Recent Submissions

  • Exercise rehabilitation in COPD and heart failure: comparison of two national audits

    Jones, Amy V.; Evans, Rachael; Steiner, Michael; Singh, Sally (2022-11)
    Background: Pulmonary (PR) and cardiac rehabilitation (CR) are recommended in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic heart failure (CHF); the impact of coexisting COPD and CHF on completion and outcomes of rehabilitation programmes is unknown. We examined enrolment, completion and clinical outcomes of CR and PR in adults with COPD, CHF and coexisting COPD and CHF. Methods: The National Audit of CR and National COPD Audit Programme: clinical audits of PR were analysed (211 PR and 237 CR programmes); adults with a diagnosis of CHF, COPD or coexisting COPD and CHF were identified (COPD+CHF or CHF+COPD according to database). Propensity matching was conducted (age, sex, body mass index and functional status) between COPD+CHF and COPD, and CHF+COPD and CHF. Group by time interaction was examined using mixed 2×2 analysis of variance. Results: Those with CHF+COPD had lower enrolment and completion of CR compared to those with CHF; there were no differences in PR enrolment or completion between the two groups. Adults with COPD made a significantly larger gain in the incremental shuttle walk test compared to adults with COPD+CHF following PR (59.3 m versus 37.4 m); the improvements following CR were similar (CHF 77.3 m versus CHF+COPD 58.3 m). Similar improvements were made in the 6-min walk test following CR (CHF 45.1 m versus CHF+COPD 38.8 m) and PR (COPD 48.2 m versus COPD+CHF 44.0 m). Comparable improvements in quality of life and mood state were made following CR and PR, regardless of diagnosis. Conclusion: We have demonstrated that multi-morbid adults benefit from exercise-based rehabilitation, yet efforts are needed to promote completion. These findings support group-based, tailored, multi-morbid exercise rehabilitation.
  • Identification of redundancy between human FcεRIβ and MS4A6A proteins points toward additional complex mechanisms for FcεRI trafficking and signaling

    Bradding, Peter
    Background: Allergic diseases are triggered by signaling through the high-affinity IgE receptor, FcεRI. In both mast cells (MCs) and basophils, FcεRI is a tetrameric receptor complex comprising a ligand-binding α subunit (FcεRIα), a tetraspan β subunit (FcεRIβ, MS4A2) responsible for trafficking and signal amplification, and a signal transducing dimer of single transmembrane γ subunits (FcεRIγ). However, FcεRI also exists as presumed trimeric complexes that lack FcεRIβ and are expressed on several cell types outside the MC and basophil lineages. Despite known differences between humans and mice in the presence of the trimeric FcεRI complex, questions remain as to how it traffics and whether it signals in the absence of FcεRIβ. We have previously reported that targeting FcεRIβ with exon-skipping oligonucleotides eliminates IgE-mediated degranulation in mouse MCs, but equivalent targeting in human MCs was not effective at reducing degranulation. Results: Here, we report that the FcεRIβ-like protein MS4A6A exists in human MCs and compensates for FcεRIβ in FcεRI trafficking and signaling. Human MS4A6A promotes surface expression of FcεRI complexes and facilitates degranulation. MS4A6A and FcεRIβ are encoded by highly related genes within the MS4A gene family that cluster within the human gene loci 11q12-q13, a region linked to allergy and asthma susceptibility. Conclusions: Our data suggest the presence of either FcεRIβ or MS4A6A is sufficient for degranulation, indicating that MS4A6A could be an elusive FcεRIβ-like protein in human MCs that performs compensatory functions in allergic disease.
  • Impact of Covid-19 on lung cancer and mesothelioma specialist nurses: A survey of experiences and perceptions

    Darlison, Liz (2022-12)
    Purpose: The covid-19 global pandemic has impacted on nurses who have rapidly adapted to new ways of working, and experienced negative impacts due to over-stretched services. Two surveys captured the experiences of lung cancer and mesothelioma specialist nurses in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2020, but the impact of later stages of the pandemic was unknown. This study aimed to explore the impact of covid-19 on lung Cancer and mesothelioma nurses since January 2021, the second wave of the pandemic. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey with both open and closed questions explored the impact of covid-19 on ways of working and workload, quality of care, and health and wellbeing. The survey was open to UK based lung cancer and mesothelioma advanced or specialist nurses. Results: 85 nurses responded to the survey. The majority were Clinical Nurse Specialists, based in England. Respondents reported changes in ways of working due to redeployment, staff shortages, and home working. Widespread adoption of virtual working practices led to concerns of negative impacts. Perceived excessive workload impacted on care with two-thirds of the sample (57, 67%) reporting they had been unable to provide the same quality of care to patients. Impacts on nurses' health and wellbeing were reported with two-thirds of the sample (56, 66%) reporting a deterioration in emotional wellbeing and mental health. Coping mechanisms employed included online team support to share experiences and increased uptake of exercise; however, impacts on lifestyle and access to coping mechanisms varied. Conclusion: Nurses have stepped up to the challenges of the pandemic with teamwork and innovation, but pressure arising from the pandemic and high workloads led to negative impacts on wellbeing. The authors have provided recommendations to improve patient care and support the wellbeing of nurses, which will be key to a resilient workforce living with covid-19. Whilst this study focussed on lung cancer and mesothelioma specialists, the findings have wider implications for other cancer specialties.
  • Platelet biomarkers in patients with atherosclerotic extracranial carotid artery stenosis: a systematic review

    Naylor, Ross (2022-03)
    Objective: The aim was to enhance understanding of the role of platelet biomarkers in the pathogenesis of vascular events and risk stratifying patients with asymptomatic or symptomatic atherosclerotic carotid stenosis. Data sources: Systematic review conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Review methods: A systematic review collated data from 1975 to 2020 on ex vivo platelet activation and platelet function/reactivity in patients with atherosclerotic carotid stenosis. Results: Forty-three studies met the inclusion criteria; the majority included patients on antiplatelet therapy. Five studies showed increased platelet biomarkers in patients with ≥ 30% asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS) vs. controls, with one neutral study. Preliminary data from one study suggested that quantification of "coated platelets" in combination with stenosis severity may aid risk stratification in patients with ≥ 50% - 99% ACS. Platelets were excessively activated in patients with ≥ 30% symptomatic carotid stenosis (SCS) vs. controls (≥ 11 positive studies and one neutral study). Antiplatelet-High on Treatment Platelet Reactivity (HTPR), previously called "antiplatelet resistance", was observed in 23% - 57% of patients on aspirin, with clopidogrel-HTPR in 25% - 100% of patients with ≥ 50% - 99% ACS. Aspirin-HTPR was noted in 9.5% - 64% and clopidogrel-HTPR in 0 - 83% of patients with ≥ 50% SCS. However, the data do not currently support the use of ex vivo platelet function/reactivity testing to tailor antiplatelet therapy outside of a research setting. Platelets are excessively activated (n = 5), with increased platelet counts (n = 3) in recently symptomatic vs. asymptomatic patients, including those without micro-emboli on transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring (n = 2). Most available studies (n = 7) showed that platelets become more reactive or activated following carotid endarterectomy or stenting, either as an acute phase response to intervention or peri-procedural treatment. Conclusion: Platelets are excessively activated in patients with carotid stenosis vs. controls, in recently symptomatic vs. asymptomatic patients, and may become activated/hyper-reactive following carotid interventions despite commonly prescribed antiplatelet regimens. Further prospective multicentre studies are required to determine whether models combining clinical, neurovascular imaging, and platelet biomarker data can facilitate optimised antiplatelet therapy in individual patients with carotid stenosis.
  • Surveillance for moderate-sized thoracic aortic aneurysms: Equality is the goal

    Acharya, Metesh; Mariscalco, Giovanni (2022-04)
    Comprehensive clinical and imaging-based surveillance represents a fundamental aspect in the management of thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs), affording the opportunity to identify intermediate-sized TAAs before the onset of worrying symptoms or devastating acute aortic dissection/rupture. Currently, size-based indices are favored as the major determinants driving patient selection for surgery, as supported by aortic guidelines, although it is recognized that smaller subthreshold TAAs may still confer substantial risks. Prophylactic aortic surgery can be offered within set timeframes at dedicated aortic centers with excellent outcomes, to mitigate the threat of acute aortic complications associated with a repeatedly deferred intervention. In this commentary, we discuss a recent article from the Journal of Cardiac Surgery that highlights important socioeconomic disparities in TAA surveillance and follow-up.
  • Clinical impact of changes in mitral regurgitation severity after medical therapy optimization in heart failure

    Samani, Nilesh (2022-08)
    Background: Few data are available regarding changes in mitral regurgitation (MR) severity with guideline-recommended medical therapy (GRMT) in heart failure (HF). Our aim was to evaluate the evolution and impact of MR after GRMT in the Biology study to Tailored treatment in chronic heart failure (BIOSTAT-CHF). Methods: A retrospective post-hoc analysis was performed on HF patients from BIOSTAT-CHF with available data on MR status at baseline and at 9-month follow-up after GRMT optimization. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause death or HF hospitalization. Results: Among 1022 patients with data at both time-points, 462 (45.2%) had moderate-severe MR at baseline and 360 (35.2%) had it at 9-month follow-up. Regression of moderate-severe MR from baseline to 9 months occurred in 192/462 patients (41.6%) and worsening from baseline to moderate-severe MR at 9 months occurred in 90/560 patients (16.1%). The presence of moderate-severe MR at 9 months, independent from baseline severity, was associated with an increased risk of the primary endpoint (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.57-2.63; p < 0.001), also after adjusting for the BIOSTAT-CHF risk-prediction model (adjusted HR, 1.85; 95% CI 1.43-2.39; p < 0.001). Younger age, LVEF ≥ 50% and treatment with higher ACEi/ARB doses were associated with a lower likelihood of persistence of moderate-severe MR at 9 months, whereas older age was the only predictor of worsening MR. Conclusions: Among patients with HF undergoing GRMT optimization, ACEi/ARB up-titration and HFpEF were associated with MR improvement, and the presence of moderate-severe MR after GRMT was associated with worse outcome.
  • Biomarker changes as surrogate endpoints in early-phase trials in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction

    Samani, Nilesh (2022-08)
    Aims: No biomarker has achieved widespread acceptance as a surrogate endpoint for early-phase heart failure (HF) trials. We assessed whether changes over time in a panel of plasma biomarkers were associated with subsequent morbidity/mortality in HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Methods and results: In 1040 patients with HFrEF from the BIOSTAT-CHF cohort, we investigated the associations between changes in the plasma concentrations of 30 biomarkers, before (baseline) and after (9 months) attempted optimization of guideline-recommended therapy, on top of the BIOSTAT risk score and the subsequent risk of HF hospitalization/all-cause mortality using Cox regression models. C-statistics were calculated to assess discriminatory power of biomarker changes/month-nine assessment. Changes in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and WAP four-disulphide core domain protein HE4 (WAP-4C) were the only independent predictors of the outcome after adjusting for their baseline plasma concentration, 28 other biomarkers (both baseline and changes), and BIOSTAT risk score at baseline. When adjusting for month-nine rather than baseline biomarkers concentrations, only changes in NT-proBNP were independently associated with the outcome. The C-statistic of the model including the BIOSTAT risk score and NT-proBNP increased by 4% when changes were considered on top of baseline concentrations and by 1% when changes in NT-proBNP were considered on top of its month-nine concentrations and the BIOSTAT risk score. Conclusions: Among 30 relevant biomarkers, a change over time was significantly and independently associated with HF hospitalization/all-cause death only for NT-proBNP. Changes over time were modestly more prognostic than baseline or end-values alone. Changes in biomarkers should be further explored as potential surrogate endpoints in early phase HF trials.
  • The role of 4-Dimensional flow in the assessment of bicuspid aortic valve and its valvulo-aortopathies

    Richards, Caryl; Parker, Alex; Alfuhied, Aseel; McCann, Gerry; Singh, Anvesha (2022-07)
    Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common congenital cardiac malformation and the leading cause of aortopathy and aortic stenosis in younger patients. Aortic wall remodelling secondary to altered haemodynamic flow patterns, changes in peak velocity, and wall shear stress may be implicated in the development of aortopathy in the presence of bicuspid aortic valve and dysfunction. Assessment of these parameters as potential predictors of disease severity and progression is thus desirable. The anatomic and functional information acquired from 4D flow MRI can allow simultaneous visualisation and quantification of the pathological geometric and haemodynamic changes of the aorta. We review the current clinical utility of haemodynamic quantities including velocity, wall sheer stress and energy losses, as well as visual descriptors such as vorticity and helicity, and flow direction in assessing the aortic valve and associated aortopathies.
  • Development and validation of prediction models of adverse kidney outcomes in the population with and without diabetes mellitus

    Brunskill, Nigel; Major, Rupert; Medcalf, James (2022-07)
    Objective: To predict adverse kidney outcomes for use in optimizing medical management and clinical trial design. Research design and methods: In this meta-analysis of individual participant data, 43 cohorts (N = 1,621,817) from research studies, electronic medical records, and clinical trials with global representation were separated into development and validation cohorts. Models were developed and validated within strata of diabetes mellitus (presence or absence) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; ≥60 or <60 mL/min/1.73 m2) to predict a composite of ≥40% decline in eGFR or kidney failure (i.e., receipt of kidney replacement therapy) over 2-3 years. Results: There were 17,399 and 24,591 events in development and validation cohorts, respectively. Models predicting ≥40% eGFR decline or kidney failure incorporated age, sex, eGFR, albuminuria, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive medication use, history of heart failure, coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation, smoking status, and BMI, and, in those with diabetes, hemoglobin A1c, insulin use, and oral diabetes medication use. The median C-statistic was 0.774 (interquartile range [IQR] = 0.753, 0.782) in the diabetes and higher-eGFR validation cohorts; 0.769 (IQR = 0.758, 0.808) in the diabetes and lower-eGFR validation cohorts; 0.740 (IQR = 0.717, 0.763) in the no diabetes and higher-eGFR validation cohorts; and 0.750 (IQR = 0.731, 0.785) in the no diabetes and lower-eGFR validation cohorts. Incorporating the previous 2-year eGFR slope minimally improved model performance, and then only in the higher-eGFR cohorts. Conclusions: Novel prediction equations for a decline of ≥40% in eGFR can be applied successfully for use in the general population in persons with and without diabetes with higher or lower eGFR.
  • Whole blood transcriptomic profiling identifies molecular pathways related to cardiovascular mortality in heart failure

    Romaine, Simon; Samani, Nilesh (2022-06)
    Aims: Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a systemic syndrome with a poor prognosis and a need for novel therapies. We investigated whether whole blood transcriptomic profiling can provide new mechanistic insights into cardiovascular (CV) mortality in CHF. Methods and results: Transcriptome profiles were generated at baseline from 944 CHF patients from the BIOSTAT-CHF study, of whom 626 survived and 318 died from a CV cause during a follow-up of 21 months. Multivariable analysis, including adjustment for cell count, identified 1153 genes (6.5%) that were differentially expressed between those that survived or died and strongly related to a validated clinical risk score for adverse prognosis. The differentially expressed genes mainly belonged to five non-redundant pathways: adaptive immune response, proteasome-mediated ubiquitin-dependent protein catabolic process, T-cell co-stimulation, positive regulation of T-cell proliferation, and erythrocyte development. These five pathways were selectively related (RV coefficients >0.20) with seven circulating protein biomarkers of CV mortality (fibroblast growth factor 23, soluble ST2, adrenomedullin, hepcidin, pentraxin-3, WAP 4-disulfide core domain 2, and interleukin-6) revealing an intricate relationship between immune and iron homeostasis. The pattern of survival-associated gene expression matched with 29 perturbagen-induced transcriptome signatures in the iLINCS drug-repurposing database, identifying drugs, approved for other clinical indications, that were able to reverse in vitro the molecular changes associated with adverse prognosis in CHF. Conclusion: Systematic modelling of the whole blood protein-coding transcriptome defined molecular pathways that provide a link between clinical risk factors and adverse CV prognosis in CHF, identifying both established and new potential therapeutic targets.
  • Whole-body and muscle responses to aerobic exercise training and withdrawal in ageing and COPD

    Latimer, Lorna; Popat, Bhavesh; Houchen-Wollof, Linzy; Steiner, Michael (2022-05-12)
    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients exhibit lower peak oxygen uptake (V'O2 peak), altered muscle metabolism and impaired exercise tolerance compared with age-matched controls. Whether these traits reflect muscle-level deconditioning (impacted by ventilatory constraints) and/or dysfunction in mitochondrial ATP production capacity is debated. By studying aerobic exercise training (AET) at a matched relative intensity and subsequent exercise withdrawal period we aimed to elucidate the whole-body and muscle mitochondrial responsiveness of healthy young (HY), healthy older (HO) and COPD volunteers to whole-body exercise. Methods: HY (n=10), HO (n=10) and COPD (n=20) volunteers were studied before and after 8 weeks of AET (65% V'O2 peak) and after 4 weeks of exercise withdrawal. V'O2 peak, muscle maximal mitochondrial ATP production rate (MAPR), mitochondrial content, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and abundance of 59 targeted fuel metabolism mRNAs were determined at all time-points. Results: Muscle MAPR (normalised for mitochondrial content) was not different for any substrate combination in HO, HY and COPD at baseline, but mtDNA copy number relative to a nuclear-encoded housekeeping gene (mean±sd) was greater in HY (804±67) than in HO (631±69; p=0.041). AET increased V'O2 peak in HO (17%; p=0.002) and HY (21%; p<0.001), but not COPD (p=0.603). Muscle MAPR for palmitate increased with training in HO (57%; p=0.041) and HY (56%; p=0.003), and decreased with exercise withdrawal in HO (-45%; p=0.036) and HY (-30%; p=0.016), but was unchanged in COPD (p=0.594). mtDNA copy number increased with AET in HY (66%; p=0.001), but not HO (p=0.081) or COPD (p=0.132). The observed changes in muscle mRNA abundance were similar in all groups after AET and exercise withdrawal. Conclusions: Intrinsic mitochondrial function was not impaired by ageing or COPD in the untrained state. Whole-body and muscle mitochondrial responses to AET were robust in HY, evident in HO, but deficient in COPD. All groups showed robust muscle mRNA responses. Higher relative exercise intensities during whole-body training may be needed to maximise whole-body and muscle mitochondrial adaptation in COPD.
  • Immunosuppressive regimens and outcomes of inflammatory bowel disease patients requiring kidney transplantation

    Singh, Baljit (2022-02)
    Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can develop extra-renal complications and as a result, suffer from end stage renal failure requiring kidney transplantation (KT). A brief review of available literature revealed that IBD patients undergoing KT have shorter overall survival rates compared to their controls. Literature reporting steroid regimens and survival outcomes specific to IBD and post kidney transplant are scarce and these studies have small sample sizes thus making it difficult to draw accurate conclusions. Further research is required in the form of a randomized controlled study to clarify the effect and mechanism of steroid immunosuppression on the prognosis of renal transplant recipients and explore new treatment schemes.
  • Multiple hormonal and metabolic deficiency syndrome predicts outcome in heart failure: the T.O.S.CA. Registry

    Suzuki, Toru (2021-12)
    Aims: Recent evidence supports the occurrence of multiple hormonal and metabolic deficiency syndrome (MHDS) in chronic heart failure (CHF). However, no large observational study has unequivocally demonstrated its impact on CHF progression and outcome. The T.O.S.CA. (Trattamento Ormonale nello Scompenso CArdiaco; Hormone Treatment in Heart Failure) Registry has been specifically designed to test the hypothesis that MHDS affects morbidity and mortality in CHF patients. Methods and results: The T.O.S.CA. Registry is a prospective, multicentre, observational study involving 19 Italian centres. Thyroid hormones, insulin-like growth factor-1, total testosterone, dehydropianoandrosterone sulfate, insulin resistance, and the presence of diabetes were evaluated. A MHDS was defined as the presence of ≥2 hormone deficiencies (HDs). Primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalizations. Four hundred and eighty heart failure patients with ejection fraction ≤45% were enrolled. MHDS or diabetes was diagnosed in 372 patients (77.5%). A total of 271 events (97 deaths and 174 cardiovascular hospitalizations) were recorded, 41% in NO-MHDS and 62% in MHDS (P < 0.001). Median follow-up was of 36 months. MHDS was independently associated with the occurrence of the primary endpoint [hazard ratio 95% (confidence interval), 1.93 (1.37-2.73), P < 0.001] and identified a group of patients with a higher mortality [2.2 (1.28-3.83), P = 0.01], with a graded relation between HDs and cumulative events (P < 0.01). Conclusion: MHDS is common in CHF and independently associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular hospitalization, representing a promising therapeutic target. Trial registration: identifier: NCT023358017.
  • Association of gut-related metabolites with respiratory symptoms in COVID-19: A proof-of-concept study

    Ibrahim, Wadah; Greening, Neil; Brightling, Christopher; Siddiqui, Salman; Suzuki, Toru
    Gut-related metabolites have been linked with respiratory disease. The crosstalk between the gut and lungs suggests that gut health may be compromised in COVID-19. The aims of the present study were to analyze a panel of gut-related metabolites (acetyl-L-carnitine, betaine, choline, L-carnitine, trimethylamine, and trimethylamine N-oxide) in patients with COVID-19, matched with healthy individuals and patients with non-COVID-19 respiratory symptoms. As results, metabolites from this panel were impaired in patients with COVID-19 and were associated with the symptoms of breathlessness and temperature, and it was possible to differentiate between COVID-19 and asthma. Preliminary results showed that lower levels of betaine appeared to be associated with poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19, suggesting betaine as a marker of gut microbiome health.
  • Protocol for a single-centre mixed-method pre-post single-arm feasibility trial of a culturally appropriate 6-week pulmonary rehabilitation programme among adults with functionally limiting chronic respiratory diseases in Malawi

    Manise, Adrian; Singh, Sally; Steiner, Michael; Free, Robert
    Introduction: Malawi has a substantial burden of chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) which cause significant morbidity and loss of economic productivity, affecting patients, families and health systems. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a highly recommended non-pharmacological intervention in the clinical management of people with CRDs. However, Malawi lacks published evidence on the implementation of PR for people with CRDs. This trial will test the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a culturally appropriate hospital-based PR programme among adults with functionally limiting CRDs at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Methods and analysis: This is a single-centre mixed-methods pre-post single-arm feasibility trial. Ten patients aged ≥18 years, with a spirometry confirmed diagnosis of a CRD and breathlessness of ≥2 on the modified Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale, will be consecutively recruited. Their baseline lung function, exercise tolerance and health status will be assessed; including spirometry, Incremental Shuttle Walk Test and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Assessment Test, respectively. Pretrial semistructured in-depth interviews will explore their experiences of living with CRD and potential enablers and barriers to their PR uptake. Along with international PR guidelines, these data will inform culturally appropriate delivery of PR. We initially propose a 6-week, twice-weekly, supervised centre-based PR programme, with an additional weekly home-based non-supervised session. Using combination of researcher observation, interaction with the participants, field notes and informal interviews with the participants, we will assess the feasibility of running the programme in the following areas: participants' recruitment, retention, engagement and protocol adherence. Following programme completion (after 6 weeks), repeat assessments of lung function, exercise tolerance and health status will be conducted. Quantitative changes in clinical outcomes will be described in relation to published minimal clinically important differences. Post-trial semistructured interviews will capture participants' perceived impact of the PR programme on their quality of life, enablers, and barriers to fully engaging with the programme, and allow iteration of its design. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval for this trial was obtained from University of Malawi College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee (COMREC), Blantyre, Malawi (protocol number: P.07/19/2752) and University of Leicester Research Ethics Committee, Leicester, UK (ethics reference: 31574). The results of the trial will be disseminated through oral presentations at local and international scientific conferences or seminars and publication in a peer-reviewed journal. We will also engage the participants who complete the PR trial and the Science Communication Department at Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme to organise community outreach activities within Blantyre to educate communities about CRDs and PR. We will also broadcast our trial results through national radio station programmes such as the weekly "Thanzi la Onse" (Health of All) programme by Times Radio Malawi. We will formally present our trial results to Blantyre District Health Office and Malawi Ministry of Health.
  • Contribution of NOTCH1 genetic variants to bicuspid aortic valve and other congenital lesions

    Debiec, Radoslaw; Safwan, Kassem; Sosin, Michael; Hetherington, Simon; Elamin, Mohamed; Coolman, Sue; Skinner, Gregory; Samani, Nilesh; Bolger, Aidan (2022-03)
    Introduction: Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) affects 1% of the general population. NOTCH1 was the first gene associated with BAV. The proportion of familial and sporadic BAV disease attributed to NOTCH1 mutations has not been estimated. Aim: The aim of our study was to provide an estimate of familial and sporadic BAV disease attributable to NOTCH1 mutations. Methods: The population of our study consisted of participants of the University of Leicester Bicuspid aoRtic vAlVe gEnetic research-8 pedigrees with multiple affected family members and 381 sporadic patients. All subjects underwent NOTCH1 sequencing. A systematic literature search was performed in the NCBI PubMed database to identify publications reporting NOTCH1 sequencing in context of congenital heart disease. Results: NOTCH1 sequencing in 36 subjects from 8 pedigrees identified one variant c.873C>G/p.Tyr291* meeting the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics criteria for pathogenicity. No pathogenic or likely pathogenic NOTCH1 variants were identified in 381 sporadic patients. Literature review identified 64 relevant publication reporting NOTCH1 sequencing in 528 pedigrees and 9449 sporadic subjects. After excluding families with syndromic disease pathogenic and likely pathogenic NOTCH1 variants were detected in 9/435 (2.1%; 95% CI: 0.7% to 3.4%) of pedigrees and between 0.05% (95% CI: 0.005% to 0.10%) and 0.08% (95% CI: 0.02% to 0.13%) of sporadic patients. Incomplete penetrance of definitely pathogenic NOTCH1 mutations was observed in almost half of reported pedigrees. Conclusions: Pathogenic and likely pathogenic NOTCH1 genetic variants explain 2% of familial and <0.1% of sporadic BAV disease and are more likely to associate with tetralogy of Fallot and hypoplastic left heart.
  • Mutation of the MYL3 gene in a patient with mid-ventricular obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    Mavilakandy, Akash (2022-03)
    In this study, we discuss a female patient referred to cardiology with left ventricular hypertrophy at mid-ventricular segments resulting in a mid-cavitary obstruction and a left ventricular apical aneurysm. The patient had normal epicardial coronary arteries, but presented with recurrent cerebrovascular events. The patient had a positive family history for sudden cardiac death. Cardiac MRI detected positive features of left ventricular mid-cavity obstruction, left ventricular apical aneurysm and delayed gadolinium enhancement, with Holter monitoring assessment displaying segments of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia. Genetic analysis detected an myosin light chain 3 (MYL3) gene mutation. The patient will be referred to receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.The MYL3 gene mutation is a rare variant in patients with familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. To our knowledge, the presence of a left ventricular apical aneurysm has not been previously reported in literature concerning the MYL3 gene mutation. The presence of this abnormality further increases the risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Bi-atrial thrombus straddling a patent foramen ovale with bilateral embolization: A therapeutic challenge

    Dattani, Abhishek; Safwan, Kassem; Ansari, Mohammedimran; Somani, Riyaz (2022-01)
    Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the world and a significant portion of ischemic strokes have a cardiac source. We report a case of a 55-year-old male who presented with an ischemic stroke and bilateral pulmonary emboli secondary to an intra-cardiac thrombus straddling a patent foramen ovale, which was clearly seen using transesophageal echocardiography. We discuss the management dilemma associated with this clinical picture given the risk of hemorrhagic transformation in the acute phase of an ischemic stroke. Our case demonstrates the need for a multidisciplinary approach in an area of medicine that lacks clear guidelines.
  • Intradialytic cycling does not exacerbate microparticles or circulating markers of systemic inflammation in haemodialysis patients

    March, Daniel; Young, Hannah; Graham-Brown, Matthew; Brunskill, Nigel; Smith, Alice; Burton, James (2022-03)
    Purpose: Patients receiving haemodialysis (HD) display elevated circulating microparticle (MP) concentration, tissue factor (TF) expression and markers of systemic inflammation, though regular intradialytic cycling (IDC) may have a therapeutic effect. This study investigated the impact of regular, moderate-intensity IDC on circulating MPs and inflammatory markers in unit-based HD patients. Methods: Patients were cluster-randomised to intervention (n = 20, age: 51.4 ± 18.1 years, body mass: 77.6 ± 18.3 kg, mean ± SD) or no-exercise control (n = 20, 56.8 ± 14.0 years, 80.5 ± 26.5 kg). Intervention participants completed 30 min of moderate intensity (rating of perceived exertion [RPE] of 12-14) IDC, thrice weekly for 6 months. Pre-dialysis venous blood samples were obtained at 0, 3 and 6 months. Circulating MP phenotypes, cytokines, chemokine and MP TF expression were quantified using flow cytometry and cytometric bead array assays. Results: Despite high exercise compliance (82%), no IDC-dependent effects were observed for any MP, cytokine or chemokine measure (p ≥ 0.051, ηρ2 ≤ 0.399) other than TNF-α (p = 0.001, ηρ2 = 0.186), though no significance was revealed upon post hoc analysis. Conclusion: Six months of regular, moderate-intensity IDC had no effect on MPs, cytokines or chemokines. This suggests that the exercise did not exacerbate thrombotic or inflammatory status, though further functional assays are required to confirm this.

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