated with the yield of genetic testing. However, it has not been determined whether this prediction model is useful in Japanese HCM patients.

    Methods and Results:The utility of the Mayo Clinic HCM genotype predictor score in 209 Japanese unrelated patients with a clinical diagnosis of HCM who had undergone genetic testing for 6 sarcomere genes was assessed. Overall, 55 patients (26%) had pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants (60% being genotype-positive in familial cases). We divided the patients into 6 groups (groups with scores of from −1 to 5) according to the prediction score. The yields of genetic testing in the groups with scores of −1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 were 8%, 16%, 24%, 48%, 50%, 100%, and 89%, respectively, with an incremental increase in yield between each of the score subgroups (P<0.001).

    Conclusions:The Mayo Clinic HCM genotype predictor score is useful for predicting a positive genetic test result in Japanese HCM Patients.

  • Kaoru Ito, Hiroyuki Morita
    Type: EDITORIAL
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 675-676
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: January 30, 2021
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  • Hirofumi Tsuru, Hidekazu Ishida, Jun Narita, Ryo Ishii, Hidehiro Sugin ...
    Type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
    Subject area: Cardiomyopathy
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 677-686
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 13, 2021
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    Supplementary material

    Background:Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) is characterized by impaired ventricular relaxation. Although several mutations were reported in some patients, no mutations were identified in cardiomyocyte expressing genes of other patients, indicating that pathological mechanisms underlying RCM could not be determined by cardiomyocytes only. Cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) are a major cell population in the heart; however, the pathological roles of CFs in cardiomyopathy are not fully understood.

    Methods and Results:This study established 4 primary culture lines of CFs from RCM patients and analyzed their cellular physiology, the effects on the contraction and relaxation ability of healthy cardiomyocytes under co-culture with CFs, and RNA sequencing. Three of four patients hadTNNI3mutations. There were no significant alterations in cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, activation, and attachment. However, when CFs from RCM patients were co-cultured with healthy cardiomyocytes, the relaxation velocity of cardiomyocytes was significantly impaired both under direct and indirect co-culture conditions. RNA sequencing revealed that gene expression profiles of CFs in RCM were clearly distinct from healthy CFs. The differential expression gene analysis identified that several extracellular matrix components and cytokine expressions were dysregulated in CFs from RCM patients.

    Conclusions:The comprehensive gene expression patterns were altered in RCM-derived CFs, which deteriorated the relaxation ability of cardiomyocytes. The specific changes in extracellular matrix composition and cytokine secretion from CFs might affect pathological behavior of cardiomyocytes in RCM.

  • Tatsuyuki Sato, Masamichi Ito
    Type: EDITORIAL
    2021 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 687-689
    Published: April 23, 2021
    Released: April 23, 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 06, 2021
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