Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Clinical cardiology


The Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) risk score has been extensively validated to predict risk during hospitalization in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Recently, serum calcium has been suggested as an independent predictor for in-hospital mortality in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; however, the relationship between the 2 has not been evaluated.

Concepts: Emergency department, Angina pectoris, Cardiology, Atherosclerosis, Hospital, Calcium metabolism, Myocardial infarction, Acute coronary syndrome


In acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) is high. Early detection of patients at risk for AKI is important. We tested urinary [TIMP-2] × [IGFBP7], a new US Food and Drug Administration-cleared test to assess AKI risk, in a cohort of hospitalized ADHF patients.

Concepts: Hospital, Andrew Martin, Kidney, Acute kidney injury, Cardiovascular diseases, Heart failure, Acute decompensated heart failure


Although heart failure (HF) is a common cause of hospital admissions, few data describe temporal trends in HF hospitalization. We present data on number of HF admissions, length of stay (LOS), and inpatient mortality in the United States, 1996-2009.

Concepts: Chinese language, Hospital, English language, U.S. state, Poverty in the United States, Heart failure, United States, Cardiology


Residual cardiovascular risk persists despite statins, yet outcome studies of lipid-targeted therapies beyond low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) have not demonstrated added benefit. Triglyceride elevation is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events. High-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) reduces triglyceride-rich lipoproteins without raising LDL-C. Omega-3s have postulated pleiotropic cardioprotective benefits beyond triglyceride-lowering. To date, no large, multinational, randomized clinical trial has proved that lowering triglycerides on top of statin therapy improves cardiovascular outcomes. The Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl-Intervention Trial (REDUCE-IT; NCT01492361) is a phase 3b randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of icosapent ethyl, a highly purified ethyl ester of EPA, vs placebo. The main objective is to evaluate whether treatment with icosapent ethyl reduces ischemic events in statin-treated patients with high triglycerides at elevated cardiovascular risk. REDUCE-IT enrolled men or women age ≥45 years with established cardiovascular disease or age ≥50 years with diabetes mellitus and 1 additional risk factor. Randomization required fasting triglycerides ≥150 mg/dL and <500 mg/dL and LDL-C >40 mg/dL and ≤100 mg/dL with stable statin (± ezetimibe) ≥4 weeks prior to qualifying measurements. The primary endpoint is a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or unstable angina. The key secondary endpoint is the composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke. Several secondary, tertiary, and exploratory endpoints will be assessed. Approximately 8000 patients have been randomized at approximately 470 centers worldwide. Follow-up will continue in this event-driven trial until approximately 1612 adjudicated primary-efficacy endpoint events have occurred.

Concepts: Atheroma, Stroke, Cholesterol, Cardiovascular disease, Statin, Low-density lipoprotein, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis


The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies likely represent the greatest advance in lipid management in 30 years. In 2015 the US Food and Drug Administration approved both alirocumab and evolocumab for high-risk patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease requiring additional lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Though many lipid specialists, cardiovascular disease prevention experts, endocrinologists, and others prescribed the drugs on label, they found their directives denied 80% to 90% of the time. The high frequency of denials prompted the American Society for Preventive Cardiology (ASPC), to gather multiple stakeholder organizations including the American College of Cardiology, National Lipid Association, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and FH Foundation for 2 town hall meetings to identify access issues and implement viable solutions. This article reviews findings recognized and solutions suggested by experts during these discussions. The article is a product of the ASPC, along with each author writing as an individual and endorsed by the AACE.

Concepts: Atheroma, Cardiology, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Myocardial infarction, Cholesterol, Low-density lipoprotein, Cardiovascular disease, Atherosclerosis


Antithrombotic management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing coronary stenting is complicated by the need for anticoagulant therapy for stroke prevention and dual antiplatelet therapy for prevention of stent thrombosis and coronary events. Triple antithrombotic therapy, typically comprising warfarin, aspirin, and clopidogrel, is associated with a high risk of bleeding. A modest-sized trial of oral anticoagulation with warfarin and clopidogrel without aspirin showed improvements in both bleeding and thrombotic events compared with triple therapy, but large trials are lacking. The RE-DUAL PCI trial (NCT 02164864) is a phase 3b, a strategy of prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded-endpoint trial. The main objective is to evaluate dual antithrombotic therapy with dabigatran etexilate (110 or 150 mg twice daily) and a P2Y12 inhibtor (either clopidogrel or ticagrelor) compared with triple antithrombotic therapy with warfarin, a P2Y12 inhibtor (either clopidogrel or ticagrelor, and low-dose aspirin (for 1 or 3 months, depending on stent type) in nonvalvular AF patients who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention with stenting. The primary endpoint is time to first International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis major bleeding event or clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding event. Secondary endpoints are the composite of all cause death or thrombotic events (myocardial infarction, or stroke/systemic embolism) and unplanned revascularization; death or thrombotic events; individual outcome events; death, myocardial infarction, or stroke; and unplanned revascularization. A hierarchical procedure for multiple testing will be used. The plan is to randomize ∼ 2500 patients at approximately 550 centers worldwide to try to identify new treatment strategies for this patient population.

Concepts: Dabigatran, Percutaneous coronary intervention, Cardiology, Myocardial infarction, Warfarin, Atrial fibrillation, Anticoagulant, Stroke


The association between the development of heart failure (HF) and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is not well established.

Concepts: Paracetamol, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug


Approximately 20% of the population has elevated circulating levels of lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]), one of the most robust predictors of cardiovascular disease risk. This is particularly true for women.

Concepts: Blood vessel, Cardiovascular disease


Some observational studies raised concern that statins may cause memory impairment, leading to a US Food and Drug Administration warning. Similar questions were raised regarding proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin-type 9 inhibitors (PCSK9i) and neurocognitive function. No prospectively designed study has evaluated the relationship between long-term PCSK9i use and cognition changes. Patients with prior cardiovascular disease treated with maximally tolerated statin enrolled in FOURIER (the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cardiovascular outcome study of the PCSK9i evolocumab) could participate in this prospective assessment of cognitive function (EBBINGHAUS). Key additional exclusion criteria for EBBINGHAUS were dementia, cognitive impairment, or other significant mental or neurological disorder. Cognitive testing was performed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, a tablet-based tool assessing executive function, working memory, memory function, and psychomotor speed at baseline, weeks 24 and 48, every 48 weeks thereafter, and study end. The primary endpoint was spatial working memory strategy index of executive function (SWMSI). The primary hypothesis was that evolocumab would be noninferior to placebo in the mean change from baseline over time in SWMSI. Fifteen hundred cognitively normal patients completing the assessments provided approximately 97% power to demonstrate that the upper 95% confidence interval for the treatment difference in mean change from baseline in SWMSI over time is <20% of the SD of the mean change in the placebo group. An exploratory analysis will compare neurocognitive function in patients with post-baseline low-density lipoprotein cholesterol <25 mg/dL. EBBINGHAUS will evaluate whether the addition of evolocumab to statin therapy affects cognitive function over time in patients with stable cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Statin, Neuropsychology, Low-density lipoprotein, Atherosclerosis, Psychology, Neurocognitive, Cognition, Cognitive psychology


Silent or subclinical asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (SAF) has currently gained wide interest in the epidemiologic, neurologic, and cardiovascular communities. It is well known that the electrophysiological and mechanical effects of symptomatic and silent atrial fibrillation (AF) are the same. It is probable that because “AF begets AF,” progression from paroxysmal to persistent or permanent AF might be more rapid in patients with long-term unrecognized and untreated SAF, because no treatment is sought by or provided to such patients. Moreover, SAF is common and has significant clinical implications. The clinical consequences of SAF, which include emboli (silent or symptomatic), heart failure, and early mortality, are of paramount importance. Consequently, SAF should be considered in estimating the prevalence of the disease and its impact on morbidity, mortality, and quality of life. Several diagnostic methods of arrhythmia detection utilizing the surface electrocardiogram (ECG), subcutaneous ECG, or intracardiac devices have been utilized to seek meaningful arrhythmic markers of SAF. Whereas a wide range of clinical risk factors of SAF have been validated in the literature, there is an ongoing search for those arrhythmic risk factors that precisely identify and prognosticate outcome events in diverse populations at risk of SAF. Modern diagnostic modalities for the identification of SAF exist, but should be further explored, validated, and tailored to each patient needs. The scientific community should undertake the clinical challenge of identifying and treating SAF.

Concepts: Electrophysiology, Identification, Cardiology, Medical statistics, Heart, Cardiac electrophysiology, Atrial fibrillation, Epidemiology