Publications by authors named "Anna Hohneck"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prediction of cardiac events with non-contrast magnetic resonance feature tracking in patients with ischaemic cardiomyopathy.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Nov 24. Epub 2021 Nov 24.

1st Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, Heidelberg, D-68167, Germany.

Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of feature tracking (FT) derived cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) strain parameters of the left ventricle (LV)/right ventricle (RV) in ischaemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) patients treated with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Current guidelines suggest a LV-ejection fraction ≤35% as major criterion for ICD implantation in ICM, but this is a poor predictor for arrhythmic events. Supplementary parameters are missing.

Methods And Results: Ischaemic cardiomyopathy patients (n = 242), who underwent CMR imaging prior to primary and secondary implantation of ICD, were classified depending on EF ≤ 35% (n = 188) or >35% (n = 54). FT parameters were derived from steady-state free precession cine views using dedicated software. The primary endpoint was a composite of cardiovascular mortality (CVM) and/or appropriate ICD therapy. There were no significant differences in FT-function or LV-/RV-function parameters in patients with an EF ≤ 35% correlating to the primary endpoint. In patients with EF > 35%, standard CMR functional parameters, such as LV-EF, did not reveal significant differences. However, significant differences in most FT parameters correlating to the primary endpoint were observed in this subgroup. LV-GLS (left ventricular-global longitudinal strain) and RV-GRS (right ventricular-global radial strain) revealed the best diagnostic performance in ROC curve analysis. The combination of LV-GLS and RV-GRS showed a sensitivity of 85% and a specificity of 76% for the prediction of future events.

Conclusions: The impact of FT derived measurements in the risk stratification of patients with ICM depends on LV function. The combination of LV-GLS/RV-GRS seems to be a predictor of cardiovascular mortality and/or appropriate ICD therapy in patients with EF > 35%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13712DOI Listing
November 2021

Gender aspects in cardiooncology.

Eur J Public Health 2021 Dec;31(6):1170-1176

First Department of Medicine (Cardiology), University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, European Centre for AngioScience (ECAS), Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Cardiooncology is a relatively new subspeciality, investigating the side effects of cytoreductive therapies on the cardiovascular (CV) system. Gender differences are well known in oncological and CV diseases, but are less elucidated in cardiooncological collectives.

Methods: Five hundred and fifty-one patients (278 male, 273 female) with diagnosed cancer who underwent regular cardiological surveillance were enrolled in the 'MAnnheim Registry for CardioOncology' and followed over a median of 41 (95% confidence interval: 40-43) months.

Results: Female patients were younger at the time of first cancer diagnosis [median 60 (range 50-70) vs. 66 (55-75), P = 0.0004], while the most common tumour was breast cancer (49.8%). Hyperlipidaemia was more often present in female patients (37% vs. 25%, P = 0.001). Male patients had a higher cancer susceptibility than female patients. They suffered more often from hypertension (51% vs. 67%, P = 0.0002) or diabetes (14% vs. 21%, P = 0.02) and revealed more often vitamin D deficiency [(U/l) median 26.0 (range 17-38) vs. 16 (9-25), P = 0.002] and anaemia [(g/dl) median 11.8 (range 10.4-12.9) vs. 11.7 (9.6-13.6), P = 0.51]. During follow-up, 140 patients died (male 77, female 63; P = 0.21). An increased mortality rate was observed in male patients (11.4% vs. 14%, P = 0.89), with even higher mortality rates of up to 18.9% vs. 7.7% (P = 0.02) considering tumours that can affect both sexes compared.

Conclusions: Although female patients were younger at the time of first cancer diagnosis, male patients had both higher cancer susceptibility and an increased mortality risk. Concomitant CV diseases were more common in male patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab146DOI Listing
December 2021

Risk stratification of patients with Brugada syndrome: the impact of myocardial strain analysis using cardiac magnetic resonance feature tracking.

Hellenic J Cardiol 2021 Sep-Oct;62(5):329-338. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

First Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany; DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research) partner site Mannheim, Germany.

Objective: This study evaluated the prognostic significance of cardiac magnetic resonance myocardial feature tracking (CMR-FT) in patients with Brugada syndrome (BrS) to detect subclinical alterations and predict major adverse events (MAE).

Methods: CMR was performed in 106 patients with BrS and 25 healthy controls. Biventricular global strain analysis was assessed using CMR-FT. Patients were followed over a median of 11.6 [8.8 ± 13.8] years.

Results: The study cohort was subdivided according to the presence of a spontaneous type 1 ECG (sECG) into sBrS (BrS with sECG, n = 34 (32.1%)) and diBrS (BrS with drug-induced type 1 ECG, n = 72 (67.9%)). CMR-FT revealed morphological differences between sBrS and diBrS patients with regard to right ventricular (RV) strain (circumferential (%) (sBrS -7.9 ± 2.9 vs diBrS - 9.5 ± 3.1, p = 0.02) and radial (%) (sBrS 12.0 ± 4.3 vs diBrS 15.4 ± 5.4, p = 0.004)). During follow-up, MAE occurred in 11 patients (10.4%). Multivariable analysis was performed to identify independent predictors for the occurrence of events during follow-up. The strongest predictive value was found for RV circumferential strain (OR 3.2 (95% CI 1.4 - 6.9), p = 0.02) and RVOT/BSA (OR 3.1 (95% CI 1.0 - 7.0), p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Myocardial strain analysis detected early subclinical alterations, prior to apparent changes in myocardial function, in patients with BrS. While usual functional parameters were within the normal range, CMR-FT revealed pathological results in patients with an sECG. Moreover, RV circumferential strain and RVOT size provided additional prognostic information on the occurrence of MAE during follow-up, which reflects electrical vulnerability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hjc.2021.05.003DOI Listing
November 2021

Determinants of arterial stiffness in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Arch Cardiovasc Dis 2021 Aug-Sep;114(8-9):550-560. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

First department of medicine (cardiology), University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, European Centre for AngioScience (ECAS), 68167 Mannheim, Germany; DZHK (German centre for cardiovascular research) Partner Site Heidelberg/Mannheim, 68167 Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Arterial stiffness has emerged as a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease, end-organ damage and all-cause mortality. Although increased arterial stiffness has been described as a predictor of atrial fibrillation, the relationship between arterial stiffness and atrial fibrillation is uncertain.

Aim: We assessed arterial stiffness in patients with atrial fibrillation compared with that in a control group.

Methods: We enrolled 151 patients with atrial fibrillation who underwent pulmonary vein isolation (mean age 71.1±9.8 years) and 54 control patients with similar cardiovascular risk profiles and sinus rhythm, matched for age (mean age 68.6±15.7 years) and sex. Aortic distensibility as a measure of arterial stiffness was assessed by transoesophageal echocardiography. Patients with atrial fibrillation were followed over a median of 21 (15 to 31) months.

Results: Compared with control patients, patients with atrial fibrillation had significantly lower aortic distensibility (1.8±1.1 vs. 2.1±1.1 10mmHg; P=0.02). Age (hazard ratio 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.003 to 0.03; P=0.02) and pulse pressure (hazard ratio -1.35, 95% confidence interval -0.07 to -0.03; P<0.0001) were the strongest predictors of decreased aortic distensibility in the study cohort. This effect was independent of the type of atrial fibrillation (paroxysmal/persistent). During follow-up, decreased aortic distensibility was a predictor of cardiovascular and all-cause hospitalizations, as well as recurrences of atrial fibrillation, with a higher incidence rate of events in patients in the lowest aortic distensibility quartile (P=0.001).

Conclusions: Aortic distensibility was significantly reduced in patients with atrial fibrillation, with age and pulse pressure showing the strongest correlation, independent of the type of atrial fibrillation. Additionally, decreased aortic distensibility was associated with cardiovascular and all-cause hospitalizations, as well as recurrences of atrial fibrillation, which showed a quartile-dependent occurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acvd.2020.12.009DOI Listing
October 2021

Effects of selective heart rate reduction with ivabradine on LV function and central hemodynamics in patients with chronic coronary syndrome.

Int J Cardiol Heart Vasc 2021 Jun 23;34:100757. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Internal Medicine III, Saarland University Medical Center, Saarland University, Homburg/Saar, Germany.

Objectives: We assessed left ventricular (LV) function and central hemodynamic effects in patients with a heart rate (HR) at rest of ≥70 beats per minute (bpm) and chronic coronary syndrome (CCS) after long-term treatment with ivabradine compared to placebo by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging.

Methods And Results: In a randomized, double-blinded, prospective cross-over design, 23 patients (18 male, 5 female) were treated with ivabradine (7.5 mg bid) or placebo for 6 months. CMR imaging was performed at baseline and after 6 and 12 months to determine LV functional parameters.Mean resting HR on treatment with ivabradine was 58 ± 8.2 bpm and 70.2 ± 8.3 bpm during placebo (p < 0.0001).There was no difference in systolic LV ejection fraction (ivabradine 57.4 ± 11.2% vs placebo 53.0 ± 10.9%, p = 0.18), indexed end-diastolic (EDVi) or end-systolic volumes (ESVi). Indexed stroke volume (SVi) (ml/m) remained unchanged after treatment with ivabradine. Volume time curve parameters reflecting systolic LV function (peak ejection rate and time) were unaffected by ivabradine, while both peak filling rate (PFR) and PFR/EDV were significantly increased. Mean aortic velocity (cm/s) was significantly reduced during treatment with ivabradine (ivabradine 6.7 ± 2.7 vs placebo 9.0 ± 3.4, p = 0.01). Aortic flow parameters were correlated to parameters of vascular stiffness. The strongest correlation was revealed for mean aortic velocity with aortic distensibility (AD) (r = -0.86 [-0.90 to -0.85], p < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Long-term reduction of HR with ivabradine in patients with CCS improved diastolic function and reduced mean aortic flow velocity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcha.2021.100757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8024658PMC
June 2021

Differential Effects of Sound Intervention and Rest on Cardiovascular Parameters in Cancer Patients: A Randomized Cross-over Trial.

Integr Cancer Ther 2021 Jan-Dec;20:1534735421995239

University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Music therapy or sound interventions were shown to confer beneficial effects in patients with cancer for instance in terms of pain or fear relief and improvement of other patient reported outcomes. Cardiovascular parameters, especially heart rate variability (HRV) were found to have prognostic implications in cancer patients. In this trial we aimed to investigate the effects of a sound intervention on cardiovascular parameters compared to rest in patients with cancer.

Methods And Results: Using a randomized cross-over design, 52 patients (male 13, female 39) with cancer were recruited to receive both a 15-minute sound intervention and a 15-minute rest intervention within 4 weeks with at least a one-week blanking period. Cardiovascular parameters (among others HRV, aortic pulse wave velocity [PWV], augmentation index [Aix], aortic blood pressure [BP], heart rate [HR]) were assessed immediately before (pre) and after (post) the intervention had taken place. HRV (Root mean square of successive RR interval differences [RMSSD, ms]) significantly increased, during sound intervention (median RMSSD pre 24 [range 5-112] vs post 22 [range 9-141],  = .03). Likewise, median PWV, as a direct marker of arterial stiffness, was significantly reduced by sound intervention ([m/s] pre 8.5 [range 5.6-19.6] vs post 8.3 [range 5.6-15.6],  = .04). For both parameters no statistically significant change during rest was observed. HR was lowered by both, rest ( < .0001) and sound intervention ( = .02), with a more pronounced effect by rest. A significant increase in systolic aortic blood pressure was shown by rest ([mmHg] median 101 [range 78-150] vs post median 103 [range 71-152],  = .04) but not during sound intervention ( = .59), while rest intervention led to a decrease in resistance index (pre median 33 [range 13-92] vs post median 32 [11-84],  = .02).

Conclusion: In comparison with rest, a single sound intervention in patients with cancer improved cardiovascular parameters commonly associated with increased stress levels. Studies with longer follow-up and multiple interventions are warranted.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN registry 70947363.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1534735421995239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8024455PMC
October 2021

Blood Cholesterol and Outcome of Patients with Cancer under Regular Cardiological Surveillance.

Curr Oncol 2021 02 12;28(1):863-872. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

University Medical Centre Mannheim, First Department of Medicine (Cardiology), Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, European Centre for AngioScience (ECAS), 68167 Mannheim, Germany.

Cardiovascular (CV) diseases and cancer share several similarities, including common risk factors. In the present investigation we assessed the relationship between cholesterol levels and mortality in a cardiooncological collective. In total, 551 patients receiving anticancer treatment were followed over a median of 41 (95% CI 40, 43) months and underwent regular cardiological surveillance. A total of 140 patients (25.4%) died during this period. Concomitant cardiac diseases were more common in patients who deceased (53 (37.9%) vs. 67 (16.3%), < 0.0001), as well as prior stroke. There were no differences in the distribution of classical CV risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes or nicotine consumption. While total cholesterol (mg/dL) was significantly lower in patients who deceased (157 ± 59 vs. 188 ± 53, < 0.0001), both HDL and LDL cholesterol were not differing. In addition, cholesterol levels varied between different tumour entities; lowest levels were found in patients with tumours of the hepatopancreaticobiliary system (median 121 mg/dL), while patients with melanoma, cerebral tumours and breast cancer had rather high cholesterol levels (median > 190 mg/dL). Cholesterol levels were significantly lower in patients who died of cancer; lowest cholesterol levels were observed in patients who died of tumours with higher mitotic rate (mesenchymal tumours, cerebral tumours, breast cancer). Cox regression analysis revealed a significant mortality risk for patients with stem cell transplantation (HR 4.31) and metastasised tumour stages (HR 3.31), while cardiac risk factors were also associated with a worse outcome (known cardiac disease HR 1.58, prior stroke/TIA HR 1.73, total cholesterol HR 1.70), with the best discriminative performance found for total cholesterol ( = 0.002).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28010085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985794PMC
February 2021

Extent of peri-infarct scar on late gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and outcome in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Heart Rhythm 2021 06 28;18(6):954-961. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany; DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research) partner site, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Only a minority of patients who receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) on the basis of left ventricular ejection fraction receive appropriate ICD therapy. Peri-infarct scar zone assessed by late gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (LGE-CMR) is a possible substrate for ventricular tachyarrhytmias (VTAs).

Objective: The aim of our prospective study was to determine whether LGE-CMR parameters can predict the occurrence of VTA in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM).

Methods: Two hundred sixteen patients with ICM underwent CMR imaging before primary or secondary ICD implantation and were prospectively followed. We assessed CMR indices and CMR scar characteristics (infarct core and peri-infarct zone) to predict outcome and VTAs.

Results: Patients were followed up for 1497 days (interquartile range 697-2237 days). Forty-seven patients (21%) received appropriate therapy during follow-up. Patients with appropriate ICD therapy had smaller core scar (31.5% ± 8.5% vs 36.8% ± 8.9%; P = .0004) but larger peri-infarct scar (12.4% ± 2.6% vs 10.5% ± 2.9%; P = .0001) than did patients without appropriate therapy. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, peri-infarct scar (hazard ratio 1.15; 95% confidence interval 1.07-1.24; P = .0001) was independently and significantly associated with VTAs whereas left ventricular ejection fraction, right ventricular ejection fraction, core scar, and left atrial ejection fraction were not.

Conclusion: Scar extent of peri-infarct border zone was significantly associated with appropriate ICD therapy. Thus, LGE-CMR parameters can identify a subgroup of patients with ICM and an increased risk of life-threatening VTAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2021.01.023DOI Listing
June 2021

Prognostic Impact of Pretherapeutic Hemoglobin Levels on All-cause Mortality in Cardiooncology.

Anticancer Res 2021 Jan;41(1):369-378

First Department of Medicine (Cardiology), University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, European Centre for AngioScience (ECAS), Mannheim, Germany.

Background/aim: We investigated the prognostic impact of hemoglobin (Hb) levels in tumour patients receiving routine cardiological surveillance during anticancer treatment. The aim of the study was to identify independent predictors of all-cause mortality in a cardio-oncological collective.

Patients And Methods: A total of 551 patients (273 males, 278 females) were enrolled in the Mannheim Registry for Cardiooncology and were included in the present analysis. Median follow-up was 41 months (95% CI=40-43).

Results: Patients were grouped according to a pretherapeutic Hb-threshold (determined by ROC analysis) into cohorts with Hb<11.4 g/dl (n=232, 42.1%) and Hb >11.4 g/dl (n=319, 57.9%). Patients with lower Hb levels were older at the time of first diagnosis (63.8±14.4 vs. 59.9±15.4 years, p=0.003) and were more likely to have advanced tumour stages (92 (39.7%) vs. 83 (26.0%), p=0.0007). There were no differences regarding cardiovascular comorbidities such as hypertension or diabetes, while chronic kidney disease was more common in patients with lower Hb. Anticoagulants were used more often in patients with lower Hb (88 (37.9%) vs. 84 (26.3%), p=0.01). Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was lower in patients with Hb <11.4 g/dl (51.9±11.0% vs. 55.1±9.7%, p=0.003). Correlation analysis revealed a significant correlation of Hb levels and LVEF (R=0.07, p<0.0001). During follow-up, a total of 140 patients (25.4%) were deceased, with significantly more deaths occurring in the group of patients with low Hb values [108 (46.6%) vs. 32 (10.0%), p<0.0001]. In multivariable analysis, Hb was identified as independent predictor for mortality (OR=5.3, CI=0.41-0.89, p<0.0001).

Conclusion: Low Hb levels were identified as an independent predictor of mortality in patients with cancer. There was a significant correlation of Hb and LVEF, suggesting that low Hb values are not solely due to anaemia, but rather reflect the severity of cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.14785DOI Listing
January 2021

Arterial Stiffness Is Associated With Increased Symptom Burden in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation.

Can J Cardiol 2020 12 3;36(12):1949-1955. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

First Department of Medicine - Cardiology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany; DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research) partner site Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Increased arterial stiffness (AS) has been described as a predictor of atrial fibrillation (AF). This study was performed to assess whether increased AS leads to a higher symptom burden in patients with AF.

Methods: One hundred sixty-two consecutive patients (104 male, 58 female) with diagnosed AF (paroxysmal or persistent) were enrolled. Symptoms most likely attributable to AF were quantified according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Severity of Atrial Fibrillation (SAF) scale. AS indices (aortic distensibility, cyclic circumferential strain, and aortic compliance) were characterized using transoesophageal echocardiography.

Results: The cohort was divided into asymptomatic to oligosymptomatic (SAF scale 0-1, n = 78 [48.1%]) and symptomatic (SAF scale ≥ 2, n = 84 [51.9%]) patients. Symptomatic patients tended to be younger (median, 75 [interquartile range (IQR) 67-80] vs 71 [65-79]; P = 0.047) and were more likely to be female (22 [28.2%] vs 36 [42.9%]; P = 0.052). Hypertension was more frequent in symptomatic patients. Aortic compliance indices each were reduced in symptomatic patients, most pronounced for aortic compliance (median, 0.05 [IQR 0.03-0.06] vs 0.04 [0.03-0.05] cm/mm Hg; P = 0.01) followed by cyclic circumferential strain (median, 0.09 [IQR 0.07-0.11] vs 0.07 [0.04-0.10]; P = 0.02) and aortic distensibility (10 mm Hg, median, 1.74 [IQR 1.34-2.24] vs 1.54 [1.12-2.08]; P = 0.03). Multivariable analysis revealed aortic compliance as an independent predictor for symptoms in patients with AF with an odds ratio of 2.6 (95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.4; P = 0.003).

Conclusions: AS contributes to a high symptom burden in patients with AF, emphasizing the prognostic role of AS in the early detection and prevention in patients with AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2020.08.022DOI Listing
December 2020

Perception of atrial fibrillation in dependence of neuroticism.

J Psychosom Res 2020 11 27;138:110225. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

First Department of Medicine - Cardiology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany; DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research) partner site Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with a varying symptom burden, which ranges from completely unawareness to disabling conditions. The present cross-sectional study tried to assess if neuroticism is associated with a greater degree of perception of AF related symptoms.

Methods: 162 patients who were considered for catheter ablation of AF were included. AF related symptom burden was quantified according to the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) score. Personality traits were assessed using the Big Five personality traits (5BT).

Results: Female patients reported higher symptom burden. Higher EHRA scores were furthermore associated with treatment with antiarrhythmic agents, digitalis, direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC), and antidepressant treatment, as well as suffering from heart failure or chronic kidney disease. Neuroticism showed a positive correlation to AF related symptom burden with significantly higher neuroticism scores in patients with higher EHRA scores (Rho = 0.41; 95%CI 0.26 to 0.53; p < .001), while no association was demonstrated for the other four personality traits. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed neuroticism as strongest independent predictor for symptomatic AF, followed by treatment with antiarrhythmic agents and DOAC.

Conclusions: Perception of AF related symptoms is a multifactorial process, which in our cohort was independently associated with neuroticism. Patients with higher symptom burden were also more likely to receive antiarrhythmic agents and DOAC, as well as antidepressants.

Trial Registration: German registry for clinical studies (DRKS), DRKS00019007.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110225DOI Listing
November 2020

Risk stratification in families with history of idiopathic ventricular fibrillation.

HeartRhythm Case Rep 2020 Jul 29;6(7):386-389. Epub 2020 Mar 29.

First Department of Medicine-Cardiology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany, and DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), partner site Heidelberg/Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrcr.2020.03.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7360980PMC
July 2020

Coprevalence and Incidence of Lung Cancer in Patients Screened for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

Anticancer Res 2020 Jul;40(7):4137-4145

First Department of Medicine (Cardiology), University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, European Centre for AngioScience (ECAS), Mannheim, Germany.

Background/aim: Lung diseases are common in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). This study evaluates the prevalence of lung cancer (LC) in high-risk patients screened for AAA.

Patients And Methods: Six hundred and one male patients (≥65 years of age, cardiovascular high-risk profile) were enrolled and followed prospectively over a median of 16.5 months.

Results: In 29 patients (4.8%) LC and in another 50 patients (8.3%) AAA were found. The prevalence of LC among patients with AAA was even higher (9 of 50, 18.0%). Twenty-one patients had an initial diagnosis of LC, with an incidence of 12.0% (6 of 50) in patients with AAA. During follow-up, 14 of 70 patients with AAA and/ or LC (20.0%) deceased. The highest mortality was found in patients with LC only (8 of 20, 40.0%), followed by patients with both AAA and LC (3 of 9, 33.3%), while patients with AAA only had the lowest mortality rate (3 of 41, 7.3%).

Conclusion: In patients with a high cardiovascular risk profile, a high prevalence of both AAA and LC were found, whereby the prognosis is largely determined by the LC. Therefore, LC is of particular importance in the setting of screening and surveillance of AAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.14413DOI Listing
July 2020

Extent of Late Gadolinium Enhancement Predicts Thromboembolic Events in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Circ J 2020 04 1;84(5):754-762. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

1st Department of Medicine Cardiology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg.

Background: Thromboembolic complications such as ischemic stroke or peripheral arterial thromboembolism are known complications in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). We sought to assess the clinical and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) characteristics of patients with HCM suffering from thromboembolic events and analyzed the predictors of these unfavorable outcomes.Methods and Results:The 115 HCM patients underwent late gadolinium enhanced (LGE) CMR and were included in the study. Follow-up was 5.6±3.6 years. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of thromboembolic events (ischemic stroke or peripheral arterial thromboembolism). It occurred in 17 (14.8%) patients (event group, EG), of whom 64.7% (11) were men. During follow-up, 10 (8.7%) patients died. Patients in the EG showed more comorbidities, such as heart failure (EG 41.2% vs. NEG (non-event group) 14.3%, P<0.01) and atrial fibrillation (AF: EG 70.6% vs. NEG 36.7%, P<0.01). Left atrial end-diastolic volume was significantly higher in the EG (EG 73±24 vs. NEG 50±33 mL/m, P<0.01). Both the presence and extent of LGE were enhanced in the EG (extent% EG 23±15% vs. NEG 8±9%, P<0.0001). No patient without LGE experienced a thromboembolic event. Multivariate analysis revealed AF and LGE extent as independent predictors.

Conclusions: LGE extent (>14.4%) is an independent predictor for thromboembolic complications in patients with HCM and might therefore be considered as an important risk marker. The risk for thromboembolic events is significantly elevated if accompanied by AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1253/circj.CJ-19-0936DOI Listing
April 2020

Recurrence of Atrial Fibrillation in Dependence of Left Atrial Volume Index.

In Vivo 2020 Mar-Apr;34(2):889-896

First Department of Medicine - Cardiology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany

Background/aim: Despite advances in the treatment strategies of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), the risk of AF recurrences is still over 50%. An increased left atrial volume index (LAVI) reflects left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (DD) and deterioration of the LA function. This study aims to determine AF recurrence following cardioversion (CV) or catheter ablation for AF (pulmonary vein isolation; PVI) in dependence of DD and LAVI.

Patients And Methods: One hundred and sixty-two patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF in whom either CV or PVI were performed were included and followed over a mean of 22.9±3.8 months. Recurrence was defined as any recurrence of AF that occurred 3 months following the procedure. DD and LAVI were assessed using transthoracic echocardiography (TTE).

Results: Recurrent AF occurred in 100 (61.7%) patients, predominantly following CV [CV 41 (76.2%) vs. PVI 59 (54.6%), p<0.0001]. Both DD and an increased LAVI were more common in the recurrence-group [DD 46.0% vs. 14.5%, p=0.0001; LAVI (ml/m) 49.0±18.6 vs. 26.3±7.0, p<0.0001]. ROC analysis revealed LAVI>36 ml/m as cut-off (p<0.0001, AUC=0.92, 95%CI=0.87-0.97, sensitivity=76%, specificity=94%). In the multivariate analysis, DD (HR=1.6, 95%CI=1.3-2.1, p=0.04) and LA enlargement (defined as LAVI>36 ml/m with HR=2.1, 95%CI=1.8-2.7, p<0.0001) could be identified as independent predictors of AF recurrence after attempting to control the heart rhythm.

Conclusion: LA enlargement and DD are independent risk factors associated with AF recurrence after initial successful rhythm control attempt. These findings have implications for timing of either ablation or CV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/invivo.11854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7157897PMC
December 2020

Prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm and associated lower extremity artery aneurysm in men hospitalized for suspected or known cardiopulmonary disease.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2019 12 9;19(1):284. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

First Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: AAA is a disease affecting predominantly male patients ≥65 years and its dreaded complications such as rupture led to population-based screening programs as preventive measure. Nonetheless, the supposed prevalence may have been overestimated, so that targeted screening of high risk populations may be more effective. This study was performed to evaluate the prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) of an inpatient high-risk cohort and to estimate the co-prevalence of lower extremity arterial aneurysms.

Methods: Participants: 566 male inpatients, ≥ 65 years of age, hospitalized for suspected or known cardiopulmonary disease. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Maximal infrarenal aortic diameters using abdominal ultrasound (leading edge to leading edge method). Upon detection of an AAA (diameter ≥ 30 mm), the lower extremity arteries were examined with regard to associated aneurysms.

Results: In 40 of 566 patients (7.1%) AAAs were detectable. Fourteen patients (2.5%) had a first diagnosis of AAA, none of which was large (> 55 mm), the remaining 26 patients were either already diagnosed (14 patients, 2.5%) or previously repaired (12 patients, 2.1%). The three most common main diagnoses at discharge were acute coronary syndrome (43.3%), congestive heart failure (32.2%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (12%). The cohort showed a distinct cardiovascular risk profile comprising arterial hypertension (82.9%), diabetes mellitus (44.4%), and a history of smoking (57.6%). In multivariate analysis, three-vessel coronary artery disease (Odds ratio (OR): 4.5, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.3-8.9, p <  0.0001) and history of smoking (OR: 3.7, CI: 1.6-8.6, p <  0.01) were positively associated with AAA, while diabetes mellitus (OR: 0.5, CI: 0.2-0.9, p = 0.0295) showed a negative association with AAA. Among the subjects with AAA, we found two large iliac and two large popliteal aneurysms.

Conclusion: Ultrasound screening in male inpatients, hospitalized for suspected or known cardiopulmonary disease, revealed a high AAA prevalence in comparison to the present epidemiological screening programs. There was a moderate proportion of newly-screen detected AAA and additional screening of the lower extremity arteries yielded some associated aneurysms with indication for possible intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-019-1265-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6902333PMC
December 2019

Effects of heart rate reduction with ivabradine on vascular stiffness and endothelial function in chronic stable coronary artery disease.

J Hypertens 2019 05;37(5):1023-1031

Department of Internal Medicine III, Saarland University Hospital, University of the Saarland, Kirrbergerstraße, Homburg/Saar.

Introduction: Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown a relevant association between heart rate and cardiovascular mortality. Experimental studies identified vascular effects of heart rate reduction with the If channel inhibitor ivabradine. Therefore, the effects of heart rate reduction on endothelial function and indices of arterial stiffness were examined in patients with stable coronary artery disease in a prospective, placebo-controlled clinical crossover study.

Methods And Results: Twenty-three patients (18 men and 5 women) with a resting heart rate (HR) of at least 70 beats per minute (bpm) and stable coronary artery disease were enrolled in this study. In a cross-over design, all patients were treated with ivabradine (Iva, 7.5 mg b.i.d.) and placebo for 6 months each. Iva reduced heart rate by 11.4 bpm (Iva 58.8 ± 8.2 bpm vs. placebo 70.2 ± 8.3 bpm, P < 0.0001). Augmentation index (AIx75), carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and central aortic blood pressure were measured using applanation tonometry (SphygmoCor). HRR by Iva increased AIx75 by 12.4% (Iva 24.3 ± 10.5% vs. placebo 21.3 ± 10.1%, P < 0.05) and reduced cfPWV by 14.1% (Iva 6.3 ± 1.7 m/s vs. placebo 7.3 ± 1.4 m/s, P < 0.01). Iva increased mean central blood pressure by 7.8% (Iva 107.5 ± 15.4 mmHg vs. placebo 99.1 ± 12.2 mmHg, P < 0.001). Endothelial function was determined measuring the flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery. HRR by Iva increased FMD by 18.5% (Iva 7.3 ± 2.2% vs. placebo 6.0 ± 2.0%, P < 0.001). Aortic distensibility was characterized by MRI. HRR by Iva increased aortic distensibility by 33.3% (Iva 0.003 ± 0.001/mmHg vs. placebo 0.002 ± 0.010/mmHg, P < 0.01) and circumferential cyclic strain by 37.1% (Iva 0.062 ± 0.027 vs. placebo 0.039 ± 0.018, P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Heart rate reduction with Iva increased endothelium-dependent vasodilation and reduced arterial stiffness in patients with stable CAD. These findings corroborate and expand the results collected in experimental studies and indicate the importance of heart rate as a determinant of vascular function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000001984DOI Listing
May 2019

Protective effect of acquired long QT syndrome in Takotsubo syndrome.

Intern Med J 2019 06;49(6):770-776

First Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim (UMM), University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Clinical variables that predict long-term mortality and recurrence of Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) are not completely understood as the role of acquired corrected QT interval (QTc) prolongation.

Aim: To detect the prevalence of QTc interval prolongation in patients with TTS and to evaluate its long-term prognostic impact.

Methods: QTc intervals were analysed in 105 patients presenting with symptoms of TTS. These patients were included in an ongoing retrospective cohort database. The cohort was subsequently subdivided into two groups based on the presence (long QT (LQT) group, n = 73, 69.52%) or absence (non-long QT (non-LQT) group, n = 32, 30.43%) of QTc interval prolongation. Patients were followed up over a mean period of 4.2 years. The rate of life-threatening arrhythmia during the first 30 days in the LQT group was comparable with the non-LQT group (10.9 vs 12.5%), whereas in-hospital mortality and 30-day mortality occurred less frequently in the LQT group (2.7 vs 18.75%, P < 0.01).

Results: During this time span, 17 (23.3%) patients with acquired LQT syndrome died, whereas 14 (43.7%) patients with non-LQT duration died. Kaplan-Meier survival rates were significantly higher in the LQT group than those in the non-LQT group (Log-rank-test, P = 0.02). On multivariate analysis, the QTc interval was an independent negative predictor of all-cause mortality (P = 0.02).

Conclusion: The QTc interval at admission is an independent negative predictor of long-term adverse outcome in patients with TTS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.14169DOI Listing
June 2019

Therapy optimization in patients with heart failure: the role of the wearable cardioverter-defibrillator in a real-world setting.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2018 03 15;18(1):52. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

First Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim (UMM), Faculty of Medicine Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: The wearable cardioverter-defibrillator (WCD) has emerged as a valuable tool to temporarily protect patients at risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD). The aim of this study was to determine the value of the WCD for therapy optimization of heart failure patients.

Methods: One hundred five consecutive patients that received WCD between 4/2012 and 9/2016 were included in the study. All patients were followed for clinical outcome and echocardiographic parameters during WCD therapy and had continued follow-up after WCD therapy, irrespective of subsequent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation.

Results: The most common indication for WCD were newly diagnosed ischemic (ICM) or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤35%. Mean WCD wear time was 68.8 ± 50.4 days with a mean daily use of 21.5 ± 3.5 h. Five patients (4.8%) received a total of five appropriate WCD shocks. During WCD wear, patients with ICM and NICM showed significant improvement in LVEF, reducing the proportion of patients with a need for primary preventive ICD implantation to 54.8% (ICM) and 48.8% (NICM). An ICD was finally implanted in 51.4% of the study patients (24 trans-venous ICDs, 30 subcutaneous ICDs). After discontinuation of WCD therapy, all patients were followed for a mean of 18.6 ± 12.3 months. 5.6% of patients with implanted ICDs received appropriate therapies. No patient with subcutaneous ICD needed change to a trans-venous device. None of the patients without an implanted ICD suffered from ventricular tachyarrhythmias and no patient died suddenly. In patients with NICM a significant LVEF improvement was observed during long-term follow-up (from 34.8 ± 11.1% to 41.0 ± 10.2%).

Conclusions: WCD therapy successfully bridged all patients to either LVEF recovery or ICD implantation. Following WCD, ICD implantation could be avoided in almost half of the patients. In selected patients, prolongation of WCD therapy beyond 3 months might further prevent unnecessary ICD implantation. The WCD as an external monitoring system contributed important information to optimize device selection in patients that needed ICD implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-018-0790-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5856002PMC
March 2018
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