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Journal: European journal of heart failure


The coexistence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and heart failure (HF), either with reduced (HFrEF) or preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), is frequent (30-40% of patients) and associated with a higher risk of HF hospitalization, all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality. The most important causes of HF in T2DM are coronary artery disease, arterial hypertension and a direct detrimental effect of T2DM on the myocardium. T2DM is often unrecognized in HF patients, and vice versa, which emphasizes the importance of an active search for both disorders in the clinical practice. There are no specific limitations to HF treatment in T2DM. Subanalyses of trials addressing HF treatment in the general population have shown that all HF therapies are similarly effective regardless of T2DM. Concerning T2DM treatment in HF patients, most guidelines currently recommend metformin as the first-line choice. Sulphonylureas and insulin have been the traditional second- and third-line therapies although their safety in HF is equivocal. Neither glucagon-like preptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, nor dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors reduce the risk for HF hospitalization. Indeed, a DPP4 inhibitor, saxagliptin, has been associated with a higher risk of HF hospitalization. Thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone and rosiglitazone) are contraindicated in patients with (or at risk of) HF. In recent trials, sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, empagliflozin and canagliflozin, have both shown a significant reduction in HF hospitalization in patients with established CV disease or at risk of CV disease. Several ongoing trials should provide an insight into the effectiveness of SGLT2 inhibitors in patients with HFrEF and HFpEF in the absence of T2DM.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Coronary artery disease, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Cardiology, Obesity, Metformin


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


The purpose of this study is to describe disease presentation, co-morbidities, diagnosis and initial therapeutic management of patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) living in countries belonging to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) vs. non-ESC countries.

Concepts: Medicine, Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Heart failure, The Europeans, Peripartum cardiomyopathy


AIMS: N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is an important biomarker in congestive heart failure. This has also been confirmed in congenital heart disease. However, its clinical value in patients with different types of Fontan circulation remains questionable. METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively analysed 124 patients with various types of Fontan surgery between October 2006 and February 2011. We included 49 patients with older Fontan modification [atriopulmonary connection (APC) and atrioventricular connection (AVC)] and 75 patients with total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC). The NT-proBNP levels of patients with APC/AVC were significantly higher than in patients with TCPC (P < 0.001), even after accounting for sex, age, ventricular function, atrioventricular regurgitation, ventricular morphology, and arrhythmia (P = 0.035). Levels of NT-proBNP positively correlated with atrioventricular valve regurgitation (r = 0.29, P = 0.013) and ventricular dysfunction (r = 0.23, P = 0.052) only in patients with TCPC, but not in patients with APC or AVC (r = 0.01, P = 0.509 and r = 0.10, P = 0.493, respectively). CONCLUSION: Levels of NT-pro BNP are related to the type of Fontan circulation. The older types (APC/AVC) that involve more atrial tissue in the systemic venous pathway show higher NT-proBNP levels independently of their cardiac status. Their NT-proBNP levels should be interpreted with care.

Concepts: Blood, Cardiology, Heart failure, Heart, Atrium, Brain natriuretic peptide, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Fontan procedure


AIMS: Recent studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs), besides being potent regulators of gene expression, can additionally serve as circulating biomarkers of disease. The aim of this study is to determine if plasma miRNAs can be used as indicators of disease progression or therapeutic efficacy in hypertension-induced heart disease. METHODS AND RESULTS: In order to define circulating miRNAs that change during hypertension-induced heart failure and that respond to therapeutic treatment, we performed miRNA arrays on plasma RNA from hypertensive rats that show signs of heart failure. Array analysis indicated that approximately one-third of the miRNAs on the array are detectable in plasma. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for a selected panel of miRNAs indicated that circulating levels of miR-16, miR-20b, miR-93, miR-106b, miR-223, and miR-423-5p were significantly increased in response to hypertension-induced heart failure, while this effect was blunted in response to treatment with antimiR-208a as well as an ACE inhibitor. Moreover, treatment with antimiR-208a resulted in a dramatic increase in one miRNA, miR-19b. A time course study indicated that several of these miRNA changes track with disease progression. CONCLUSIONS: Circulating levels of miRNAs are responsive to therapeutic interventions and change during the progression of hypertension-induced heart disease.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Polymerase chain reaction, Molecular biology, Hypertension, RNA, MicroRNA


The vast majority of acute heart failure episodes are characterized by increasing symptoms and signs of congestion with volume overload. The goal of therapy in those patients is the relief of congestion through achieving a state of euvolaemia, mainly through the use of diuretic therapy. The appropriate use of diuretics however remains challenging, especially when worsening renal function, diuretic resistance and electrolyte disturbances occur. This position paper focuses on the use of diuretics in heart failure with congestion. The manuscript addresses frequently encountered challenges, such as (i) evaluation of congestion and clinical euvolaemia, (ii) assessment of diuretic response/resistance in the treatment of acute heart failure, (iii) an approach towards stepped pharmacologic diuretic strategies, based upon diuretic response, and (iv) management of common electrolyte disturbances. Recommendations are made in line with available guidelines, evidence and expert opinion.


Takotsubo syndrome is an acute reversible heart failure syndrome that is increasingly recognized in modern cardiology practice. This Position Statement from the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Association provides a comprehensive review of the various clinical and pathophysiological facets of Takotsubo syndrome, including nomenclature, definition, and diagnosis, primary and secondary clinical subtypes, anatomical variants, triggers, epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, complications, prognosis, clinical investigations, and treatment approaches. Novel structured approaches to diagnosis, risk stratification, and management are presented, with new algorithms to aid decision-making by practising clinicians. These also cover more complex areas (e.g. uncertain diagnosis and delayed presentation) and the management of complex cases with ongoing symptoms after recovery, recurrent episodes, or spontaneous presentation. The unmet needs and future directions for research in this syndrome are also discussed.

Concepts: Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Heart failure, Risk, United States, Avicenna, Medical diagnosis, The Europeans


To investigate whether alterations of myocardial strain and high-sensitive cardiac troponin T (cTnT) could predict future cardiac dysfunction in patients after epirubicin exposure.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Prediction, Futurology, Future, Cardiac muscle, Troponin, Forecasting, Anthracycline


Elevated serum uric acid concentration (SUA) has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but this may be due to unmeasured confounders. We examined the association between SUA and outcomes as well as the effect of sacubitril/valsartan on SUA in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in PARADIGM-HF.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Cardiology, Heart failure, Ejection fraction, Uric acid


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has emerged as a treatment of aortic stenosis in patients at high surgical risk. However, risk stratification in this elderly population is challenging, as patients at extreme risk might not benefit from TAVI. While several clinical criteria have been proposed for estimating the outcome, prediction of individual risk remains difficult. Therefore, our aim was to assess the prognostic value of the biomarker growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15).

Concepts: Statistics, Medical terms, Prediction, Thought experiment