Publications by authors named "Christophe Scavee"

67 Publications

Ventricular lead malposition after TAVR causing ischaemic stroke.

Acta Cardiol 2021 Jul 20;76(5):564-566. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00015385.2020.1858249DOI Listing
July 2021

Pulmonary Vein Stenosis After Atrial Fibrillation Ablation: Insights From the ADVICE Trial.

Can J Cardiol 2020 12 3;36(12):1965-1974. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC), Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Background: Pulmonary vein (PV) stenosis is a complication of atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. The incidence of PV stenosis after routine post-ablation imaging remains unclear and is limited to single-centre studies. Our objective was to determine the incidence and predictors of PV stenosis following circumferential radiofrequency ablation in the multicentre Adenosine Following Pulmonary Vein Isolation to Target Dormant Conduction Elimination (ADVICE) trial.

Methods: Patients with symptomatic AF underwent circumferential radiofrequency ablation in one of 13 trial centres. Computed tomographic (CTA) or magnetic resonance (MRA) angiography was performed before ablation and 90 days after ablation. Two blinded reviewers measured PV diameters and areas. PVs with stenosis were classified as severe (> 70%), moderate (50%-70%), or mild (< 50%). Predictors of PV stenosis were identified by means of multivariable logistic regression.

Results: A total of 197 patients (median age 59.5 years, 29.4% women) were included in this substudy. PV stenosis was identified in 41 patients (20.8%) and 47 (8.2%) of 573 ablated PVs. PV stenosis was classified as mild in 42 PVs (7.3%) and moderate in 5 PVs (0.9%). No PVs had severe stenosis. Both cross-sectional area and diameter yielded similar classifications for severity of PV stenosis. Diabetes was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of PV stenosis (OR 4.91, 95% CI 1.45-16.66).

Conclusions: In the first systematic multicentre evaluation of post-ablation PV stenosis, no patient acquired severe PV stenosis. Although the results are encouraging for the safety of AF ablation, 20.8% of patients had mild or moderate PV stenosis, in which the long-term effects are unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2020.10.013DOI Listing
December 2020

His bundle pacing for newly acquired pacing needs in patients implanted with a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator: A feasibility study based on the automated screening score and clinical cases.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 07 29;31(7):1793-1800. Epub 2020 May 29.

Division of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction: Management of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) patients with newly acquired pacing needs remains problematic. His bundle pacing (HBP) allows for cardiac pacing without significant changes in the QRS morphology. We hypothesized that HBP does not alter S-ICD sensing and functions.

Methods: Twenty consecutive patients were implanted with a HB pacemaker. Among them, 17 demonstrated successful His recruitment and were prospectively screened with the automated screening tool (AST). Results of screenings performed immediately after implant and during follow-up, during intrinsic rhythm and while pacing from all available pacing configurations, were compared using the AST score. Positive-screening tests were defined by greater than or equal to 1 positive vector.

Results: Among the 17 patients successfully implanted (male: 41%; mean age: 73), 13 presented an indication of ventricular pacing and four of cardiac resynchronization. Absolute AST scores during both HBP (all configurations) and intrinsic rhythm were similar (p: NS). Due to left bundle branch block correction, HBP resulted in higher number of positive vectors (AST ≥ 100). AST scores were higher during HBP when compared with right ventricular pacing (RVP) (primary vector: 272 [16; 648] vs 4.6 [0.8; 16.2]; P = .003; secondary vector: 569 [183; 1186] vs 1.5 [0.7; 8.3]; P < .0001; alternate vector: 44 [2;125] vs 4.8 [0.9; 9.3]; P = .02) and resulted in a much higher number of positive vectors. Up to 90% of the patients had a positive-screening test during HBP. This passing rate was higher when compared RVP (17%; P < .0001).

Conclusion: HBP restores normal intrinsic conduction and minimally modifies the surface electrocardiograph and subcutaneous electrograms. When ventricular pacing is needed, HBP might represent an ideal pacing option for patients implanted with a S-ICD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14566DOI Listing
July 2020

Quality of life assessment in children before and after a successful ablation for supraventricular tachycardia.

Cardiol Young 2020 Mar 18;30(3):413-417. Epub 2020 Feb 18.

Department of Cardiology, St Luc Hospital, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Background And Objectives: Young patients suffering from rhythm disorders have a negative impact in their quality of life. In recent years, ablation has become the first-line therapy for supraventricular arrhythmias in children. In the light of the current expertise and advancement in the field, we decided to evaluate the quality of life in young patients with supraventricular arrhythmias before and after a percutaneous ablation procedure.

Methods: The prospective cohort consisted of patients <18 years with structurally normal hearts and non-pre-excited supraventricular arrhythmias, who had an ablation in our centre from 2013 to 2018. The cohort was evaluated with the PedsQL™ 4.0 Generic Core Scales self-questionnaire prior to and post-ablation.

Results: The final cohort included 88 patients consisted of 52 males (59%), with a mean age at ablation of 12.5 ± 3.3 years. Forty-two patients (48%) had a retrograde-only accessory pathway mediating the tachycardia, 38 (43%) had atrio-ventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia, 7 (8%) had ectopic atrial tachycardia, and 1 (1%) had atrial flutter. The main reason for an ablation was the patient's choice in 53%. There were no severe complications. Comparison between the baseline and post-ablation assessments showed that patients reported significant improvement in the scores for physical health, emotional and social functioning, as well as in the total scores.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that the successful treatment of supraventricular arrhythmias by means of an ablation results in a significant improvement in the quality of self-reported life scores in young patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1047951120000256DOI Listing
March 2020

Impact of paced left ventricular dyssynchrony on left ventricular reverse remodeling after cardiac resynchronization therapy.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 02 15;31(2):494-502. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Division of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction: We investigated whether pacing-induced electrical dyssynchrony at the time of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device implantation was associated with chronic CRT response.

Methods And Results: We included a total of 69 consecutive heart failure patients who received a CRT device. Left (LVp-RVs) and right (RVp-LVs) pacing-induced interlead delays were measured intraoperatively and used to determine if there was paced left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony, defined as present when LVp-RVs is larger than RVp-LVs. CRT response was defined as a reduction in LV end-systolic volume ≥15%, 6 months after implantation. Paced left ventricular dyssynchrony (PLVD) was associated with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) (χ : 8; P = .005) but not with QRS morphology nor with pacing lead positions. In a univariate analysis, PLVD (odds ratio [OR], 6.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-18.9; P = .001), atypical left bundle branch block (LBBB) (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.2-9.4; P = .022), and ICM (OR, 5.2; 95% CI, 1.6-17; P = .006) were associated with nonresponse. In a multivariate analysis, both PLVD (OR, 9.74; 95% CI, 2.8-33.9; P < .0001) and atypical LBBB (OR, 5.6; 95% CI, 1.5-20.3; P = .009) were independently associated with nonresponse. Adding PLVD to a model based on QRS morphology provided a significant and meaningful incremental value to predict LV reverse remodeling after CRT (χ to enter: 8; P < .005). Computer simulations corroborate these findings by showing that, while intrinsic electrical dyssynchrony is a prerequisite, the level of pacing-induced dyssynchrony modulates acute CRT response.

Conclusion: In addition to the intrinsic electrical substrate, PLVD is strongly associated with less LV reverse remodeling, demonstrating that measuring the electrical substrate during pacing has additional value for prediction of CRT response in an already well-selected patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14330DOI Listing
February 2020

Giant right atrial thrombus associated with ICD lead externalized conductors: a case report.

Eur Heart J Case Rep 2018 Jun 4;2(2):yty056. Epub 2018 May 4.

Division of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, Av. Hippocrate, Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction: Narrow calibre ICD leads are prone to present insulation defects and conductor externalization. Close follow-up of these leads is recommended but as long as their electrical function is maintained, no prophyllactic replacement or extraction is advised. Although the risk of thrombus formation involving externalized conductors has been described, this risk seems considered as negligible compared with the risk of a prophylactic lead extraction. However, when an intracavitar thrombus is identified, the safest therapeutic approach remains undetermined.

Case Presentation: In the present clinical vignette, we describe the case of a giant thrombus developed along the externalized portion of an electrically functional ICD lead. In this case, the thrombus was successfully treated with a systemic oral anticoagulation.

Discussion: This case report supports the concept of a prolonged anticoagulation for both the diagnosis and the long-term treatment of thrombus developed along externalized ICD leads, in particular when the patient prefers to avoid or postpone the risk of a trans-venous lead extraction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjcr/yty056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6176969PMC
June 2018

Cost-effectiveness and screening performance of ECG handheld machine in a population screening programme: The Belgian Heart Rhythm Week screening programme.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2019 06 1;26(9):964-972. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

10 Cliniques du Sud-Luxembourg, Arlon, Belgium.

Aims: Overall, 40% of patients with atrial fibrillation are asymptomatic. The usefulness and cost-effectiveness of atrial fibrillation screening programmes are debated. We evaluated whether an atrial fibrillation screening programme with a handheld electrocardiogram (ECG) machine in a population-wide cohort has a high screening yield and is cost-effective.

Methods: We used a Markov-model based modelling analysis on 1000 hypothetical individuals who matched the Belgian Heart Rhythm Week screening programme. Subgroup analyses of subjects ≥65 and ≥75 years old were performed. Screening was performed with one-lead ECG handheld machine Omron® HeartScan HCG-801.

Results: In both overall population and subgroups, the use of the screening procedure diagnosed a consistently higher number of diagnosed atrial fibrillation than not screening. In the base-case scenario, the screening procedure resulted in 106.6 more atrial fibrillation patient-years, resulting in three fewer strokes, 10 more life years and five more quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). The number needed-to-screen (NNS) to avoid one stroke was 361. In subjects ≥65 years old, we found 80.8 more atrial fibrillation patient-years, resulting in three fewer strokes, four more life-years and five more QALYs. The NNS to avoid one stroke was 354. Similar results were obtained in subjects ≥75 years old, with a NNS to avoid one stroke of 371. In the overall population, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for any gained QALY showed that the screening procedure was cost-effective in all groups.

Conclusions: In a population-wide screening cohort, the use of a handheld ECG machine to identify subjects with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation was cost-effective in the general population, as well as in subjects ≥65 and subjects ≥75 years old.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487319839184DOI Listing
June 2019

Electrocardiographic changes in STEMI with Brugada syndrome.

Acta Cardiol 2019 Dec 29;74(6):541-543. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Service de Pathologie Cardiovasculaire, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Bruxelles, Belgique.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00015385.2018.1535287DOI Listing
December 2019

Systemic thrombolysis and endovascular thrombectomy in severe acute ischemic stroke after dabigatran reversal with idarucizumab.

Clin Case Rep 2018 04 27;6(4):698-701. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

Hemostasis and Thrombosis Unit Division of Adult Hematology Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc Brussels 1200 Belgium.

Patients presenting with an acute ischemic stroke despite dabigatran therapy (last intake <24 h or unknown) should be evaluated for reversal by idarucizumab, making them eligible for safe and effective intravenous thrombolysis. It has been shown to be feasible, well-tolerated, and easy to manage in an emergency room or stroke unit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.1446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889252PMC
April 2018

Interest of waiting time for spontaneous early reconnection after cavotricuspid isthmus ablation: A monocentric randomized trial.

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2017 Dec 22;40(12):1440-1445. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to determine the rate of recurrent atrial flutter (AFl) after isolated cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI) ablation and to evaluate the impact of a waiting period with the search for early resumption of the CTI block on the long-term outcome.

Method: Three hundred and nineteen consecutive patients referred for typical AFl ablation were randomly assigned to CTI ablation with continuous reevaluation of the CTI block during 30 minutes and early reablation if needed (waiting time [WT] + group, n  =  155) or to CTI ablation with no waiting period after proven bidirectional CTI block (WT - group, n  =  164). All patients were regularly followed-up.

Result: In the WT+ group, 10 patients (6%) presented a recovery across the CTI (time to recovery: 17 ± 7') and were reablated at the end of the waiting period. After a median follow-up of 21 months, the rate of recurrent AFl was significantly higher in the WT - group as compared to the WT+ group (11.6% [19/164] vs 2.5% [4/155], respectively; P  =  0.007). However, no significant differences in the subsequent rate of AF were observed between the two groups (29% [WT -] vs 32% [WT+], P  =  0.66). During the follow-up, 28 patients from the WT - group underwent a second ablation procedure (16 AFl redo and 12 AF ablation) versus 10 patients form the WT+ group (three AFl redo and seven AF ablation).

Conclusion: Waiting 30 minutes after CTI ablation to check for early resumption and early reablation allows for decreasing significantly the rate of recurrent atrial flutter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pace.13207DOI Listing
December 2017

High prevalence of cardiac electric abnormalities in patients with phaeochromocytomas.

J Hypertens 2017 04;35(4):899-901

aPole of Cardiovascular Research, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium bDepartment of Medical Sciences, Internal Medicine and Hypertension Division, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza, Turin, Italy cDivision of Pediatric Cardiology dDepartment of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels eDepartment of Endocrinology, Liège University Hospital, Domaine du Sart-Tilman, Liège, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000001236DOI Listing
April 2017

Cerebrovascular disease, associated risk factors and antithrombotic therapy in a population screening cohort: Insights from the Belgian Heart Rhythm Week programme.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2017 02 5;24(3):328-334. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

1 University of Birmingham Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, City Hospital, UK.

Background Cerebrovascular disease confers a major healthcare burden worldwide and is a major cause of death and disability. Several well-established risk factors, such as atrial fibrillation (AF), are associated with cerebrovascular disease and antithrombotic therapy reduces risk. Design This study was a subgroup analysis from the Belgian Heart Rhythm Week, a nationwide AF awareness programme. Methods We studied subjects screened between 2012 and 2014 with available data on clinical risk factors and antithrombotic treatment. Results Of the 38,034 subjects eligible for this analysis, 1513 (4.0%) reported a positive clinical history for cerebrovascular disease. Logistic regression analysis found that age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, history of vascular disease, history of heart failure and history of AF (all p < 0.001) were independently associated with cerebrovascular disease. Among subjects with history of cerebrovascular disease and AF, 1.7% were taking oral anticoagulant drugs only, while both oral anticoagulant drugs and aspirin were used in 61.5% of subjects, aspirin in 4.3% of patients and no antithrombotic therapy in 32.5% of subjects. Among those subjects without AF, the corresponding figures were 0.8, 9.5, 2.0 and 87.6%, respectively. Conclusions The prevalence of cerebrovascular disease in this contemporary population screening project was higher than that reported in the general population and was associated with the major known stroke risk factors. Sub-optimal antithrombotic therapy management was evident, with a low use of oral anticoagulant drugs among patients with AF and a low use of aspirin among subjects without AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487316682349DOI Listing
February 2017

A population screening programme for atrial fibrillation: a report from the Belgian Heart Rhythm Week screening programme.

Europace 2016 Dec 11;18(12):1779-1786. Epub 2016 May 11.

Algemene Ziekenhuis St Jan, Brugges, Belgium.

Aims: Despite the increased prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF), data for the implementation of nationwide screening programmes are limited. The aim of this national screening study was to increase nationwide awareness about AF and stroke risk, to determine the prevalence of AF in Belgian general population using an ECG handheld machine and its feasibility to identify new AF cases.

Methods And Results: We analysed data obtained from 5 years of the 'Belgian Heart Rhythm Week' screening programme. All subjects were screened using a one-lead ECG handheld machine. Among 65 747 subjects screened, AF was recorded in 911, with an overall prevalence of 1.4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-1.6%]. High thrombo-embolic risk, as assessed by CHADS-VASc score ≥2, was recorded in 69% of AF subjects. In subjects with high thrombo-embolic risk, only 5.4% were treated with oral anticoagulant (OAC) and 5.8% were treated with OAC and antiplatelet drugs. Among recorded AF cases, the use of the ECG handheld machine allowed identification of 603 new AF patients (1.1%, 95% CI 0.9-1.3%). Factors associated with incident AF were chronic heart failure (P < 0.001), age (P < 0.001), diabetes mellitus (P < 0.001), previous stroke (P < 0.001), vascular disease (P < 0.001), and male sex (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: In this Belgian national screening programme, prevalence of AF was 1.4%. The use of an ECG handheld machine is feasible to identify a significant number of new AF cases, most with a high thrombo-embolic risk. Given the low OAC use recorded, greater efforts in AF detection and treatment are urgently needed to reduce the burden of stroke associated with this common arrhythmia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euw069DOI Listing
December 2016

An atypical cause of malignant syncope and sudden cardiac arrest.

Eur Heart J 2016 08 10;37(30):2442. Epub 2016 May 10.

Department of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, 10, Avenue Hippocrate, Brussels 1200, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehw194DOI Listing
August 2016

Adenosine-guided pulmonary vein isolation for the treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: an international, multicentre, randomised superiority trial.

Lancet 2015 Aug 23;386(9994):672-9. Epub 2015 Jul 23.

Montreal Heart Institute and Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Centre, Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Background: Catheter ablation is increasingly used to manage atrial fibrillation, but arrhythmia recurrences are common. Adenosine might identify pulmonary veins at risk of reconnection by unmasking dormant conduction, and thereby guide additional ablation to improve arrhythmia-free survival. We assessed whether adenosine-guided pulmonary vein isolation could prevent arrhythmia recurrence in patients undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

Methods: We did this randomised trial at 18 hospitals in Australia, Europe, and North America. We enrolled patients aged older than 18 years who had had at least three symptomatic atrial fibrillation episodes in the past 6 months, and for whom treatment with an antiarrhythmic drug failed. After pulmonary vein isolation, intravenous adenosine was administered. If dormant conduction was present, patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to additional adenosine-guided ablation to abolish dormant conduction or to no further ablation. If no dormant conduction was revealed, randomly selected patients were included in a registry. Patients were masked to treatment allocation and outcomes were assessed by a masked adjudicating committee. Patients were followed up for 1 year. The primary outcome was time to symptomatic atrial tachyarrhythmia after a single procedure in the intention-to-treat population. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01058980.

Findings: Adenosine unmasked dormant pulmonary vein conduction in 284 (53%) of 534 patients. 102 (69·4%) of 147 patients with additional adenosine-guided ablation were free from symptomatic atrial tachyarrhythmia compared with 58 (42·3%) of 137 patients with no further ablation, corresponding to an absolute risk reduction of 27·1% (95% CI 15·9-38·2; p<0·0001) and a hazard ratio of 0·44 (95% CI 0·31-0·64; p<0·0001). Of 115 patients without dormant pulmonary vein conduction, 64 (55·7%) remained free from symptomatic atrial tachyarrhythmia (p=0·0191 vs dormant conduction with no further ablation). Occurrences of serious adverse events were similar in each group. One death (massive stroke) was deemed probably related to ablation in a patient included in the registry.

Interpretation: Adenosine testing to identify and target dormant pulmonary vein conduction during catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is a safe and highly effective strategy to improve arrhythmia-free survival in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This approach should be considered for incorporation into routine clinical practice.

Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, St Jude Medical, Biosense-Webster, and M Lachapelle (Montreal Heart Institute Foundation).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60026-5DOI Listing
August 2015

Low contact force and force-time integral predict early recovery and dormant conduction revealed by adenosine after pulmonary vein isolation.

Europace 2015 Jun 24;17(6):877-83. Epub 2015 Jan 24.

Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, Av. Hippocrate 10-2881, Brussels 1200, Belgium.

Aim: After pulmonary vein isolation (PVI), dormant conduction (DC) is present in at least one vein in a substantial number of patients. The present study seeks to determine whether there is a relationship between poor contact forces (CF) and the presence of DC after PVI.

Methods And Results: This prospective, operator-blinded, non-randomized dual-centre trial enrolled 34 consecutive patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation who were candidates for PVI. Radiofrequency (RF) energy was delivered by using an irrigated-tip force-sensing ablation catheter (Tacticath, St Jude Medical) at pre-defined target power. The operators were blinded to the CF data at all times. A total of 1476 RF applications were delivered in 743 pre-defined PV segments. For each application, the precise location of the catheter was registered and the following data were extracted from the Tacisys unit: application duration, minimum contact force, maximum contact force, average contact force (CF), and force-time integral (FTI). Sixty minutes after PVI, spontaneous early recovery (ER) of the left atrium (LA) to PV conduction was evaluated. In the absence of ER, the presence of a DC was evaluated by using intravenous adenosine (ATP). In the 34 patients recruited (23 males; mean age: 62 ± 9 years), all PVs were successfully isolated. At the end of the 60 min waiting period, 22 patients demonstrated at least one spontaneous ER or DC under ATP. The mean CF and FTI per PV segment differed significantly among the different veins but the sites of ER and DC were evenly distributed. However, both the minimum, the first and the mean CF and FTI per PV segment were significantly lower in the PV segments presenting either ER or DC as compared with those without ER or DC (mean CF: 4.9 ± 4.8 vs. 12.2 ± 1.65 g and mean FTI: 297 ± 291 vs. 860 ± 81 g s, P < 0.001 for both). Using multivariate analysis, both the mean CF and the FTI per lesion remained significantly associated with the risk of ER or DC. Moreover, a CF < 5 g per PV segment predicted ER+ and DC+ with a sensitivity of 71% and specificity of 82%. In contrast, ER and DC were very unlikely if RF application was performed with a mean CF > 10 g (negative predictive value: 98.7%).

Conclusion: Both a low CF and a low FTI are associated with the ER of the PVI and DC after PVI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euu329DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447053PMC
June 2015

Evaluation of a new semiautomated external defibrillator technology: a live cases video recording study.

Emerg Med J 2015 Jun 31;32(6):481-5. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Department of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Bruxelles, Belgium.

Aim: To determine the effect of a new automated external defibrillator (AED) system connected by General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) to an external call centre in assisting novices in a sudden cardiac arrest situation.

Method: Prospective, interventional study. Layperson volunteers were first asked to complete a survey about their knowledge and ability to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an AED. A simulated cardiac arrest scenario using a CPR manikin was then presented to volunteers. A telephone and semi-AED were available in the same room. The AED was linked to a call centre, which provided real-time information to 'bystanders' and emergency services via GPRS/GPS technology. The scene was videotaped to avoid any interaction with examiners. A standardised check list was used to record correct actions.

Results: 85 volunteers completed questionnaires and were recorded. Mean age was 44±16, and 49% were male; 38 (45%) had prior CPR training or felt comfortable intervening in a sudden cardiac arrest victim; 40% felt they could deliver a shock using an AED. During the scenarios, 56 (66%) of the participants used the AED and 53 (62%) successfully delivered an electrical shock. Mean time to defibrillation was 2 min 29 s. Only 24 (28%) participants dialled the correct emergency response number (112); the live-assisted GPRS AED allowed alerted emergency services in 38 other cases. CPR was initiated in 63 (74%) cases, 26 (31%) times without prompting and 37 (44%) times after prompting by the AED.

Conclusions: Although knowledge of the general population appears to be inadequate with regard to AED locations and recognition, live-assisted devices with GPS-location may improve emergency care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2013-202962DOI Listing
June 2015

Risk scores and geriatric profile: can they really help us in anticoagulation decision making among older patients suffering from atrial fibrillation?

Clin Interv Aging 2014 15;9:1091-9. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Institute of Health and Society (IRSS), Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium ; Geriatric Medicine, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Objectives: Anticoagulation for the prevention of cardio-embolism is most frequently indicated but largely underused in frail older patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). This study aimed at identifying characteristics associated with anticoagulation underuse.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of consecutive geriatric patients aged ≥75 years, with AF and clear anticoagulation indication (CHADS₂ [Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age >75, Diabetes mellitus, and prior Stroke or transient ischemic attack] ≥2) upon hospital admission. All patients benefited from a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Their risks of stroke and bleeding were predicted using CHADS₂ and HEMORR2HAGES (Hepatic or renal disease, Ethanol abuse, Malignancy, Older (age >75 years), Reduced platelet count or function, Rebleed risk, Hypertension (uncontrolled), Anemia, Genetic factors, Excessive fall risk, and Stroke) scores, respectively.

Results: Anticoagulation underuse was observed in 384 (50%) of 773 geriatric patients with AF (median age 85 years; female 57%, cognitive disorder 33%, nursing home 20%). No geriatric characteristic was found to be associated with anticoagulation underuse. Conversely, anticoagulation underuse was markedly increased in the patients treated with aspirin (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval]: 5.3 [3.8; 7.5]). Other independent predictors of anticoagulation underuse were ethanol abuse (OR: 4.0 [1.4; 13.3]) and age ≥90 years (OR: 2.0 [1.2; 3.4]). Anticoagulation underuse was not inferior in patients with a lower bleeding risk and/or a higher stroke risk and underuse was surprisingly not inferior either in the AF patients who had previously had a stroke.

Conclusion: Half of this geriatric population did not receive any anticoagulation despite a clear indication, regardless of their individual bleeding or stroke risks. Aspirin use is the main characteristic associated with anticoagulation underuse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S62597DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4105275PMC
March 2015

Predictive value of the heart rate reserve in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation treated according to a strict rate-control strategy.

Europace 2014 Aug 5;16(8):1125-30. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

Division of Cardiology Unit of rhythmology, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium

Aims: Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients treated according to a rate-control strategy seem to have excellent outcomes as long as their ventricular response is kept low. However, the stringency of the rate control to adopt with pharmacologic agents is not clearly defined. In particular, the clinical importance of preserving a heart rate (HR) reserve (HRR) during exercise has not yet been investigated.

Methods And Results: We prospectively analysed the HR response profiles during exercise of 202 patients with permanent AF for whom a strict rate-control strategy was the preferred treatment option. Patients were asked to perform an exercise test on a cycle ergometer until exhaustion. The HRR was defined as the difference between the HR at peak exercise and the resting HR before exercise, divided by the resting HR. Patients were followed-up for at least 24 months or until death or hospitalization for heart failure. The mean resting HR was 80 ± 16 b.p.m. After a median follow-up period of 3 ± 1 years, 31 patients (15.3%) of our initial population (80% male, age 72 ± 12 years) presented either a hospitalization for heart failure (n = 13, 6.4%) or a death (n = 18, 8.9%). Using a univariate analysis, we found that these events correlated with a lower exercise capacity [hazard ratio, HR 0.98, 95% confidence interval, CI (0.96; 0.99), P < 0.001] and a lower HRR [HR 0.30, 95% CI (0.15; 0.60), P < 0.001]. Using a multivariate analysis, both the exercise capacity [HR 0.98, 95% CI (0.97; 0.99), P = 0.008] and the HRR [HR 0.42, 95% CI (0.20-0.87), P = 0.02] remained significantly associated with the outcome. In particular, 4-year survival free from hospitalization for heart failure was better in patients with a preserved HRR (HRR >40%, P < 0.001). No correlation was found between the treatment category (i.e. beta-blockers, calcium channel antagonist, and digoxin) and the HRR.

Conclusion: An impaired HRR in patients with permanent AF treated according to a strict rate-control strategy is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for heart failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euu033DOI Listing
August 2014

The long tail of the heart.

Europace 2014 Feb 2;16(2):276. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eut367DOI Listing
February 2014

Automatic external defibrillators in Belgian fitness centres.

Acta Cardiol 2013 Apr;68(2):139-43

Dept. of Cardiology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: The number of fitness centres has increased in Western countries, some proposing specific training programmes (cardiac patients, weight loss or seniors).There is a real risk of cardiovascular events for individuals without cardiovascular evaluation. Fitness centres could represent a place at particularly high risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Objective And Methods: In this observational study, we evaluated the number of fitness centres with automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the French-speaking part of Belgium, their geographic localization, the number of attendees, and the number of SCA reported. Details of AED and SCA were obtained by telephone survey. RESUITS: A total of 51 centres were surveyed. Only 5 (9.8%) had an AED and 68.8% (35/51) of centres had > 1 staff members specifically trained in CPR. Since the opening of these facilities, 5 SCA were reported from 3 centres (5.9%). Only 2 fitness centres had an AED present at the time of the SCA.Two SCA were unwitnessed, and for another 2 victims AED was used without success. Well-conducted CPR (no AED available) resulted in the only survivor of SCA.

Conclusion: The rate of SCA in fitness centres in French-speaking Belgium is comparable to that reported in other countries. AED were available in less than 10% of centres and no CPR trained staff was available in almost one third of the centres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/ac.68.2.2967270DOI Listing
April 2013

Value of adding natriuretic peptides and electrocardiographic findings to assess the presence of cardiac dysfunction in patients ≥80 years of age.

Am J Cardiol 2013 Apr 1;111(8):1198-208. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Institute of Health and Society, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Studies estimating the added value of natriuretic peptide levels and electrocardiographic findings beyond all relevant clinical information to identify cardiac dysfunction remain scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the presence of clinically relevant cardiac dysfunction in an unselected population of subjects aged ≥80 years. A cross-sectional analysis using an "intention-to-diagnose" strategy was performed within the BELFRAIL study (n = 567). Baseline B-type natriuretic peptide and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels were determined and echocardiography was performed at subjects' homes. Logistic regression analysis and classification and regression tree analysis were used as complementary analytic tools. Cardiac dysfunction was present in 17% of subjects without and 31% of subjects with chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) or pacemaker. In subjects without chronic AF or pacemaker, the clinical model showed a C-statistic of 0.79 (95% confidence interval 0.74 to 0.85). The combination of natriuretic peptides with normal results on electrocardiography increased, only marginally, the C-statistic. In subjects with chronic AF or pacemaker, the clinical model showed a very high C-statistic of 0.90 (95% confidence interval 0.82 to 0.98). Classification and regression tree analysis showed that an additional 58 subjects (13%) were correctly classified using natriuretic peptides and electrocardiographic findings among those without chronic AF or pacemaker. Of participants with chronic AF or pacemaker, >90% were correctly classified. In conclusion, in a large population-based sample of patients aged ≥80 years, the clinical model possessed high accuracy to identify cardiac dysfunction in daily practice. Among subjects without chronic AF or pacemaker, a larger number were correctly classified by integrating natriuretic peptides and electrocardiographic findings in the strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.12.055DOI Listing
April 2013

Use of electroanatomic voltage mapping to guide lead implantation in young adults with congenital heart disease.

Acta Cardiol 2012 Aug;67(4):487-9

Division of Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Lead implantation in young adults with congenital heart disease is often problematic due to the reduction in the number of surgical access routes and consequent scar tissue formation related to previous surgery. In such a situation, anatomic and electromagnetic voltage mapping of the heart may be useful to find the optimal implantation site for sensing and pacing activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/ac.67.4.2170695DOI Listing
August 2012

Post-infarct myocardial scar imaging in patients with ICD.

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging 2013 Jan 16;14(1):89. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc UCL, Av Hippocrate 10/2806, B-1200 Woluwe St. Lambert, Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjci/jes169DOI Listing
January 2013

A wide QRS complex tachycardia and group beating in a young patient with heart failure: what is the mechanism?

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2013 Feb 7;24(2):231-2. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2012.02411.xDOI Listing
February 2013

Intravenous adenosine to predict conduction recurrence in cavotricuspid isthmus early after ablation of typical atrial flutter: myth or reality?

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2012 Nov 26;23(11):1201-6. Epub 2012 Jun 26.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Introduction: Early recovery of conduction (ER) after cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI) ablation for typical atrial flutter (AFl) occurs in approximately 10% of the patients. If not recognized, ER might lead to AFl recurrences. In this study, we hypothesized that intravenous adenosine (iADO) can be used to predict ER in the CTI immediately after RF ablation and distinguish functional block from the complete destruction of the CTI myocardium.

Methods: We prospectively included 68 consecutive patients (age: 65 ± 14 years; male: 78%) referred in our centers for AFl ablation. Immediately after bidirectional isthmus block validation, a bolus of iADO was given during continuous pacing from the proximal coronary sinus. Patients with functional block revealed under iADO (iADO+) and those without (iADO-) were subsequently observed for a 30-minute waiting period (ER-) or until sustained recovery of the conduction through the CTI (ER+).

Results: Seven patients presented a persistent recovery (ER+, 10.3%, mean time to recovery: 14 ± 9 minutes). None of them presented even a transient resumption of conduction under iADO (iADO+: 0). With univariate analysis, we identified a heavy patient weight (>95 kg) as a predictor of ER (sensitivity: 71%).

Conclusions: Adenosine does not predict early recovery in the CTI after linear ablation for atrial flutter. We found that a patient weight over 95 kg predicted early recovery of conduction through the CTI with a sensitivity of 71%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2012.02384.xDOI Listing
November 2012

Adenosine following pulmonary vein isolation to target dormant conduction elimination (ADVICE): methods and rationale.

Can J Cardiol 2012 Mar-Apr;28(2):184-90. Epub 2012 Jan 2.

Montreal Heart Institute and Montreal Heart Institute Coordinating Centre, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Background: Pulmonary vein (PV) isolation (PVI) has emerged as an effective therapy for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). However, AF recurs in up to 50% of patients, generally because of recovery of PV conduction. Adenosine given during the initial procedure may reveal dormant PV conduction, thereby identifying the need for additional ablation, leading to improved outcomes. The Adenosine Following Pulmonary Vein Isolation to Target Dormant Conduction Elimination (ADVICE) study is a prospective multicentre randomized trial assessing the impact of adenosine-guided PVI in preventing AF recurrences.

Methods: Patients undergoing a first PVI procedure for paroxysmal AF will be recruited. After standard PVI is completed, all patients will receive intravenous adenosine in an attempt to unmask dormant conduction. If dormant conduction is elicited, patients will be randomized to no further ablation (control group) or additional adenosine-guided ablation until dormant conduction is abolished. If no dormant conduction is revealed, randomly selected patients will be followed in a registry. The primary outcome is time to first documented symptomatic AF recurrence. Assuming that dormant conduction is present in 50% of patients post PVI and symptomatic AF recurs in 45% of controls, 244 patients with dormant conduction will be required to obtain > 90% power to detect a difference of 20%. Thus, a total of 488 patients will be enrolled and followed for 12 months.

Conclusion: The ADVICE trial will assess whether a PVI strategy incorporating elimination of dormant conduction unmasked by intravenous adenosine will decrease the rate of recurrent symptomatic AF compared with standard PVI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2011.10.008DOI Listing
July 2012

Long-term follow-up of DDD and VDD pacing: a prospective non-randomized single-centre comparison of patients with symptomatic atrioventricular block.

Europace 2012 Apr 8;14(4):496-501. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 10-2888, Brussels, Belgium.

Aims: This prospective non-randomized single-centre registry compared clinical outcome, pacing parameters, and long-term survival in patients receiving VDD or DDD pacemaker (PMs) for symptomatic atrioventricular (AV) block.

Methods And Results: Single-lead VDD (n= 166) and DDD (n= 254) PMs were implanted in 420 successive patients with isolated AV block between January 2001 and December 2009. At the end of the follow-up period [median 25 (1-141) months], there was no difference in the incidence of atrial fibrillation [11.2% in the VDD group; 11.4% in the DDD group (P= 0.95)], myocardial infarction [31.1% in the VDD group; 25.2% in the DDD group (P= 0.20)], or dilated cardiomyopathy [9.9% in the VDD group; 8.9% in the DDD group (P= 0.74)]. At last follow-up, 65.9% of the VDD PMs and 89.3% of the DDD PMs were still programmed in their original mode with good atrial sensing. Due to permanent atrial fibrillation, 7.9% patients out of the VDD group had been switched to VVIR mode and 8.7% patients out of the DDD group to VVIR or DDIR mode. The P-wave amplitude was poor (sensed P-wave <0.5 mV) in 19.1% of the VDD PM and 1.6% of the DDD PM (P< 0.001) and 7.1% of the VDD patients and 0.4% of the DDD patients had been switched to VVIR pacing mode due to P-wave undersensing and AV dissociation (P= 0.003). Symptomatic atrial undersensing requiring upgrading was similar in both groups. The overall survival, adjusted for age, was not significantly different in the VDD and the DDD group (log rank: 0.26). Moreover, Cox survival analysis excluded the pacing mode as a significant predictor of mortality [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.79, confidence interval (CI) (0.46-1.35), P= 0.39].

Conclusion: Comparing VDD and DDD pacing, a significantly larger number of VDD-paced patients developed poor atrial signal detection without clinical impact. However, atrial under sensing did not influence the incidence of atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, dilated cardiomyopathy, or mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eur345DOI Listing
April 2012
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