• Standard care vs. TRIVEntricular pacing in Heart Failure (STRIVE HF): a prospective multicentre randomized controlled trial of triventricular pacing vs. conventional biventricular pacing in patients with heart failure and intermediate QRS left bundle branch block

      Nicolson, Will (2021)
      Aims: To determine whether triventricular (TriV) pacing is feasible and improves CRT response compared to conventional biventricular (BiV) pacing in patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB) and intermediate QRS prolongation (120-150 ms). Methods and results: Between October 2015 and November 2019, 99 patients were recruited from 11 UK centres. Ninety-five patients were randomized 1:1 to receive TriV or BiV pacing systems. The primary endpoint was feasibility of TriV pacing. Secondary endpoints assessed symptomatic and remodelling response to CRT. Baseline characteristics were balanced between groups. In the TriV group, 43/46 (93.5%) patients underwent successful implantation vs. 47/49 (95.9%) in the BiV group. Feasibility of maintaining CRT at 6 months was similar in the TriV vs. BiV group (90.0% vs. 97.7%, P = 0.191). All-cause mortality was similar between TriV vs. BiV groups (4.3% vs. 8.2%, P = 0.678). There were no significant differences in echocardiographic LV volumes or clinical composite scores from baseline to 6-month follow-up between groups. Conclusion: Implantation of two LV leads to deliver and maintain TriV pacing at 6 months is feasible without significant complications in the majority of patients. There was no evidence that TriV pacing improves CRT response or provides additional clinical benefit to patients with LBBB and intermediate QRS prolongation and cannot be recommended in this patient group. Clinical trial registration number: Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02529410.
    • Variation in human herpesvirus 6B telomeric integration, excision, and transmission between tissues and individuals

      Romaine, Simon; Samani, Nilesh (2021)
      Human herpesviruses 6A and 6B (HHV-6A/6B) are ubiquitous pathogens that persist lifelong in latent form and can cause severe conditions upon reactivation. They are spread by community-acquired infection of free virus (acqHHV6A/6B) and by germline transmission of inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A/6B (iciHHV-6A/6B) in telomeres. We exploited a hypervariable region of the HHV-6B genome to investigate the relationship between acquired and inherited virus and revealed predominantly maternal transmission of acqHHV-6B in families. Remarkably, we demonstrate that some copies of acqHHV-6B in saliva from healthy adults gained a telomere, indicative of integration and latency, and that the frequency of viral genome excision from telomeres in iciHHV-6B carriers is surprisingly high and varies between tissues. In addition, newly formed short telomeres generated by partial viral genome release are frequently lengthened, particularly in telomerase-expressing pluripotent cells. Consequently, iciHHV-6B carriers are mosaic for different iciHHV-6B structures, including circular extra-chromosomal forms that have the potential to reactivate. Finally, we show transmission of an HHV-6B strain from an iciHHV-6B mother to her non-iciHHV-6B son. Altogether, we demonstrate that iciHHV-6B can readily transition between telomere-integrated and free virus forms.
    • Results of a nationally implemented cardiac screening programme in elite cricket players in England and Wales

      Dhutia, Harshil (2021)
      Objectives: We assessed the diagnostic yield and costs of an electrocardiogram-based national screening programme in elite cricket players and the incremental value of transthoracic echocardiography and periodic evaluation. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Between 2008 and 2019, 1208 cricketers underwent screening with a health questionnaire, 12-lead electrocardiogram and cardiology consultation. Athletes with concerning findings underwent on-site transthoracic echocardiography and further investigations as necessary. In addition, despite a normal health questionnaire and electrocardiogram, 342 (28.3%) athletes had a transthoracic echocardiogram and 493 (40.8%) underwent repeat evaluations. Results: After initial evaluation, 47 (3.9%) athletes underwent on-site transthoracic echocardiography of whom 35 (2.8%) were referred for further evaluation. Four athletes (0.3%) were diagnosed with major cardiac conditions; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (n = 1), arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (n = 1) and Wolff-Parkinson-White pattern (n = 2). Two athletes were identified with minor valvular abnormalities. Repeat evaluation of 493 athletes identified hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in a 22-year-old athlete, two years after his initial normal screening. During a follow-up of 5.8 ± 2.9 years no additional diagnoses or adverse cardiac events were reported. The cost of the electrocardiogram-based programme was £127,844, translating to £106 per athlete and £25,569 per major cardiac condition identified.Routine transthoracic echocardiography in 342 athletes identified two athletes with major cardiac conditions (bicuspid aortic valve with severe aortopathy and aortic regurgitation and an atrial septal defect associated with right ventricular volume overload) and 10 athletes with minor abnormalities. Conclusions: An electrocardiogram-based national screening programme identified a major cardiac condition in 0.3% of athletes. Routine transthoracic echocardiography and periodic evaluation increased the diagnostic yield to 0.6%, at an incremental cost.
    • Leaders in Cardiovascular Research: Nilesh J. Samani

      Samani, Nilesh (2021)
      No abstract available.
    • 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: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT023358017.
    • Microbiomes in physiology: Insights into 21st century global medical challenges

      Suzuki, Toru (2022)
      New findings: What is the topic of this review? This review summarises the role of the gut microbiome in physiology and how it can be targeted as an effective strategy against two of the most important global medical challenges of our time namely, metabolic diseases and antibacterial resistance. What advances does it highlight? We outline the critical roles of the microbiome in regulating host physiology and discuss how microbiome analysis is useful for disease stratification to enable informed clinical decisions and develop interventions such as faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), prebiotics, and probiotics. We also discuss the limitations of microbiome modulation, including the potential for probiotics to enhance antimicrobial resistance gene reservoirs, and that currently a "healthy microbiome" that can be used as a biobank for transplantation is yet to be defined. Abstract: The human gut microbiome plays a key factor in the development of metabolic diseases and antimicrobial resistance which are among the greatest global medical challenges of the 21st century. The symposium aimed to highlight state-of-the-art evidence for the role of the gut microbiome in physiology, from childhood to adulthood, and the impact this has on global disease outcomes, ageing and antimicrobial resistance. Although the gut microbiome is established early in life, over time the microbiome and their components including metabolites can become perturbed due to changes such as dietary habits, use of antibiotics and age. As gut microbial metabolites, including short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), secondary bile acids and trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO), can interact with host receptors including G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), and can alter host metabolic fluxes, they can significantly affect physiological homeostasis leading to metabolic diseases. These metabolites can be used to stratify disease phenotypes such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and adverse events after heart failure and provide informed decisions on clinical management and treatment. While strategies such as probiotics, prebiotics, and faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) have been proposed as interventions to treat and prevent metabolic diseases and antimicrobial resistance, caution must be exercised; first due to the potential of probiotics to enhance antimicrobial resistance gene reservoirs and second, a "healthy gut microbiome" that can be used as a biobank for transplantation is yet to be defined. We highlight that sampling other parts of the GI tract may produce more representative data than the faecal microbiome alone. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    • Implementation of more sensitive cardiac troponin T assay in a state-wide health service

      Nazir, Sheraz (2022)
      Aims: Explore the impact of deploying high-sensitivity (hs) cardiac troponin T (cTnT) assay across a state-wide health service. Methods and results: Presentations to emergency departments of six tertiary hospitals between January 2008 and August 2019 were included; standard cTnT assay was superseded by hs-cTnT in June 2011 without changing the reference range (≥30 ng/L reported as elevated), despite cTnT level of 30 ng/L being equivalent to ∼44 ng/L with hs-cTnT. Clinical outcomes were captured using state-wide linked health records. Interrupted time series analyses were used adjusted for seasonality and multiple co-morbidities using propensity score matching allowing for correlation within hospitals. In total, 614,847 presentations had ≥1 troponin measurement. Clinical ordering of troponin decreased throughout the study with no increase in elevated measurements amongst those tested with hs-cTnT. Small but statistically significant changes in index myocardial infarction (MI) diagnosis (-0.36%/year, 95%CI [confidence interval]:-0.48, -0.24,p < 0.001) and invasive coronary angiography (0.12%/year,95%CI:0, 0.24,p = 0.02) were seen, with no impact on death/MI at 30 days or 3-year survival in episodes of care (EOCs) with elevated cTnT after hs-cTnT implementation. Length of stay (LOS) was shorter among those with an elevated hs-cTnT (-4.44 h/year, 95%CI:-5.27, -3.60, p < 0.001). Non-elevated cTnT EOCs demonstrated shorter total LOS and improved 3-year survival (adjusted hazard ratio:0.90, 95%CI:0.83, 0.97,p = 0.008) although death/MI at 30 days was unchanged using hs-cTnT. Conclusion: Widespread implementation of hs-cTnT without altering clinical thresholds reported to clinicians provided significantly shorter LOS without a clinically significant impact on clinical outcomes. A safer cohort with non-elevated cTnT was identified by hs-cTnT compared to the standard cTnT assay.
    • Getting high for likes: exploring cannabis-related content on TikTok

      Lim, Tong Liang (2022)
      Introduction: With over 1 billion monthly users globally, a third of whom are under 14 years, TikTok's popularity is indisputable. Publicly available cannabis-related content on this platform may influence perceptions of cannabis use. We aimed to examine how cannabis-related videos are portrayed on TikTok. Methods: Data were collected from TikTok using hashtag-based keywords on cannabis-related videos (n = 1377). Seven researchers documented video metrics (i.e. views, likes, comments) and independently coded videos for sentiment and theme. Results: After removing duplicates and non-related content, the final sample contained 881 videos. These videos had a median view count of 518 700 (SD = ±1 082 905), median likes count of 99 900 (SD = ±206 647) and median comment count of 931 (SD = ±2977). Many videos portrayed cannabis use positively (54.14%; collectively viewed 417 million times), with 15.84% of this subset actively depicting cannabis or administration products. The thematic analysis identified seven non-mutually exclusive themes. Content portraying cannabis use as entertaining or humorous accounted for 71.74% of videos, with a further 42.90% discussing personal cannabis use experiences and 24.63% promoting the social and cultural acceptability of cannabis use. Discussion and conclusions: Our sample revealed over half of videos portrayed cannabis use positively and none were age restricted. All were publicly accessible through standard web and smartphone applications. With previous research demonstrating that exposure to cannabis-related content can influence adolescents' attitudes and problematic cannabis use, it is important more effective age restrictions and regulations are introduced to social media platforms.
    • Nonadherence in hypertension: how to develop and implement chemical adherence testing

      Lane, Dan; Patel, Prashanth; Gupta, Pankaj (2022)
      Nonadherence to antihypertensive medication is common, especially in those with apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (true treatment-resistant hypertension requires exclusion of nonadherence), and its routine detection is supported by clinical guidelines. Chemical adherence testing is a reliable and valid method to detect adherence, yet methods are unstandardized and are not ubiquitous. This article describes the principles of chemical adherence testing for hypertensive patients and provides a set of recommendations for centers wishing to develop the test. We recommend testing should be done in either of two instances: (1) in those who have resistant hypertension or (2) in those on 2 antihypertensives who have a less than 10 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure on addition of the second antihypertensive medication. Furthermore, we recommend that verbal consent is secured before undertaking the test, and the results should be discussed with the patient. Based on medications prescribed in United Kingdom, European Union, and United States, we list top 20 to 24 drugs that cover >95% of hypertension prescriptions which may be included in the testing panel. Information required to identify these medications on mass spectrometry platforms is likewise provided. We discuss issues related to ethics, sample collection, transport, stability, urine versus blood samples, qualitative versus quantitative testing, pharmacokinetics, instrumentation, validation, quality assurance, and gaps in knowledge. We consider how to best present, interpret, and discuss chemical adherence test results with the patient. In summary, this guidance should help clinicians and their laboratories in the development of chemical adherence testing of prescribed antihypertensive drugs.
    • Gene and metabolite expression dependence on body mass index in human myocardium

      Roman, Marius; Zakkar, Mustafa; Joel-David, Lathishia; Kumar, Tracy; Murphy, Gavin (2022)
      We hypothesized that body mass index (BMI) dependent changes in myocardial gene expression and energy-related metabolites underlie the biphasic association between BMI and mortality (the obesity paradox) in cardiac surgery. We performed transcriptome profiling and measured a panel of 144 metabolites in 53 and 55, respectively, myocardial biopsies from a cohort of sixty-six adult patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (registration: NCT02908009). The initial analysis identified 239 transcripts with biphasic BMI dependence. 120 displayed u-shape and 119 n-shape expression patterns. The identified local minima or maxima peaked at BMI 28-29. Based on these results and to best fit the WHO classification, we grouped the patients into three groups: BMI < 25, 25 ≤ BMI ≤ 32, and BMI > 32. The analysis indicated that protein translation-related pathways were downregulated in 25 ≤ BMI ≤ 32 compared with BMI < 25 patients. Muscle contraction transcripts were upregulated in 25 ≤ BMI ≤ 32 patients, and cholesterol synthesis and innate immunity transcripts were upregulated in the BMI > 32 group. Transcripts involved in translation, muscle contraction and lipid metabolism also formed distinct correlation networks with biphasic dependence on BMI. Metabolite analysis identified acylcarnitines and ribose-5-phosphate increasing in the BMI > 32 group and α-ketoglutarate increasing in the BMI < 25 group. Molecular differences in the myocardium mirror the biphasic relationship between BMI and mortality.
    • Assessment of proximal tubular function by tubular maximum phosphate reabsorption capacity in heart failure

      Samani, Nilesh (2022)
      Background and objectives: The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a crucial parameter in heart failure. Much less is known about the importance of tubular function. We addressed the effect of tubular maximum phosphate reabsorption capacity (TmP/GFR), a parameter of proximal tubular function, in patients with heart failure. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: We established TmP/GFR (Bijvoet formula) in 2085 patients with heart failure and studied its association with deterioration of kidney function (>25% eGFR decrease from baseline) and plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) doubling (baseline to 9 months) using logistic regression analysis and clinical outcomes using Cox proportional hazards regression. Additionally, we evaluated the effect of sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT2) inhibition by empagliflozin on tubular maximum phosphate reabsorption capacity in 78 patients with acute heart failure using analysis of covariance. Results: Low TmP/GFR (<0.80 mmol/L) was observed in 1392 (67%) and 21 (27%) patients. Patients with lower TmP/GFR had more advanced heart failure, lower eGFR, and higher levels of tubular damage markers. The main determinant of lower TmP/GFR was higher fractional excretion of urea (P<0.001). Lower TmP/GFR was independently associated with higher risk of plasma NGAL doubling (odds ratio, 2.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 4.66; P=0.04) but not with deterioration of kidney function. Lower TmP/GFR was associated with higher risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 2.80; 95% confidence interval, 1.37 to 5.73; P=0.005), heart failure hospitalization (hazard ratio, 2.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.08 to 4.88; P=0.03), and their combination (hazard ratio, 1.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.07 to 3.36; P=0.03) after multivariable adjustment. Empagliflozin significantly increased TmP/GFR compared with placebo after 1 day (P=0.004) but not after adjustment for eGFR change. Conclusions: TmP/GFR, a measure of proximal tubular function, is frequently reduced in heart failure, especially in patients with more advanced heart failure. Lower TmP/GFR is furthermore associated with future risk of plasma NGAL doubling and worse clinical outcomes, independent of glomerular function.
    • Impact of sodium-glucose co-transporter inhibitors on cardiac autonomic function and mortality: no time to die

      Ng, G Andre (2022)
      Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have been shown to improve cardiovascular outcomes not only in patients with diabetes but also in those with heart failure, irrespective of diabetic status. However, the mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effects of these newer anti-diabetic drugs remain to be fully elucidated. One exciting avenue that has been recently explored in both preclinical and clinical studies is the modulation of the cardiovascular autonomic nervous system. A reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity by SGLT2 inhibitors may potentially translate into a reduction in arrhythmic risk and sudden arrhythmic death, which may explain, at least partly, the cardioprotection shown in the cardiovascular outcome trials with different SGLT2 inhibitors. Although some of the data from the preclinical and clinical studies are promising, overall the findings can be contradictory. This highlights the need for more studies to address gaps in our knowledge of these novel drugs. The present review offers an in depth overview of the existing literature regarding the role of SGLT2 inhibitors in modulating cardiovascular autonomic function as one of the possible pathways of their cardioprotective effects.
    • Variations in documentation of atrial fibrillation predicted by population and service level characteristics in primary health care in England

      Davies, Melanie; Seidu, Samuel; Ng, G Andre (2022)
      Background: Identifying features associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) documentation could inform screening. This study used published data to describe differences in documented and estimated AF prevalence in general practices, and explored predictors of variations in AF prevalence. Methods: Cross-sectional study of 7318 general practices in England. Descriptive and inferential statistics were undertaken. Multiple linear regression was used to model the difference between estimated AF and documented AF, adjusted for population, practice and practice performance variables. Results: Documented AF prevalence was lower than estimated (- 0.55% 95% confidence intervals, -1.89, 2.99). The proportion of variability accounted for in the final regression model was 0.25. Factors positively associated with AF documentation (increase in difference between estimated and documented), were patients 65-74 years, 75 years +, Black or South Asian ethnicity, diabetes mellitus and practices in East and Midlands of England. Eight variables (female patients, deprivation score, heart failure and peripheral artery disease, total patients per practice, full-time GPs and nurses; and location in South of England) were negatively associated with AF documentation (reduction in difference). Conclusion: Variations in AF documentation were predicted by several practice and population characteristics. Screening could target these sources of variation to decrease variation and improve AF documentation.
    • Rare coding variants in 35 genes associate with circulating lipid levels-A multi-ancestry analysis of 170,000 exomes

      Bown, Matthew; Samani, Nilesh (2022)
      Large-scale gene sequencing studies for complex traits have the potential to identify causal genes with therapeutic implications. We performed gene-based association testing of blood lipid levels with rare (minor allele frequency < 1%) predicted damaging coding variation by using sequence data from >170,000 individuals from multiple ancestries: 97,493 European, 30,025 South Asian, 16,507 African, 16,440 Hispanic/Latino, 10,420 East Asian, and 1,182 Samoan. We identified 35 genes associated with circulating lipid levels; some of these genes have not been previously associated with lipid levels when using rare coding variation from population-based samples. We prioritize 32 genes in array-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci based on aggregations of rare coding variants; three (EVI5, SH2B3, and PLIN1) had no prior association of rare coding variants with lipid levels. Most of our associated genes showed evidence of association among multiple ancestries. Finally, we observed an enrichment of gene-based associations for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol drug target genes and for genes closest to GWAS index single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Our results demonstrate that gene-based associations can be beneficial for drug target development and provide evidence that the gene closest to the array-based GWAS index SNP is often the functional gene for blood lipid levels.
    • Recent advances in the tools available for atrial fibrillation ablation

      Kotb, Ahmed; Chin, Shui Hao; Ng, G Andre (2022)
      Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the commonest arrhythmia in clinical practice with significant detrimental health impacts. Much effort has been spent in mapping AF, determine its triggers and drivers, and how to develop tools to eliminate these triggers. Areas covered: In this state of-the-art review article, we aim to highlight the recent techniques in catheter-based management of Atrial Fibrillation; including new advancements either in the catheter design or the software used. This includes a comprehensive summary of the most recent tools used in AF mapping and subsequent ablation. Expert opinion: Electrical isolation of the pulmonary veins has been developed and established as the cornerstone in AF ablation with good results in patients with paroxysmal AF (PAF) whilst new ablation tools are aimed at streamlining the procedure. However, the quest for persistent AF (PeAF) remains. The future of AF ablation, we believe, lies in identifying AF drivers by means of the new developing mapping tools and altering their electrical properties in a safe, reproducible, and effective manner.
    • Medical education and training within congenital cardiology: current global status and future directions in a post COVID-19 world

      Bu'Lock, Frances (2022)
      Despite enormous strides in our field with respect to patient care, there has been surprisingly limited dialogue on how to train and educate the next generation of congenital cardiologists. This paper reviews the current status of training and evolving developments in medical education pertinent to congenital cardiology. The adoption of competency-based medical education has been lauded as a robust framework for contemporary medical education over the last two decades. However, inconsistencies in frameworks across different jurisdictions remain, and bridging gaps between competency frameworks and clinical practice has proved challenging. Entrustable professional activities have been proposed as a solution, but integration of such activities into busy clinical cardiology practices will present its own challenges. Consequently, this pivot towards a more structured approach to medical education necessitates the widespread availability of appropriately trained medical educationalists, a development that will better inform curriculum development, instructional design, and assessment. Differentiation between superficial and deep learning, the vital role of rich formative feedback and coaching, should guide our trainees to become self-regulated learners, capable of critical reasoning yet retaining an awareness of uncertainty and ambiguity. Furthermore, disruptive innovations such as "technology enhanced learning" may be leveraged to improve education, especially for trainees from low- and middle-income countries. Each of these initiatives will require resources, widespread advocacy and raised awareness, and publication of supporting data, and so it is especially gratifying that Cardiology in the Young has fostered a progressive approach, agreeing to publish one or two articles in each journal issue in this domain.
    • Prospective longitudinal characterization of the relationship between diabetes and cardiac structural and functional changes

      Athithan, Lavanya (2022)
      Objectives: In a cohort of type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients who underwent baseline cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and biomarker testing, during a median follow-up of 6 years, we aimed to determine longitudinal changes in the phenotypic expression of heart disease in diabetes, report clinical outcomes, and compare baseline clinical characteristics and CMR findings of patients who experienced major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) to those remaining MACE free. Background: T2D increases the risk of heart failure (HF) and cardiovascular mortality. The long-term impact of T2D on cardiac phenotype in the absence of cardiovascular disease and other clinical events is unknown. Methods: Patients with T2D (n = 100) with no history of cardiovascular disease or hypertension were recruited at baseline. Biventricular volumes, function, and myocardial extracellular volume fraction (ECV) were assessed by CMR, and blood biomarkers were taken. Follow-up CMR was repeated in those without interim clinical events after 6 years. Results: Follow-up was successful in 83 participants. Of those, 29 experienced cardiovascular/clinical events (36%). Of the remaining 59, 32 patients who experienced no events received follow-up CMR. In this cohort, despite no significant changes in blood pressure, weight, or glycated hemoglobin, significant reductions in biventricular end-diastolic volumes and ejection fractions occurred over time. The mean ECV was unchanged. Baseline plasma high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) was significantly associated with a change in left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction. Patients who experienced MACE had higher LV mass and greater LV concentricity than those who remained event free. Conclusions: T2D results in reductions in biventricular size and systolic function over time even in the absence of cardiovascular/clinical events.
    • Paediatric and adult congenital cardiology education and training in Europe

      Bu'Lock, Frances (2022)
      Background: Limited data exist on training of European paediatric and adult congenital cardiologists. Methods: A structured and approved questionnaire was circulated to national delegates of Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology in 33 European countries. Results: Delegates from 30 countries (91%) responded. Paediatric cardiology was not recognised as a distinct speciality by the respective ministry of Health in seven countries (23%). Twenty countries (67%) have formally accredited paediatric cardiology training programmes, seven (23%) have substantial informal (not accredited or certified) training, and three (10%) have very limited or no programme. Twenty-two countries have a curriculum. Twelve countries have a national training director. There was one paediatric cardiology centre per 2.66 million population (range 0.87-9.64 million), one cardiac surgical centre per 4.73 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million), and one training centre per 4.29 million population (range 1.63-10.72 million population). The median number of paediatric cardiology fellows per training programme was 4 (range 1-17), and duration of training was 3 years (range 2-5 years). An exit examination in paediatric cardiology was conducted in 16 countries (53%) and certification provided by 20 countries (67%). Paediatric cardiologist number is affected by gross domestic product (R2 = 0.41). Conclusion: Training varies markedly across European countries. Although formal fellowship programmes exist in many countries, several countries have informal training or no training. Only a minority of countries provide both exit examination and certification. Harmonisation of training and standardisation of exit examination and certification could reduce variation in training thereby promoting high-quality care by European congenital cardiologists.