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Journal: Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology


The purpose of this study was to determine if Optim™, a unique copolymer of silicone and polyurethane, protects Riata ST Optim and Durata implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads (SJM, St Jude Medical Inc., Sylmar, CA, USA) from abrasions that cause lead failure.

Concepts: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Typography, Jude the Apostle, St. Jude Medical, Epistle of Jude


We sought to describe the management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) in Europe after the release of the 2010 AF Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology.METHODS AND RESULTS: The PREFER in AF registry enrolled consecutive patients with AF from January 2012 to January 2013 in 461 centres in seven European countries. Seven thousand two hundred and forty-three evaluable patients were enrolled, aged 71.5 ± 11 years, 60.1% male, CHA2DS2VASc score 3.4 ± 1.8 (mean ± standard deviation). Thirty per cent patients had paroxysmal, 24.0% had persistent, 7.2% had long-standing persistent, and 38.8% had permanent AF. Oral anticoagulation was used in the majority of patients: 4799 patients (66.3%) received a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) as mono-therapy, 720 patients a combination of VKA and antiplatelet agents (9.9%), 442 patients (6.1%) a new oral anticoagulant drugs (NOAC). Antiplatelet agents alone were given to 808 patients (11.2%), no antithrombotic therapy to 474 patients (6.5%). Of 7034 evaluable patients, 5530 (78.6%) patients were adequately rate controlled (mean heart rate 60-100 bpm). Half of the patients (50.7%) received rhythm control therapy by electrical cardioversion (18.1%), pharmacological cardioversion (19.5%), antiarrhythmic drugs (amiodarone 24.1%, flecainide or propafenone 13.5%, sotalol 5.5%, dronedarone 4.0%), and catheter ablation (5.0%).CONCLUSION: The management of AF patients in 2012 has adapted to recent evidence and guideline recommendations. Oral anticoagulant therapy with VKA (majority) or NOACs is given to over 80% of eligible patients, including those at risk for bleeding. Rate is often adequately controlled, and rhythm control therapy is widely used.

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Standard deviation, Anticoagulant, Amiodarone, Cardioversion, Vitamin K, Flecainide


Despite the increasingly high rate of implantation of cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) in elderly patients, data supporting their clinical and cost-effectiveness in this age stratum are ambiguous and contradictory. We comprehensively reviewed the state-of-the-art data regarding the applicability, safety, clinical- and cost-effectiveness of the ICD in elderly patients, and analysed which patients in this age stratum are more likely to get a survival benefit from this therapy. Although peri-procedural risk may be slightly higher in the elderly, this procedure is still relatively safe in this age group. In terms of correcting potentially life-threatening arrhythmias, the effectiveness of ICD therapy is comparable in older and younger individuals. However, the assumption of persistent ICD benefit in the elderly population is questionable, as any advantage of the device on arrhythmic death may be largely attenuated by a higher total non-arrhythmic mortality. While septuagenarians and octogenarians have higher annual all-cause mortality rates, ICD therapy may remain effective in highly selected patients at high risk of arrhythmic death and with minimum comorbidities despite advanced age. ICD intervention among the elderly, as a group, may not be cost-effective, but the procedure may reach cost-effectiveness in those expected to live >5-7 years after implantation. Biological age rather than chronological age per se should be the decisive factor in making a decision on ICD selection for survival benefit.

Concepts: Death, Senescence, Demography, Gerontology, Old age, Ageing, Aging, Retirement


With improved survival of patients with congenital and inherited heart disease, there is now a younger cohort of patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) for the prevention and treatment of ventricular dysrrhythmias. Young women with such disorders often wish to embark on pregnancy, but pregnancy outcome data for this group is sparse. We therefore evaluated pregnancy outcome in patients with heart disease and an ICD in situ.

Concepts: Demography, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, In situ, Ventricular fibrillation


AIMS: Orthodromic atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (ORT) is the most common arrhythmia at electrophysiological study (EPS) in patients with pre-excitation. The purpose of the study was to determine the clinical significance and the electrophysiological characteristics of patients with inducible antidromic tachycardia (ADT).METHODS AND RESULTS: Electrophysiological study was performed in 807 patients with a pre-excitation syndrome in control state and after isoproterenol. Antidromic tachycardia was induced in 63 patients (8%). Clinical and electrophysiological data were compared with those of 744 patients without ADT. Patients with and without ADT were similar in term of age (33 ± 18 vs. 34 ± 17), male gender (68 vs. 61%), clinical presentation with spontaneous atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT) (35 vs. 42%), atrial fibrillation (AF) (3 vs. 3%), syncope (16 vs. 12%). In patients with induced ADT, asymptomatic patients were less frequent (24 vs. 37%; <0.04), spontaneous ADT and spontaneous malignant form more frequent (8 vs. 0.5%; <0.001) (16 vs. 6%; <0.002). Left lateral accessory pathway (AP) location was more frequent (51 vs. 36%; P < 0.022), septal location less frequent (40 vs. 56%; P < 0.01). And 1/1 conduction through AP was more rapid. Orthodromic AVRT induction was as frequent (55.5 vs. 55%), but AF induction (41 vs. 24%; P < 0.002) and electrophysiological malignant form were more frequent (22 vs. 12%; P < 0.02). The follow-up was similar; four deaths and three spontaneous malignant forms occurred in patients without ADT. When population was divided based on age (<20/≥20 years), the older group was less likely to have criteria for malignant form.CONCLUSION: Antidromic tachycardia induction is rare in pre-excitation syndrome and generally is associated with spontaneous or electrophysiological malignant form, but clinical outcome does not differ.

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Supraventricular tachycardia, Atrial flutter, Neurophysiology, Asymptomatic, Tachycardia, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, AV nodal reentrant tachycardia


CHADS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc scores are pivotal in assessing the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation patients, and were recently proved to predict hospitalizations and mortality in specific clinical settings. Aim of this study was to evaluate whether these scores could predict clinical outcomes [first hospitalization for heart failure (HF) and a combined event of HF hospitalization and death for any cause] in patients candidates to cardiac resynchronization therapy and implantable defibrillator (CRT-D).METHODS AND RESULTS: In a retrospective multicentre Italian study, we enrolled 559 consecutive HF patients candidates to CRT-D, and we grouped them in three pre-specified risk classes: low (CHADS2/CHA2DS2-VASc 1-2), moderate (CHADS2/CHA2DS2-VASc 3-4), and high (CHADS2 5-6/CHA2DS2-VASc 5-8). All patients underwent regular follow-up at implanting centres every 6 months; data collection was extended till the 72th month of follow-up. At a median FU of 30 months, 143 patients (25.4%) were hospitalized for HF and 110 (19.5%) died. Event-free survival analysis showed a significant difference according to baseline CHADS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc scores (Log-Rank for HF P < 0.001 for CHADS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc; Log-Rank for combined end-point P = 0.001 for CHADS2, P < 0.001 for CHA2DS2-VASc). At multivariate analysis, independent predictors of endpoints were: previous atrial fibrillation (AF) or AF at implant, NYHA class, QRS duration and the CHA2DS2-VASc score (for HF hospitalization P = 0.013; for the combined event, P = 0.007), while the CHADS2 score was not independently associated with either the end-points.CONCLUSION: In CRT-D patients, pre-implant CHA2DS2-VASc score is an independent predictor of major clinical events at 30-month follow-up.

Concepts: Death, Hospital, Cardiology, Heart, Atrial fibrillation, Fibrillation


The early repolarisation (ER) pattern is associated with arrhythmic death in middle-aged populations. The risk is increased with ER followed by a horizontal ST segment (horizontal-ST ER). ER associated with a rapidly ascending ST segment (ascending-ST ER) has been shown to be benign. The prevalence of ER has not been documented in young adults and its significance in this group is not known. Furthermore, ER is commonly seen in athletes but underlying mechanisms are unclear. We demonstrate the prevalence of ER in a large population of young healthy adults and explore the relationship with physical activity.

Concepts: Biology, Demography, Population, Young adult


CACNA1C mutations have been reported to cause LQTS type 8 (LQT8; Timothy syndrome), which exhibits severe phenotypes, although the frequency of patients with LQT8 exhibiting only QT prolongation is unknown. This study aimed to elucidate the frequency of CACNA1C mutations in patients with long QT syndrome (LQTS), except those with Timothy syndrome and investigate phenotypic variants.METHODS AND RESULTS: CACNA1C gene screening was performed in 278 probands negative for LQTS-related gene mutations. Functional analysis of mutant channels using a whole-cell patch-clamp technique was also performed. Using genetic screening, we identified five novel CACNA1C mutations: P381S, M456I, A582D, R858H, and G1783C in seven (2.5%) unrelated probands. Seven mutation carriers showed alternative clinical phenotypes. Biophysical assay of CACNA1C mutations revealed that the peak calcium currents were significantly larger in R858H mutant channels than those of wild-type (WT). In contrast, A582D mutant channels displayed significantly slower inactivation compared with WT. The two mutant channels exerted different gain-of-function effects on calcium currents.CONCLUSION: In patients with LQTS, the frequency of CACNA1C mutations was higher than reported. Even without typical phenotypes of Timothy syndrome, CACNA1C mutations may cause QT prolongation and/or fatal arrhythmia attacks.

Concepts: Gene, Mutation, Long QT syndrome, Short QT syndrome, QT interval, Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome, Channelopathy, HERG


Atrial electrical remodelling (AER) is a transitional period associated with the progression and long-term maintenance of atrial fibrillation (AF). We aimed to study the progression of AER in individual patients with implantable devices and AF episodes.