[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heart failure is a clinical syndrome that manifests from various cardiac and noncardiac abnormalities. Accordingly, rapid and readily accessible methods for diagnosis and risk stratification are invaluable for providing clinical care, deciding allocation of scare resources, and designing selection criteria for clinical trials. Natriuretic peptides represent one of the most important diagnostic and prognostic tools available for the care of heart failure patients. Natriuretic peptide testing has the distinct advantage of objectivity, reproducibility, and widespread availability.The concept of tailoring heart failure management to achieve a target value of natriuretic peptides has been tested in various clinical trials and may be considered as an effective method for longitudinal biomonitoring and guiding escalation of heart failure therapies with overall favorable results.Although heart failure trials support efficacy and safety of natriuretic peptide-guided therapy as compared with usual care, the relationship between natriuretic peptide trajectory and clinical benefit has not been uniform across the trials, and certain subgroups have not shown robust benefit. Furthermore, the precise natriuretic peptide value ranges and time intervals of testing are still under investigation. If natriuretic peptides fail to decrease following intensification of therapy, further work is needed to clarify the optimal pharmacologic approach. Despite decreasing natriuretic peptide levels, some patients may present with other high-risk features (e.g. elevated troponin). A multimarker panel investigating multiple pathological processes will likely be an optimal alternative, but this will require prospective validation.Future research will be needed to clarify the type and magnitude of the target natriuretic peptide therapeutic response, as well as the duration of natriuretic peptide-guided therapy in heart failure patients.
Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 11/2015; DOI:10.2459/JCM.0000000000000392 · 1.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The association between natriuretic peptides and clinical outcome in asymptomatic hypertensive and diabetic patients with no clinical evidence of heart failure (HF) is still unclear. We assessed the prognostic value of NT-pro BNP, and its interactions with age and gender, in a cohort of asymptomatic, stage A/B HF hypertensive and diabetic patients enrolled in primary care.
NT-proBNP was measured in 1012 asymptomatic subjects with systemic hypertension and/or type-2 diabetes (age 66.6 ± 7.8 years, 48 % males) with no clinical evidence of HF. Patients were prospectively followed over 49.8 ± 6.7 months for the development of cardiac death, HF hospitalization, and nonfatal myocardial infarction.
Patients with NT-proBNP above the 80th age- and gender-specific percentile showed a threefold risk of events as compared to those with NT-proBNP under this cut-off [hazard ratio 3.2 (2.6-8.3), p < 0.0001]. In multivariable analysis, NT-proBNP added independent and incremental prognostic information to a predictive model including established risk factors (p < 0.0001). After stratification by age, increased NT-proBNP predicted outcome among patients in the second and third age tertiles, but not among those in the first tertile. Increased NT-proBNP was associated with a 3.6-fold risk in women and a 2.9-fold risk in men. Addition of the gender-NT-proBNP interaction to prognostic models further improved prediction of events (p = 0.014).
NT-proBNP measurement adds independent and incremental information for the prediction of clinical outcome in asymptomatic, stage A-B HF hypertensive and diabetic patients taken from primary care. This prognostic value might be further evident in the elderly and among women.
Clinical Research in Cardiology 11/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00392-015-0937-x · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance:
Worsening chronic heart failure (HF) is a major public health problem.
To determine the optimal dose and tolerability of vericiguat, a soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator, in patients with worsening chronic HF and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Design, setting, and participants:
Dose-finding phase 2 study that randomized 456 patients across Europe, North America, and Asia between November 2013 and January 2015, with follow-up ending June 2015. Patients were clinically stable with LVEF less than 45% within 4 weeks of a worsening chronic HF event, defined as worsening signs and symptoms of congestion and elevated natriuretic peptide level requiring hospitalization or outpatient intravenous diuretic.
Placebo (n = 92) or 1 of 4 daily target doses of oral vericiguat (1.25 mg [n = 91], 2.5 mg [n = 91], 5 mg [n = 91], 10 mg [n = 91]) for 12 weeks.
Main outcomes and measures:
The primary end point was change from baseline to week 12 in log-transformed level of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). The primary analysis specified pooled comparison of the 3 highest-dose vericiguat groups with placebo, and secondary analysis evaluated a dose-response relationship with vericiguat and the primary end point.
Overall, 351 patients (77.0%) completed treatment with the study drug with valid 12-week NT-proBNP levels and no major protocol deviation and were eligible for primary end point evaluation. In primary analysis, change in log-transformed NT-proBNP levels from baseline to week 12 was not significantly different between the pooled vericiguat group (log-transformed: baseline, 7.969; 12 weeks, 7.567; difference, -0.402; geometric means: baseline, 2890 pg/mL; 12 weeks, 1932 pg/mL) and placebo (log-transformed: baseline, 8.283; 12 weeks, 8.002; difference, -0.280; geometric means: baseline, 3955 pg/mL; 12 weeks, 2988 pg/mL) (difference of means, -0.122; 90% CI, -0.32 to 0.07; ratio of geometric means, 0.885, 90% CI, 0.73-1.08; P = .15). The exploratory secondary analysis suggested a dose-response relationship whereby higher vericiguat doses were associated with greater reductions in NT-proBNP level (P < .02). Rates of any adverse event were 77.2% and 71.4% among the placebo and 10-mg vericiguat groups, respectively.
Conclusions and relevance:
Among patients with worsening chronic HF and reduced LVEF, compared with placebo, vericiguat did not have a statistically significant effect on change in NT-proBNP level at 12 weeks but was well-tolerated. Further clinical trials of vericiguat based on the dose-response relationship in this study are needed to determine the potential role of this drug for patients with worsening chronic HF.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01951625.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 11/2015; DOI:10.1001/jama.2015.15734 · 35.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past 1.5 decades, numerous stem cell trials have been performed in patients with cardiovascular disease. Although encouraging outcome signals have been reported, these have been small, leading to uncertainty as to whether they will translate into significantly improved outcomes. A reassessment of the rationale for the use of stem cells in cardiovascular disease is therefore timely. Such a rationale should include analyses of why previous trials have not produced significant benefit and address whether mechanisms contributing to disease progression might benefit from known activities of stem cells. The present paper provides such a reassessment, focusing on patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction, either nonischemic or ischemic. We conclude that many mechanisms contributing to progressive left ventricular dysfunction are matched by stem cell activities that could attenuate the myocardial effect of such mechanisms. This suggests that stem cell strategies may improve patient outcomes and justifies further testing.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 11/2015; 66(18):2038-2047. DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2015.09.010 · 16.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hospitalization for heart failure is common condition and refers to the various acute heart failure syndromes that require urgent treatment. The chapter provides an overview of the classification, pathophysiology, management principles and current treatment modalities for hospitalization for heart failure. It also emphasizes the various diagnostic as well as prognostic evaluations of heart failure patients. However, the understanding and treatment still remains deficient in the wake of development of newer drugs, devices and novel approaches to decrease this immense health care problem that can improve morbidity, mortality and quality of life of our patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims:
This article describes an ongoing study investigating the safety and efficacy of ischemia-tolerant mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy in patients with nonischemic heart failure and dysfunctional viable myocardium without scarring. This study will follow principles of the previously described mechanistic translational-phase concept whereby the effect of the study agent on laboratory and imaging markers of cardiac structure and function will be tested in a small homogenous cohort with the goal to enhance the understanding of the effect of interventions on cardiac remodeling and performance.
This single-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, multicenter, randomized study will assess the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of a single intravenous (i.v.) dose of allogeneic ischemia-tolerant MSCs in individuals with heart failure of nonischemic cause, ejection fraction 40% or less, and dysfunctional viable myocardium who have been receiving guideline-directed medical therapy. Eligible patients will have no evidence of baseline replacement scarring on delayed-enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). Approximately 20 patients will be randomized in a 1 : 1 ratio to receive an i.v. infusion of ischemia-tolerant MSCs or placebo. At 90 days, the two groups will undergo crossover and received the alternative treatment. The primary endpoint is safety, as evaluated through at least 1-year post-MSC infusion. Additional efficacy endpoints will include measures of cardiac structure and function, as evaluated by serial cine-CMR and transthoracic echocardiography at 90 and 180 days post-initial infusion.
This pilot study will explore the safety and effects on cardiac structure and function of i.v. injection of ischemia-tolerant MSCs in a small homogenous cohort of nonischemic heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction and absent replacement scarring on CMR. This study also represents a prospective mechanistic translational-phase study using baseline and serial CMR imaging in heart failure patients and serves as a potential model for design of future heart failure trials (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02467387).
Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 10/2015; DOI:10.2459/JCM.0000000000000303 · 1.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims:
In the EVEREST trial, tolvaptan improved symptoms and body weight during hospitalization for heart failure (HF), but did not improve post-discharge cardiovascular outcomes. We hypothesized that this disconnect between the short- and long-term effects may be related to changes in serum osmolality. We describe the longitudinal profile of osmolality and its response to tolvaptan during and after hospitalization for HF.
Methods and results:
EVEREST enrolled 4133 patients hospitalized for HF and reduced EF. Serum osmolality data were available in 3744 (91%). We assessed the effects of tolvaptan on serum osmolality and related these effects to in-hospital changes in body weight and physician-assessed symptoms. Calculated values of osmolality, determined from serum sodium, blood urea nitrogen, and glucose, were 3-4 mOsm/kg higher than concurrently measured serum osmolality at enrolment and discharge in both treatment arms. During hospitalization in the placebo group, serum osmolality slightly increased throughout hospitalization, whereas serum sodium decreased and blood urea nitrogen increased until discharge. Tolvaptan increased osmolality by hospital day 1, but this effect diminished by post-discharge week 4-8 and disappeared by post-discharge week 56. In-hospital changes in osmolality were poorly correlated with in-hospital changes in body weight and physician-assessed dyspnoea.
Tolvaptan increased serum osmolality during hospitalization for HF, a time frame when the drug also improved signs and symptoms of HF. However, this effect on osmolality declined in the early post-discharge period, when tolvaptan failed to influence clinical outcomes. Serum osmolality, which can be estimated based on readily available laboratory parameters, may be a marker or a target of response to tolvaptan.
European Journal of Heart Failure 10/2015; DOI:10.1002/ejhf.415 · 6.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myocardial recovery in heart failure (HF) is possible, but its determinants are not fully defined. At least partial functional improvement is possible with current evidence-based therapies. However, once significant HF symptoms develop, patients have varied trajectories, including: 1) structural and functional recovery; 2) stabilization (remission); and 3) acceleration to end-stage HF/death. All 3 trajectories may be interrupted by sudden death. These trajectories may represent the interplay of heterogeneous causality, genetic predeterminants, and disease phenotypes. Enhanced phenotypic description with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, molecular imaging, or circulating biomarkers of the heterogeneous HF population may provide insights regarding specific biological targets amenable to existing and novel therapeutic strategies. The identification of patients in "remission," before progression to the end stage of predominantly nonviable tissue (e.g., fibrosis), has implications for clinical practice and future trials because such patients may be more likely to experience myocardial recovery (cardiac reserve). The identification of dysfunctional but viable myocardium and its diverse pathophysiological causes may provide opportunities to investigate existing and novel therapeutics aimed at enhancing myocardial recovery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congestion is the most common reason for admissions and readmissions for heart failure (HF). The vast majority of hospitalized HF patients appear to respond readily to loop diuretics, but available data suggest that a significant proportion are being discharged with persistent evidence of congestion. Although novel therapies targeting congestion should continue to be developed, currently available agents may be utilized more optimally to facilitate complete decongestion. The combination of loop diuretics, natriuretic doses of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists and vasopressin antagonists represents a regimen of currently available therapies that affects early and persistent decongestion, while limiting the associated risks of electrolyte disturbances, hemodynamic fluctuations, renal dysfunction and mortality.
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 07/2015; 13(7):799-809. DOI:10.1586/14779072.2015.1053872