Statins are important for preventing adverse cardiovascular events in patients with both high and low risk of vascular disease, by reducing the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, statins dose-dependently increase adverse effects and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Previously, it was hypothesized this was caused by to off-target effects, but recent studies demonstrate it is caused by on-target effects. Nonetheless, the American guidelines recommend the use of high-intensity statin therapy, and extend its use to most people at risk of vascular diseases, particularly older people. In contrast, European, Korean, and Japanese committees have expressed concerns about the potential adverse effects of using high-intensity statins for lifelong periods in a large fraction of the population. Patients who have achieved LDL-C levels below currently recommended targets may still experience cardiovascular events, resulting from residual risk. Ezetimibe, PCSK9 inhibitors, inclisiran, and ANGPTL3 antisense oligonucleotides are promising alternative non-statin drugs. Of interest, cross-talk between hypercholesterolemia and the renin-angiotensin-system exists at multiple levels of insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction. There are still unanswered questions on how to maximize the cardiometabolic benefits of statins in patients. We will discuss the results of randomized clinical trials, meta-analysis, and recent clinicopharmacogenetic studies, and propose practical guidelines to maximize the cardiometabolic benefits while reducing adverse effects and overcoming residual risk.
Background:This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of venous figure-of-eight (FoE) suture to achieve femoral venous hemostasis after radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation (CA) for atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methods and Results:We retrospectively examined 517 consecutive patients undergoing RFCA for AF. The control group (n=247) underwent manual compression for femoral venous hemostasis after sheath removal with 6 h of bed rest. The FoE group (n=270) underwent FoE suture technique with 4 h of bed rest. All patients achieved successful hemostasis within 24 h after CA. Although the incidence of hematoma was similar between the groups, the incidence of rebleeding was lower in the FoE group than in the control group (FoE vs. control, 3.7% vs. 18.6%, P<0.001). The post-procedural use of analgesic and/or anti-emetic agents was less frequent in the FoE group (19.3% vs. 32.0%, P<0.001). On multiple logistic regression analysis after adjustment for age and sex, the use of a vitamin K antagonist (OR, 2.42; 95% CI: 1.18–4.99, P=0.02) and the FoE suture technique (OR, 0.17; 95% CI: 0.08–0.35, P<0.001) were independent predictors of rebleeding after CA.
Conclusions:FoE suture technique effectively achieved femoral venous hemostasis after RFCA for AF. It reduced the risk of rebleeding, shortened bed rest duration, and relieved patient discomfort.
Background:Recent experimental studies have demonstrated that several microRNAs (miRNAs) expressed in atrial tissue promote a substrate of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, because it has not been fully elucidated whether these experimental data contribute to identifying circulating miRNAs as biomarkers for AF, we used a combined analysis of human serum and murine atrial samples with the aim of identifying these biomarkers for predicting AF.
Methods and Results:Comprehensive analyses were performed to screen 733 miRNAs in serum from 10 AF patients and 5 controls, and 672 miRNAs in atrial tissue from 6 inducible atrial tachycardia model mice and 3 controls. We selected miRNAs for which expression was detected in both analyses, and their expression levels were changed in the human analyses, the murine analyses, or both. This screening identified 11 candidate miRNAs. Next, we quantified the selected miRNAs using a quantitative RT-PCR in 50 AF and 50 non-AF subjects. The individual assessment revealed that 4 miRNAs (miR-99a-5p, miR-192-5p, miR-214-3p, and miR-342-5p) were significantly upregulated in AF patients. A receiver-operating characteristics curve indicated that miR-214-3p and miR-342-5p had the highest accuracy. The combination of the 4 miRNAs modestly improved the predictive accuracy for AF (76% sensitivity, 80% specificity).
Conclusions:Novel circulating miRNAs were upregulated in the serum of AF patients and might be potential biomarkers of AF.
Background:Our aim was to evaluate the clinical outcome of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation with contact force technology, using an automated lesion tagging system (VISITAGTM module) with strict criteria of catheter stability.
Methods and Results:We enrolled 200 consecutive patients who underwent pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) in 11 centers and were followed up for 12 months. The stability setting was within 3 mm for ≥10 s and for ≥15 s in 47% and 53% of patients, respectively. A mean of 67.2±21.9 VISITAGs was acquired. Freedom from atrial tachyarrhythmias at follow-up was 77.5% (155/200), and the contiguity between lesions was associated with a higher chronic success rate (96% vs. 77.1%; log-rank P=0.036). Radiofrequency (RF), fluoroscopy times, and recurrence rates at the 12-month follow-up were significantly lower than in a comparison group of 80 patients without VISITAGTM module (42.7±14.5 vs. 50.9±23.6 min; P=0.032; 11.6±7.8 vs. 18.4±12.8 min; P=0.003 and 22.5% vs. 41.2%; P=0.02). Two major complications (1 cardiac tamponade and 1 minor stroke) were observed only in the control group.
Conclusions:Paroxysmal AF ablation with contact force technology and strict criteria of stability using the VISITAG module was a safe procedure, associated with an improvement in efficiency and a reduction of atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence at the 12-month follow-up compared with manual annotation. Contiguity between lesions seemed to enhance effectiveness outcomes.
Background:Percutaneous coronary intervention for heavily calcified lesions requires rotational atherectomy (RA). Long-term clinical outcomes after drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation following (RA) for heavily calcified lesions remain unclear. We assessed 5-year clinical outcomes after DES implantation following RA.
Methods and Results:Between March 2006 and September 2011, 219 consecutive patients with 219 lesions treated with DES following RA, were retrospectively enrolled. The cumulative 5-year incidence of target-lesion revascularization (TLR) and definite stent thrombosis (ST) were assessed. The cumulative incidence of TLR within (≤) the first year was 18.6%. Late TLR beyond (>) 1 year continued to occur at 1.9% per year without a decrease in the rate (5-year incidence, 26.0%). The cumulative incidence of definite ST at 30 days, 1 and 5 years was 0.9%, 2.3% and 2.9%, respectively. The annual rate of definite ST beyond 1 year was 0.15%. On multivariate analysis, the significant predictor of TLR within 1 year was use of first-generation DES (hazard ratio [HR], 2.09; 95% CI: 1.10–4.03, P=0.02) and that of TLR beyond 1 year was hemodialysis (HR, 3.29; 95% CI: 1.06–10.55, P=0.04).
Conclusions:Late TLR beyond 1 year continued to occur up to 5 years at a constant annual incidence, whereas very late ST was rare. Careful long-term clinical follow-up is continually needed in patients who have already received DES following RA for heavily calcified lesions.
Background:Data regarding the long-term outcomes of a large patient population with multivessel coronary artery disease (MV-CAD) after complete revascularization (CR) and incomplete revascularization (IR) with drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation are controversial. The objective of this study was to evaluate differences between the clinical outcomes of CR and IR in such patients.
Methods and Results:A total of 1,502 patients with MV-CAD who received DES between April 2005 and August 2016 were enrolled in this study after propensity score matching. The CR group had 751 patients with 1,368 stents implanted in 1,215 lesions, and the IR group had 751 patients with 1,077 stents implanted in 948 lesions. The CR group had a similar rate of in-hospital major adverse cardiovascular events to the IR group (1.9% vs. 1.6%, P=0.844). Follow-up angiography at 9 months showed no significant difference between the 2 groups for restenosis. The CR group had a higher cardiovascular event-free survival rate than the IR group during a mean follow-up period of 71±62 months (81.8% vs. 72.0%, P<0.001). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis also showed better results in the CR group than in the IR group.
Conclusions:Angiographic CR was associated with more favorable long-term cardiovascular outcomes than angiographic IR in patients with MV-CAD after DES implantation.
Background:Oral administration of tolvaptan, a vasopressin V2receptor antagonist, significantly reduces deterioration of renal function, which has recently been highlighted as an exacerbating factor for adverse events in patients with acute heart failure. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that concomitant administration of tolvaptan with a conventional diuretic is beneficial for perioperative body fluid management in patients who have undergone cardiac surgery.
Methods and Results:In all, 280 patients who underwent cardiac surgery were prospectively randomized to concomitant treatment with tolvaptan and a conventional diuretic (tolvaptan group; 147 patients) or treatment with a conventional diuretic alone (control group; 133 patients). Groups were compared in terms of the time required to restore preoperative body weight and the incidence of worsening renal function (WRF), defined as an increase in the serum creatinine level ≥0.3 mg/dL. The time required to restore preoperative body weight was significantly shorter in the tolvaptan than control group (mean [±SD] 3.97±1.95 vs. 5.02±2.83 days, respectively; P<0.001). The incidence of WRF was significantly lower in the tolvaptan than control group (n=11 [7.5%] vs. n=25 [18.8%], respectively; P=0.011).
Conclusions:Administration of tolvaptan with conventional diuretics in the early postoperative period after cardiac surgery could be beneficial in maintaining urine output without affecting renal function and may thus help avoid WRF.
Background:This study examined treatment patterns, possible statin intolerance, and incidence of cardiovascular events (CVEs) in 2 cohorts of patients with high cardiovascular risk (i.e., patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease [ASCVD] and patients with diabetes mellitus).
Methods and Results:A retrospective cohort study examined adults initiating either a statin or ezetimibe from 1 January 2006 to 31 May 2014 in the Japan Medical Data Center database. The first observed statin or ezetimibe prescription defined the index date. Patients had ≥12 months of pre- and post-index date plan enrollment. Two high-risk cohorts, the ASCVD cohort and diabetes cohort, were created based on diagnoses observed during the 12 months’ pre-index date. Treatment patterns, possible statin intolerance, and incidence of CVEs were reported. In the ASCVD cohort (n=5,302), 32.9% discontinued therapy, 7.7% switched to a non-index statin or non-statin lipid-lowering therapy, and 11.2% augmented index therapy in the 12 months’ post-index date; only 0.3% were using high-intensity statins and 10% had possible statin intolerance. Also, 8.1% had any new CVE during the follow-up period. Treatment patterns and incidence of CVEs among the diabetes cohort were similar to those of the ASCVD cohort.
Conclusions:High cardiovascular risk Japanese patients had frequent treatment modifications, although use of high-intensity statin doses was rare. These patterns may indicate that alternative therapies for lipid lowering are needed.
Background:The ability of cardiovascular biomarkers to predict the incidence of stroke subtypes remains ill-defined in the general population.
Methods and Results:The blood levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and urinary albumin corrected by urinary creatinine (UACR) were determined in a general population (n=13,575). The ability to predict the incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes (lacunar, atherothrombotic, cardioembolic) for each biomarker was assessed based on the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC) and using Cox proportional hazard modeling. The predictive abilities of UACR and hs-CRP for any subtype of ischemic event were found to be suboptimal. However, the ability of BNP to predict the incidence of cardioembolic stroke was excellent (AUC-ROC=0.81). When BNP was added to established stroke risk factors, the ability to predict cardioembolic stroke in terms of the AUC-ROC significantly improved (4-year follow-up, P=0.018; 8-year follow-up, P=0.009). Furthermore, when BNP was added to the JPHC score, the ability to predict cardioembolic stroke was significantly improved (net reclassification improvement=0.968, P<0.0001: integrated discrimination improvement=0.039, P<0.05).
Conclusions:In the general population, plasma BNP was an excellent biomarker for predicting the incidence of cardioembolic stroke when used alone or in combination with established stroke risk factors.
Background:A better understanding of the epidemiology of pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) occurring in school settings is important to establish an evidence-based strategy for prevention and better prognosis.
Methods and Results:The Stop and Prevent cardIac aRrest, Injury, and Trauma in Schools (SPIRITS) is a nationwide prospective observational study linking databases from 2 nationally representative registries, the Injury and the Accident Mutual Aid Benefit System of The Japan Sport Council and the All-Japan Utstein Registry of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Using these databases, we described the detailed characteristics and outcomes of pediatric OHCAs that occurred in school settings in Japan between 2009 and 2014. During the 6-year study period, 295 OHCA cases were confirmed. Overall incidence rate was 0.4 per 100,000 students per year. The majority of OHCA cases had a cardiac origin (71%), occurred during exercise (65%), were witnessed by bystanders (70%), and received bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (73%). In approximately one-third of cases the student was defibrillated by public-access automated external defibrillator (38%). The proportion of patients with 1-month survival and a favorable neurological outcome was 34% among all OHCAs and 43% among OHCAs of cardiac origin.
Conclusions:In Japan, approximately 50 pediatric cases of OHCA consistently occur yearly in school settings. The majority of students received basic life support from bystanders, and patients with OHCA of cardiac origin had a relatively good prognosis.
Background:Skeletal muscle pump function may play a key role in maintaining cardiac output (CO), because of the lack of cardiac contractility reserve during incremental exercise in heart failure (HF) patients. We aimed to investigate the relationship between lower leg pump function and surrogate measures of CO during cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX) in HF patients.
Methods and Results:Consecutive cardiac patients referred for CPX had their lower leg ejection fraction (LgEF) measured using strain gauge plethysmography as a marker of skeletal muscle pump function. We analyzed 88 patients, including 65 HF patients and 23 control subjects. Unlike the control subjects, LgEF correlated with peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2) and peak oxygen (O2) pulse (peak V̇O2: r=0.280, P=0.024; peak O2 pulse: r=0.540, P<0.001) in HF patients. Significant relationships among LgEF, peak V̇O2, and peak O2 pulse were observed in HF patients with reduced EF (peak V̇O2: r=0.367, P=0.026; peak O2 pulse: r=0.658, P<0.001), whereas LgEF in HF patients with preserved EF showed a weak correlation only with peak O2 pulse (r=0.407, P=0.032). LgEF was selected as an independent determinant of peak V̇O2 (β=0.187, P=0.036) and peak O2 pulse (β=0.520, P<0.001) in HF patients.
Conclusions:Lower leg skeletal muscle function may contribute to exercise capacity through an indirect mechanism on cardiac function in HF.
Background:Although hyponatremia predicts morbidity and mortality in acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), hypochloremia is also independently associated with poor prognosis in ADHF. Little is known, however, about the prognostic value of serial change in serum chloride during hospitalization in ADHF patients.
Methods and Results:We prospectively studied 208 ADHF survivors after discharge and divided them into 4 groups according to serum chloride on admission and at discharge: (1) persistent hypochloremia group (n=12), hypochloremia both on admission and at discharge; (2) progressive hypochloremia group (n=42), development of hypochloremia after admission; (3) improved hypochloremia group (n=14), hypochloremia only on admission; and (4) no hypochloremia group, no hypochloremia during hospitalization (n=140). During a mean follow-up period of 1.86±0.76 years, 20 of 208 patients had heart failure death (HFD). In a model adjusted for hyponatremia, hypochloremia both on admission and at discharge was still significantly associated with HFD. Hyponatremia, however, was not significantly associated with HFD after adjustment for hypochloremia. Patients with persistent hypochloremia (HR, 9.13; 95% CI: 2.56–32.55) and with progressive hypochloremia (HR, 4.65; 95% CI: 1.61–13.4) had a significantly greater risk of HFD than those without hypochloremia during hospitalization.
Conclusions:Both persistent hypochloremia and progressive hypochloremia during hospitalization are associated with HFD in ADHF patients.
Background:Patient-physician concordance is an important concern in the treatment of elderly patients with hypertension (HT). Treatment that considers concordance is necessary for mutual understanding and therapeutic satisfaction between patients and physicians. However, there have been no studies addressing concordance that objectively analyzed both patient and physician satisfaction before and after treatment.
Methods and Results:An exploratory open-label, multicenter, intervention study was conducted. Patients with HT undergoing treatment with angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) or a calcium-channel blocker (CCB) monotherapy were enrolled. Medication was switched to an ARB/CCB combination tablet and taken for 12 weeks. Physicians and patients participated in satisfaction surveys concerning treatment. Discrepancies in satisfaction levels between patients and physicians were found at baseline for the following survey items: treatment, involvement in treatment, understanding of HT, reliance, medication, and blood pressure. After treatment, the satisfaction levels of both patients and physicians increased; discrepancies in satisfaction between the groups also improved.
Conclusions:The rates of satisfaction were relatively higher for patients compared with physicians at baseline. After HT treatment addressing concordance, both patient and physician satisfaction rates and the gap in satisfaction rates between patients and physicians improved. This indicates that addressing concordance has clinical significance in the treatment of elderly HT patients. (UMIN000017270)
Background:The prognostic value of high signal intensity on T2-weighted cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (T2 high signal) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients in a single-center cohort was investigated.
Methods and Results:A total of 237 HCM patients (median age, 62 years; 143 male) underwent T2-weighted, cine and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging, and were followed (median duration, 3.4 years) for life-threatening arrhythmic events. The clinical and magnetic resonance imaging characteristics were extracted, and predictors of life-threatening arrhythmic events were assessed on multivariate analysis. LGE was present in 180 patients (75.9%). Median LGE score was 3 in a left ventricle 17-segment model. T2 high signal was present in 49 patients (20.7%). The annual events rate was significantly higher in patients with extensive LGE (score ≥4) than in those without (3.0%/year vs. 0.5%/year, P=0.011). On multivariate analysis, extensive LGE (hazard ratio, 5.650; 95% CI: 1.263–25.000, P=0.024) as an independent predictor for life-threatening arrhythmic events. In patients with extensive LGE, the annual events rate was significantly higher in patients with T2 high signal than in those without (5.8%/year vs. 0.9%/year, P=0.008).
Conclusions:Extensive LGE was an independent predictor of life-threatening arrhythmic events in HCM patients. Furthermore, T2 high signal is useful for the risk stratification of serious arrhythmic events in patients with extensive LGE.
Background:A sizeable proportion of patients with primary stable microvascular angina (MVA; exercise-induced angina, positive exercise stress test [EST], normal coronary arteries) have recurrent symptoms during follow-up. There have been no previous studies, however, on the long-term results of EST and their correlation with symptom outcome.
Methods and Results:Follow-up EST was performed in 71 MVA patients at an average of 16.2 years (range, 5–25 years) from the first EST. Angina status was assessed on weekly frequency of angina episodes and nitroglycerin consumption and by whether symptoms had worsened, improved, or remained unchanged over time. At follow-up EST, 41 patients (group 1) had exercise-induced ischemia, whereas 30 patients (group 2) had negative EST. Compared to group 2, group 1 patients more frequently had exercise-induced dyspnea, and had a greater maximum ST-segment depression and a lower coronary blood flow response to adenosine and cold pressor test, but group 2 patients had a more frequent history of rest angina. No differences between the 2 groups were found at follow-up in angina status or change in symptom status during follow-up.
Conclusions:Electrocardiogram results improve significantly in a sizeable proportion of patients with MVA. Changes in EST results, however, were not associated with clinical outcome.
Background:The addition of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to statin therapy has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events. This study examined the cost-effectiveness of EPA plus statin (EPA+statin) combination therapy compared with statin monotherapy for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Japan.
Methods and Results:A Markov model was applied to assess the costs and benefits associated with EPA+statin combination therapy over a projected 30-year period from the perspective of a public healthcare funder in Japan. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), expressed as quality-adjusted life-years (QALY), was estimated for primary prevention and secondary prevention of CVD in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Impact on survival and number of events were based on the Japan EPA Lipid Intervention Study. Sensitivity analyses examined the influence of various input parameters on costs and outcomes of treatment. ICER was ¥29.6 million per QALY gained in primary prevention and ¥5.5 million per QALY gained in secondary prevention. The probabilities that EPA+statin combination therapy would be cost-effective compared with statin monotherapy were 39% in primary prevention and 49% in secondary prevention at a cost-effectiveness threshold of ¥5 million per QALY gained. Sensitivity analyses showed that EPA was cost-effective in secondary prevention.
Conclusions:EPA+statin combination therapy showed acceptable cost-effectiveness for secondary prevention, but not primary prevention, of CVD in patients with hypercholesterolemia in Japan.
Background:Erythropoietin (EPO) has antiapoptotic and tissue-protective effects, but previous clinical studies using high-dose EPO have not shown cardioprotective effects, probably because of platelet activation and a lack of knowledge regarding the optimal dose. In contrast, a small pilot study using low-dose EPO has shown improvement in left ventricular function without adverse cardiovascular events.
Methods and Results:We performed a multicenter (25 hospitals), prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-finding study to clarify the efficacy and safety of low-dose EPO in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) under the Evaluation System of Investigational Medical Care of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan. In total, 198 STEMI patients with low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF <50%) were randomly assigned to receive intravenous administration of EPO (6,000 or 12,000 IU) or placebo within 6 h of successful percutaneous coronary intervention. At 6 months, there was no significant dose-response relationship in LVEF improvement among the 3 groups tested (EPO 12,000 IU: 5.4±9.3%, EPO 6,000 IU: 7.3±7.7%, Placebo: 8.1±8.3%, P=0.862). Low-dose EPO also did not improve cardiac function, as evaluated by 99 mTc-MIBI SPECT or NT-proBNP at 6 months and did not increase adverse events.
Conclusions:Administration of low-dose EPO did not improve LVEF at 6 months in STEMI patients (UMIN000005721).
Background:The long-term outcome of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) vs. coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), particularly for patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS), remains controversial.
Methods and Results:We retrospectively analyzed 2,827 patients (stable coronary artery disease [SCAD], n=1,601; NSTE-ACS, n=1,226) who underwent either PCI (n=1,732) or CABG (n=1,095). The 8-year composite of cardiac death and myocardial infarction (MI) was compared between PCI and CABG before and after propensity matching. For patients with NSTE-ACS, PCI was performed more frequently for those with higher Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction risk score and 3-vessel disease, and PCI led to significantly higher 8-year composite of cardiac death and MI than CABG (14.1% vs. 5.9%, hazard ratio [HR]=2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.37–3.58, P=0.001). There was a significant interaction between clinical presentation and revascularization strategy (P-interaction=0.001). However, after matching, the benefit of CABG vs. PCI was attenuated in patients with NSTE-ACS, whereas it was pronounced in those with SCAD. Interactions between clinical presentation and revascularization strategy were not observed (P-interaction=0.574).
Conclusions:Although the determinants of PCI vs. CABG in real-world clinical practice differ according to the clinical presentation, a significant interaction between clinical presentation and revascularization strategy was not noted for long-term outcomes. The revascularization strategy for patients with NSTE-ACS can be based on the criteria applied to patients with SCAD.
Background:Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury triggers cardiac dysfunctions via creating reactive oxygen species (ROS). Because xanthine oxidase (XO) is one of the major enzymes that generate ROS, inhibition of XO is expected to suppress ROS-induced I/R injury. However, it remains unclear whether XO inhibition really yields cardioprotection during I/R. The protective effects of the XO inhibitors, topiroxostat and allopurinol, on cardiac I/R injury were evaluated.
Methods and Results:Using isolated rat hearts, ventricular functions, occurrence of arrhythmias, XO activities and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) productions and myocardial levels of adenine nucleotides before and after I/R, and cardiomyocyte death markers during reperfusion, were evaluated. Topiroxostat prevented left ventricular dysfunctions and facilitated recovery from arrhythmias during I/R. Allopurinol and the antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), exhibited similar effects at higher concentrations. Topiroxostat inhibited myocardial XO activities and TBARS productions after I/R. I/R decreased myocardial levels of ATP, ADP and AMP, but increased that of xanthine. While topiroxostat, allopurinol or NAC did not change myocardial levels of ATP, ADP or AMP after I/R, all of the agents decreased the level of xanthine. They also decreased releases of CPK and LDH during reperfusion.
Conclusions:Topiroxostat showed protective effects against I/R injury with higher potency than allopurinol or NAC. It dramatically inhibited XO activity and TBARS production, suggesting suppression of ROS generation.
Background:There has been debate regarding the added benefit of high-intensity statins compared with low-moderate-intensity statins, especially in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Methods and Results:The Korea Acute Myocardial Infarction Registry-National Institutes of Health consecutively enrolled 13,104 AMI patients. Of these, a total of 12,182 patients, who completed 1-year follow-up, were included in this study, and all patients were classified into 3 groups (no statin; low-moderate-intensity statin; and high-intensity statin). The primary outcome was major adverse cardiac event (MACE) including cardiac death, non-fatal MI, and repeat revascularization at 1 year. Both low-moderate-intensity and high-intensity statin significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; all P<0.001). Compared with the no statin group, both statin groups had significantly lower risk of MACE (low-moderate intensity: HR, 0.506; 95% CI: 0.413–0.619, P<0.001; high intensity: HR, 0.464; 95% CI: 0.352–0.611, P<0.001). The risk of MACE, however, was similar between the low-moderate- and high-intensity statin groups (HR, 0.917; 95% CI: 0.760–1.107, P=0.368). Multivariable adjustment, propensity score matching, and inverse probability weighted analysis also produced the same results.
Conclusions:When adequate LDL-C level is achieved, patients on a low-moderate-intensity statin dose have similar cardiovascular outcomes to those on high-intensity statins.
Background:Fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4), which is expressed in both adipocytes and macrophages, is secreted from the cells and acts as an adipokine. An elevated circulating FABP4 level is associated with insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results:We investigated the causative association between FABP4 level and progression of atherosclerosis in subjects of the Tanno-Sobetsu Study, a population-based cohort. In 281 subjects without medication (male/female: 109/172) in the year 2010 or 2013, the carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) assessed using carotid ultrasonography was significantly correlated with age, adiposity, blood pressure, renal dysfunction and levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, HbA1c and FABP4 (r=0.331, P<0.001). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that age, sex and FABP4 concentration were independent predictors of CIMT. A total of 78 (male/female: 29/49) of the 156 subjects in 2010 underwent carotid ultrasonography again in 2013. The change in CIMT each year during that 3-year period (mean±SD: 3.8±22.3 µm/year) was positively correlated with basal levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (r=0.231, P=0.046) and FABP4 (r=0.267, P=0.018) in 2010. After adjustment for age, sex and hsCRP level, the basal FABP4 level was independently associated with the change in CIMT per year.
Conclusions:FABP4 concentration is an independent predictor of the progression of carotid atherosclerosis.
Background:Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) has been implicated in plaque instability and rupture in atherosclerotic lesions, although the mechanisms by which IPH progresses remain largely unknown. In this study, apolipoprotein E-deficient mice with carotid artery ligation and cuff placement around the artery were used, and pro-inflammatory cytokines that are implicated in IPH were analyzed.
Methods and Results:The expression of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) increased significantly following cuff placement compared with mice with carotid artery ligation alone. IPH occurred in the cuff-placed carotid artery following treatment with the negative control (NC) small interfering RNA (siRNA). However, the occurrence was significantly reduced in the cuff-placed carotid artery following treatment with an IL-1β siRNA. Neovessel formation was significantly reduced in the carotid artery treated with the NC siRNA compared with that treated with IL-1β siRNA. IL-1β significantly inhibited the tube formation and wound healing capacities of vascular endothelial cells in vitro. Furthermore, immunostaining of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) significantly increased in the carotid artery treated with the NC siRNA compared with that treated with IL-1β siRNA.
Conclusions:These results suggest that endogenous IL-1β is implicated in the progression of IPH via the inhibition of physiological angiogenesis in the atherosclerotic plaque, leading to the formation of leaky neovessels. Furthermore, the stimulation of MMP-9 expression may also contribute to the formation of leaky neovessels.
Background:Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) with late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) revealed a substantial variation in the extent of myocardial scarring, a pathological hallmark of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). However, few data exist regarding the relationship between the presence of gene mutations and the extent of LGE. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether variations in the extent of LGE in HCM patients can be explained by the presence or absence of disease-causing mutations.
Methods and Results:We analyzed data from 82 unrelated HCM patients who underwent both LGE-CMR and next-generation sequencing. We identified disease-causing sarcomere gene mutations in 44 cases (54%). The extent of LGE on CMR was an independent factor for predicting mutation-positive HCM (odds ratio 2.12 [95% confidence interval 1.51–3.83], P<0.01). The area under the curve of %LGE was greater than that of the conventional Toronto score for predicting the presence of a mutation (0.96 vs. 0.69, P<0.01). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of %LGE (cutoff >8.1%) were 93.2%, 89.5%, 91.1%, and 91.9%, respectively.
Conclusions:The results demonstrated that %LGE clearly discriminated mutation-positive from mutation-negative HCM in a clinically affected HCM population. HCM with few or no myocardial scars may be genetically different from HCM with a higher incidence of myocardial scars.
Background:This study aimed to identify the clinical predictors of the degree of right ventricular (RV) myocardial fibrosis in patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with special focus on the RV pressure load.
Methods and Results:From April 2004 to March 2017, 30 patients with repaired TOF underwent pulmonary valve replacement and concomitant RV myocardial biopsy. The stroke volume ratio (RV stroke volume/left ventricular stroke volume), RV end-diastolic volume index, and right-to-left ventricular systolic pressure ratio were evaluated with respect to their prognostic value for the degree of RV myocardial fibrosis. Significant positive linear correlations were detected between the stroke volume ratio and the degree of RV myocardial fibrosis (P=0.003, r=0.52). Patients with a right-to-left ventricular systolic pressure ratio >0.45 showed a significantly greater degree of RV myocardial fibrosis under an equivalent stroke volume ratio.
Conclusions:Under conditions of RV volume overload, a right-to-left ventricular systolic pressure ratio >0.45 was a predisposing factor for progression of RV myocardial fibrosis in patients with repaired TOF.
Background:Fontan-associated liver disease (FALD) is an important late complication involving liver dysfunction, such as liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in patients undergoing the Fontan procedure. However, the prevalence, clinical manifestation, and methods of diagnosis of FALD are still not well established.
Methods and Results:This study comprised 2 nationwide surveys in Japan. First, the prevalence of LC and/or HCC in patients undergoing the Fontan procedure was determined. Second, clinical manifestations in patients with LC and/or HCC were analyzed, along with data from blood tests, echocardiography, and right heart catheterization. In the 1st survey, of the 2,700 patients who underwent the Fontan procedure, 31 were diagnosed with LC and/or HCC (1.15%), and 5 died due to liver diseases (mortality: 0.19%). In the 2nd survey, data were collected from 17 patients (12 with LC, 2 with HCC, and 3 with LC+HCC. Of these 17 patients, 5 died (mortality: 29.4%). The mean age at diagnosis of LC and HCC was 23 and 31 years, respectively. Computed tomography followed by ultrasound was most frequently used for diagnosis. Blood tests revealed low platelet counts, increased hemoglobin, aspartate aminotransferase, γ-guanosine triphosphate, and total bilirubin levels, and an elevated international normalized ratio of prothrombin time.
Conclusions:LC and/or HCC in patients undergoing the Fontan procedure were not rare late complications and were associated with high mortality rates.
Background:Exercise transcutaneous oximetry (Ex-tcPO2) is used to argue for the vascular origin of lower limb pain, especially at the proximal level, where the diagnosis of peripheral artery disease can be difficult. This study analyzed the principal indications, mean results, and limitations of Ex-tcPO2, as well as the relationship between the annual number of Ex-tcPO2 tests and internal iliac artery (IIA) revascularizations.
Methods and Results:Data from our first 15 years’ experience (3,631 patients, 5,080 tests) with Ex-tcPO2 were analyzed retrospectively using the minimal value of the decrease from rest of oxygen pressure (DROPmin). We had 99.7% of expected DROPminresults. The proportion of tests showing isolated proximal unilateral or bilateral ischemia ranged from ~5% to ~20%. A gradual increase with time was observed in both the annual number of Ex-tcPO2 tests (from 0 to ~500 per year) and the annual number of IIA revascularizations performed (from 0 up to 18 per year). At least 85% of patients (77/91) showed function improvement after IIA revascularization.
Conclusions:Ex-tcPO2 (using DROPmin) provides an objective argument for exercise-induced ischemia, bilaterally at the distal and/or proximal level. Using Ex-tcPO2 has improved our diagnostic performance and markedly changed our therapeutic decisions, specifically for proximal claudication. The increased number of Ex-tcPO2 tests is associated with an increased number of IIA revascularizations, although a causal relationship was not proven.
Background:The Therapeutic Angiogenesis by Cell Transplantation (TACT) trial demonstrated the efficacy and safety of autologous bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI). The present study aimed to assess the long-term clinical outcomes of therapeutic angiogenesis using autologous BM-MNC implantation under advanced medical treatment in Japan.
Methods and Results:The study was retrospective, observational, and non-controlled. We assessed no-option CLI patients who had BM-MNC implantation performed in 10 institutes. Overall survival (OS), major amputation-free (MAF), and amputation-free survival (AFS) rates were primary endpoints of this study. The median follow-up duration was 31.7 months. The 10-year OS rate was 46.6% in patients with arteriosclerosis obliterans (ASO) (n=168), 90.5% in patients with thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO) (n=108), and 67.6% in patients with collagen disease-associated vasculitis (CDV) (n=69). The 10-year MAF rate was 70.1%, 87.9%, and 90.9%, respectively. The 10-year AFS rate was 37.8%, 80.9%, and 61.2%, respectively. Major adverse cardiovascular events occurred in 6.0% of patients with ASO, 1.9% of patients with TAO, and no patients with CDV.
Conclusions:Therapeutic angiogenesis using autologous BM-MNC implantation may be feasible and safe in patients with no-option CLI, particularly those with CLI caused by TAO or CDV.
Background:Patients with intermediate-risk acute pulmonary embolism (APE) are a heterogeneous group with an early mortality rate of 2–15%. The tricuspid annulus plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) and tricuspid regurgitation peak gradient (TRPG) can be used for risk stratification, so we analyzed the prognostic value of a new echo parameter (TRPG/TAPSE) for prediction of APE-related 30-day death or need for rescue thrombolysis in initially normotensive APE patients.
Methods and Results:The study group consists of 400 non-high-risk APE patients (191 men, age: 63.1±18.9 years) who had undergone echocardiography within the first 24 h of admission. The TRPG/TAPSE parameter was calculated. The clinical endpoint (CE) was a combination of 30-day APE-related death and/or rescue thrombolysis. The CE occurred in 8 (2%) patients. All patients with TAPSE ≥20 mm (n=193, 48.2%) had a good prognosis. Among 206 patients with TAPSE <20 mm, 8 cases of the CE occurred (3.9%). NPV and PPV for TRPG/TAPSE >4.5 were 0.2 and 0.98, respectively. The CE was significantly more frequent in 19 (9.2%) patients with TRPG/TAPSE >4.5 than in 188 (90.8%) with TRPG/TAPSE ≤4.5 (4 (21.1%) vs. 4 (2.1%), P=0.0005). Among normotensive APE patients with TAPSE <20 mm, TRPG/TAPSE >4.5 was associated with 21.1% risk of APE-related death or rescue thrombolysis.
Conclusions:TRPG/TAPSE, a novel echocardiographic parameter, may be useful for stepwise echocardiographic risk stratification in normotensive patients with APE, and it identifies patients with a poor prognosis.
Background:Asian patients on warfarin therapy usually have lower international normalized ratio (INR) intensities than those recommended by Western clinical practice guidelines. This study evaluated whether a high INR reduces the incidence of thromboembolism (TE) or bleeding events in Asian patients with high CHA2DS2-VASc scores after valve surgery.
Methods and Results:Data of adult patients after valve surgery were retrieved from an integrated healthcare information system of a single hospital between 2014 and 2016. The INR was derived from the closest laboratory data before the index outpatient-clinic visit date. The endpoint of every record was determined as emergency room visit or hospitalization because of TE or bleeding event. A total of 37 TE or bleeding events were retrieved from 8,207 records; the annual incidence rate were 1.2% and 2.8% for low (0–2) and high (3–8) CHA2DS2-VASc score groups, respectively (P=0.007). The incidence rates were lowest for both groups at an INR of 1.5–2.0. High INR intensities did not reduce TE or bleeding incidence. INR >3.0 was associated with increased TE or bleeding incidence in the high-score group (6.8%/year vs. 2.0%/year, P=0.079).
Conclusions:The optimal INR is 1.5–2.5 for low- or high-score Asian patients after valve surgery. INR >3.0 was associated with increased TE or bleeding incidence in the high-score group.
Background:Rho-associated kinases (ROCK1 and ROCK2) are important regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Because the phosphorylation of eukaryotic elongation factor-1A1 (eEF1A1) by ROCK2 is critical for eNOS expression, we hypothesized that this molecular pathway may play a critical role in neuroprotection following focal cerebral ischemia.
Methods and Results:Adult male wild-type (WT) and mutant ROCK2 and eNOS−/−mice were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), and cerebral infarct size, neurological deficit and absolute cerebral blood flow were measured. In addition, aortic endothelium-dependent response to acetylcholine, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and sodium nitroprusside were assessed ex vivo. Endothelial cells from mouse brain or heart were used to measure eNOS and eEF1A activity, as well as NO production and eNOS mRNA half-life. In global hemizygous ROCK2+/−and endothelial-specific EC-ROCK2−/−mice, eNOS mRNA stability and eNOS expression were increased, which correlated with enhanced endothelium-dependent relaxation and neuroprotection following focal cerebral ischemia. Indeed, when ROCK2+/−mice were place on an eNOS−/−background, the neuroprotective effects observed in ROCK2+/−mice were abolished.
Conclusions:These findings indicate that the phosphorylation of eEF1A1 by ROCK2 is physiologically important for eNOS expression and NO-mediated neuroprotection, and suggest that targeting endothelial ROCK2 and eEF1A may have therapeutic benefits in ischemic stroke and cardiovascular disease.