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Concept: Ejection fraction


Background Central sleep apnea is associated with poor prognosis and death in patients with heart failure. Adaptive servo-ventilation is a therapy that uses a noninvasive ventilator to treat central sleep apnea by delivering servo-controlled inspiratory pressure support on top of expiratory positive airway pressure. We investigated the effects of adaptive servo-ventilation in patients who had heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and predominantly central sleep apnea. Methods We randomly assigned 1325 patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 45% or less, an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 15 or more events (occurrences of apnea or hypopnea) per hour, and a predominance of central events to receive guideline-based medical treatment with adaptive servo-ventilation or guideline-based medical treatment alone (control). The primary end point in the time-to-event analysis was the first event of death from any cause, lifesaving cardiovascular intervention (cardiac transplantation, implantation of a ventricular assist device, resuscitation after sudden cardiac arrest, or appropriate lifesaving shock), or unplanned hospitalization for worsening heart failure. Results In the adaptive servo-ventilation group, the mean AHI at 12 months was 6.6 events per hour. The incidence of the primary end point did not differ significantly between the adaptive servo-ventilation group and the control group (54.1% and 50.8%, respectively; hazard ratio, 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97 to 1.31; P=0.10). All-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality were significantly higher in the adaptive servo-ventilation group than in the control group (hazard ratio for death from any cause, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.55; P=0.01; and hazard ratio for cardiovascular death, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.65; P=0.006). Conclusions Adaptive servo-ventilation had no significant effect on the primary end point in patients who had heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and predominantly central sleep apnea, but all-cause and cardiovascular mortality were both increased with this therapy. (Funded by ResMed and others; SERVE-HF number, NCT00733343 .).

Concepts: Blood, Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Heart, Cardiac arrest, Sleep apnea


Background Cardiac-resynchronization therapy (CRT) reduces morbidity and mortality in chronic systolic heart failure with a wide QRS complex. Mechanical dyssynchrony also occurs in patients with a narrow QRS complex, which suggests the potential usefulness of CRT in such patients. Methods We conducted a randomized trial involving 115 centers to evaluate the effect of CRT in patients with New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure, a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less, a QRS duration of less than 130 msec, and echocardiographic evidence of left ventricular dyssynchrony. All patients underwent device implantation and were randomly assigned to have CRT capability turned on or off. The primary efficacy outcome was the composite of death from any cause or first hospitalization for worsening heart failure. Results On March 13, 2013, the study was stopped for futility on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring board. At study closure, the 809 patients who had undergone randomization had been followed for a mean of 19.4 months. The primary outcome occurred in 116 of 404 patients in the CRT group, as compared with 102 of 405 in the control group (28.7% vs. 25.2%; hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.57; P=0.15). There were 45 deaths in the CRT group and 26 in the control group (11.1% vs. 6.4%; hazard ratio, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.11 to 2.93; P=0.02). Conclusions In patients with systolic heart failure and a QRS duration of less than 130 msec, CRT does not reduce the rate of death or hospitalization for heart failure and may increase mortality. (Funded by Biotronik and GE Healthcare; EchoCRT number, NCT00683696 .).

Concepts: Death, Mortality rate, Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Echocardiography, Randomness


Background Recent advances have enabled noninvasive mapping of cardiac arrhythmias with electrocardiographic imaging and noninvasive delivery of precise ablative radiation with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). We combined these techniques to perform catheter-free, electrophysiology-guided, noninvasive cardiac radioablation for ventricular tachycardia. Methods We targeted arrhythmogenic scar regions by combining anatomical imaging with noninvasive electrocardiographic imaging during ventricular tachycardia that was induced by means of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). SBRT simulation, planning, and treatments were performed with the use of standard techniques. Patients were treated with a single fraction of 25 Gy while awake. Efficacy was assessed by counting episodes of ventricular tachycardia, as recorded by ICDs. Safety was assessed by means of serial cardiac and thoracic imaging. Results From April through November 2015, five patients with high-risk, refractory ventricular tachycardia underwent treatment. The mean noninvasive ablation time was 14 minutes (range, 11 to 18). During the 3 months before treatment, the patients had a combined history of 6577 episodes of ventricular tachycardia. During a 6-week postablation “blanking period” (when arrhythmias may occur owing to postablation inflammation), there were 680 episodes of ventricular tachycardia. After the 6-week blanking period, there were 4 episodes of ventricular tachycardia over the next 46 patient-months, for a reduction from baseline of 99.9%. A reduction in episodes of ventricular tachycardia occurred in all five patients. The mean left ventricular ejection fraction did not decrease with treatment. At 3 months, adjacent lung showed opacities consistent with mild inflammatory changes, which had resolved by 1 year. Conclusions In five patients with refractory ventricular tachycardia, noninvasive treatment with electrophysiology-guided cardiac radioablation markedly reduced the burden of ventricular tachycardia. (Funded by Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation and others.).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Ejection fraction, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Cardiac arrest, Cardiac electrophysiology, Ventricular fibrillation, Cardiac dysrhythmia


Background Mortality and morbidity are higher among patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure than among those with heart failure alone. Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation has been proposed as a means of improving outcomes among patients with heart failure who are otherwise receiving appropriate treatment. Methods We randomly assigned patients with symptomatic paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation who did not have a response to antiarrhythmic drugs, had unacceptable side effects, or were unwilling to take these drugs to undergo either catheter ablation (179 patients) or medical therapy (rate or rhythm control) (184 patients) for atrial fibrillation in addition to guidelines-based therapy for heart failure. All the patients had New York Heart Association class II, III, or IV heart failure, a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less, and an implanted defibrillator. The primary end point was a composite of death from any cause or hospitalization for worsening heart failure. Results After a median follow-up of 37.8 months, the primary composite end point occurred in significantly fewer patients in the ablation group than in the medical-therapy group (51 patients [28.5%] vs. 82 patients [44.6%]; hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43 to 0.87; P=0.007). Significantly fewer patients in the ablation group died from any cause (24 [13.4%] vs. 46 [25.0%]; hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.32 to 0.86; P=0.01), were hospitalized for worsening heart failure (37 [20.7%] vs. 66 [35.9%]; hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.83; P=0.004), or died from cardiovascular causes (20 [11.2%] vs. 41 [22.3%]; hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.84; P=0.009). Conclusions Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure was associated with a significantly lower rate of a composite end point of death from any cause or hospitalization for worsening heart failure than was medical therapy. (Funded by Biotronik; CASTLE-AF number, NCT00643188 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hospital, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Heart, Atrial fibrillation, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator



Background -Current guidelines only recommend the use of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in those with a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)<35%. However, registries of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests demonstrate that 70-80% of such patients have a LVEF>35%. Patients with a LVEF>35% also have low competing risks of death from non-sudden causes. Therefore, those at high-risk of SCD may gain longevity from successful ICD therapy. We investigated whether late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance (LGE-CMR) identified patients with DCM without severe LV systolic dysfunction at high-risk of SCD. Methods -We prospectively investigated the association between mid-wall late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and the pre-specified primary composite outcome of SCD or aborted SCD amongst consecutive referrals with DCM and a LVEF≥40% to our center between January 2000 and December 2011, who did not have a pre-existing indication for ICD implantation. Results -Of 399 patients (145 women, median age 50 years, median LVEF 50%, 25.3% with LGE) followed for a median of 4.6 years, 18 of 101 (17.8%) patients with LGE reached the pre-specified end-point, compared to 7 of 298 (2.3%) without (HR 9.2; 95% CI 3.9-21.8; p<0.0001). Nine patients (8.9%) with LGE compared to 6 (2.0%) without (HR 4.9; 95% CI 1.8-13.5; p=0.002) died suddenly, whilst 10 patients (9.9%) with LGE compared to 1 patient (0.3%) without (HR 34.8; 95% CI 4.6-266.6; p<0.001) had aborted SCD. Following adjustment, LGE predicted the composite end-point (HR 9.3; 95% CI 3.9-22.3; p<0.0001), SCD (HR 4.8; 95% CI 1.7-13.8; p=0.003) and aborted SCD (HR 35.9; 95% CI 4.8-271.4; p<0.001). Estimated hazard ratios for the primary end-point for patients with a LGE extent of 0-2.5%, 2.5-5% and >5% compared to those without LGE were 10.6 (95%CI 3.9-29.4), 4.9 (95% CI 1.3-18.9) and 11.8 (95% CI 4.3-32.3) respectively. Conclusions -Mid-wall LGE identifies a group of patients with DCM and LVEF≥40% at increased risk of SCD and low-risk of non-sudden death who may benefit from ICD implantation. Clinical Trial Registration - Identifier: NCT00930735.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Cardiac arrest, Ventricular fibrillation, Sudden cardiac death


Increased sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic activity contribute to heart failure (HF) symptoms and disease progression. Carotid baroreceptor stimulation (baroreflex activation therapy; BAT) results in centrally mediated reduction of sympathetic and increase in parasympathetic activity. Because patients treated with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) may have less sympathetic / parasympathetic imbalance, we hypothesized that there would be differences in the response to BAT in patients with CRT versus those without CRT.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Heart, Mammal, Autonomic nervous system, Sinoatrial node


Background: Conventional cardiac rehabilitation program consist of 15 min of warm-up, 30 min of aerobic exercise and followed by 15 min calisthenics exercise. The Pilates method has been increasingly applied for its therapeutic benefits, however little scientific evidence supports or rebukes its use as a treatment in patients with heart failure (HF). Purpose: Investigate the effects of Pilates on exercise capacity variables in HF. Methods: Sixteen pts with HF, left ventricular ejection fraction 27 ± 14%, NYHA class I-II were randomly assigned to conventional cardiac rehabilitation program (n = 8) or mat Pilates training (n = 8) for 16 weeks of 30 min of aerobic exercise followed by 20 min of the specific program. Results: At 16 weeks, pts in the mat Pilates group and conventional group showed significantly increase on exercise time 11.9 ± 2.5 to 17.8 ± 4 and 11.7 ± 3.9 to 14.2 ± 4 min, respectively. However, only the Pilates group increased significantly the ventilation (from 56 ± 20 to 69 ± 17 L/min, P= 0.02), peak VO(2) (from 20.9 ± 6 to 24.8 ± 6 mL/kg/min, P= 0.01), and O(2) pulse (from 11.9 ± 2 to 13.8 ± 3 mL/bpm, P= 0.003). The Pilates group showed significantly increase in peak VO(2) when compared with conventional group (24.8 ± 6 vs. 18.3 ± 4, P= 0.02). Conclusions: The result suggests that the Pilates method may be a beneficial adjunctive treatment that enhances functional capacity in patients with HF who are already receiving standard medical therapy.

Concepts: Blood, Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Heart, Strength training, 5BX


Aldosterone antagonist therapy for heart failure and reduced ejection fraction has been highly efficacious in randomized trials. However, questions remain regarding the effectiveness and safety of the therapy in clinical practice.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Aldosterone antagonist


CONTEXT While the delivery of cell therapy after ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has been evaluated in previous clinical trials, the influence of the timing of cell delivery on the effect on left ventricular function has not been analyzed. OBJECTIVES To determine the effect of intracoronary autologous bone marrow mononuclear cell (BMC) delivery after STEMI on recovery of global and regional left ventricular function and whether timing of BMC delivery (3 days vs 7 days after reperfusion) influences this effect. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS A randomized, 2 × 2 factorial, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Timing In Myocardial infarction Evaluation (TIME) enrolled 120 patients with left ventricular dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] ≤ 45%) after successful primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of anterior STEMI between July 17, 2008, and November 15, 2011, as part of the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. INTERVENTIONS Intracoronary infusion of 150 × 106 BMCs or placebo (randomized 2:1) within 12 hours of aspiration and cell processing administered at day 3 or day 7 (randomized 1:1) after treatment with PCI. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary end points were change in global (LVEF) and regional (wall motion) left ventricular function in infarct and border zones at 6 months measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and change in left ventricular function as affected by timing of treatment on day 3 vs day 7. The secondary end points included major adverse cardiovascular events as well as changes in left ventricular volumes and infarct size. RESULTS The mean (SD) patient age was 56.9 (10.9) years and 87.5% of participants were male. At 6 months, there was no significant increase in LVEF for the BMC group (45.2% [95% CI, 42.8% to 47.6%] to 48.3% [95% CI, 45.3% to 51.3%) vs the placebo group (44.5% [95% CI, 41.0% to 48.0%] to 47.8% [95% CI, 43.4% to 52.2%]) (P = .96). There was no significant treatment effect on regional left ventricular function observed in either infarct or border zones. There were no significant differences in change in global left ventricular function for patients treated at day 3 (-0.9% [95% CI, -6.6% to 4.9%], P = .76) or day 7 (1.1% [95% CI, -4.7% to 6.9%], P = .70). The timing of treatment had no significant effect on regional left ventricular function recovery. Major adverse events were rare among all treatment groups. CONCLUSION Among patients with STEMI treated with primary PCI, the administration of intracoronary BMCs at either 3 days or 7 days after the event had no significant effect on recovery of global or regional left ventricular function compared with placebo. TRIAL REGISTRATION Identifier: NCT00684021.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Heart, Percutaneous coronary intervention