Dr Amit Khera: Welcome to Circulation On The Run. Our weekly podcast summary and backstage pass to the Journal. I'm Dr Amit Khera, associate editor and digital strategies editor from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and I had the distinct privilege of standing in for Dr Carolyn Lam and Greg Hundley this week. Twice a year, we are very fortunate to have some unique podcasts when we don't have circulation issues, and in the past we've met with many fellows in training and heard about some interesting studies that they're doing. Today we have a very special podcast we have not done before, and that is one where we had the opportunity to learn about our Circulation Family of Journals, and more importantly to hear from the dynamic editors in chief of these various journals. I think you're really going to enjoy it, we'll walk through and hear from each one of them, hear about some of the innovative things that are happening, some of the future that they see for their journal in their field, and I really enjoyed it, and I'm sure you will as well. So, without further ado, we'll start with our first editor.
Dr Sunil Rao: I'm Sunil Rao. I'm an intervention cardiologist at Duke, and I'm the Editor-in-Chief for Circulation Cardiovascular Interventions, which is one of the daughter journals of the Circulation Family. We publish articles really related to the broad spectrum of interventional cardiology, from coronary interventions to peripheral arterial disease, and Endovascular interventions to structural heart disease interventions. We also published review articles in all of those areas, as well as any health policy or outcomes studies that are in that space.
Dr Amit Khera: Tell us what are some of the innovative things that your journal is doing this year.
Dr Sunil Rao: We're really excited about two things, one is our extremely successful Assistant Editor program that we launched last year at A.H.A. 2018. This is a program where we have five early career individuals that are within five years of completing their fellowship program who joined the editorial team at Circulation Cardiovascular interventions, and in that role they really learn a lot about the mechanics of how scientific publishing works, they commit to doing manuscript reviews, and receive feedback on improving their peer review process, and even independently handles some manuscripts as well, that are in their areas of interest. This is our way, I think, of encouraging the next generation to stay engaged with science, and with the scientific publishing process. It's been extremely successful. Assistant editors are part of our team for a two year term. So, in 2020, we will be selecting the next class of assistant editors, and after their term is ended, they join our editorial board as editorial board members. So, we're really excited about that, it's been an overall positive experience, for I think everybody involved. The second thing that we're really excited about is that we launched a social media presence for the journal, which it previously did not have. So, we have a very active Circulation Cardiovascular Interventions Twitter handle, I encourage all the listeners to join Twitter if you're not on Twitter, and if you are on Twitter please follow at Cirque intervened. It's " at C.I.R.C.I.N.T.V.". That is the official Twitter handle for our journal. Dave Fishman is our social media editor, and Chadi Alraies is our assistant social media editor, and we're not just tweeting out the articles, and providing summaries when the papers get published, we're holding Twitter journal clubs once a month ,and these have been extremely successful, it's an hour long Twitter journal club where the discussion gets very intense, and there's a lot of back and forth. We try to have the authors on as well, so that they can explain the rationale for their study, some of the challenges that they face when they are doing the study, and hopefully provide some implications for clinical practice, and what the next steps are. That's a way for us to engage our readership, it's almost a form of post publication peer review, which I think is becoming very popular. In addition, remember we don't have a print format of our journals, so this is a way to get the readership more engaged with the Web site, and to come to our website and learn what elsewhere publishing, and how they can get involve with the Journal as well, both as authors who submit their work, or if they want a peer review for us, please contact us and let us know.
Dr Amit Khera: I really love hearing about the Twitter journal club, I know that they are well received, and certainly getting a lot of traction. Tell us about what initiatives or topics you're most excited about this year, and maybe some things that are coming later in the year.
Dr Sunil Rao: We're really excited about the big areas in interventional cardiology, which are coronary physiology, we've published quite a few papers on looking at different physiological parameters, and how they can drive the appropriate use of PCI and how that affects outcomes. I think that's going to continue to be a huge topic over the next year, Certainly such a heart disease has exploded, and with the data on low risk patients undergoing TAVR, and having really good outcomes, we're seeing a lot more submissions in the low risk TAVR space, the other area that's really exploding right now is Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Interventions, one of the areas that I think has seen a tremendous amount of device innovation. So, we're seeing a lot of submissions from really high quality papers in that space, but I think it's also important to note, that unlike previous iterations of the Journal, we're actually having a review article, we're trying to have a review article every month on a major area that is burgeoning, so that the readership can understand the overall lay of the land, with respect to evidence, how that guy's clinical practice, and what's coming next. So, we've published quite a few review articles already, and there are more to come, and I think that's a really important way for the readership to keep current with what's going on in Interventional Cardiology.
Dr Amit Khera: What about the advancing aspects of your subspecialty? There's so much going on in interventional cardiology, it's a bit dizzying, just tell us a little bit about some of the ways that your journal's helping advance that mission, not just now but perhaps in the future.
Dr Sunil Rao: I think one of the challenges that we have at Interventional Cardiology, and maybe this is true across Cardiology, is that the evidence is developed very rapidly, and oftentimes it almost seems like the field is lurching back and forth in certain areas, a prime example of that is the drug coated balloon controversy for Peripheral Interventions. The Journal Of The American Heart Association published a meta-analysis, showing that there may be an association between the use of these devices and increased mortality, that has led to a lot of discussion in the interventional community, and quite frankly I think there's a fair amount of confusion out there about whether we should be using these devices, should we put a moratorium on these devices, is the signal real, if it is, what's the mechanism of death. So, a lot of conversation around that, in fact, it's led to what's going to be a focused FDA meeting in June, specifically on the drug coated balloon controversy. Where I see our journal playing a role is really in trying to, not only publish the latest science, which is rigorous in the field for controversial topics such as this, but also to help provide some context for that science, and I think our integrated strategy of original science review articles, and social media really helps us to communicate with the readership, and with the Interventional Cardiology community writ large, meaning not just physicians, but also Cath lab staff, nurses, noninvasive cardiologists who obviously have patients who are undergoing interventions, and even policymakers, to keep them abreast of what's going on, so that they can have the same level or base of knowledge, so that the conversation is on a level playing field.
Dr Amit Khera: Okay, well you heard it from Dr Sunil Rao. Thank you for your time.
Dr Kiran Musunuru: I'm Kiran Musunuru, I'm the outgoing Editor-in-Chief of Circulation Genomic and Precision Medicine. Let me start by saying a little bit about the content of the journal, it considers all types of articles related to, as the name implies, Genomic and Precision Medicine, and more specifically, Clinical Genetics, the molecular basis of complex cardiovascular disorders, considered at a variety of levels, that can include a lot of different, what we would call Omics Techniques, from Genomics to Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics, Metagenomics, and, so forth. It also deals with big data applications, that includes Electronic Health Record Data, Patient generated data combined with any of the things I've already mentioned, Genome Wide Association Studies, Pharmacogenomics, Gene Therapy, Therapeutic Gene Editing, Systems Biology. So, it's a pretty comprehensive look at all the various topics that would fall under the rubric of Genomic and Precision Medicine.
Dr Amit Khera: Now, Dr Musunuru, you mentioned the outgoing Editor-in-Chief, let's introduce the incoming Editor-in-Chief, Thatcher Christopherson Semsarian.
Dr Chris Semsarian: I'm the incoming Editor-in-Chief. My name is Chris Semsarian, I'm a cardiologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
Dr Amit Khera: What are some of the innovations you and the Journal are doing this year, or, what are some of the things you see coming in the future?
Dr Kiran Musunuru: Something I'm very excited about, is that we are just starting a pilot project with the American Heart Association's Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. The institute has a very nice platform called the Precision Medicine platform, and, in brainstorming last year, we realized there was a very nice opportunity to try to create a new type of journal article. There's also a big move in science nowadays to improve transparency, and rigor, and reproducibility, especially in science. The idea being that ideally other investigators should be able to take one team's work, and be able to run through the entire analytical process, and reproduce the original findings, and perhaps even find ways to improve upon those original findings, and, so we realized working with the institute's Precision Medicine Platform, we had the opportunity to actually make a new type of article, we think of, as the paper of tomorrow, a virtual article. The idea would be, that we would have primary data on the Precision Medicine Platform, the analytical tools used to process the data would also be on the Precision Medicine Platform, the analytical plan, in the form of a so-called Jupiter notebook, that basically takes people step by step through exactly which tools were used in which order, in which way, with which parameters, would be on the Precision Medicine Platform, and then there would be some verbal explanation, some background, to explain the context of these analysis, and to really put it into perspective, as how it fits into the body of literature, and so the idea would be, this would live on the Precision Map Platform in a virtual format, and then anyone else who is interested in this work could come, and actually directly interact with the data, and the tools, and the analytical plan, and could actually rerun the entire papers work from scratch, thus reproducing it, and then could actually tweak the analytical plan, or install tools of their own, and be able to build upon the work that had already been done. It's a very different way of thinking about journal articles, more as living entities rather than static work that just lives on a page, and is there as reported, and then never has an opportunity to be fully produced or improved upon.
Dr Amit Khera: There's so much happening in the space of genomics, and obviously, we hear the word "Precision Medicine" so commonly. Tell us a bit about how your journal in specific is advancing the mission of your area.
Dr Kiran Musunuru: I'll say a little bit, and then maybe turn it over to Chris, give his perspective as the incoming Editor-in-Chief. I think it's a vibrant field, but it's also a very new field, it's evolving rapidly, and I think the Journal has a very important role to play, and not only reporting the results that are coming out of studies in this field, but actually having a role to play in helping to shape the field, helping to define the field, it's very exciting, it's very much in rapid evolution. Just ten years ago or so, when the Journal first started, we were just starting to see the first Genome Wide Association studies, and now we've gone so far beyond that.
Now, again, we're talking about these large bio banks, we're talking about Precision Medicine, we're talking about applying this information in health care, we're talking about combining all of these various streams of data and many levels to be able to do studies, that are, I would even say, exponentially advanced beyond what we able to do just ten years ago, and so, it's very exciting times for the journal, then maybe I can ask Chris to share his thoughts on that.
Dr Chris Semsarian: Yeah Kiran, I mean, it's a great honor system to follow in your amazing footsteps, and what you've done for the Journal, and as the incoming Editor-in-Chief, I really want to sort of try, and build on the platform that you've established over the last few years, and really, one of the areas that I'm particularly interested in is the area of Translation of Genomic Findings. I mean, ultimately what we do in our lives, as clinicians, is to help patients improve diagnosis, to improve the treatment of these patients, and to be able to do studies with very basic understanding of how our genomes work, and how Narcotic Genes interact, and translating those findings into these improved diagnostic approaches, and even in guiding management is really exciting, I think, in terms of clinical medicine, and improving patient care as we look ahead. I really want to be able to continue to publish really, state of the art, novel, innovative, research areas, that you've already covered, Kiran, which would lead to better care of our patients, who are ultimately the beneficiaries of this type of amazing work.
So, I'm really excited looking at the Journal, it's a tremendous area of interest and research, where there's twenty-two thousand genes approximately now genomes, and we really don't understand most of them in terms of their intricate function, and I figured it's a great time ahead, in terms of Precision Medicine.
Dr Amit Khera: Okay, well, that was Dr Kiran Musunuru, and Christopher Semsarian, we appreciate both of your time today for Circulation on the Run.
Dr Paul Wang: I'm Dr Paul Wang, I'm the Editor-in-Chief of Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology. Our Journal covers really the expanse of our field, going from basic mechanisms of arrhythmias, so very basic science work, to really clinical practice, clinical outcomes, to population based studies, and genetic based considerations in our field. So, we really feel we encompass the entire range, and there really isn't any topic within our area, that we don't feel is outside our realm.
Dr Amit Khera: I know there's so many innovative things you're doing, Dr Wang, with your journal. Why don't you tell us a little bit about your plans for this year.
Dr Paul Wang: We've been excited; our team has been at the Journal for two years now, and we focused on a number of different areas. So, I think one of our biggest advances, and we've tried to be more responsive to the authors, so we've really reduced the time to first decision very substantially, from over twenty days, to ten days or less, I think we hit a record of 7.8 days in the journal. So, really, we hope we're more responsive, we've involved the editorial board, we've substantially expanded it, so that more of our reviews of greater proportion going to our editorial board, which is a really fabulous, internationally recognized group, with really high quality reviews, so we've been very pleased, with both a level of science that we've received, as well as the level of the reviews that we have. One other area is, we really want to make sure that the reviewers, who do much of the heavy lifting, in addition to our editors for The Journal, and so we've established a new Reviewer Recognition Award System, they can be designated as silver, gold or platinum, and we've reached out to department chairs, or their deans, and recognizing that they won this prestigious award for their performance, and great work with the Journal, so there are a number of different things that, in fact, we think we've made some advances in, the other areas are really that of extending our reach, and so, one of the things we concentrated on, initially with the adding of podcasts, so we do that monthly.
All the articles are now available in review, and then what we're starting at our new initiatives is, we'll be starting a Twitter Journal Club. I've been recording at least two of our articles, as the interview with the authors, and then we're going to be having a journal club, in which we will have the opportunity for people around the world to comment, and have a discussion that will really be exciting, we think. So, there are a number of other areas that we're thinking about, in terms of that kind of work.
Dr Amit Khera: The field of Electrophysiology seems to be changing by the day, maybe you can tell us a little bit, about how the journal is advancing the mission of the field of electrophysiology.
Dr Paul Wang: So, one of the things that we focused on is the role the Journal can play, in terms of connecting with other elements of our field, and one of the ways that we've really concentrated on is, in particular, working closely with the American Heart Association, and its committees. We're related to a number of committees, but particularly, there is a committee on Electrocardiography, Electrophysiology, part of the Clinical Cardiology Council, and so, we work very closely with that group, and, in fact, we've invited that group to create proposals for a number of review articles, state-of-the-art reviews, that we hope will come out in the next year or so. The ways in which we can tie together our committees to AHA overall, I think, is really the direction we're looking for our journal, and we feel we can play a very novel, and innovative role in that regard. We, for example, also reached out to the American Heart Association funded researchers in our area, and invited them to participate in the journal, participate in our committees, become fellows or FAHA's of the American Heart Association, so we really want to create this family, a real community, and sense of community, that we hope will stem from the Journal. So, we're very excited about the future, and what we might be able to achieve together.
Dr Amit Khera: Thank you so much, Dr Paul Wang for your time today, and we appreciate your insights on Circulation, Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.
Dr Nancy Sweitzer: Hi, I'm Nancy Sweitzer. I'm the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Circulation Heart Failure. At Circ Heart Failure, we deal with all things related to heart failure. Heart failure is an expanding specialty, relatively new subspecialty in cardiology, and we're very interested in the physiology, and mechanisms of heart failure, as well as treatments of heart failure, and the innovative evolution of the specialty which includes Advanced Hemodynamics, Mechanical Circulatory Support, and transplant as therapies, as well as all Implanted Device Therapies, and new, and Innovative Pharmacologic, and Gene Therapies as well.
Dr Amit Khera: Tell us a bit about initiatives, or features in Circulation Heart Failure, that you're planning on tackling not only this year, but into the future.
Dr Nancy Sweitzer: The effort we're most excited about at Circulation Heart Failure has been ongoing now for a little over a year, but continues, and is really focused on the emerging scientists in the Heart Failure Space; we call it our "Featured Emerging Investigator Spotlight", and this spotlight focuses on authors of manuscripts, who are within ten years of their terminal training, and can take full responsibility for the content of a manuscript. When we publish a featured emerging investigator article, which we've done more than half of the months since launching the feature in late 2017, we schedule a Twitter Journal Club with that author, where we participate, over the course of several hours, in pretty intensive conversation, about not only the science, but career development in Heart Failure Space, the importance of mentoring, and sponsorship obstacles that people are facing in development as physician scientists or scientists, and insights they may have into fostering success in the Heart Failure Space. This has been a great feature, we launched it because we feel that the emerging scientists, in the Heart Failure Space, need a virtual community in those critical years, before you have a lot of resources to start traveling, and setting up a network that's based on personal interaction, and we felt that, the modern era of social media was perfect for this. We found our emerging investigators are getting to know one another, they participate in one another's Journal Clubs, the Journal Clubs are incredibly fun, and interactive and we're getting a lot of Twitter engagement from the Heart Failure Community, there's a lot of "Twitteratti" in Heart Failure that really are engaged, and engaged with the Journal, which has really been fun for all of us, I think, so that's the thing we're most excited about.
Dr Amit Khera: It's really wonderful to hear how you're spotlighting authors in creative ways. Tell us a bit about how your journal is advancing the mission of Heart Failure and Transplantation.
Dr Nancy Sweitzer: I see the journal as central to advancement of the subspecialty, as I mentioned earlier, Heart Failure is a relatively young subspecialty in the United States, we received a CGMC designation as a subspecialty just in 2008, just eleven years ago, and it's been a board certifiable subspecialty only since 2014. So, we're very young, and I think really developing into our own. We've seen tremendous growth in the number of people seeking subspecialty training in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, and we are really enjoying helping the Journal evolve with the specialty, as it evolves, and that's happening very actively right now. So, I think what Heart Failure is in 2019 is different than what it was just five years ago in 2014. We're doing a lot more ,as I mentioned, Complex Chemo Dynamic Thinking, thinking about the path of physiology in our patients, and how we can target that effectively, not only with existing therapies, but with strategies, and, as I mentioned, the burgeoning growth of Mechanical Circulatory Support, and support devices, which the field has embraced quite actively, and The Journal is increasingly publishing content in these spaces, as well as the spaces of Advanced Heart Failure, but, I guess also, we're interested in every aspect of Heart Failure, from Complex Multidisciplinary Care Management, to Palliative Care, to the interaction of the heart with other organ systems, and Heart Failure such as the brain, we have a paper on Cognitive Function Abnormalities, and Heart Failure in this month's issue. So, the interaction with the brain, the kidney, the liver, many other organs, that are affected when the heart becomes quite ill with Advanced Heart Disease. So, basically we're interested in everything that touches Heart Failure Development Care, and treatment of patients with Heart Failure, and particularly we're interested in the newest and latest. We love publishing, and some of our highest impact papers in the last couple years have been new therapies, just being tested for the first time in patients with heart failure. Small studies that may not have large impact in terms of heart outcomes, but where we're learning about the pathophysiology of the disease, and new treatments, that's really exciting to us. We've published a couple of methods papers in the last year, really innovative models. One describing a model of pacing in mice, which has been a really challenging thing to do in Heart Failure, but several groups have now developed Tachycardia induced Cardiomyopathy models in mice, which is important for rapid discovery work, because mice have such a short reproductive span, and can be genetically altered, and then a recent publication on the methods paper, looking at a new initiative by the FDA, to potentially approve therapies based on patient reported outcomes, rather than just heart mortality and morbidity outcomes, so we're really excited about the innovations, and the Heart Failure Space, the work that describes where we're going as a field and as a profession. You'll see some features coming up in the journal, from opinion leaders across the globe on where this specialty sits in 2019, and where we, as the leaders in the field, can guide it as we move into our next decade, and I think that some of the most exciting work the journals doing.
Dr Amit Khera: Thank you, Dr Sweitzer. We really appreciate your time today for the podcast, and your insights on the Journal.
Dr Robert Gropler: Good afternoon, I'm Rob Gropler. I'm the Editor-in-Chief of Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging. It's one of the journals within the family of Circulation Journals, and our focus is really on being the most influential source of leading edge imaging sciences, as it relates to transforming cardiovascular care, so what that means is, that we're interested in all imaging studies that are applied to the care of the cardiovascular patient, and although our primary focus is really on clinicians, and researchers, but we also want to expand our viewership, if you will, to anyone who is interested in how imaging is used to understand Cardiovascular Medicine, and to treat patients with Cardiovascular Disease. So, we are edged in all forms of imaging, this can be from MR, to echo, to nuclear, to CPT, to optical imaging, it involves all types of disease, ranging from Congenital Heart Disease, up to diseases in the elderly, it also involves not just it is in humans, but also understanding disease in the preclinical space, particularly as it helps us understand new technologies that may ultimately reach human use, either for investigational purposes, or ultimately, to be used in the treatment of a patient with Cardiovascular Disease.
Dr Amit Khera: What are some innovative things you and the Journal are planning for this year?
Dr Robert Gropler: We're doing quite a few things. One of the first things we did, as you know, were relatively new, where we've only been an editorial team, if you will, for one year. One of the major efforts has been to increase our presence, in terms of digital media strategies, across the board. And so, this meant expand our Twitter presence, if you will. It also meant increasing our offerings in that digital space by, for example, having a journal club, what we would do is on a every other month basis, discuss a paper we published that's of significant interest via Twitter. And it would involve the authors, the associate editors who actually manage that study, as well as the editorialist who wrote about that study, and it leads to very unique insights into how that paper is being viewed by the scientific community at large, and also potentially how that information will be implemented in terms of transforming clinical care.
We've added what we call a teaching file. If you think about imagers, imagers learn by seeing images. And the more they can see images, put them in the context of clinical cases, the more they understand what an image means when they see it. So, what we do now is we accept a large number of what we call imaging cases. These are specific unique cases that have a history, and then a short write up about them.
And those are gathered each month, but then they're downloaded into a file. And then, anyone with access to the Journal can then look at, use to learn from, to potentially use for talks to enhance their own education the education of others. And we have found that to be, again, another offering that our readers particularly like.
Dr Amit Khera: And how do you see Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging advancing the mission of imaging, which seems to be ever-expanding, and ever-growing?
Dr Robert Gropler: We're really in the education business. And what that means is that we're educating at a multi-scale level. Just educating a practitioner on what technology can do, how it's helping cardiovascular medicine, yes, that's important. But what we're also doing, is we're educating the scientists as to here as some of the new findings that were coming out because of imaging. And then that, in turn, will help direct them or signal them as to where is the science leading them, and what should be their next steps?
We're also educating the general public as to what can imaging do, and how does imaging change cardiovascular medicine for the better, and what they can expect from that. And we're also educating the regulatory bodies, if you will, that determine what imaging can be done in the clinical environment and so on, and the importance of these imaging techniques.
So number one, I think we always have to maintain that focus, as to that's our goal. Now, that being said, I think the question becomes how do you convey that concept? And where we have to continually evolve.
And I think they were very smart years ago to make it a digital-only journal, as opposed to combined print and digital. So, I think that was actually very savvy. But the digital net component now has to expand. And that means our offerings have to reflect not just that people learn in different ways, that is, we have to have not just, if you will, a didactic or print equivalent component of a paper. But it also should be audio-based, such as this podcast. But they also need to be varied as in terms of the types of offerings, and their brevity or length, if you will.
Dr Amit Khera: Thank you, Dr Robert Gropler, the Editor-in-Chief of Circulation Imaging. We really appreciate your time today.
Dr Robert Gropler: Thank you very much. You have a great day.
Dr Amit Khera: Well, I'm sure you enjoyed this as I did. We really got incredible insight from the Editors-in-Chief of our Circulation family of journals. We learned so much about the broad array of subspecialties that they cover, and all the exciting and innovative things they're doing to really advance the missions of their fields, and also for the authors and for science.
Well, again, I'm Amit Khera, associate editor from UT Southwestern, Digital Strategies editor for Circulation. And next week, you'll have your usual hosts, Carolyn Lam and Greg Hundley.
Dr Carolyn Lam: This program is copyright American Heart Association 2019.
Dr Gregory Hundley: Welcome everyone to the June 18th edition of Circulation on the Run. I am Dr Greg Hundley, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Pauley Heart Center at VCU Health in Richmond, Virginia.
In today's issue we're deviating from our common format due to some scheduling difficulties. So, rather than our traditional coffee chat in this program I'm going to have a large gulp of coffee and present results from several exciting papers. Then we'll turn over the second half of our program to Dr Carolyn Lam for our feature discussion.
Now, I promise this is a one-time deviation and we will return to our common chat format in early July. But, before I launch into my presentations I did want to introduce what will transpire with Carolyn. She will be discussing an exciting paper from the Adelaide Medical School at the University of Adelaide in Australia.
Some have wondered whether the persistence of a patent arterial venous fistula post-kidney transplant may contribute to ongoing maladaptive cardiovascular remodeling. To address this issue Carolyn will be discussing with authors whether ligation of this AV fistula may reverse this maladaptive remodeling. And like you, I'm excited to listen to that discussion. But before that let me review several of the other distinctive papers on this issue.
The first one is entitled “Individual Treatment Effect Estimation of Two Doses of Dabigatran on Stroke and Major Bleeding in Atrial Fibrillation.” They are the results from the RE-LY trial. The corresponding author is Professor Frank Visseren from the University Medical Center of Utrecht in Utrecht University.
The study emanates from the randomized evaluation of long-term anticoagulation therapy or the RE-LY trial. In which high dose dabigatran, that's 150 milligrams twice daily, was found more effective in prevention of ischemic stroke and systemic embolism than low dose dabigatran which is 110 milligrams twice daily.
But this occurred at that expense of an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeds. Importantly however, the absolute treatment effect of dabigatran in both doses, likely differs between individuals. And therefore, individual treatment effect estimation has the potential to identify patients who have a favorable trade off and absolute benefit and harm from dabigatran compared with no treatment, and to select the optimal dose for each individual patient.
So in this study, the investigative team derived and validated a prediction model for ischemic stroke and systemic embolism and major bleeding in patients with atrial fibrillation from three treatment arms of the RE-LY study. They had 11,955 individuals in the derivation cohort and 6,158 in the validation cohort. And they evaluated the patient characteristics of sex, age, smoking, anti-platelet drugs, prior vascular disease, diabetes, blood pressure, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and hemoglobin.
Dr Gregory Hundley: Well, what were the results? Well the five-year absolute risk reduction, for ischemic stroke and systemic embolus minus the five-year absolute risk increase for major bleeding, when comparing the high to the low dose of dabigatran yielded a net benefit in 46% of patients. And therefore, the authors conclude that the absolute treatment benefits and harms of dabigatran in atrial fibrillation can be estimated based on readily available patient characteristics.
And perhaps down the road such treatment effect estimations can be used for shared decision making before starting dabigatran treatment and to determine its optimal dose of administration. Well, how 'bout that? And let's go on to the second paper entitled “Empagliflozin and the Risk of Heart Failure Hospitalization in Routine Clinical Care: A First Analysis from the Empagliflozin Comparative Effectiveness and Safety, or EMPRISE Study.
And the corresponding author for this study is Elisabetta Patorno from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the Harvard Medical School. So, as a background in a different study to this, the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial showed that Empagliflozin an SGLT2 inhibitor was found to reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure by 35% on top of standard of care in patients with Type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease.
Well, the current study, The Empagliflozin Comparative Effective and Safety or EMPRISE Study was designed to assess empagliflozin's effectiveness, safety, and health care utilization in routine care from the period of time between August of 2014 through September of 2019. And the author's report on the first interim analysis in which they investigated the risk of hospitalization for heart failure among Type 2 diabetic patients initiating empagliflozin vs. sitagliptin.
The investigators used two commercial and one federal Medicare claims data source from the U.S. and identified a one-to-one propensity score matched cohort of 16,443 pairs of Type 2 diabetes patients that were greater than 18 years of age initiating empagliflozin or sitagliptin. The average age of the participants was approximately 59 years.
And almost 54% of the participants were males and approximately 25% had records of existing cardiovascular disease. So compared to sitagliptin the initiation of empagliflozin decreased the hospitalization for heart failure risk by 50% over a mean follow-up of 5.3 months. And the results were consistent in patients with and without baseline cardiovascular disease for both the empagliflozin 10 milligram or 25 milligram daily dose. Or analysis comparing empagliflozin vs. dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor class all comers.
Thus, in conclusion, in this first interim analysis from EMPRISE, the investigative team showed that compared with sitagliptin the initiation of empagliflozin was associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization for heart failure among patients with Type 2 diabetes as treated in routine care with and without a history of cardiovascular disease.
Dr Gregory Hundley: Well, now we're going to turn our attention to red meat. And this next study was entitled, The Consumption of Meat, Fish, Dairy Products, Eggs, and Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease. It's a Perspective study of 7,198 incident cases among 409,885 participants in the Pan European Epic Cohort. And the corresponding author is Professor Timothy Key from The University of Oxford.
Some of the background here, met analysis of previous prospective studies have suggested that intake of processed meat maybe associated with a higher risk of ischemia heart disease whereas, unprocessed red meat might not. For dairy products and eggs, systematic reviews of prospective studies have reported no consistent evidence that higher intakes are associated with a higher risk of ischemic heart disease.
Other studies have shown that fatty fish consumption may reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease, it is a rich source of long chain N3 fatty acids. And meta-analysis has suggested even an inverse association between overall fish consumption and mortality from ischemic heart disease.
So, hear in this cohort: we're going to evaluate all of these. Accordingly Key, and his co-authors report the relationships of these foods with risk of ischemic heart disease in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition, the EPIC study, and that again is a cohort of a half million men and women from nine European countries followed for 12 years to examine the association between the intake of animal foods and the occurrence of ischemic heart disease.
The author's found that higher consumption of red, unprocessed and processed meat was positively associated with the risk of ischemic heart disease. None of the other animal foods examined were positively associated with this risk. And intakes of fatty fish, yogurt, cheese and eggs were modestly, inversely associated with the risk.
In addition, the red and processed meat were associated with plasma non-HDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. And this finding is of interest as possibly these other variables could serve as mediator of the association between red or processed meat and future ischemic heart disease. It is important to note that while these results are of interest to those concerned with the future adverse cardiovascular effects related to the consumption of red meat, one cannot infer causality and other studies would need to be designed to address causal relationships.
The last paper that I'm going to present during the coffee gulp, emanates from the basic science arena. And it is entitled The “Shear-Induced CCN1 Promotion of Atheroprone Endothelial Phenotypes and Arthrosclerosis. And the corresponding author is Dr Fan-E Mo from the National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine.
Dr Gregory Hundley: The matricellular protein CCN1 has been implicated in arthrosclerosis based on its expression in arterial segments with evidence of arthrosclerosis. And this study evaluated the relationship between sheer stress, both laminar and oscillatory at the site of atherosclerotic liaisons and molecular markers of pathophysiologic process involved in the progression of arthrosclerosis.
The authors found that sheer induced CCN1 and its receptor integrin, alpha six, beta one, instigate atheroprone phenotypic changes in endothelial cells via activating NF kappa beta. Because the activation of NF kappa beta further up regulates the expression of CCN1, alpha six, and beta one, atheroprone flow creates a positive feedback to sustain atherogenesis.
In addition, disrupting CCN1, alpha 6 beta one engagement by a specific CCN1 mutation, or by a peptide antagonist unhindered atherogenesis in mice. So what are the clinical implications of these findings? That's something Carolyn would ask me. Well, it appears that CCN1 alpha 6 beta one engagement represents a novel therapeutic target for arthrosclerosis.
These data demonstrate a causative role of CCN1 in atherosclerosis via modulating endothelial phenotypes. And CCN1 binds to its receptor integrin alpha 6 beta one to activate NF kappa beta, thereby instigating a vicious cycle to persistently promote atherogenesis. Perhaps in the future T1 me medics may further be optimized to treat arthrosclerosis.
Well everyone, that concludes the first portion of this June 18 edition of Circulation on the Run and now it's time to move on to Carolyn's discussion of our featured paper.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Cardiovascular disease remains the major cause of death in kidney transplant recipients. And today's featured paper has important implications for the management of this cardiovascular risk following kidney transplantation. I'm so excited to be discussing it, and I'm going to let the corresponding author Dr Toby Coates from Royal Adelaide Hospital tell us all about it, and so happy to also welcome our editorialist Dr Patrick Mark from University of Glasgow.
Toby, could you please tell us what inspired you to do this remarkable study?
Dr Toby Coates: We're very interested in obviously our patients surviving as long as they possible can after kidney transplantation. And we noticed that many of them having had a successful kidney transplant, still had functioning AV fistulas. Now of course the AV fistula, is a connection between the artery and the vein that enabled us to access the circulation after hemodialysis. Which around the world is probably the most, is the most common form of dialysis practice performed.
So many of these patients sustained 20 years down the track after successful transplants still had these very large functioning left to right shunts, on the basis of their dialysis history. So we had a couple of patients who developed quite severe cardiac failure and we noticed that when we ligated the AV fistula, their back got dramatically better.
So, as a consequence of that, we went to look at the ligature and we couldn't find any randomized control trial that told us what the best thing was to do, post-transplant with these fistulas. So we decided that what we would do be use the state of the art cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, or cardiac MRI to assist the cardiac function with myocardium thickness in our patients and then randomize a group of stable transplant patients to ligation or not.
And then follow that up with cardiac MRI six months down the track to see what happened. And so that was the basis of the study that we performed. The first randomized controlled trial of the effect of ligation of the AV fistula on the left ventricular mass, that was the prominent one for trial.
Dr Carolyn Lam: You know, Toby, just to let you know right there, I thought it was so incredibly novel. So I'm a heart failure specialist and we know that shunts are associated with high output cardiac failure, and yet, I personally had never questioned this, so I thought this is incredibly novel and it's important. But please, tell us all about the results.
Dr Toby Coates: We were delighted to say that there was a very significant reduction in the left ventricle mass. In fact, the main decrease was 22.1 grams compared to the control arm in whom the cardiac mass actually went up 1.2 grams. So, then we mobilized the body surface area, the reduction of the left ventricular mass index dropped by 11.8 grams per metered square.
Now, this is quite remarkable for me doing the study because I've never seen an intervention, I've never seen an intervention where every single patient improved with the ligation, every single patient there was an improvement in the cardiac parameters. Never seen anything like it in the pre and post of the ventricular mass it really came down. So that was quite remarkable.
And the second thing that really impressed me at the time, was the improvement in the BMP's, and we measured the brain maturated peptide, and being a methodologist that's clearly something that's of interest to us and we saw a substantial reduction. It's statistically significant reduction in BMP as well.
The patient themselves, some of them recorded quite significant improvement in exercise tolerance afterwards. And we had, as I mentioned before in a couple of patients, not in the study but outside of the study, subsequently when they're presented with profound right heart failure, the ligation of the AV fistula made a huge difference to them symptomatically.
So that was sort of confirming all of the things that we thought along the way. Pleasingly we didn't see any change in kidney function. So, we were concerned that there might have been on the basis of some non-controlled studies in the past, that there might have been a deterioration in the estimated glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR. We didn't see that.
And we didn't see any significant change in the blood pressure either. Which is some of us have previously reported. Closing the fistula itself, is a very trivial procedure. It's usually done as an outpatient, so a day procedure. So it's not resulting in coming to the hospital. And the only complications, really were lots of local redness and some pain, potentially from the fistula where in the ligated.
So, we thought this was remarkable. An outpatient procedure that could significantly reduce the left ventricular mass by 22.1 grams over the six month period that was associated with minimal side effects and complications. And when you think about that, that's sort of equivalent really to taking an anti-hypertensive medication for six months. That magnitude of reduction with ventricular mass which clearly from the patient's point of view is much preferable to adding more medication to an already over-burdened tablet loading in your patients with kidney transplants. So we were very pleased with that result altogether.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Thank you Toby, and we in turn were very pleased to be publishing this in Circulation. Likewise, Patty, if I may, I love your editorial. First, let me tell everybody who's listening out there. Go pick up the editorial and look at the figure. It is so cool. It shows pros and cons of arterial venous fistula ligation in these patients. But could you please share some thoughts Patty? I mean you covered the perspective just so well.
Patrick Marks: I must give the credit to my co-author who actually drew the figure himself. So Chris Eaves rather myself. We were really impressed with the study and we're really delighted to write an editorial for it. It's just one of those studies that I have to say, you know, you kick yourself and you wish you'd done it. With all the world of observational data showing that creation of a fistula appears to be associated with an increase in LV mass obstruction by echo and angio and bicartic MR in smalls studies.
But it's taken a long stat to move from that to actually doing a randomized control of ligating the fistula in people with you know, stable functioning transplants. We were really, really impressed with Toby and his team for undertaking this study. And until we'd gone through the results, they're really very impressive.
The magnitude of reduction LV mass is very impressive and also the changing BMP was really nice to see. One of my comments of the study were, was interesting because as methodologists we are aware of the idea arteriovenous fistula as being the axis for dialysis. And we sometimes feel uncomfortable by ligating this because we know if the transplant was to fail, how much patients need a functioning fistula. And that's the one thing I'm still curious, like and I still offered some comments in the editorial were, that while there's doubt that the cardiovascular benefits demonstrated by Toby's study are really very impressive.
I wondered about the implications out with the study came down the line, you know would there be some of these patients whose kidney transplant function would decline? And there may be regret of losing the access. We mentioned there is some inconvenience, it is an operative procedure to loosen the fistula. So there are some things to think about in the study, but overall, I can't help saying just how impressed I am that they managed to do this trial in a proper randomized, controlled trial form. It's really, really impressive in using the cardiac MR endpoint is it seems quite a secure way of assessing this.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Those are great points, Patty. Toby, any response to that.
Dr Toby Coates: Look it's really very interesting as a transplant pathologist for the last 20 years, one of the biggest, I guess it's a bit of a misconception. When a fistula has been present for 10 or 15 years and still there to come back and try and reuse it for dialysis access after that period of time, in my experience anyway, also very difficult to reuse those fistulas and the surgeons end up having to create a new one anyway.
They frequently become quite aneurismal, they get very large and unsightly and the volume of the shunt is significant and often we find that as an access they don't work as well. So I personally don't have a huge concern about closing them. Now I agree with you, these patients were stable, longstanding and we assessed that the risk is, we need to go back onto hemodialysis was small.
But you are absolutely right, I mean, it is possible that something could have come out of the blue and maybe a patient would be disappointed that that access that they'd had for so many years was no longer available. So that is, the caveat on the study, but thankfully so far out, some of these patients five or six years down the track, we haven't had anybody need to go back on dialysis, so it's been good.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Yeah, it really says to me as well, that patient selection is important exactly like you emphasized, and you, in the editorial Patty. But from a cardiology standpoint, too, are there plans to perhaps do studies with hard, clinical endpoints? What do you think are the next steps? Maybe I'll let Toby go first, then Patty.
Dr Toby Coates: We think now with this study done, the next thing is to have a larger study with significant cardiovascular endpoints. Which I obviously would be cardiac failure and acute coronary events. So the two things that would seem in my mind, and I think that needs to be multi-centered, preferable international if we can.
And one of the really positive things about the highlight from the American Heart Association is that we've had people reach out to us from France and all around the globe saying that they'd be interested in participating, you know in a multi-centered trial. So, I think that's what we need to do, and clearly you don't it’ll have to be a constant endpoint, or not. I'd be interested in Patty's thoughts about that, right if you had some guidelines and some suggestions.
And then obviously would be randomized, controlled trial looking at those hard endpoints with probably some sidearms doing cardiac MRI as well, and potentially more heart functioning tests. So yes, I think this is just the beginning, we do need a hard endpoint trial to really nail this completely.
Patrick Marks: Yeah, I'll just come in there and just come on to that Toby. I completely concur with what you said. I think there's been quite a provocative editorial a few years back, and suggesting that while there's lots of studies in chronic kidney disease, end stage renal disease, kidney transplant patients avoid LV mass, really it hasn't yet been translated into actually leading studies in the integration of LV mass and end stage renal failure haven't really yet translated into mortality benefits.
And I think we need to move to a bigger study. It's really beautiful that you've been able to demonstrate LV mass falls naturally with ligation. And it's impressive that it just happens so consistently across your population in the intervention arm. But we need to move on to a longer trial with hard clinical endpoints. Certainly heart failure, certainly cardiovascular mortality, [be]cause there's plenty of reasons to believe that producing LV mass in these patients might have benefit both for heart failure, whether that's heart failure, heart injection fraction, or whatever, I'll leave that to Carolyn's judgment to help us with that.
But also, if we can reduce LV mass and then we may be able to reduce arrhythmia burden which again is when these things we worry about in end stage renal disease, again, your answer for that is, that in addition to the heart endpoints you should be able to also add in some patient afforded outcomes in a larger study. Or something like an exercise tolerance quota of quality of life.
All this has started has journey from the surrogate endpoint of left ventricular mass into a bigger outcome study and I can't wait to see how you get on with it.
Dr Carolyn Lam: I can't wait either. And I'm sure the audience is sharing all our enthusiasm as well. Thank you so much Toby and Patty. I really learned so much. You heard it right here on Circulation on the Run. Thank you for joining us this week. Don't forget to turn in again next week.
This program is copyright American Heart Association 2019.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Welcome to Circulation on the Run, your weekly podcast summery and backstage pass to the journal and it's editors. We're your co-hosts, I'm Doctor Carolyn Lam, Associate Editor from the National Heart Center and Duke National University of Singapore.
Dr Gregory Hundley: And I'm Doctor Greg Hundley, Associate editor for Circulation and Director of the Pauley Heart Center at VCU of Health in Richmond, Virginia. Well Carolyn, in the second half of our feature we're going to discuss a randomized clinical trial in lower risked surgical patients related to, the five year clinical echocardiographic outcomes from aortic valve intervention. So Carolyn, do you want to go first this time and discuss on of your favorite papers?
Dr Carolyn Lam: Absolutely! So, are Cardiac Troponin T and I equivalent measures of cardiovascular risk in the general population? Well that's the question Doctor Paul Welsh and colleagues from University of Glasgow aimed to look at. They wanted to compare and contrast the associations of Cardiac Troponin T and Cardiac Troponin I with cardiovascular disease and non-cardiovascular disease outcomes, and also determine their genetic determinants in a genome wide association study involving more than nineteen-thousand, five hundred individuals in generation Scotland, Scottish family health study.
Dr Gregory Hundley: How about that. So this is kind of interesting. So most of us kind of use these two chests interchangeably Carolyn, and I think, I guess we'd consider them to be almost equivalent. So are you going to tell us that they are the same?
Dr Carolyn Lam: Ah-hah! So this is what the authors found. Both Cardiac Troponins T and I were strongly associated with cardiovascular risk, however, Cardiac Troponin I but not T was associated with both myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease. Both Cardiac Troponins I and T had strong associations with cardiovascular death and heart failure, however, Cardiac Troponin T, but not I was associated with non-cardiovascular disease death. They also identified five genetic loci in fifty-three individuals snips that had GWAS significant associations with Cardiac Troponin I and a different set of four loci of four snips for Cardiac Troponin T.
So, the upstream genetic causes of low-grade elevations of Cardiac Troponins I and Cardiac Troponin T appear to be distinct and their associations with outcomes also differ. Elevations of Cardiac Troponin I are more strongly associated with some cardiovascular disease outcomes whereas Cardiac Troponin T, is more strongly associated with the risk of non-cardiovascular disease death. These findings can help inform selection of an optimal Troponin essay for future clinical care and research in these settings.
Dr Gregory Hundley: Very good! So, does sound like there could be a little bit of a difference, depending upon what outcome you're looking for. So, Carolyn I'm going to discuss a paper from Doctor Alison Wright and colleagues at the University of Manchester, and it involves cardiovascular risk and risk factor management in type two diabetes.
So in this retrospective cohort study, using the clinical practice research data link, linked to hospital and death records for people in England, investigators identified 79,985 patients with incident type two diabetes, between the years 2006 and 2013, matched to three 386,547 patients without diabetes, and sex-stratified Cox models were used to assess cardiovascular risk.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Oh I'm dying to know, what did they find?
Dr Gregory Hundley: Well compared to women without type two diabetes mellitus, women with type two diabetes mellitus had a higher cardiovascular event risk than the adjusted hazard ratios 1.2, with similar corresponding data in men, so their hazard ratio is 1.1. And that lead to a nonsignificant relative risk in women with a risk ration of 1.07, however, some important sex differences in the management of risk factors were observed. Compared to men with type two diabetes, women with type two diabetes were more likely to be obese, hypertensive, and have hypercholesterolemia but were less likely to be described lipid lowering medication, ace inhibitors, especially if they had cardiovascular disease. So Carolyn, compared to men developing type two diabetes mellitus, women with type two diabetes mellitus do not have a significantly higher relative increase in cardiovascular risk, but, ongoing sex disparities in prescribing should prompt heightened efforts to improve the standard and equity of diabetes care in women as compared to men.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Nice Greg. Important message. My next one has an important message too. Now it goes to the pediatric population now. We know that brain injury, impaired brain growth, and long term neuro development problems are common in children with transposition of the great arteries. Now does the age at arterial switch operation predict these neuro developmental outcomes in infants with transposition of the great arteries or TGA?
Well Doctor Mike Seed from Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada and colleges addressed this question by imaging the brains of 45 infants with TGA, undergoing surgical repair, pre and post operatively using MRI. Their main finding was that surgery beyond two weeks of age is associated with impaired brain growth and slower language development in infants with TGA.
Dr Gregory Hundley: Wow Carolyn, this seems like, this could have really important clinical implications for the management of these patients.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Yeah, indeed. Expediting surgical repair could be neuro protective in newborns with Transposition. While the mechanisms underline this association are still unclear, extended periods of cyanosis and pulmonary over circulation maybe factors that inversely impact brain growth and subsequent neurodevelopment if the surgery's not done early. The timing of surgery may have an impact on neurodevelopment in other forms of congenital heart disease, too, therefore. So all of this is discussed in an editorial entitled Correction of TGA, "Sooner Rather than Later?", and this is by Doctors Rollins and Newburger, from Boston's Children's Hospital.
Dr Gregory Hundley: Fantastic Carolyn, well I'm going to discuss a paper from the World of Basic Science from the Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center from Doctor Douglas Lewandowski. And it involves the preservation of Acyl-CoA and how that attenuates pathological and metabolic cardiac remodeling through selective lipid trafficking. So Carolyn, it has been shown that metabolic remodeling in heart failure contributes to dysfunctional lipid trafficking, and lipotoxicity. Acyl-Coenzyme A Synthase One, or ACLACSL1 facilitates long chain fatty acid uptake an activation with coenzyme A, mediating the fate of the long chain fatty acids. The authors tested wither cardiac Acyl coenzymes A synthase One over-expression aided long chain fatty acid oxidation and reduced lipotoxicity under the pathologic stress of transverse aortic constriction or TAC.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Interesting, I like that concept of metabolic remodeling. So what did they find?
Dr Gregory Hundley: So Carolyn, the studies were performed in both mice and in human subjects, and in mice at 14 weeks, TAC induced cardiac hypertrophy and disfunction was mitigated in MHCACSL1 hearts compared to nontransgenic hearts. This was manifest by retain greater rejection fraction, 65.8 percent versus the nontransgenic hearts of 45.9 percent. An improvement in diastolic E over E prime. Also, functional improvements were mediated by ACSL1 changes to cardiac long chain fatty acid trafficking. In humans, long chain Acyl-CoA was reduced in human failing myocardium and restored to control levels by mechanical unloading.
So, Carolyn, this is the first demonstration on reduced Acyl-Co-A in failing hearts of humans and mice, and suggest possible mechanisms for maintaining mitochondrial oxidative energy metabolism by restoring long chain Acyl-CoA through ASCL1 activation and mechanical unloading.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Awesome Greg! Thanks so much for sharing that paper. Let's go on to our feature discussion.
Dr Gregory Hundley: You bet.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Our feature discussion today is about transcatheter aortic-valve replacement. Could this be the new gold standard for the treatment of aortic stenosis? And yes, I am borrowing from the title of the editorial that accompanies our feature paper. With the editorialists right here with us, Dr Bernard Prendergast, from Saint Thomas' Hospital in London, and we are talking about the wonderful paper for the notion trial and that's a Nordic aortic valve intervention randomized clinical trial, and we're here with the first and corresponding author of that paper Dr Hans Gustav Thyregod from Copenhagen University Hospital, and we also have our associate editor Dr Dharam Kumbhani from UT Southwestern. So welcome gentlemen! And for a start could I ask Hans to please describe the results of the notion trial.
Dr Hans Thyregod: The notion trial as you said is the Nordic aortic valve intervention trial. Designed to compare transcatheter therapy and surgical therapy and patients with severe aortic valve stenosis, patients have to be thirteen years old or older and we didn't really specify any risk profile, as in previous trials. So all patients eligible for both procedures would be enrolled in the trial. And the main result of the trial was that we couldn't find a difference when looking at the composite outcome, which was all-cause mortality, stroke American infraction.
The primary outcome was after one year, in this paper it's up to five years and we could not see any difference. So the range was, in my estimate was 38 percent for transcatheter therapy versus 36.3 percent for surgery. And when looking at the different components of this composite outcome, all-cause mortality, stroke American infraction. We couldn't find any surgically significant difference for any of those outcomes either.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Wow, Bernard, could I ask you to place these results into context for us, I mean the notion trial is after all the first to compare TAVR and SAVR in patients with severe isolated valve stenosis at lower surgical risk, and really has the longest follow-up doesn't it? So please tell us, what are your thoughts?
Dr Bernard Prendergast: So this is yet another notch the remarkable success story of TAVI or TAVR, as you call it in the U.S. We pass our congratulations from the community to Dr Thyregod and the team in Copenhagen for such a ground-breaking study. The wider context is he say is the TAVR have demonstrated remarkable efficacy and safety, initially in operable and high-risk patients, but, more recently randomized control trials in intermediates and lower risk patients. And the important perspective of this study provides is the longer term follow up, because for a number of years we've perhaps considered TAVI or TAVR as a, let’s say a shorter-term treatment for patients in their eighty's and older, who perhaps have a shorter life expectancy. But what the five-year data demonstrates to us is that TAVI or TAVR is as good as surgery, at five years of follow up. With very reassuring outcomes, they maintain durability of the transcatheter heart valve, that's highlighted in the companion paper, which, is published very recently in JACC.
So really takes TAVI into a new territory, which is patients who have at least five years or longer to live and allows us to extend the indication for the procedure into younger patients. Alongside lower risk patients, who have supported by the recent landmark studies published in the New England Journal from Partner Three, and the Core Valve Low Risk trial. So, the information is very reassuring and it's another very positive notch in the journey of TAVI across the spectrum of surgical risk.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Thank you! Beautifully put and Dharam could I just ask you I mean what more do we need? Do you think this is guideline defining stuff now? Or do you have questions?
Dr Dharam Kumbhani: I really want to congratulate the investigators of the NOTION trial, as far as providing us with this longer term follow up in a lower risk population, and so, you know the field is moving incredibly, incredibly quickly and you know as we just mentioned TAVR has now gone from being something that's done in patients that are too high risk to level convention surgery, to now perhaps becoming either one of the main stream options, or the main stream option. And you know time will tell, so I think what this study really helps us is, provide us with a five-year time horizon on follow up, but, to be fair, you know this trial is very helpful in certain ways because it was designed a few years ago. You know it was done with the generation of a valve that is not used much right now for the most part, and you know so it's some of the things like pacemaker et cetera, may not translate to current practice.
Even though the clinical outcomes were similar, it's probably some issues with power as well, but, again not in a clinical way, but, just to kind of say that this trial definitely helps us in moving the field forward and it kind of adds to the growing body of literature that supports that. Going forward I guess one question I would have for this group is, you know as we think about TAVR and surgical aortic replacement, it would seem that we would need even longer term data, based off of detonators to be able to confidently tell patients, there are fairly similar therapies.
And then the other question is, this construct of surgical risk is that we applied telegraphically based on how the evolution of TAVR has occurred, but one wonder, you know with NOTION and other trials we should be thinking about this perhaps from an age perspective as a sort of NOTION trial—those would be my two comments.
Dr Bernard Prendergast: I think that's a very valuable comment, and of course there are other ongoing trials, which, will help to address many of these questions. One important deficit of notion is that it didn't enroll, for example, patients with bicuspid aortic valves. And we know that bicuspid aortic stenosis is far more common in younger patients. So, Hans a few comments regarding the protocol for notion two maybe helpful for our listeners.
Dr Hans Thyregod: Well this was mentioned, the follow up of five years is obviously not a very long time in younger patients with a lower risk profile. We are planning to follow these patients for at least 10 years. And the other comment about the risk profile of the risk certification of patients is also very interesting because the SDS and your scores have been developed for surgical patients and not for transcatheter patients. So we need a whole new transcatheter risk scoring system to help our team determining what treatment would be the best suited for each patient.
And as Dr Prendergast mentioned we are in Copenhagen, and Scandinavia conducting a NOTION II trial, which, will enroll patients younger than the previous low risk trials and also the notion trial. Which, at a mean age, at least for the patient of around 80 years and in notion two patients must be younger than 75 years old. And we are also including patients with bicuspid valve stenosis, and also patients which were not included in the NOTION I trial. Patients with a coronary artery disease, so these patients are obviously also a different patient category and will maybe require a different approach regarding the timing of the revascularization and so forth so there is more research to be done in those areas.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Well exciting. Thank you for sharing that Hans. Dharam could I ask you to just wrap us up with the take home message, it's for our audience right now.
Dr Dharam Kumbhani: For me one of the most interesting findings was that in five years, the clinical performance between TAVR and SAVR were similar, but, more importantly the valve performance, the hemodynamic performance was the same, and perhaps slightly better with the self-expanding design. They are so proud of the self-expanding design that was studied in the study. So that is helpful because as we discussed earlier, I think a lot of the controversy discussions centers around the long-term durability of TAVR compared with surgically aortic valve replacement, so that is a step in the right direction. The same investigators have published that hemodynamic performance elsewhere as well, sot that's I think the number one take home message that, that's very, very reassuring. The second thing is you know this study shows us it adds to the growing body of literature, in lower risk patients so all of this was not strictly a lower risk trial based on contemporary definition.
It was definitely a lower risk population and so, this is the largest pool of patients where they aortic stenosis about 50 percent will have low risk aortic stenosis, low surgical risk aortic stenosis and so this is very helpful in that space and then third you know that this is very exciting that NOTION investigators indeed are the low risk trial investigators, will be extending their follow up with 10 years. So I think in this next decade, most people expect as Dr Prendergast also mentioned, we'll see a gradual change perhaps in how patients with aortic stenosis manage. But, I will add a word of caution, I think in the current era, the way things stand right now, it's probably best in favor to appeal to what the guideline indicates. And for the low risk patients, surgical aorta valve replacement is still the center of choice.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Thank you so much Dharam and thank you Hans for the beautiful paper, and Bernard for that excellent editorial!
Thank you audience for joining us today, you've been listening to Circulation on the Run. Don't forget to tune in again next week.
This program is copyright American Heart Association 2019.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Welcome to Circulation on the Run, your weekly podcast summary and backstage pass to the journal and its editors. We're your co-hosts. I'm Dr Carolyn Lam, Associate Editor from the National Heart Center and Duke National University of Singapore.
Dr Greg Hundley: I'm Greg Hundley, Associate Editor for Circulation and Director of the Pauley Heart Center in Richmond, Virginia at VCU Health.
Dr Carolyn Lam: So Greg, ever wondered if prophylactic use of ICDs would help prevent sudden cardiac death in dialysis patients? Well, guess what? We're going to be discussing it in the feature discussion of the ICD II trial coming right up. First, I hear you've got a very interesting probabilistic paper.
Dr Greg Hundley: Yes. It's very sweet. This is from Renata Micha at Tusk University and it's examining the cost effectiveness of the US Food and Drug Administration added sugar labeling policy for improving diet and health. So Carolyn, in this study, investigators used a validated micro simulation US impact food policy model to estimate cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes mellitus cases averted, quality adjusted life years, policy costs, health care, informal care, and loss productivity in health related savings and cost effectiveness of two different policy scenarios.
First, the implementation of the US Food and Drug Administration added to your labeling policy or just the sugar label. And second, further accounting for corresponding industry reformulation the sugar label plus reformulation. The models used nationally represented demographic and dietary intake data from the national health and nutrition examinations survey and diseased data from the centers for disease control and preventive wonder data base and policy affects in diet disease effects from meta-analysis and policy and health related costs from established sources. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis accounted for model parameter uncertainties and population heterogeneity.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Sweet indeed, so tell us all about probabilistic analysis Greg.
Dr Greg Hundley: Okay Carolyn, so between 2018 and then forecasting out into the future, so this is probabilistic, in the year 2037. The sugar label would prevent 354,400 cardiovascular disease cases, and 599,300 diabetes mellitus cases, gain 727,000 quality adjusted life years, and save 31 Billion dollars in net health care costs. Or 61.9 Billion dollars in societal costs incorporating reduce loss productivity and informal care costs and similar findings were accomplished for the sugar label plus reformulation scenario, both scenarios were estimated with greater than 80% probability to be cost saving by the year 2023.
Thus, the results of this simulation exercises indicated that implementing the FDAs added sugar labeling policy could generate substantial health gains and cost savings for the US population particularly if the new label stimulates industry reformulation. The authors point out that the compliance date for updating the nutrition facts label including the added sugar perversion has been continuously delayed. And the authors believe, their findings highlight the need for timely implementation of this label so as to maximize health and economic gains.
An excellent editorial was written by Elizabeth Magnuson at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute revealing the strengths of this work and explains some of the variants that could occur in the results based on assumptions that were used in the authors micro simulation model.
Dr Carolyn Lam: That is so interesting Greg, thanks. So from policy to guidelines and this time on cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, now we know that an out of hospital cardiac arrest, chest compression only CPR has emerged as an alternative to the standard CPR where we use both chest compressions and rescue breathes. Since 2010, CPR guidelines recommend chest compression only CPR for both untrained bystanders and trained bystanders who are unwilling to preform rescue breaths.
The current study really aimed to describe the changes in the rate and type of CPR perform before the arrival of emergency medical services doing three consecutive guideline periods with gradual adoption of compression only CPR and this was in Sweden. Now these were authors led by Dr Hollenberg from The Center of Resuscitation Science, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and colleagues and basically, they study all bystander witness out of hospital cardiac arrest reported in the Swedish register for CPR from 2000 to 2017. They found that there was a six fold higher proportion of patients receiving compression only CPR and a concomitant almost double rate of CPR before emergency medical services arrival, and these changes occurred over time. Any type of CPR was associated with doubled survival rates in comparison with cases not receiving CPR, and this association was observed in all time periods studied. They also found a small but significantly higher chance of survival after CPR with compression and ventilation in comparison with compression only CPR.
Dr Greg Hundley: So Carolyn, does this mean we should go back to standard CPR?
Dr Carolyn Lam: Well, remember these we observational findings, albeit really amazingly done and nationwide. But the findings really support continuous endorsement of the compression only CPR as an option and that's because its associated with higher CPR rates and overall survival of the no CPR skill. The authors ended up calling for randomized controlled trials, which are really needed to answer the question of whether or not CPR with compression and ventilation is superior to compression only CPR, especially in cases where bystanders have had the previous CPR training. Now, this is discussion in a wonderful editorial by Drs. Hsu and Neumar from University of Michigan Medical School.
Dr Greg Hundley: Very nice, so you're going to tell us a little bit about troponin?
Dr Carolyn Lam: Well, the question is "Is Plasma Troponin I measured by the high sensitivity assay associated with incident cardiovascular disease in the community?" Well, Dr Ballantyne from Baylor College of Medicine and colleagues decided to answer this question by looking at the ARIC Study participants age 54 to 74 years without base line cardiovascular disease and what they found was that elevated high sensitivity troponin I was strongly associated with increased global cardiovascular disease incidents in this general population, and this was independent of traditional risk factors. They also found differences between black and white individuals and between men and women.
Dr Greg Hundley: What kind of differences?
Dr Carolyn Lam: Well high sensitivity troponin I had a stronger association with incident global cardiovascular disease events in white compares to black individuals and a stronger association with incident coronary heart disease in women than in men. The authors also did a comparative association of high sensitivity troponin I vs. troponin T, they found that the high sensitivity troponins I and T show only moderate correlation with each other but were complementary rather than redundant in risk assessment for incident cardiovascular events in individuals without known clinical cardiovascular disease at base line. The bottom line is, adding biomarkers to traditional risk prediction models presents a potentially effective approach for future risk prediction algorithms for cardiovascular disease in the general community.
Dr Greg Hundley: You know, think I might read that paper looking at that complimentary risk assessment. That sounds really interesting Carolyn. Well, I'm going to go back to the world of basic science and discuss a paper from Kun Wang discussing the long non encoding RNA regulation of cardiomyocyte proliferation and cardiac repair. Carolyn, post mitotic cardiomyocytes in the adult heart exit from the cell cycle and cease to proliferate, and that's the basis for their poor regenerative capacity and defective repair in response to say a myocardial infraction. Interestingly, the nonmammalian vertebrates such as our friend the zebra fish, their heart exhibits a robust capacity for regeneration. And it can efficiently regenerate its lost cardiac tissue throughout life due to this retain cardiomyocyte proliferation capability.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Interesting indeed Greg about our friend the zebra fish. So what did the authors find?
Dr Greg Hundley: Okay, in this study, Wang and associates investigated whether long non-encoding RNAs had a role in the regulation of cardiomyocyte proliferation and cardiac repair. Using bioinformatics and initial analysis, the identified a long coding RNA named Cardiomyocyte Proliferation Regulator or CPR that was comparatively higher in the adult heart as opposed to hearts in the fetal stage. The silencing of the Cardiomyocyte Proliferation Regulator or CPR significantly increased the cardiomyocyte proliferation in the postnatal in adult hearts, more over CPR deletion restored the heart function after myocardial injury which was evident from increased cardiomyocyte proliferation, improvement of myocardial function and reduce scar formation. Also, neonatal cardiomyocyte proliferation in cardiac regeneration where markedly suppressed in CPR overexpressing heart cells, therefore CPR acts as a negative regulator of cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration in fetal hearts.
So, Carolyn the conclusion of this paper is that the inactivation or silencing of CPR accelerates cardiomyocyte proliferation along with significant restoration of cardiac structure and function after myocardial injury in adult hearts. And as such, further studies may investigate whether the therapeutic inter fashion of CPR could be a useful strategy to trigger the expansion of cardiomyocyte populations and myocardial repair.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Nice Greg, so we've talked about CPR as in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation to CPR as in Cardiomyocyte Proliferation Regulator, how about that? Well, that's as much as we go for now, let’s get to our feature discussion.
Dialysis patients are known to have a high mortality rate, a large proportion of which have been attributed to sudden cardiac death and yet compared to patients with heart failure, these patients with dialysis have been either excluded or only nominally enrolled in all previous trials of implantable defibrillators or ICDs. Now that's why our feature paper this week is so important, and it is the Cardioverter-Defibrillator in the prevention of sudden cardiac death in dialysis patients that prospective randomized controlled ICD to trial. So pleased to have with us, the corresponding author Dr Wouter Jukema from Leiden University Medical Center as well as associate editor Dr Mark Link from UT South Western to discuss this very important paper. Wouter, congratulations, this is a very difficult, very important to do the study though, could you tell us a bit about what you did and what you found?
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: Actually, you just referred to it as a very difficult study to perform and indeed it was. Many years ago, actually, twelve years ago, we noticed that now a lot of death in dialysis patients was attributed to sudden cardiac death, before we tried to make these type of patients better with all types of medications, but did not really work and suddenly the idea was, that came also from death certificates and death records that they have sudden cardiac death and we said we should monitor it and we should treat it in a prospective randomized study. We initiated the study after careful thoughts and we thought we would do it in 4-6 years but it took us 12. So it was quite an effort to set up this rightly and spread it around the Netherlands and activate a Nephrologist and a Cardiologist to take part in this prospective randomized controlled study in dialysis patients.
Of course, you can easily imagine that you could have great benefit from this ICD devise, but you could also easily imagine that you would have complications of the implication of the device. So explaining that we should show it out, I think was the most important job we had to do and think that was a great effort, and it was not easy to do.
Dr Carolyn Lam: And that in it of itself is very important observation.
Dr Mark Link: So you picked patients without doubts, which is great I mean this is a difficult study, but you also picked with an LDF greater than 35% and traditionally, ICDs are indicated for under 35%, can you give us a little explanation on why you chose the greater than 35% population?
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: Yeah, I think this is perhaps the most important remark on the study, because when we designed the study we had to choose at that time we had guidelines in general that under 35% of injection fraction you were entitled to receive an ICD, however of course almost never dialysis patients were included so there was no formal recommendation on that not to include them or not to exclude them, but dialysis patients have a death rate at that time to sudden cardiac death, anyway regardless of the injection fraction and we thought okay, the patient population that is first at high risk of sudden cardiac deaths so any dialysis patients but also they are entitled to have a meaningful extension of the lives because the prognosis of patients that are on dialysis with an injection fraction under 35% is in general so poor that it would be unfair to start there and most of the Nephrologists also would not allow it anyway, these patients are at the end of life and if you extended for two or three months its useless.
Anyway, so we thought we'd pick the high-risk population and we prove that there were still on high risk but when we could do something meaningful to extend their lives, so we thought we do not pick the worst patients we pick the patients that we think we can really help. We screened them well, we treated them well and we see if an ICD on the patient will benefit them. And that's why we picked the over 35% rage. You need another study to do below 35%, but I don't think that our results are substantiating such an effort.
Dr Mark Link: The population with EFs was 6-50%, which also has a high risk of sudden death in patients with dialysis but it’s still not looking with the population of less than 35%.
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: No, I completely agree, and we acknowledge that in the manuscript, it was always in the manuscript within the revision that was also pointed out to us that it should be more clearly acknowledged, why we choose this patient population and finally, we can of course not make a formal recommendation on dialysis patients with an injection fraction of less than 35%. You can extrapolate data but we have no formal prof of course for this type of population. I fully agree.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Before we go further, could you first describe, what did you find?
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: Basically, the conclusions are the prophylactic ICD therapy in patients on chronic dialysis with an injection fraction of 35% or higher was not associated with a reduced rate of sudden cardiac death nor of all cause of mortality and besides that the preference of sudden cardiac death in this type of patients on dialysis was actually significantly lower compared to its reports from literature, so that's what we very often see of course if you fill out a death certificate, you have to fill out a cause of death and of course in many patients the heart stops, and you say it's a sudden cardiac death. But that's not what this study actually showed and finally it's also no authority that this population was not too healthy to see any benefit, if you look at the results over the years, then you'll see that after five or six years more than half of the patients are dead anyway, but due to all kind of causes and not to a sudden cardiac death.
So, I think that this is from a pathophysiological background, this is also a very interesting study because we now have finally data, real data on sudden cardiac deaths in these types of patients.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Indeed, and Mark, I know that you invited the editorial from Rod Passman, just discussing why did we see the results that we did. Not quite what we expected I suppose, what do you think Mark?
Dr Mark Link: First, I want to congratulate Dr Jukema for finishing this study, this was a massive task and a difficult and long one. I think I was surprised, there has been reported to be a very high rate of sudden death in dialysis patients regardless of their LDF. The ICD is very good at preventing sudden deaths, but not good at preventing other types of deaths, so I would extrapolate to say, well you can prevent sudden death in dialysis patients, you should prolong their life and this study did not show that at all. And I was surprised, and it just goes to what Dr Jukema was telling us, that what's reported on a death certificate as sudden death is not necessarily sudden death and could be other types of death and at the end all death is sudden.
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: I fully agree with that remark because that makes is cumbersome to have the right interpretation of the data, so you have to feel like something and then finally your heart stops.
Dr Carolyn Lam: What seems that most of the reasoning seems to be maybe a lower rate of sudden cardiac death than we expected, but there were also other factors that were considered, for example, if you could clarify by dialysis did you mean both hemodialysis as well as peritoneal dialysis, do you think that made a difference? For example, do you think ICDs work differently in presence of uremic precipitant of arrhythmias vs. not and so on, what do you have to say about those factors?
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: We include on purpose both types of patients, the peritoneal dialysis and the hemodialysis patients because you could easily in-visit that there could be a difference, for instance to fluid or electrolyte sheaths that are more sudden in the hemodialysis patients than in peritoneal dialysis and we did a sub-analysis where we looked at both types, but the results are essentially the same, it doesn't seem to matter a great deal of what type of dialysis you have, the amount of sudden cardiac is lowered and expected. By the way occasionally, of course the ICD did work in sudden cardiac death, was aborted. So, it’s not that the apparatus doesn't function it does, it takes it properly and if functions properly. But finally, it doesn't prolong the life and you will die of something else, mostly infections in general well-being when finally, the nephrologist will say this is end of life you have to stop the dialysis procedures anyway.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Right, great points, now in the last few minutes, I'm dying to ask, what do you think of the next steps from here. Mark, what do you think first? And then perhaps I'll give the last word to Wouter?
Dr Mark Link: I'll start with a question to Wouter myself, the question is what are we going to do now with the individuals on dialysis that are under 35%? I think this study has pretty clearly said that were not going to extend our CDs to people on dialysis with greater than 35%. But we still have a population that currently fits indication for a ICD if their expected longevity is greater than a year. And currently those people are included in the guidelines for ICDs, I think this study gives us some pause about what to do with our population. And many of that population are getting our CDs and I'd be curious to what Dr Jukema thinks about that population and whether that population warrants some randomized trial or whether we should continue with our current guidelines that recommend implantation of an ICD in any individual less than 35%, as long as their expected life span is greater than a year.
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: I think these are excellent questions with excellent remarks, of course, finally, we do not know because we didn't investigate it, I can only imagine the difficulties we would have if we were to do a new additional trial with injection fractions patients less than 35%. I could tell you we had great great difficulty in persuading Nephrologists to take part in the study, because many of them were very reluctant, this is their principal, these are very ill patients, and a lot of them are more or less going towards the end of their lives so you cannot do this when we have Nephrologists telling us that they considered it an unethical study. A lot of them did not want to participate they said, "You shouldn't do this to this patient, they have troubles enough, they suffer from infections and all kinds of things."
Having said this, I do not advocate that you should never implant an ICD in a dialysis patient, I think in our study we also clearly show that in dialysis patients, implantation of an ICD is feasible within acceptable although better complication risk and infection risk, so if you have a patient on dialysis where you feel this patient has a good life expectancy, for instance, he already suffers an episode of arrhythmia, I think you are entitled to discuss this with the patient and have it a try, it might work and prolong their life. So I would not say never do it, I think our studies show that you can do it, yes, it sometimes works but do not expect too much of it. You will never hear me say that in general you should not do it, if you have a clear indication for it you may do it, secondary effect may require a good reason, but primary prophylactic indication, that's a difficult one I think and to do this study in patients that are even more ill, with injection fraction of less than 35%, I feel will be exceeding the difficult.
Dr Mark Link: One other comment I have is the issue of the SUBCU ICD I think changes the equation in a bit because the risk of infection is much lower with a SUBCU IDC in patients on dialysis, did you have any SUBCU ICDs in your study or was it all transvenous?
Dr J. Wouter Jukema: We don't have any data, when we designed and the developed study, the such a device was not even there so we couldn't do that, and during the study we did not adapt that but of course there is also no formal proof yet that it's a lot safer, a lot better, and once again this time of subcutaneous ICD I think you can do it at an acceptable complication rate. But it’s not effective enough, it's not that the patients were dying from infections of their ICD, they were dying of all kinds of infections and malignancies. Infections due to the ICD were facing procedures, real complications were rare.
Dr Carolyn Lam: Great! Thank you Wouter, thank you Mark, what an important study and what a lot of lessons that we learned here.
Thank you very much audience for listening as well, you've been listening to Circulation on the Run, don't forget to tune in again next week.
This program is copyright American Heart Association 2019