American Heart Association

Not necessary to adjust NT-proBNP thresholds for HFrEF patients with atrial fibrillation

Contributor: Chris Sobowale

Heart failure patients with HFrEF and atrial fibrillation (HFrEF-AF) have higher NT-proBNP than HFrEF patients without atrial fibrillation (AF). This is thought to be a consequence of AF and not necessarily correlated with deleterious clinical outcomes.

HF clinical trials have stipulated different inclusion NT-proBNP levels for patients with HFrEF-AF. It turns out, a defined higher NT-proBNP level for patients with HFpEF-AF may not be necessary.

Outcomes in Chagasic heart failure worse than other HFrEF subtypes

Contributor: Elise Vo

A young Latin American female patient walks into clinic with signs and symptoms of HF, a right bundle branch block on 12-lead EKG, and reduced EF on echo. She has Chagas disease and HFrEF, but what is her prognosis?

Despite its high prevalence in South America, reports of morbidity and mortality of this disease have been variant. Using post-hoc analysis, McMurray et al evaluated outcomes in 2552 Latin American patients from the PARADIGM-HF and ATMOSPHERE trials where 195 (7.6%) had Chagasic HFrEF. The authors discovered that despite younger age and fewer comorbidities, the Chagasic HFrEF cohort had higher CV death and hospitalization when compared to ischemic and non-ischemic groups. Chagasic HFrEF patients had worse quality of life compared to the non-ischemic group, measured using the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ).

Hemodynamic measurements using QRS gating may more accurately classify pulmonary hypertension in heart transplant candidates

Contributor: Elise Vo

We’re talking Group 2 PAH here.  Diastolic pressure difference (DPD) [diastolic pulmonary artery pressure (dPAP) minus pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP)] identifies isolated post capillary pulmonary hypertension (Ipc-PH) (DPD ≤ 7 mmHg) in group 2 patients.  A diastolic pressure difference of > 7 mmHg defines combined pre-post capillary pulmonary hypertension (Cpc-PH)). Prior to heart transplantation, classification of pulmonary hypertension as Ipc-PH or Cpc-PH is important. Unlike Ipc-PH, Cpc-PH is associated with increased morbidity and mortality related to right ventricular graft failure post heart transplant. Even in the hands of seasoned invasive hemodynamic practitioners, measurement of DPD may not be as straightforward as it seems. Those tracings move, and these pressure differences are small!

Sacubitril/Valsartan improves quality of life in patients with HFrEF

Contributor: Nicholas Hawkes

Quality not quantity. Why not both? It is established that sacubitril/valsartan is superior to enalapril (or dose-equivalent ACE-I) when it comes to mortality and morbidity in HFrEF. But what about quality of life (QoL)? Patients enrolled in PARADIGM-HF had increased quality of life when randomized to sacubitril/valsartan.

Progenitor cells are decreased in heart failure and specific to HF type

Contributor: Mat Bull

Do progenitor cells matter for patients with HF? First, what is a progenitor cell? A progenitor cell is a stem cell that has potential to differentiate into multiple different cell types. Progenitor cells are classified by cluster of differentiation surface markers, which act as receptors and ligands to their target tissue. CD34+ progenitor cells have been shown to play a role in vascular and myocardial regeneration and in this article are shown to be an important biomarker in heart failure.