www.healthcare-in-europe.com CARDIOLOGY 2 8 1 0 N E W S A N D T E C H N O L O G Y U P D A T E S F O R C A R D I A C C A R E M U N I C H G E R M A N Y 2 5 A U G – 2 9 A U G 2 0 1 8 At the heart of research Scanning impacts on cardiology When delegates from around 150 countries converge on Munich for ESC Congress 2018 they will no doubt reflect on what they themselves eat. Yes, nutrition is up for debate, ques- tioning, for example, whether weight loss therapies can also prevent heart attacks and strokes. Results from the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial of 12,000 overweight individuals with established cardiovascular disease or diabetes could tell us ‘whether becoming slimmer with weight loss therapies also makes you health- ier,’ explained Professor Stephan Achenbach, Chairperson of the ESC Congress Program Committee and ESC President Elect. That trial is being presented at the congress. Results with big impact Additionally, the huge PURE study, which examined what constitutes a healthy diet in over 200,000 peo- ple from more than 50 countries, will be aired. ‘The results will give us new insights on the relation- ship between the types of food we eat – for example fruit, vegetables, nuts, dairy products and meat – and health and disease,’ Achenbach explained. The Chair also expressed excitement about other trials to be presented, with results ‘set to have a big impact, either because they affect large popu lation groups or involve innovative treatments.’ For example, two aspiring trials to examine for preventing first heart attacks and strokes prevention will be presented – the ARRIVE trial involved more than 12,000 individu- als at moderate risk and the ASCEND trial involved over 15,000 diabetics. ‘We had assumed that taking aspirin can only be good for you, and what’s the harm?’ said Achenbach. ‘But then we discovered that, while aspirin can protect against heart attacks and stroke, it causes bleeding. So it’s not at all clear who will actually benefit from taking aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. These two trials will shed light on this issue, impacting many millions of people worldwide.’ 2018 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Society of Hypertension guidelines on hypertension are another impor- tant talking point. ‘The American guidelines (released in 2017) were very strict and lowered the definition of high blood pressure. It will be exciting to see what the Europeans say about what blood pressure quali- fies as “high” and how strictly it should be treated,’ Achenbach sur- mised. The MARINER trial will reveal whether potentially fatal blood clots can be prevented in acutely ill patients by continuing to administer oral anticoagulation therapy after they return home. ‘Treating patients after discharge is a completely new concept and could affect the millions of people hospitalised every year with heart attack, pneumonia, or broken bones,’ Achenbach prophe- sied. Oral anticoagulation is also a focus of the COMMANDER HF trial, which will reveal whether these drugs improve survival and reduce heart attack and stroke in heart fail- ure (HF) patients who do not have atrial fibrillation. Achenbach: ‘This is a massively large patient group that so far not been considered for oral anticoagulation unless they have atrial fibrillation and the trial could change our approach to their management.’ Prof. Stephan Achenbach, FESC Chairperson 2016-2018 of ESC Congress Programme Committee more than 47,000 patients will reveal whether using high-sensitivity tro- ponin to confirm the diagnosis in those with suspected heart attack leads to more or less deaths and repeat heart attacks after one year. ‘I’m excited by how diverse car- diology is and feel it is my respon- sibility to represent and balance the needs of the cardiologists, healthcare providers and researchers in every country that belongs to the ESC and also across the entire spectrum of cardiovascular disease,’ Achenbach pointed out. This ethos includes spreading news of scientific findings from ESC journals and registries, guidelines, congresses, and other educational activities. In our special Cardiology section you will also learn from medical sci- ence experts how far machines and scanning skills are shaking the very roots of your discipline. Enjoy the stimulation of new con- cepts and technological develop- ments. Enjoy EH along with ESC 2018. Welcome! Prof. Jeroen J. Bax, FESC President 2016- 2018 of European Society of Cardiology Trials and more Achenbach also highlighted the MITRA.fr study, which indicates whether treating the mitral valve with a device inserted via a catheter is advantageous in HF patients. An entire late breaking science session is devoted to transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and is aligned to the congress spot- light, Valvular Heart Disease. This includes the LRT Clinical Trial and GARY registry in low-risk patients, the TAVI-PM study on the durability of TAVI, and the five-year follow-up from the FRANCE-2 Registry, which will report on clinical outcomes and valve durability in high-risk patients. Major drug trials include ATTR- ACT, which assessed the efficacy and safety of tafamidis in transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy, a condi- tion that currently has few treatment options. The High-STEACS trial of Study examines genes and lifestyle links to dilated cardiomyopathy Titin: the commonest genetic cause of DCM Report: Mark Nicholls A major study has been launched to investigate the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Led by Professor Stuart Cook, at the National Heart and Lung Institute, this, the largest ever DCM study, will investigate why people develop DCM, with a focus on who is most at risk of sudden death or heart failure (HF). Six hospital trusts across England – including the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trusts and Imperial College London – will recruit patients for the study. DCM thins cardiac muscle, mak- ing it less able to pump blood around the body. About one in 250 (260,000) people in the UK are www.healthcare-in-europe.com Due to thinned cardiac muscle, a heart affected by dilated cardiomyopathy (left) can pump less blood around the body than a normal heart (right) affected, with around one in 100 (650,000) believed to be at risk of developing the condition due to a common mutation in the titin pro- tein. This mutation predisposes the heart to developing DCM when it is placed under stress such as during pregnancy, some cancer treatments and possibly alcohol abuse. Study to improve diagnos- tics and therapy DCM is a complex condition and can be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors but cardiologists also recognise it is poorly understood, with most causes unknown. A leading course of heart trans- plantation, and after coronary heart disease, DCM is the leading cause of heart failure. The condition has poor outcomes with research sug- gesting that 15% of patients do not survive beyond five years after diagnosis, and up to half of deaths occur within the first two years of diagnosis. In the new multi-centre study of more than 2,000 patients research- ers will use advanced DNA sequenc- ing, biological markers in the blood and cardiac imaging approaches to assess interactions between genes as they seek to discover new genetic mutations underlying DCM, as well as to assess potential environmental interactions. Ultimately the study aims to find better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent deaths from DCM. Stuart Cook is Professor of Clinical & Molecular Cardiology at Imperial College London in the UK and head of the Cardiovascular Genetics and Genomics group within Genetics & Imaging at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI). He also directs the genetics and genomics group that plays an integral research role within the Royal Brompton Hospital cardiovascular biomedical research unit. An expert in cardiovascular MRI, with special interest in genetics in cardiac muscle disease, his research focuses on the genetics of cardiovascular disease, particularly inherited cardiac conditions that cause electrical abnormalities of the heart and heart failure. Professor Cook, who is also Professor of Clinical and Molecular Cardiology at Imperial College Continued on page 3
2 CA R D I O LO G Y Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) has benef Refined guidance with no need for anaesthetic Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) is an increasingly important guiding tool for structural heart disease interventions – without gen- eral anaesthesia. José Ribeiro, who works in the thorax and circula- tion unit at Gaia Hospital Centre, Portugal, who has worked with this technology for the past two years, explained its benefits and limitations in an exclusive interview with Daniela Zimmermann of European Hospital. Discussing developments in Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE), José Ribeiro, cardiologist at the thorax and circu- lation unit in Gaia Hospital Centre, Portugal, explained that recently the need for a different ultrasound tool to guide patient treatment beyond transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) became clear. ‘Consequently,’ he added, ‘a significant number of interventional cardiologists have start- ed to use ICE. ‘We still have limitations with ICE for structural heart disease, because we don’t see all the structure in the same plan and need to navigate with a catheter inside the heart. That’s why it’s so important for 3-D imaging to guide procedures. ‘We don’t need too much imaging to guide the intervention for struc- tural heart disease. But we need to have a good pre-procedure evaluation and to plan the procedure, and after that we only need specific steps to ensure procedure quality and check the results. If we can get the cardiac structures on 3-D, we have a signifi- cant advantage for guidance. ‘We initially had a narrow angle catheter, which only enabled us to view small volumes of the heart. This is not enough to image entire structures, for instance a valve, left appendage or oval fossa. So we devel- oped a new device with a wide open- ing angle; it’s a 12.5-Fr catheter and this enables us to view significant vol- umes of the cardiac tissue, including the whole mitral valve. This develop- ment appears to be a great advantage for guidance.’ DZ: When using ICE, is the image in front of you and can you see the relation between the structures? ‘Yes. When we have a volume, we can look inside and decompound it in a different 2-D plan to navigate more easily, which enables us to be more confident when doing the procedure. ‘With a 3-D wide angle ICE cath- eter, we have the same benefits as with 2-D ICE, meaning we don’t need an anaesthetist, the interventional car- diologist can do the intervention him- or herself, by putting the catheter in the right place to see the heart. ‘But we can also obtain a signifi- cantly higher amount of information and anatomy, so that the interven- Images of intracardiac echocardiography obtained with Acunav V wide angle catheter (Siemens Healthineers); on 3D images we can see entire cardiac structures: on top right the fossa ovalis, on top left the left atrial appendage opening (LAA), on bottom right the mitral valve with anterior (AL) and posterior (PL) leaflets and on bottom left the device occluding LAA. More people need nuclear cardiology training Ischaemia: Advances in nuclear imaging Experts outlined approaches to ischaemia imaging during the recent British Cardiovascular Society confer- ence. In a ‘Detection of ischaemia by cardiac imaging in 2018’ session, comparisons were made between solid state SPECT cameras, whether spatial resolution or visual assessment was of the greater importance, if CT-FFR offered advantages over CT perfusion, and the challenges in defining a gold standard of imaging ischaemia Discussing ‘Advances in nuclear ischae- mic testing, from SPECT to PET and beyond’, Dr Kshama Wechalekar, who heads Nuclear medicine and PET at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, and is President of the British Nuclear Cardiology Society (BNCS), told delegates that advances in nucle- ar imaging with solid state technol- ogy offered improved ability to detect ischaemia. ‘There is improved spatial resolution from multiple solid state CZT (Cadmium Zinc Telluride) detec- tors and therefore sensitivity is very high,’ she explained. ‘You can reduce the acquisition time at least by half President of British Nuclear Cardiology Society Dr Kshama Wechalekar leads nuclear medicine and PET at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, where she specialises in heart/lung nuclear imaging. Her main interests lie in using hybrid- imaging techniques, such as SPECT-CT and PET-CT, to improve understanding of pathophysiological processes affecting the heart and lungs. She has special interest in cardiac sarcoidosis and other inflammatory conditions of the heart. with excellent quality and the equip- ment has a small footprint. The advan- tages of solid state detector cameras is that you can reduce the radiation dose by one third, have high sensitivity and resolution, an open design suitable for claustrophobic patients, and good image quality even in obese patients.’ SPECT, PET and CMR Recent studies have shown ability to do dynamic imaging offering potential in quantitative myocardial perfusion with SPECT, Wechalekar pointed out, adding that SPECT is less expensive than current PET and MRI. ‘The future of SPECT Nuclear car- diac imaging,’ she concluded, ‘is in solid-state technology. Dynamic imag- ing, although technically challenging, can add value to MPI in the detec- tion of ischaemia. Whilst PET is the most accurate imaging technique for ischaemia assessment and prognosis, it remains expensive and less acces- sible.’ She also felt that the new trac- er, Flurpiridaz, with results of phase III trials in the UK pending, might change the future of PET MPI. One area of concern was how to persuade more people to train in nuclear cardiology with falling num- bers in the field. ‘The BNCS Council is working hard to improve curricu- lum, organise level 1 and 2 training courses, and to identify centres that can offer nuclear cardiology training across the country that is easily acces- sible for trainees,’ she said. Dr Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci, in Lecturer Consultant Senior Dr Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci is Consultant Senior Lecturer in Cardiology/non Invasive Imaging at the Bristol Heart Institute, University of Bristol, and co-Director of the Clinical Research and Imaging Centre (CRIC Bristol). She is currently one of the vice-presidents and chair of cardiac MRI of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI). Invasive Cardiology/non Imaging Bristol Heart Institute, University of Bristol, explored the issue of quan- titative versus visual assessment in CMR stress perfusion. She explained that stress CMR has been included in the ESC guidelines since 2014 (ESC revascularisation guidelines) based on evidence using visual assessment of ischaemia, rather than quantitative. Bucciarelli-Ducci discussed pros and cons of both visual and quan- titative assessment, limitations and opportunities to increase spatial reso- lution, and very recent studies show- ing that there is no difference in diag- nostic accuracy visual vs. quantitative. Quantitative perfusion is promising, but the acquisitions and analysis need Single photon vs. Positron ET simplification to meet the need of a busy clinical service. ‘CMR perfusion (visual) is a good clinical tool already,’ she concluded, ‘but can get better while quantita- tive CMR perfusion is evolving into faster and robust tools. While several methods are available, more in-vivo and clinical validation is needed with a number of studies in the pipeline.’ Function addition can improve specificity Dr Marc Dweck, BHF Reader in Cardiology and Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Heart Centre, posed the question ‘CT-FFR/CT perfusion - nei- ther or both?’ ‘CT Perfusion,’ he acknowledged, ‘is interesting, but I’m not sure how we are going to use it in clinical practice. With CT-FFR you get beautiful pic- tures, where you can look down the coronary arteries and see areas that are not getting enough blood. The advantage of this technique is that you can use it on a post-hoc basis, on scans where you are not sure if a lesion is obstructive or not, without any extra radiation or medication for the patient. This may be useful in low- ering the rates of patients being sent EUROPEAN HOSPITAL Vol 27 Issue 4/18 Dr Marc Dweck is Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Heart Centre. A British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellow, he is a keen advocate of multi-modality cardiovascular imaging and is trained in echocardigraphy, carotid ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), PET/CT and PET/MR imaging.
CA R D I O LO G Y 3 school in 1992 he became a cardiology specialist in 1996, which was followed by an echocardiography fellowship at Onze-Lieve-Vrouwziekenhuis in Aalst, Belgium. He also became a member of the Portuguese Cardiology College. Since 2001, he has led the echo lab (with 9,600 studies in 2017) and, from 2006, has been cardiology consultant in the Espinho Hospital Centre at Vila Nova de Gaia, where he has implemented new techniques, including transoesophageal echocardiography, as well as coordinated several telemedicine projects. José Manuel Coelho Ribeiro MD directs the Thorax and Circulation Unit at Vila Nova de Gaia Hospital Centre in Portugal. Having graduated from Oporto medical TEE. Both methods are alternative. ICE is a step forward, especially with this new dimension – 3-D ICE. But,’ he concluded, ‘in the future we need to check what’s the best option for each patient.’ y (ICE) has benefits tional cardiologist can do the whole procedure without having to navigate with the image catheter. We can put the catheter in the right place, and then we don’t need to move it to see what we need to see.’ What are the benefits of not having to move the catheter? ‘Moving the catheter to view the cardiac structures means more work, more time, more risk and more radia- tion. ‘In the interventional lab, we always use angiography and ultrasound. Angiography, i.e. radiation imaging, helps us to carry out the procedure and navigate to place the ICE catheter inside the heart. If we don’t need to move the catheter because we can see everything at once, we of course also need less radiation. ‘If we have a technology that gives us everything with the catheter in the same place, it’s much better.’ Many specialists are needed in such an intervention. One day, could just one person do this? ‘That’s the big point. But we need to train interventional cardiologists, to change their mind-set. They typi- cally use angiography and ignore ultrasound. ‘However, this is changing now. Everything is changing in the inter- ventional lab. We are using TEE in a significant number of procedures; but with TEE we also need special- ists. With ICE, we can do everything while the patient is awake, without discomfort and anaesthesia, and with fewer people inside the room and less radiation. ‘In the lab, for ICE guidance we use the echocardiography machine to direct the image and ICE catheter manipulation beyond the angio room equipment. In future, we could have all the controls on the table – connect- ing angio and ultrasound controls. Also, we need to improve the imaging display software, with specific play sets for detailed procedures, to give the right plans for each interventional procedure. ‘Right now, in our hospital, we simultaneously use display ultrasound imaging and angio imaging on the same screen. We can switch to all the positions we need, but we need lots of training to be able to see it. The learning curve for intervention- al cardiologists is long. Some inter- ventional cardiologists already have experience with 2-D imaging, and they have a significant advantage to give the final step to use 3-D imaging in ultrasound. The learning curve is more important when you are using angio only.’ For which cases do you use TEE and ICE? ‘In our lab we check all patients in the echo lab in a selection process and, when we are very confident about the pathology or anatomy, we use the ultrasound image (TEE or ICE) for guidance and to improve confidence during the procedure. In simple cases, such as ASD or PFO closure, we use ICE. As men- tioned earlier, ICE gives us many advantages - no anaesthesia needed, more comfort, etc. For more complex cases we must decide how much imaging we need. ‘We also use ICE in normal mitral valve repair and left a; we have initial experience with this wide angle 3-D ICE catheter that crosses the inter-atri- al septum to scan left side structures, for instance. ‘So far, our experience with ICE is limited. But even with more experi- ence, in complex cases we tend to prefer the technique or imaging tool with which we have more experience. So TEE may still be preferred in such scenarios. The main limitation of ICE is lack of experience with the tech- nology. In addition, if the case is too complex, we may need to cross with the catheter to the left side, so we need to move the catheter to be sure.’ ‘ICE could be useful in some patients who cannot be imaged with ances in nuclear imaging Professor Darrel Francis is Professor of Cardiology, Imperial College London. His work in ischaemia has included the ORBITA trial of revascularisation and the BRAVO trial of automated haemodynamic optimisation of cardiac resynchronisation therapy pacemakers. increased, while CT-FFR has increased cost, though CT-FFR potentially fitted in better with patient workflows. Professor Darrel Francis discussed the problems of computed tomog- raphy in the presentation ‘Ischaemia detection - are all our ideas com- pletely wrong?’ He pointed out that all previous speakers had described sensitivities and specificities, concepts that are meaningful only if ischae- mia is dichotomous (present versus absent). His audience poll revealed cardiologists unanimously considered ischaemia to be a continuous grada- tion rather than dichotomous. mn Quantitative myocardial perfusion reserve with Rb-82 PET to the cath lab following CT.’ Patients most likely to use CT-FFR, he added, are those with borderline lesions, though he stressed the key lies in a patient’s history and only using CT-FFR in patients with recalcitrant angina symptoms. CT is a powerful imaging technique that informs about coronary artery anatomy (plaque burden, stenosis severity, plaque characteristics), he concluded, but emphasised that the addition of functional technique to the scan protocol can improve its specific- ity to identify obstructive stenosis, pro- viding a comprehensive assessment of anatomy and function. With CT perfusion, radiation dose is At the heart of research Continued from page 1 London, said: ‘For about 1 in 4 patients with DCM we can find a genetic cause. But that leaves us with hundreds of thousands of people with DCM that we cannot explain, which hin- ders our ability to diagnose and treat the patients or help their fami- lies. ‘There are currently no targeted treatments that are specific for DCM but, as we get a better understand- ing of the genes which cause the condition, we can hope to develop new treatments which target these genes and pathways.’ Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, which has delivered £2m funding for the study, said: ‘In many cases, we can track the inheritance pattern and test family members of peo- ple with inherited heart conditions. But unfortunately, genetic testing is often not helpful for people with DCM, as we only know about a small number of genes which cause the condition.’ In 2011, Professor Cook and his team established the genet- ics and genomics group at NHLI and have developed and applied unbi- ased, integrated systems genetics and genomics approaches combined with high-resolution cardiovascular phenotyping to identify new genes and mechanisms for cardiac hyper- trophy and dysfunction. The team has used genome-wide association in humans to identify new loci and genes for DCM and has already identified titin as the commonest genetic cause of DCM. www.healthcare-in-europe.com NEWAll congress resourcesin one online libraryWatch the sessions you missedor replay the ones you likeat your convenienceMore than 84,500 cardiovascularslide sets, videos and abstracts from the ESC family of congressesNew platformEnhanced search functionYear round accesswww.escardio.org/365ESC 365 is supported by Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Alliance, and Novartis Pharma AG in the form of an educational grant.
4 CA R D I O LO G Y Coronary angiography will lose diagnostic value The changing face of imaging in cardiology While the question is still debated as to whether MRI is the better CT, along comes a potential game changer – a new data based 3-D reconstruction method of heart anatomy and function that aims to replace diagnostic coronary angiography. In the near future not only adult patients with coronary heart disease could benefit from this new technique but also children with complex congenital heart defects. Meanwhile imaging is conquering the cardiac operating room (OR). Report: Emilie Hofstetter Long before coronary heart disease (CHD) manifests its presence on an ECG, CT and MRI can detect it due to low perfusion caused by a stenosis of the coronary vessels. Dr Bettina Baessler, radiologist and researcher at the University Hospital Cologne, Germany, looks into mul- tiparametric imaging strategies. She considers both techniques comple- ment one another although MRI definitely produces images that are ‘more beautiful, almost works of art’. Professor Ulf Teichgräber, Head of Radiology at University Hospital Jena, Germany, agrees and thus predicts the demise of cardiac angi- ography. His opinion is corrobo- rated by the recently completed SYNTAX III study, whose results will be presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics From Vision to Impact. That’s Excellence for Life. From First German Pacemaker to Connected Cardiac Care. biotronik.com flow and can thus show whether a haemodynamically relevant block- age is present, i.e. whether the patient needs a stent or a bypass. In 2015, Professor Pamela S Douglas, cardiologist and Head of Multimodal Imaging at the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina, USA, showed the potential benefit of this method using 584 patient cases from 11 hospitals. Ten patients with suspected CHD underwent diagnos- tic cardiac catheterisation, but the suspicion was confirmed only in three patients – seven underwent unnecessary catheterization. Six out of ten patients with suspected CHD, whose FFRCT was determined first, did not need angiography. In three out of the four patients who did receive angio, the suspicion was confirmed – i.e. only one patient underwent an unnecessary angiog- raphy. ‘This feasible and safe meth- od shows a significantly lower rate of unnecessary invasive angiogra- phies,’ Douglas confirmed. Investors seem to buy in: HeartFlow, which today is already cooperating with the Big Three – GE, Siemens, Philips – recently raised USD 240 million to further develop the technology, launch new studies and drive com- mercialisation of its product. To establish 3-D imaging in con- genital heart disease treatment, paediatric cardiologists Animesh Tandoon and Tarique Hussein founded VARYFII Imaging, LLC, in Dallas, USA. They construct complex anatomical models of the individual patient’s pathologies using MRI or CT data. Cardiologists as well as sur- geons can enter the virtual and aug- mented realities of the anatomical models with the help of data head- sets to lift certain structures, analyse and reposition and thus devise the best strategy them 3-D reconstruction of a coronary system, detached from the heart muscle. Fractional flow reserve in the individual vessel sections is colour-coded. Courtesy: HeartFlow, Inc. Y-conduit of right and left internal thoracic artery in epicardial ultrasound. A: 2-D Long axis view, B: 2-D short axis view, C: Colour Flow Mapping long axis, D: Colour flow short axis. Courtesy: Di Giammarco to correct the heart defect prior to surgical intervention. ‘Our heart beats in 3-D, so why not examine it in 3-D?’ asks Dr Sandy Engelhardt, researcher at the Computer-Assisted Surgery Group at the Department of Simulation and Graphics in Otto von Guericke University, Germany. In addition to treatment planning and education she envisages a further application of this new technology: informing the parents of the young patients. The flow must continue Imaging has arrived in cardiac surgery – during the intervention itself and combined with flow measurements. Professor Gabriele Di Giammarco, cardiac surgeon at Gabriele D’Annunzio University Hospital in Chieti, Italy, considers the combination of high-frequency epicardial ultrasound (ECUS) and transit flow measurement (TTFM) in a single device ‘deci- sion making’ and explains: ‘Hard calcifications in the aorta, I can feel. I do not feel the dangerous soft plaques. With MiraQ, I see them in intraoperative ultrasound, can adapt my strategy and perform surgery in no-touch technique and off-pump.’ time Dr Daniel Wendt, Managing Senior Physician at the Cardiac Surgery Department of University Hospital Essen, Germany, uses intraoperative flow measurement of newly cre- ated bypasses not only for quality assurance purposes – he records a follow-up intervention rate of slightly below three percent – but also for training purposes: ‘It’s a tool to improve your skills, helps flat- tening the learning curve.’ The combination of risk minimisation and qual- ity assurance has proved suc- In cessful. 2017, the Oslo-based m a n u - f a c t u r e r M e d i s t i m sold prod- ucts and procedures worth NOK 229.8 million, up 14.6 percent over the previ- ous year – another chapter in the success story of surgical interven- tion in CHD patients. EUROPEAN HOSPITAL Vol 27 Issue 4/18 The physician, using smart glasses, in the virtual space has just removed the aorta at its root from the heart to examine it separately. Observers can follow on conventional screens. Courtesy: S. Engelhardt Symposium 2018 in San Diego in September. A team comprised of a radiologist, cardiologist and sur- geon (Heart Team A) evaluated the angiogram of a patient, calculated the SYNTAX II score and decided on the type of therapy, either invasive or non-invasive. The team members then saw the multislice CT (MSCT) scan with 3-D reconstructed coronary vessels and the relevant fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) and could either confirm or revise their decision. A second team (Heart Team B) of those pro- fessionals received CT and FFRCT of the same patient first. The team members calculated the Syntax III score, decided on the type of ther- apy and then saw the angiogram in order to either confirm or revise their decision. ‘The Syntax score was designed to inform the decision “invasive or non-invasive”, based exclusively on anatomical features,’ Teichgräber explained. ‘Syntax II took comorbidities into account and now Syntax III includes a functional component – FFRCT. Thus coronary angiography will lose importance in diagnostics and therapy planning.’ Non-invasive first To date, only the California-based HeartFlow Inc. can calculate FFRCT. Based on data obtained in a conven- tional CT, the company’s software, using flow mechanics, can recon- struct heart, aorta and coronary ves- sels in terms of geometrics as well as pathophysiology and function in 3-D. Moreover it visualises the
CA R D I O LO G Y 5 The future POCT heart attack test Dr Tom Kaier is a BHF Research Fellow, having previously been a Specialist Registrar in Cardiology at Barts Health NHS Trust and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. . In part, the research has been the British Heart funded by Foundation, which said the initial results from the cMyC test look ‘very promising’ for patients and acknowledges that it could lead to quicker diagnosis and treatment, or see patients reassured and dis- charged. However, BHF Associate Medical Director Professor Jeremy Pearson stressed that further research was necessary before cMyC could be recommended as a replacement for the troponin test. On the way: mobile cMyC analysis Experts report that a new blood test to diagnose heart attacks could be carried out on a hand- held device in the not-too-distant future. a blood test to measure troponin levels. With the cMyC blood test shown by the KCL team to have a better rule-in and rule-out rate for heart attack, the research team believes this will be a valid tool in reassur- ing patients sooner and avoiding unnecessary hospital stays for fur- ther tests. Report: Mark Nicholls The test, devised by a team at Kings College London, uses similar tech- nology to the troponin test, but instead analyses cardiac myosin- binding protein C (cMyC). In research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society con- ference in Manchester, UK, this June, Dr Tom Kaier, BHF Research Fellow, explained that levels of cMyC in the blood increase more rapidly after a heart attack and to a higher extent than troponin. With this offering the opportunity to rule out a heart attack in a higher proportion of patients instantly, the research team believes it has a role in providing a swift diagnosis in Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments. Scientists are optimistic that this relatively straightforward test could be used as a hand-held point of care test (POCT), and avoid samples being sent to the laboratory. cMyC outperformed tro- ponin Kaier, who was among the lead researchers, emphasised the impor- tance for doctors and patients to know, as early as possible, who has had a heart attack and who has not. ‘Now that we know this test is sensitive enough to give an almost immediate heart attack diagnosis,’ he said, ‘we need to work on devel- oping a testing device.’ As work on developing a POCT device continues, the team hope that it could be used in wards - or ambulances - within five years, replacing time-consuming despatch of samples to hospital labs. Trials of the test have been con- ducted around Europe by interna- tional collaborators. In Denmark, blood was taken from 776 patients travelling to hospital by ambulance, which the King’s College London researchers then tested for cMyC protein. In patients who had suffered heart attacks, Kaier said, the protein was present in high enough con- centrations 95% of the time for an on-the-spot diagnosis. The cMyC test outperformed the existing troponin test, which diag- nosed only around 40% of patients in this way, mainly because troponin takes longer to reach detectable lev- els in the blood after a heart attack. ‘A stand-out feature is cMyC’s ability to more effectively triage patients,’ Kaier said. ‘This distinction is likely related to the documented greater abundance and more rapid release profile of cMyC. If used on a POCT platform, cMyC could sig- nificantly improve the early triage of patients with suspected AMI.’ Better rule-in and rule-out rate Figures show that more than 65% of people who attend A&E with chest pain have not had a heart attack, though all will receive an ECG and www.healthcare-in-europe.com Hitachi Medical Systems Europe Holding AG, Switzerlandwww.hitachi-medical-systems.comRedefining the Vision of Cardiovascular UltrasoundLISENDO 880 offers a dedicated HemoDynamic Analytics package: LV eFLOW iDGD (Dual Gate Doppler) with R-R Navigation Vector Flow Mapping eTRACKING with Wave IntensitySeamless Workflowto ensure high user operability by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, significantly improving efficiencyYour Applicationto reach a clear visualization of the blood flow patterns, its mechanisms and an impressive 4D image displayPure Imageto attain remarkable fundamental image quality achieving more reliability during diagnosis and treatmentVisit us at ESC 2018Exhibition Hall 3 Booth H320
CA R D I O LO G Y 7 Heard at CMR 2018 Session highlights cardiac rest in women ocardial infarction with non-obstructive coro- y affects women but is often left untreated, Both modalities miss a lot of disease in women,’ she pointed out. The novel field of non-contrast MRI, which uses T1 and T2 map- ping, may be an additional tool to detect areas of microvasculature perfusion in women. The technique has a lot of prospects but it is still a very new area of research and requires more investigation, Hays The same is true for CT, because you’re just taking pictures to know how much narrowing or blockage there is, but it does not capture how much small vessel disease you have. underlined. In the USA the Women’s HARP study, a multi-centre, diag- nostic observational study that aims to compare perfusion MRI results of women with heart attack to cardiac catheterisation techniques using optical coherent tomography will bring more knowledge of MRI’s value within the next two years. It will also provide information on plaque inflammation and see whether this correlates with micro- vascular abnormalities. ‘That will be interesting, to determine the reasons why there is microvascular dysfunc- tion,’ Hays said. MRI is usually less available than other modalities, but it is worth the extra effort to find centres of excellence because of the unique insights it offers, and not just in microvasculature, she believes. ‘CT and nuclear tests are not so sensitive to image microvasculature. MRI plays a critical role not only for microvasculature disease, but also for heart failure, since a lot of women have heart failure with pre- served injection fraction.’ mr do not have disease in the coronary arteries,’ Hays explained. Instead, women who suffer a heart attack usually present with myocar- dial infarction with non-obstructive coronary disease (MINOCA), a much less common condition in men. This difference suggests that biology of the coronary arteries differs greatly between sexes. Women have a much higher incidence of microvascular diseases, i.e. the very small vessels that are embedded into the heart muscle itself. Worse prognosis for women Treatment usually includes life- style modifications and traditional ways to lower risk factors such as blood pressure and high choles- terol. Nonetheless, heart attack has a worse prognosis in women than men, because it is generally not treated as aggressively as it should be, Hays argued. ‘A lot of women don’t have com- plete heart blockages and some- times they’re left untreated. So it’s very important to recognise that even when a woman comes in with a heart attack and they don’t have heart blockages that are detected on cardiac cath, it’s very important that you still treat them for the small ves- sels disease aggressively with heart medication,’ Hays said. A main focus of CMR 2018 was to highlight the different and atypical presentation of women compared to men when it comes to heart attacks and how they can be detected, pre- vented and addressed in women, to improve outcome in the future. Although cardiac arrest is the first cause of death in women as well, it was the first time the conference featured a dedicated session on the topic, probably because women are now better represented in the organising societies, Hay believes. ‘In the last two years of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, membership of women has grown significantly, going up from 20% to 40% today. So women are now more represented and more involved. I myself was one of the organisers, and found it was impor- tant to talk about that issue. The ses- sion was well attended, and we’ve had very good questions from the audience. I think this topic should be there every single year, because there’s a lot of research in that area,’ she said. Stress MRI is a good tool for women Awareness of that issue among the medical field must be increased, and the approach in detection must change, particularly regarding stress perfusion MRI, because this is an ideal tool to image heart disease in women, Hays believes. ‘Some stress tests are better tailored to women because they are more sensitive. Stress MRI is particularly suited to heart attack detection in women because it’s better at imaging micro- vasculature. EKG is not so sensitive for women and you can miss a lot. www.healthcare-in-europe.com Your dedicated cardiovascular MRI scanner at ESC booth #H400 Embrace new capabilities with cardiac MRI MAGNETOM Sola Cardiovascular Edition A dedicated MRI scanner designed to meet the demands of cardiovascular examinations MAGNETOM Sola¹ Cardiovascular Edition automatically adjusts to patient biovariability to overcome unwarranted variations in cardiac MRI examinations. Gain speed, reliability and ease of use with BioMatrix Technology. Expand toward precision medicine by improving diagnostic accuracy and facilitating individual treatment strategies. Connect with new capabilities Free breathing exams: Get high-quality consistent cardiac MRI scans with Compressed Sensing Cardiac Cine for functional imaging even for patients with arrhythmias or dyspnea. Tissue characterization: MyoMaps with HeartFreeze to detect myocardial injury and get patients on the right treatment pathway fast. Consistent results, fast: BioMatrix Sensors and the AI-powered Cardiac Dot Engine provide fast patient setup and step-by-step guidance for standardized diagnostic cardiac MRI exams. ¹ MAGNETOM Sola is 510(k) pending and not commercially available in some countries. Due to regulatory reasons their future availability cannot be guaranteed. Please contact your local Siemens organization for further details. siemens-healthineers.com/sola-cardiovascular
8 CA R D I O LO G Y HemoDynamic Analytics in Ultrasound A new tool box enhances heart failure diagnosis One of the challenges for every echo- cardiography lab is the technically difficult patient. Conventionally, labs use contrast agents to enhance endocardial border visualization. The application of contrast agents increases the exam time, resources and costs. Additionally, the use of contrast turns a previously non- invasive exam into an invasive pro- cedure. Hitachi Healthcare has now devel- oped a collection of cardiovascular analytic tools called HemoDynamic Analytics (HDAnalytics). These tools can be used for evaluation of the left ventricle (LV) when visualization is limited. One of the main applica- tions of the collection, LV eFlow was designed to demonstrate the discrimination between the blood flow and the cardiac tissue and offer an alternative to contrast agent use in some cases. LV eFlow is a high-definition left ventricular cavity blood flow imaging mode which substantially improves spatial and temporal reso- lution for a better visualization of the endocardial border in the left ventricle. The new tool operates with higher sensitivity and resolu- tion than conventional methods. LV eFlow may change a technically dif- ficult study into a diagnostic exam without using contrast agent. Head-to-head with echo contrast Dr. Zuyue Wang and technolo- gist Marvin Tyson of MedStar Washington Hospital Center had an opportunity to use this tech- nology in their practice over a period of 3 months. Their protocol included identifying patients that were candidates for contrast agents due to the difficulty in visualizing the endocardial border of the left ventricle. LV eFlow was added to the exam protocol for this patient set. Following the exam, the quality of the endocardial border delineation was evaluated by comparing the LV eFlow images with the images using contrast agents. Dr. Wang and Marvin Tyson com- pared LV eFlow and echo contrast agents in patients with suboptimal image quality and were impressed with the results. They found that “LV eFlow was comparable to echo contrast in improving visualization of difficult-to-image segments in selected patients”. Additionally, they found “a markedly more precise endocardial border delineation” and stated that “contrast agents should only be utilized when LV eFlow fails to enhance the endocardial borders”. Left: LV eFLOW – technically difficult patient; right: VFM – relative pressure with a dilated cardiomyopathy. Source: Hitachi Medical Systems Europe Vector Flow Mapping & Dual Gate Doppler Another tool in the HDAnalytics collection is Vector Flow Mapping (VFM), a novel and validated appli- cation that allows users to assess cardiovascular blood flow distribu- tion in an observation plane. This non-invasive technique is derived from the Color Doppler velocity data and generates the velocity fields on the 2D image. This allows to visual- ize, measure and analyze different parameters from the blood flow dis- tribution. For example, energy loss which is the rate of energy dissipa- tion due to blood viscosity, increas- es where turbulence flow occurs. In addition, wall shear stress, relative pressure and vortex characteristics can be evaluated. The Dual Gate Doppler (iDGD) generates a full Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis and dis- play from two separate sample gates allowing measurements from two different locations during the same cardiac cycle. Hitachi Artificial Intelligence technology enables automatic sample gate placement and measurement at appropriate heart beats, resulting in 5 seconds to get E/e’ (83% shorten time com- pared with conventional measure- ment). Furthermore, iDGD works well for PW/PW and TDI/TDI com- binations. 2D tissue tracking (i2DTT) With 2D Tissue Tracking (i2DTT), the HDAnalytics set also provides an advanced tool which allows users to track the displacement of the cardiac tissue by using a novel and accurate algorithm of “Speckle Tracking”. Doppler based methods such as TDI are limited in evaluat- ing the displacement velocity of the tissue due to angle dependency. i2DTT allows the detection of veloc- ity components perpendicular to the beam which is impossible with conventional Doppler techniques. Tracking image by image, the natu- ral patterns of the cardiac tissue in B-Mode permits the user to quanti- tatively evaluate the movement and the thickening of the myocardium. i2DTT provides precise quantitative information such as longitudinal and radial strain, torsion rotation angle, displacement, wall thicken- ing and various other parameters to visualize, quantify and analyze myocardial mechanics. Applications include cardiac function analysis, resynchronization therapy, cardio- myopathy, stress echo and other global and regional studies. New analysis suggests workflow is key in remote monitoring It’s time to look again at IN-TIME As the world’s largest cardiology con- gress gets underway in Munich, it’s worth looking back to previous ESC sessions to see how scientific debates have evolved. At ESC 2016, held in Rome, REM-HF investigators presented data suggesting remote monitoring in implantable cardiac devices offered no added clinical benefit. Two years on, there are new reasons to re-examine that conclu- sion, with a recent analysis of the IN-TIME trial suggesting the key to remote monitoring benefits might be found in workflow processes. Published in The Lancet in 2014, the IN-TIME study is the only trial, to date, to have demonstrated a clear benefit of implant-based remote monitoring in heart failure (HF) patients – showing a more than 50% reduction in all-cause mortality – while eight other studies included in a 2015 meta-analysis, and three other recent trials, found no signifi- cant clinical benefit. However, IN-TIME was also the only implant-based remote monitor- ing trial using a transmission tech- nology that sent daily updates to a central monitoring unit. By contrast, REM-HF used technology that trans- mitted implant data on a weekly basis. So why does IN-TIME show positive results when other remote monitoring studies don’t? What is so fundamentally different in its methodology that might account for its results? Multiparametric data in This the recently published Remote is a central question Monitoring and Clinical Outcomes: Details on Information Flow and Workflow in the IN-TIME Study by Husser et al. The authors note that IN-TIME featured multiparamet- ric data that was transmitted daily. Crucially, a workflow process was set up such that study investigators could typically contact patients less than a day after receiving an event alert and arrange any necessary follow-ups for less than a week later. The study authors point out that, in the recent TRUECOIN meta- analy sis, the IN-TIME approach was shown to be beneficial for patients with heart failure, since it provides early enough warning to potentially prevent deterioration in the patient’s condition due to new onset atrial fibrillation, asymptomatic ventricu- lar tachycardia, or other adverse events. It is this early appraisal – facilitated by efficient workflow processes, including multiparamet- ric daily transmissions — that make the difference in the IN-TIME study, authors argue. As the European cardiology com- munity gathers for ESC 2018, it’s an excellent time to re-examine exist- ing evidence for clues we may have missed, alongside the latest break- ing research. That’s why it’s time to look again at IN-TIME. EUROPEAN HOSPITAL Vol 27 Issue 4/18 Home Monitoring Service Center Central Monitoring Unit Clinic Patient BIOTRONIK ICD/CRT-D Prompt in-office FU if interview is ‘positive’ (asap) Daily automatic transmission (Mo-Su) Prompt patient contact if IN-TIME event is clinically relevant (asap) Daily HM alert evaluation and classification as IN-TIME events (Mo-Fr) Device diagnostics (last 24h) HM alerts IN-TIME Events Structured Interview Immediate automatic data evaluation (Mo-Su) IN-TIME 365 messages 83% - 94% received after 1 - 3 day(s) n.a. 100% of HM alerts notified on the same day 4.0 In-Time events n.a. Until next working day 2.1 contacts n.a. Median 1 day [IQR 0 – 5] ACTIVITY WORKFLOW PERFORMANCE Events per patient year Success Delay IN-TIME Workflow Performance Less than one week