Publications by authors named "Judith Albert"

5 Publications

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Dynamics of Left Ventricular Myocardial Work in Patients Hospitalized for Acute Heart Failure.

J Card Fail 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Comprehensive Heart Failure Center, University Hospital and University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany; Department of Medicine I, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is the most commonly used measure describing pumping efficiency, but it is heavily dependent on loading conditions and therefore not well-suited to study pathophysiologic changes. The novel concept of echocardiography-derived myocardial work (MyW) overcomes this disadvantage as it is based on LV pressure-strain loops. We tracked the in-hospital changes of indices of MyW in patients admitted for acute heart failure (AHF) in relation to their recompensation status and explored the prognostic utility of MyW indices METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 126 patients admitted for AHF (mean 73 ± 12 years, 37% female, 40% with a reduced LVEF [<40%]), providing pairs of echocardiograms obtained both on hospital admission and prior to discharge. The following MyW indices were derived: global constructive and wasted work (GCW, GWW), global work index (GWI), and global work efficiency. In patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction with decreasing N-terminal prohormone B-natriuretic peptide levels during hospitalization, the GCW and GWI improved significantly, whereas the GWW remained unchanged. In patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction, the GCW and GWI were unchanged; however, in patients with no decrease or eventual increase in N-terminal prohormone B-natriuretic peptide, we observed an increase in GWW. In all patients with AHF, higher values of GWW were associated with a higher risk of death or rehospitalization within 6 months after discharge (per 10-point increment hazard ratio 1.035, 95% confidence interval 1.005-1.065).

Conclusions: Our results suggest differential myocardial responses to decompensation and recompensation, depending on the HF phenotype in patients presenting with AHF. The GWW predicted the 6-month prognosis in these patients, regardless of LVEF. Future studies in larger cohorts need to confirm our results and identify determinants of short-term and longer term changes in MyW.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.07.004DOI Listing
July 2021

Left Ventricular Remodeling and Myocardial Work: Results From the Population-Based STAAB Cohort Study.

Front Cardiovasc Med 2021 11;8:669335. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Comprehensive Heart Failure Center, University and University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Left ventricular (LV) dilatation and LV hypertrophy are acknowledged precursors of myocardial dysfunction and ultimately of heart failure, but the implications of abnormal LV geometry on myocardial function are not well-understood. Non-invasive LV myocardial work (MyW) assessment based on echocardiography-derived pressure-strain loops offers the opportunity to study detailed myocardial function in larger cohorts. We aimed to assess the relationship of LV geometry with MyW indices in general population free from heart failure. We report cross-sectional baseline data from the Characteristics and Course of Heart Failure Stages A-B and Determinants of Progression (STAAB) cohort study investigating a representative sample of the general population of Würzburg, Germany, aged 30-79 years. MyW analysis was performed in 1,926 individuals who were in sinus rhythm and free from valvular disease (49.3% female, 54 ± 12 years). In multivariable regression, higher LV volume was associated with higher global wasted work (GWW) (+0.5 mmHg% per mL/m, < 0.001) and lower global work efficiency (GWE) (-0.02% per mL/m, < 0.01), while higher LV mass was associated with higher GWW (+0.45 mmHg% per g/m, < 0.001) and global constructive work (GCW) (+2.05 mmHg% per g/m, < 0.01) and lower GWE (-0.015% per g/m, < 0.001). This was dominated by the blood pressure level and also observed in participants with normal LV geometry and concomitant hypertension. Abnormal LV geometric profiles were associated with a higher amount of wasted work, which translated into reduced work efficiency. The pattern of a disproportionate increase in GWW with higher LV mass might be an early sign of hypertensive heart disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2021.669335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8232934PMC
June 2021

Adaptive anti-myocardial immune response following hospitalization for acute heart failure.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Aug 2;8(4):3348-3353. Epub 2021 May 2.

Comprehensive Heart Failure Center, University and University Hospital Würzburg, Am Schwarzenberg 15, Würzburg, D-97078, Germany.

Aims: It has been hypothesized that cardiac decompensation accompanying acute heart failure (AHF) episodes generates a pro-inflammatory environment boosting an adaptive immune response against myocardial antigens, thus contributing to progression of heart failure (HF) and poor prognosis. We assessed the prevalence of anti-myocardial autoantibodies (AMyA) as biomarkers reflecting adaptive immune responses in patients admitted to the hospital for AHF, followed the change in AMyA titres for 6 months after discharge, and evaluated their prognostic utility.

Methods And Results: AMyA were determined in n = 47 patients, median age 71 (quartiles 60; 80) years, 23 (49%) female, and 24 (51%) with HF with preserved ejection fraction, from blood collected at baseline (time point of hospitalization) and at 6 month follow-up (visit F6). Patients were followed for 18 months (visit F18). The prevalence of AMyA increased from baseline (n = 21, 45%) to F6 (n = 36, 77%; P < 0.001). At F6, the prevalence of AMyA was higher in patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction (n = 21, 88%) compared with patients with reduced ejection fraction (n = 14, 61%; P = 0.036). During the subsequent 12 months after F6, that is up to F18, patients with newly developed AMyA at F6 had a higher risk for the combined endpoint of death or rehospitalization for HF (hazard ratio 4.79, 95% confidence interval 1.13-20.21; P = 0.033) compared with patients with persistent or without AMyA at F6.

Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that AHF may induce patterns of adaptive immune responses. More studies in larger populations and well-defined patient subgroups are needed to further clarify the role of the adaptive immune system in HF progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13376DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318503PMC
August 2021

Trajectories of Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction After Acute Decompensation for Systolic Heart Failure: Concomitant Echocardiographic and Systemic Changes, Predictors, and Impact on Clinical Outcomes.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 02 26;10(3):e017822. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Comprehensive Heart Failure Centre University and University Hospital Würzburg Germany.

Background Prospective longitudinal follow-up of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) trajectories after acute cardiac decompensation of heart failure is lacking. We investigated changes in LVEF and covariates at 6-months' follow-up in patients with a predischarge LVEF ≤40%, and determined predictors and prognostic implications of LVEF changes through 18-months' follow-up. Methods and Results Interdisciplinary Network Heart Failure program participants (n=633) were categorized into subgroups based on LVEF at 6-months' follow-up: normalized LVEF (>50%; heart failure with normalized ejection fraction, n=147); midrange LVEF (41%-50%; heart failure with midrange ejection fraction, n=195), or persistently reduced LVEF (≤40%; heart failure with persistently reduced LVEF , n=291). All received guideline-directed medical therapies. At 6-months' follow-up, compared with patients with heart failure with persistently reduced LVEF, heart failure with normalized LVEF or heart failure with midrange LVEF subgroups showed greater reductions in LV end-diastolic/end-systolic diameters (both <0.001), and left atrial systolic diameter (=0.002), more increased septal/posterior end-diastolic wall-thickness (both <0.001), and significantly greater improvement in diastolic function, biomarkers, symptoms, and health status. Heart failure duration <1 year, female sex, higher predischarge blood pressure, and baseline LVEF were independent predictors of LVEF improvement. Mortality and event-free survival rates were lower in patients with heart failure with normalized LVEF (=0.002). Overall, LVEF increased further at 18-months' follow-up (<0.001), while LV end-diastolic diameter decreased (=0.048). However, LVEF worsened (=0.002) and LV end-diastolic diameter increased (=0.047) in patients with heart failure with normalized LVEF hospitalized between 6-months' follow-up and 18-months' follow-up. Conclusions Six-month survivors of acute cardiac decompensation for systolic heart failure showed variable LVEF trajectories, with >50% showing improvements by ≥1 LVEF category. LVEF changes correlated with various parameters, suggesting multilevel reverse remodeling, were predictable from several baseline characteristics, and were associated with clinical outcomes at 18-months' follow-up. Repeat hospitalizations were associated with attenuation of reverse remodeling. Registration URL: https://www.controlled-trials.com; Unique identifier: ISRCTN23325295.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.017822DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7955416PMC
February 2021

Prevalence and determinants of systolic and diastolic cardiac dysfunction and heart failure in acute ischemic stroke patients: The SICFAIL study.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 04 22;8(2):1117-1129. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.

Aims: Ischaemic stroke (IS) might induce alterations of cardiac function. Prospective data on frequency of cardiac dysfunction and heart failure (HF) after IS are lacking. We assessed prevalence and determinants of diastolic dysfunction (DD), systolic dysfunction (SD), and HF in patients with acute IS.

Methods And Results: The Stroke-Induced Cardiac FAILure in mice and men (SICFAIL) study is a prospective, hospital-based cohort study. Patients with IS underwent a comprehensive assessment of cardiac function in the acute phase (median 4 days after IS) including clinical examination, standardized transthoracic echocardiography by expert sonographers, and determination of blood-based biomarkers. Information on demographics, lifestyle, risk factors, symptoms suggestive of HF, and medical history was collected by a standardized personal interview. Applying current guidelines, cardiac dysfunction was classified based on echocardiographic criteria into SD (left ventricular ejection fraction < 52% in men or <54% in women) and DD (≥3 signs of DD in patients without SD). Clinically overt HF was classified into HF with reduced, mid-range, or preserved ejection fraction. Between January 2014 and February 2017, 696 IS patients were enrolled. Of them, patients with sufficient echocardiographic data on SD were included in the analyses {n = 644 patients [median age 71 years (interquartile range 60-78), 61.5% male]}. In these patients, full assessment of DD was feasible in 549 patients without SD (94%). Prevalence of cardiac dysfunction and HF was as follows: SD 9.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 7.6-12.2%]; DD in patients without SD 23.3% (95% CI 20.0-27.0%); and clinically overt HF 5.4% (95% CI 3.9-7.5%) with subcategories of HF with preserved ejection fraction 4.35%, HF with mid-range ejection fraction 0.31%, and HF with reduced ejection fraction 0.78%. In multivariable analysis, SD and fulfilment of HF criteria were associated with history of coronary heart disease [SD: odds ratio (OR) 3.87, 95% CI 1.93-7.75, P = 0.0001; HF: OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.04-5.05, P = 0.0406] and high-sensitive troponin T at baseline (SD: OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.31-2.42, P = 0.0003; HF: OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.17-2.33, P = 0.004); DD was associated with older age (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.05-1.11, P < 0.0001) and treated hypertension vs. no hypertension (OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.23-6.54, P = 0.0405).

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of the study population exhibited subclinical and clinical cardiac dysfunction. SICFAIL provides reliable data on prevalence and determinants of SD, DD, and clinically overt HF in patients with acute IS according to current guidelines, enabling further clarification of its aetiological and prognostic role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13145DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006617PMC
April 2021
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