2019 Vol. 16, No. 8
Machine learning (ML) is a software solution with the ability of making predictions without prior explicit programming, aiding in the analysis of large amounts of data. These algorithms can be trained through supervised or unsupervised learning. Cardiology is one of the fields of medicine with the highest interest in its applications. They can facilitate every step of patient care, reducing the margin of error and contributing to precision medicine. In particular, ML has been proposed for cardiac imaging applications such as automated computation of scores, differentiation of prognostic phenotypes, quantification of heart function and segmentation of the heart. These tools have also demonstrated the capability of performing early and accurate detection of anomalies in electrocardiographic exams. ML algorithms can also contribute to cardiovascular risk assessment in different settings and perform predictions of cardiovascular events. Another interesting re-search avenue in this field is represented by genomic assessment of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, ML could aid in making earlier diagnosis of disease, develop patient-tailored therapies and identify predictive characteristics in different pathologic conditions, leading to precision cardiology.
Background Reserpine is currently used by millions of Chinese hypertensive patients, in spite of the continued concern of its depressogenic effect, even when used in low dose. This study aimed to investigate the association between low-dose reserpine use and depression in older Chinese hypertensive patient. Methods In this cross-sectional, case-control study, we recruited patient aged 60 years or over who had regularly taken one or two tables of “compound reserpine and triamterene tablets (CRTTs)” for more than one year (reserpine user) from 26 community health centers located in 10 provinces in China. For each patient who took CRTTs, we selected an age (within five years) and sex matched hypertensive patient who had never taken any drugs containing reserpine (non-reserpine user) as control. Depressive symptoms were evaluated using a Chinese depression scale adapted from the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale. Demographic, clinical data and laboratory examination results within six months were collected. Results From August 2018 to December 2018, 787 reserpine user and 787 non-reserpine user were recruited. The mean age of all study subjects was 70.3 year, with about equal numbers of males and females. The mean depression score was 40.4 in reserpine users and 40.6 in non-reserpine users (P = 0.7). The majority of study subject had a depression score Conclusions There is no association between low-dose reserpine use and depression in older hypertensive patient. The role of reserpine in the treatment and control of hypertension should be reconsidered; and further studies, especially randomized, controlled clinical trials to compare efficacy and safety of reserpine and other widely recommended anti-hypertensive agents are needed.
Objective To investigate whether C-reactive protein (CRP) is a biomarker of malignant ventricular arrhythmias (MVA) occurring in non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) patients with Global Registry of Acute Coronary events (GRACE) scores Methods A total of 1450 NSTEMI patients were included in this study. Hs-CRP blood levels were measured via a turbidimetric immunoassay after confirming the diagnosis of NSTEMI with GRACE scores Results Consistent with prior studies, the MVA occurrence rate in our cohort was 6.7%, and patients with MVA exhibited a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (46.1% ± 6.9% vs. 61.5% ± 8.7%, P = 0.032), a higher incidence of Killip classification > 1 (34.1% vs. 24.2%, P vs. 9.7%, P vs. 5.8%, P P = 0.003) in NSTEMI patients with MVA, and this increase appeared unrelated to other clinical parameters. The C-statistic to discriminate MVA was 0.82 (95% CI: 0.74–0.89). Using receiver operating characteristics analysis, we optimized a cutoff point of 16 mL/L, and the sensitivity and specificity were 95% and 61%, respectively; the positive predictive value was 20% and the negative predictive value was 99%. Conclusions An hs-CRP assay is a potential MVA biomarker in low-risk NSTEMI patients with GRACE scores < 140. If validated in prospective studies, hs-CRP may offer a low-cost supplementary strategy for risk stratification for NSTEMI patients.
Background Previous studies had demonstrated hemostatic abnormalities in patients with heart failure (HF) and several studies have shown that abnormal coagulation indices, represented by elevated D-dimer, had prognostic significance in patients with compatible or acute decompensated HF. However, the impact of D-dimer on the outcome in patients with end-stage HF remains unclear. Methods A total of 244 consecutive patients with end-stage HF due to idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) were prospectively enrolled from February 2011 to September 2014. D-dimer levels were measured and its prognostic value was assessed. Primary endpoint was all-cause mortality during the follow-up period. Secondary endpoints were stroke, bleeding, occurrence of sustained ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). Results D-dimer was significantly elevated in the non-survivors (median: 0.8 vs. 1.1 mg/L, P P P = 0.009), and the predictive value was independent of age, sex, atrial fibrillation and anticoagulation status. Conclusions Elevated D-dimer level was independently associated with poor long-term outcome in patients with end-stage HF secondary to idiopathic DCM, and the predictive value was superior to that of traditional prognostic markers.
Background There are limited data on the prevalence of electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities, and their value for predicting a major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) in patients at high cardiovascular risk. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of ECG abnormalities in patients at high risk for cardiovascular events, and to identify ECG abnormalities that significantly predict MACE. Methods Patients aged ≥ 45 years with established atherosclerotic disease (EAD) were consecutively enrolled from the outpatient clinics of the six participating hospitals during April 2011 to March 2014. The following data were collected: demographic data, cardiovascular risk factors, history of cardiovascular event, physical examination, ECG and medications. ECG was analyzed using Minnesota Code criteria. MACE included cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and hospitalization due to unstable angina or heart failure. Results A total of 2009 patients were included, 1048 patients (52.2%) had established EAD, and 961 patients (47.8%) had multiple risk factors (MRF). ECG abnormalities included atrial fibrillation (6.7%), premature ventricular contraction (5.4%), pathological Q-wave (Q/QS) (21.3%), T-wave inversion (20.0%), intraventricular ventricular conduction delay (IVCD) (7.3%), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) (12.2%), and AV block (12.5%). MACE occurred in 88 patients (4.4%). Independent predictors of MACE were chronic kidney disease, EAD, and the presence of atrial fibrillation, Q/QS, IVCD or LVH by ECG. Conclusions A high prevalence of ECG abnormalities was found. The prevalence of ECG abnormalities was high even among those with risk factors without documented cardiovascular disease.
Background There are limited data comparing long-term clinical outcomes between first-generation (1G) and second-generation (2G) drug-eluting stents (DESs) in patients who underwent successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for coronary chronic total occlusion (CTO) lesion. Methods A total of 840 consecutive patients who underwent PCI with DESs for CTO lesion from January 2004 to November 2015 were enrolled. Finally, a total of 324 eligible CTO patients received 1G-DES (Paclitaxel-eluting stent or Sirolimus-eluting stent, n = 157) or 2G-DES (Zotarolimus-eluting stent or Everolimus-eluting stent, n = 167) were enrolled. The clinical endpoint was the occurrence of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) defined as all-cause death, recurrent myocardial infarction (re-MI), total repeat revascularization [target lesion revascularization (TLR), target vessel revascularization (TVR), and non-TVR]. We investigated the 5-year major clinical outcomes between 1G-DES and 2G-DES in patient who underwent successful CTO PCI. Results After propensity score matched (PSM) analysis, two well-balanced groups (111 pairs, n = 222, C-statistic = 0.718) were generated. Up to the 5-year follow-up period, the cumulative incidence of all-cause death, re-MI, TLR, TVR and non-TVR were not significantly different between the two groups. Finally, MACE was also similar between the two groups (HR = 1.557, 95% CI: 0.820–2.959, P = 0.176) after PSM. Conclusions In this study, 2G-DES was not associated with reduced long-term MACE compared with 1G-DES following successful CTO revascularization up to five years.
Background Tuberculosis (TB) infection has been reported to have a possible relationship with the occurrence and clinical course of Takayasu arteritis (TA). We aimed to describe the characteristics of TB in a large population of TA patients. Methods We included a total of 1105 patients with TA, who were hospitalized between January 1992 and December 2017. Comparisons of clinical features were made according to the presence of TB. Results Among the 1105 patients, 109 (9.9%) had TB, including 53 patients (48.6%) diagnosed with TB before the onset of TA, 23 (21.1%) with a concurrent diagnosis of TB and TA, and 24 patients (22.0%) who developed TB after TA. Pulmonary TB was the most frequently identified (97 patients, 89.0%). Patients with TB had more frequent involvement of the pulmonary artery and experienced more chest discomfort and constitutional symptoms but had less interventional treatment. Demographic characteristics, comorbid diseases, and use of steroids were similar between patients with and without TB. Conclusions The proportion of Chinese TA patients with TB was not low, and about half of the patients had TB before TA. Pulmonary TB was the most common. Pulmonary artery involvement and pulmonary hypertension was more frequent in TA patients with TB.