Publications by authors named "Masao Daimon"

150 Publications

Deep learning model to detect significant aortic regurgitation using electrocardiography: Detection model for aortic regurgitation.

J Cardiol 2021 Sep 17. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Aortic regurgitation (AR) is a common heart disease, with a relatively high prevalence of 4.9% in the Framingham Heart Study. Because the prevalence increases with advancing age, an upward shift in the age distribution may increase the burden of AR. To provide an effective screening method for AR, we developed a deep learning-based artificial intelligence algorithm for the diagnosis of significant AR using electrocardiography (ECG).

Methods: Our dataset comprised 29,859 paired data of ECG and echocardiography, including 412 AR cases, from January 2015 to December 2019. This dataset was divided into training, validation, and test datasets. We developed a multi-input neural network model, which comprised a two-dimensional convolutional neural network (2D-CNN) using raw ECG data and a fully connected deep neural network (FC-DNN) using ECG features, and compared its performance with the performances of a 2D-CNN model and other machine learning models. In addition, we used gradient-weighted class activation mapping (Grad-CAM) to identify which parts of ECG waveforms had the most effect on algorithm decision making.

Results: The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the multi-input model (0.802; 95% CI, 0.762-0.837) was significantly greater than that of the 2D-CNN model alone (0.734; 95% CI, 0.679-0.783; p<0.001) and those of other machine learning models. Grad-CAM demonstrated that the multi-input model tended to focus on the QRS complex in leads I and aVL when detecting AR.

Conclusions: The multi-input deep learning model using 12-lead ECG data could detect significant AR with modest predictive value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jjcc.2021.08.029DOI Listing
September 2021

Is Concomitant Mitral Regurgitation With Severe Aortic Stenosis Benign or Malignant?

Circ J 2021 Aug 21. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1253/circj.CJ-21-0606DOI Listing
August 2021

Normal Values of Left Atrial Size and Function and the Impact of Age: Results of the World Alliance Societies of Echocardiography Study.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2021 Aug 18. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Background: Left atrial (LA) evaluation includes volumetric and functional parameters with an abundance of diagnostic and prognostic implications. Solid normal reference ranges are compulsory for accurate interpretation in individual patients, but previous studies have yielded mixed conclusions regarding the effects of age, sex, and/or race. The present report from the World Alliance Societies of Echocardiography study focuses on two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) measures of LA structure and function, with subgroup analysis by age, sex, and race.

Methods: Transthoracic 2D and 3D echocardiographic images were obtained in 1,765 healthy individuals (901 men, 864 women) evenly distributed among age subgroups: 18 to 40 years (n = 745), 41 to 65 years (n = 618), and >65 years (n = 402); the racial distribution was 38.4% white, 39.9% Asian, and 9.7% black. Images were analyzed using dedicated LA analysis software to measure LA volumes and phasic function from 3D volume and 2D strain curves.

Results: Three-dimensional maximum and minimum LA volumes adjusted for body surface area were nearly identical for men and women, but women demonstrated higher 3D total and passive emptying fractions (EFs). Two-dimensional reservoir strain was similar for both sexes. Age was associated with an incremental rise in LA volumes alongside characteristic shifts in functional indices. Total 2D EF and reservoir and conduit strain varied inversely with age, counteracted by higher booster strain, with a greater magnitude of effect in women. Active 3D EF was significantly higher, while total and passive EFs decreased with age. Interracial differences were noted in LA volumes, without substantial differences in functional indices.

Conclusion: Although similar normal values for LA volumes and strain can be applied to both sexes, meaningful differences in LA size occur with aging. Indices of function also shift with age, with a compensatory rise in booster function, which may serve to counteract observed lower total and passive EFs. Defining age-associated normal values may help differentiate age-associated "healthy" LA aging from pathologic processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2021.08.008DOI Listing
August 2021

Combined evaluation of right ventricular function using echocardiography in non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Aug 4. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Aims: Although comprehensive assessment of right ventricular (RV) function using multiple echocardiographic parameters is recommended for management of patients with non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), it is unclear which RV parameters to combine. Additionally, normalization of RV parameters by estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP), in consideration of RV-pulmonary artery coupling, may be clinically significant. The aim of our study was to elucidate the best combination of echocardiographic RV functional parameters, with or without indexing for PASP, to predict outcome in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction secondary to DCM.

Methods And Results: We retrospectively analysed 109 DCM patients with left ventricular ejection fraction <40%. RV size was assessed by RV end-diastolic area (RVEDA) and RV end-systolic area (RVESA) from RV-focused apical four-chamber view. RV function was assessed by fractional area change (FAC) and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) and by RV longitudinal strain (RVLS) using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography. All functional parameters were also indexed for estimated PASP. Cox analyses were used to evaluate the association of RV morphology and functional parameters with 1 year outcome (composite of left ventricular assist device implantation and all-cause death). Area under the curve was used to compare prognostic values. Mean age was 44 ± 14 years, and 76 (69.7%) were men. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 21.9%, median RVEDA was 22.1 cm , FAC was 27.0%, TAPSE was 15.0 mm, and RVLS was -12.5%. Forty-one (37.6%) patients experienced the primary outcome. Multivariate Cox analysis revealed that RVEDA, RVESA, FAC, TAPSE, RVLS, FAC/PASP, and RVLS/PASP were independent predictors for primary outcome (all P < 0.05). However, normalization with PASP did not improve area under the curve for any RV functional parameters. When we evaluate hazard ratios according to the combination of two echocardiographic parameters of RV function, patients with impairment of both FAC (<27%) and RVLS (>-8.6%) had significantly higher hazard ratio than those with either impairment alone (11.3 vs. 3.4, P < 0.001); the other combinations did not improve prognostic value.

Conclusions: Normalizing echocardiographic RV parameters for PASP did not improve the prognostic values for our population. Meanwhile, combined evaluation of FAC and RVLS improved risk stratification in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction secondary to DCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13519DOI Listing
August 2021

Aging and myocardial strain.

J Med Ultrason (2001) 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8655, Japan.

Advanced age is widely recognized as a key risk factor for incident cardiovascular disease. The age-associated changes in cardiac properties alter the substrate on which cardiovascular disease is superimposed in various ways, and thus affect the development and manifestations of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the elderly. However, it is still unclear whether age-related cardiac alteration is attributed to aging itself or whether it is secondary to other acquired cardiovascular risk factors. Understanding the association between aging and cardiac functional remodeling might provide insight into the pathogenesis of cardiovascular aging and may help inform possible preventive strategies for CVD in older individuals. Speckle-tracking echocardiography enables the objective and quantitative assessment of subtle myocardial alterations that are undetectable with conventional echocardiography, and has excellent feasibility and reproducibility. Left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain, a sensitive measure of LV systolic dysfunction, was found to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. More recently, deformation imaging has been employed to assess right ventricular (RV) and atrial performance, and impaired RV and atrial strain predict unfavorable outcomes in various clinical settings. This article reviews the association between aging and changes in myocardial strain values and describes future perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10396-021-01115-0DOI Listing
July 2021

Two-Dimensional Echocardiographic Right Ventricular Size and Systolic Function Measurements Stratified by Sex, Age, and Ethnicity: Results of the World Alliance of Societies of Echocardiography Study.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Background: Echocardiographic assessment of right ventricular (RV) systolic function is an important component of clinical decision making. Although professional societies have worked to define normal ranges of RV size and function, their guidelines have not included the impacts of age, sex, and ethnicity on these parameters, as they have for the left ventricle. The World Alliance of Societies of Echocardiography study was designed to investigate the effects of age, sex, and ethnicity on all cardiac chambers. The aim of this study was to explore whether these differences exist for RV systolic parameters.

Methods: Adequate two-dimensional RV-focused views for the measurement of systolic parameters, including fractional area change and global and free wall longitudinal strain, were available in 1,913 subjects (mean age, 47 ± 17 years; 51% men). Basal and mid-RV dimensions, length, tricuspid annular peak systolic excursion, tissue Doppler S' velocity, and myocardial performance index were also measured. Subjects were grouped by age (<40, 41-65, and >65 years), with results also stratified by sex and ethnicity (Asian, black, or white) and analyzed using vendor-independent software. Differences among groups were evaluated using analysis of variance.

Results: Women had smaller absolute and indexed RV areas and absolute RV dimensions and higher magnitudes of fractional area change, free wall strain, and global longitudinal strain compared to men. With respect to age, most of the statistically significant differences were noted between the <40- and >65-year age groups, with RV areas and lengths smaller in older age groups and RV functional parameters (S', fractional area change, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, global longitudinal strain, free wall strain, and myocardial performance index) showing minimal decreases or no changes with age. Although there were no meaningful differences in functional parameters among ethnic groups, RV size was smallest in Asians.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that although two-dimensional RV parameters are age and sex dependent, association with race is less apparent, excepting that the Asian population appears to have smaller chamber sizes compared with whites and blacks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2021.06.013DOI Listing
July 2021

Deep Learning Algorithm to Detect Cardiac Sarcoidosis From Echocardiographic Movies.

Circ J 2021 Jun 26. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo Hospital.

Background: Because the early diagnosis of subclinical cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) remains difficult, we developed a deep learning algorithm to distinguish CS patients from healthy subjects using echocardiographic movies.Methods and Results:Among the patients who underwent echocardiography from January 2015 to December 2019, we chose 151 echocardiographic movies from 50 CS patients and 151 from 149 healthy subjects. We trained two 3D convolutional neural networks (3D-CNN) to identify CS patients using a dataset of 212 echocardiographic movies with and without a transfer learning method (Pretrained algorithm and Non-pretrained algorithm). On an independent set of 41 echocardiographic movies, the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) of the Pretrained algorithm was greater than that of Non-pretrained algorithm (0.842, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.722-0.962 vs. 0.724, 95% CI: 0.566-0.882, P=0.253). The AUC from the interpretation of the same set of 41 echocardiographic movies by 5 cardiologists was not significantly different from that of the Pretrained algorithm (0.855, 95% CI: 0.735-0.975 vs. 0.842, 95% CI: 0.722-0.962, P=0.885). A sensitivity map demonstrated that the Pretrained algorithm focused on the area of the mitral valve.

Conclusions: A 3D-CNN with a transfer learning method may be a promising tool for detecting CS using an echocardiographic movie.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1253/circj.CJ-21-0265DOI Listing
June 2021

Development of aortic regurgitation due to non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis.

J Med Ultrason (2001) 2021 Jul 5;48(3):363-364. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8655, Japan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10396-021-01105-2DOI Listing
July 2021

Normal Values of Cardiac Output and Stroke Volume According to Measurement Technique, Age, Sex, and Ethnicity: Results of the World Alliance of Societies of Echocardiography Study.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2021 May 25. Epub 2021 May 25.

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Background: Assessment of cardiac output (CO) and stroke volume (SV) is essential to understand cardiac function and hemodynamics. These parameters can be examined using three echocardiographic techniques (pulsed-wave Doppler, two-dimensional [2D], and three-dimensional [3D]). Whether these methods can be used interchangeably is unclear. The influence of age, sex, and ethnicity on CO and SV has also not been examined in depth. In this report from the World Alliance of Societies of Echocardiography Normal Values Study, the authors compare CO and SV in healthy adults according to age, sex, ethnicity, and measurement techniques.

Methods: A total of 1,450 adult subjects (53% men) free of heart, lung, and kidney disease were prospectively enrolled in 15 countries, with even distributions among age groups and sex. Subjects were divided into three age groups (young, 18-40 years; middle aged, 41-65 years; and old, >65 years) and three main racial groups (whites, blacks, and Asians). CO and SV were indexed (cardiac index [CI] and SV index [SVI], respectively) to body surface area and height and measured using three echocardiographic methods: Doppler, 2D, and 3D. Images were analyzed at two core laboratories (one each for 2D and 3D).

Results: CI and SVI were significantly lower by 2D compared with both Doppler and 3D methods in both sexes. SVI was significantly lower in women than men by all three methods, while CI differed only by 2D. SVI decreased with aging by all three techniques, whereas CI declined only with 2D and 3D. CO and SV were smallest in Asians and largest in whites, and the differences persisted after normalization for body surface area.

Conclusions: The present results provide normal reference values for CO and SV, which differ by age, sex, and race. Furthermore, CI and SVI measurements by the different echocardiographic techniques are not interchangeable. All these factors need to be taken into account when evaluating cardiac function and hemodynamics in individual patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2021.05.012DOI Listing
May 2021

Mitral Valvular Coaptation-Zone Area Is Associated with the Severity of Atherosclerosis Assessed by Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index.

Int Heart J 2021 May 15;62(3):552-558. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Clinical Laboratory, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo.

Preservation of the mitral valve (MV) size is essential for valve function, and a reduced MV coaptation-zone area increases the risk of developing functional mitral regurgitation (FMR). We aimed to determine if the MV leaflet and coaptation-zone areas were associated with the severity of atherosclerosis assessed by cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) in patients with normal left ventricle (LV) systolic function and size by real-time 3D echocardiography (RT3DE).We performed RT3DE analysis in 66 patients with normal LV size and ejection fraction who underwent 2D echocardiography and CAVI. MV coaptation-zone areas were measured by custom 3D software and indexed by body surface area (BSA). The associations of clinical factors and mean CAVI with MV leaflet and coaptation-zone areas were evaluated by univariable and multivariable linear regression analyses.On univariable analysis, MV leaflet area/BSA was significantly associated with age (r = -0.335, P = 0.0069) and mean CAVI (r = -0.464, P < 0.001), and MV coaptation-zone area was significantly associated with age (r = -0.626, P < 0.001), hypertension (r = -0.626, P < 0.001), dyslipidemia (r = -0.626, P < 0.001), E/e' (r = -0.626, P < 0.001), and CAVI (r = -0.740, P < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, mean CAVI was independently associated only with MV leaflet area/BSA (standardized coefficient = -0.611, P < 0.001) and MV coaptation-zone area/BSA (standardized coefficient = -0.74, P < 0.001).In patients with normal LV systolic function and size, MV leaflet and coaptation-zone areas might be reduced according to advancing atherosclerosis. Patients with atherosclerosis might be at increased risk of developing FMR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1536/ihj.20-776DOI Listing
May 2021

Usefulness of duplex ultrasonography to detect collagen sponge misplacement into the arterial lumen during the use of Angio-Seal: A case report.

SAGE Open Med Case Rep 2021 30;9:2050313X211004818. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

A 76-year-old man who had undergone percutaneous coronary intervention suffered intermittent claudication. Duplex ultrasonography revealed superficial femoral artery stenosis with an intraluminal heterogeneous echogenic mass. We suspected that stenosis was caused by the puncture procedure of the Angio-Seal. Open surgery revealed that a collagen sponge that should have been outside the arterial wall was misplaced in the wall with massive granulation, and atherectomy with patchplasty was performed. Vessel deterioration was considered due to several factors, including inappropriate access site, arterial wall calcification, and comorbidities like Behçet's disease. Ultrasonography is a convenient and useful method to evaluate arterial lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2050313X211004818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8013637PMC
March 2021

Surgical treatment for infective endocarditis in the ageing society: a nationwide retrospective study in Japan.

Open Heart 2021 04;8(1)

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan.

Objective: The current status of surgical treatment for infective endocarditis (IE) among very elderly people is unclear.

Methods: We extracted data on patients in Japan with community-acquired IE who were admitted and discharged between April 2010 and February 2018 using a nationwide inpatient, the Diagnosis Procedure Combination database. We divided patients into three groups: non-elderly (<65 years), elderly (65-79 years) and very elderly (≥80 years). A 1:1 propensity score matching was performed to compare proportions of surgical treatment and in-hospital mortality among the groups.

Results: We identified 20 667 eligible patients (median age 70 years, 61.0% men). The proportion of very elderly patients significantly increased (19.1% in 2010 to 29.7% in 2018). The proportion of surgical treatment was significantly lower, and in-hospital mortality was significantly higher in very elderly patients. This tendency was more pronounced among patients with in-hospital complications such as heart failure, stroke or embolism. Surgical treatment was significantly associated with lower in-hospital mortality even in very elderly patients, both in an unmatched (OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.78) and a propensity score matched cohort (OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.43 to 0.85).

Conclusions: The proportion of very elderly patients with IE was increasing, and very elderly patients had higher in-hospital mortality. The proportion of surgical treatment for IE among very elderly patients was low, but it was associated with lower in-hospital mortality. Further studies are needed to establish the optimal strategy for IE among very elderly patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2021-001627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8047992PMC
April 2021

Risk factors including preoperative echocardiographic parameters for post-induction hypotension in general anesthesia.

J Cardiol 2021 Sep 8;78(3):230-236. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Anesthesiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Background: Severe hypotension immediately after induction of general anesthesia (post-induction hypotension) is a common complication and is associated with a poor postoperative outcome. We hypothesized that post-induction hypotension results from cardiac dysfunction which can be assessed by preoperative echocardiography.

Methods: We retrospectively enrolled 200 patients who had undergone elective surgery within 6 months after preoperative transthoracic echocardiography. The incidence of post-induction hypotension identified from anesthesia records was defined as a decrease in mean blood pressure to ≤50 mmHg after injection of induction anesthetics prior to surgery. Logistic regression analysis of patient characteristics and echocardiographic variables was used to identify the independent factors for post-induction hypotension.

Results: Post-induction hypotension was found in 63 of the 200 cases (incidence 32%). Independent risk factors for post-induction hypotension were the presence of a regional wall motion abnormality (RWMA) [odds ratio (OR), 6.65.; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.76 - 25.10], an elevated E/e' (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.00 - 1.28), female gender (OR, 3.61; 95% CI, 1.37 - 9.56), and the use of an angiotensin II receptor blocker (OR, 3.17; 95% CI, 1.12 - 8.96).

Conclusions: Assessment of RWMA and E/e' with preoperative transthoracic echocardiography might be helpful for stratification of patients at a risk of post-induction hypotension in general anesthesia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jjcc.2021.03.010DOI Listing
September 2021

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation and Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement for Aortic Stenosis in Japan - Analysis of a Nationwide Inpatient Database.

Circ Rep 2020 Dec 1;2(12):753-758. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo Tokyo Japan.

Nationwide data on transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in Japan are scarce. Using a nationwide inpatient database, we analyzed patients undergoing TAVI (n=8,338) or SAVR (n=16,298) due to aortic stenosis between 2014 and 2017. The annual number of TAVI increased rapidly from 2014 to 2017, particularly in older patients. In-hospital deaths were lower and the length of hospital stay was shorter for patients undergoing TAVI than SAVR. TAVI has been penetrating in Japan as an alternative therapeutic option for aortic stenosis and is associated with acceptable clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1253/circrep.CR-20-0116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937519PMC
December 2020

Percutaneous Mitral Valve Intervention Using MitraClip for Functional Mitral Regurgitation and Heart Failure.

Int Heart J 2021 ;62(1):4-8

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo.

Functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) frequently coexists with left ventricular systolic dysfunction and advanced heart failure, and typically has poor clinical outcomes. Although various therapeutic options including cardiac resynchronization therapy and surgical mitral intervention, have been proposed, an optimal treatment strategy for functional mitral regurgitation has not yet been established. Over the last decade, transcatheter mitral valve repair using MitraClip has emerged as a novel alternative therapeutic option for functional mitral regurgitation. In 2018, the COAPT trial demonstrated that MitraClip treatment reduced rehospitalization due to heart failure and all-cause death in patients with functional mitral regurgitation and heart failure. As a consequence, the MitraClip has become a very promising potential treatment for functional mitral regurgitation. In this review, we discuss and summarize the current status and future perspectives of the treatment for functional mitral regurgitation and heart failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1536/ihj.20-712DOI Listing
February 2021

Impact of insulin resistance on subclinical left ventricular dysfunction in normal weight and overweight/obese japanese subjects in a general community.

Cardiovasc Diabetol 2021 01 21;20(1):22. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Insulin resistance carries increased risk of heart failure, although the pathophysiological mechanisms remain unclear. LV global longitudinal strain (LVGLS) assessed by speckle-tracking echocardiography has emerged as an important tool to detect early LV systolic abnormalities. This study aimed to investigate the association between insulin resistance and subclinical left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in a sample of the general population without overt cardiac disease.

Methods: We investigated 539 participants who voluntarily underwent extensive cardiovascular health check including laboratory test and speckle-tracking echocardiography. Glycemic profiles were categorized into 3 groups according to homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR): absence of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR < 1.5), presence of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR ≥ 1.5) and diabetes mellitus (DM). Multivariable logistic regression models were conducted to evaluate the association between abnormal glucose metabolism and impaired LVGLS (> - 16.65%).

Results: Forty-five (8.3%) participants had DM and 66 (12.2%) had abnormal HOMA-IR. LV mass index and E/e' ratio did not differ between participants with and without abnormal HOMA-IR, whereas abnormal HOMA-IR group had significantly decreased LVGLS (- 17.6 ± 2.6% vs. - 19.7 ± 3.1%, p < 0.05). The prevalence of impaired LVGLS was higher in abnormal HOMA-IR group compared with normal HOMA-IR group (42.4% vs. 14.0%) and similar to that of DM (48.9%). In multivariable analyses, glycemic abnormalities were significantly associated with impaired LVGLS, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and pertinent laboratory and echocardiographic parameters [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.38, p = 0.007 for abnormal HOMA-IR; adjusted OR 3.02, p = 0.003 for DM]. The independent association persisted even after adjustment for waist circumference as a marker of abdominal adiposity. Sub-group analyses stratified by body mass index showed significant association between abnormal HOMA-IR and impaired LVGLS in normal weight individuals (adjusted OR 4.59, p = 0.001), but not in overweight/obese individuals (adjusted OR 1.62, p = 0.300).

Conclusions: In the general population without overt cardiac disease, insulin resistance carries independent risk for subclinical LV dysfunction, especially in normal weight individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12933-020-01201-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818760PMC
January 2021

Relationship Between Mitral Leaflet Size and Coaptation and Their Associated Factors in Patients with Normal Left Ventricular Size and Systolic Function.

Int Heart J 2021 Jan 16;62(1):95-103. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Department of Clinical Laboratory, The University of Tokyo Hospital.

Enlargement of the mitral valve (MV) has gained attention as a compensatory mechanism for functional mitral regurgitation (FMR). We aimed to determine if MV leaflet area is associated with MV coaptation-zone area and identify the clinical factors associated with MV leaflet size and coaptation-zone area in patients with normal left ventricle (LV) systolic function and size using real-time 3D echocardiography (RT3DE).We performed RT3DE in 135 patients with normal LV size and ejection fraction. MV leaflet and coaptation-zone areas were measured using custom 3D software. The clinical factors associated with MV leaflet and coaptation-zone areas were evaluated using univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses.There was a significant relationship between MV leaflet and coaptation-zone areas (r = 0.499, P < 0.001). MV leaflet area was strongly associated with body surface area (BSA) (r = 0.905, P < 0.001) rather than LV size and age. MV leaflet area/BSA was independently associated with male gender (P = 0.002), lower diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.042), and LV end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) index (P = 0.048); MV coaptation-zone area/BSA was independently associated with lower LVEDV index (P = 0.01).In patients with normal LV systolic function and size, MV leaflet size has a significant impact on competent MV coaptation. MV leaflet area might be intrinsically determined by body size rather than age and LV size, and the MV leaflet area/BSA is relatively constant. On the other hand, some clinical factors might also influence MV leaflet and coaptation-zone area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1536/ihj.20-148DOI Listing
January 2021

Relation of Body Mass Index to Adverse Right Ventricular Mechanics.

Am J Cardiol 2021 04 29;144:137-142. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Although higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with adverse left ventricular morphology and functional remodeling, its possible association with right ventricular (RV) dysfunction has not been extensively evaluated. RV free wall longitudinal strain (RVLS) is emerging as an important tool to detect early RV dysfunction. This study aimed to investigate the independent effect of increased BMI on RVLS in a large sample of the general population without overt cardiac disease. We examined 1,085 participants (603 men, mean age 62 years) who voluntarily underwent an extensive cardiovascular health check-up. This included laboratory tests and speckle-tracking echocardiography to assess RVLS. The association between BMI and RVLS was determined by logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of abnormal RVLS (>-19.2%) was greatest in obese individuals (29.7%), followed by overweight (16.3%), and normal weight (10.6%, p <0.001). In multivariable analyses, BMI was significantly associated with abnormal RVLS (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.07 per 1 kg/m, p = 0.033) independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, pertinent laboratory and echocardiographic parameters including RV size and pulmonary artery systolic pressure. In subgroup analyses, BMI was significantly associated with abnormal RVLS in men (adjusted OR 1.10 per 1 kg/m, p = 0.032) and younger (<65 years) participants (adjusted OR 1.13 per 1 kg/m, p = 0.011), but not in women and the elderly. In a sample of the general population, higher BMI was independently associated with subclinical RV dysfunction. Furthermore, an increased BMI may carry different risk for impaired RVLS depending on the age and sex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.12.069DOI Listing
April 2021

Safety Monitoring for Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy During Exercise.

CJC Open 2020 Nov 19;2(6):732-734. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are prohibited from engaging in intensive exercise, to avoid sudden death. Given that patients with HCM, even those without left-ventricular outflow tract obstruction at rest, potentially have exercise-induced obstruction, reasonable monitoring methods during exercise are required. We present the case of a woman with HCM with exercise-induced obstruction whose hemodynamics during stress echocardiography were under observation using noninvasive cardiac output monitoring. Stroke volume declined during exercise before the manifest elevation of the left-ventricular outflow tract pressure gradient. As shown here, a noninvasive monitoring method can be useful in monitoring hemodynamics during exercise in HCM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjco.2020.08.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7711023PMC
November 2020

Normal Values of Right Atrial Size and Function According to Age, Sex, and Ethnicity: Results of the World Alliance Societies of Echocardiography Study.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr 2021 03 17;34(3):286-300. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Background: The World Alliance Societies of Echocardiography study is a multicenter, international, prospective, cross-sectional study whose aims were to evaluate healthy adult individuals to establish age- and sex-normative values of echocardiographic parameters and to determine whether differences exist among people from different countries and of different ethnicities. The present report focuses on two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) right atrial (RA) size and function.

Methods: Transthoracic 2D and 3D echocardiographic images were obtained in 2,008 healthy adult individuals evenly distributed among subgroups according to sex (1,033 men, 975 women) and age 18 to 40 years (n = 854), 41 to 65 years (n = 653), and >65 years (n = 501). For ethnicity, 34.9% were white, 41.6% Asian, and 9.7% black. Images were analyzed in a core laboratory according to current American Society of Echocardiography/European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging guidelines. RA measurements included 2D dimensions, 2D and 3D RA volumes (RAVs) indexed to body surface area (BSA), emptying fraction (EmF), and global longitudinal strain, including total/reservoir, passive/conduit, and active/contractile phases. Differences among age and sex categories and among countries were also examined.

Results: RAVs were larger in men (even after BSA indexing), while 3D total EmF and global longitudinal strain magnitudes were higher in women. For both sexes, there were no significant age-related differences in 2D RAV measurements, but 3D RAV values differed minimally with age, remaining significant after BSA indexing. RA total EmF and reservoir strain and passive EmF and conduit strain magnitude were lower in older groups for both sexes. Interestingly, whereas RA active EmF increased with age, contractile strain magnitude decreased. Considerable geographic variations were identified: Asians of both sexes had significantly lower BSA than non-Asians, and their 2D and 3D end-systolic RAVs were significantly smaller even after BSA indexing. Of note, 2D end-systolic RAVs in this group were considerably lower than normal values provided in the current guidelines.

Conclusions: There is significant sex, age, and geographic variability in normal RA size and function parameters. Current guideline-recommended normal ranges for RA size and function parameters should be adjusted geographically on the basis of the results of this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2020.11.004DOI Listing
March 2021

Age-Dependent Echocardiographic and Pathologic Findings in a Rat Model with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Generated by CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing.

Int Heart J 2020 Nov 13;61(6):1279-1284. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is X-linked recessive myopathy caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Although conventional treatments have improved their prognosis, inevitable progressive cardiomyopathy is still the leading cause of death in patients with DMD. To explore novel therapeutic options, a suitable animal model with heart involvement has been warranted.We have generated a rat model with an out-of-frame mutation in the dystrophin gene using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing (DMD rats). The aim of this study was to evaluate their cardiac functions and pathologies to provide baseline data for future experiments developing treatment options for DMD.In comparison with age-matched wild rats, 6-month-old DMD rats showed no significant differences by echocardiographic evaluations. However, 10-month-old DMD rats showed significant deterioration in left ventricular (LV) fractional shortening (P = 0.024), and in tissue Doppler peak systolic velocity (Sa) at the LV lateral wall (P = 0.041) as well as at the right ventricular (RV) free-wall (P = 0.004). These functional findings were consistent with the fibrotic distributions by histological analysis.Although the cardiac phenotype was milder than anticipated, DMD rats showed similar distributions and progression of heart involvement to those of patients with DMD. This animal may be a useful model with which to develop effective drugs and to understand the underlying mechanisms of progressive heart failure in patients with DMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1536/ihj.20-372DOI Listing
November 2020

Time-Dependent Changes in Porcelain Aorta and Aortic Stenosis in a Patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Int Heart J 2020 Nov 13;61(6):1294-1297. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo.

Porcelain aorta, defined as extensive calcification of the ascending aorta or aortic arch, is a reported risk factor for embolic stroke during cardiac surgery. However, the time course of the progression of aortic calcification leading to porcelain aorta has not been elucidated. We herein describe a 70-year-old woman who was followed up for systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid syndrome for approximately 20 years. A routine computed tomography scan revealed progression of ascending aortic calcification to porcelain aorta. The calcification was absent during the preceding 12 years, partial 6 years later, and total after another 3 years. Computed tomography also demonstrated aortic and mitral valve calcification in the development of porcelain aorta. During the 3 years prior to the last admission, annual echocardiography examinations showed progression of calcific aortic stenosis with symptoms. The patient was admitted to our institution for aortic valve replacement. Considering the high risk of perioperative stroke associated with porcelain aorta, transcatheter aortic valve implantation was performed. Postoperative transthoracic echocardiography revealed improvement of the aortic stenosis with no symptoms. The present case revealed aortic calcific progression to porcelain aorta during an approximately 10-year period with deterioration of aortic stenosis within a short time. The aortic and valvular calcification could be attributed to the inflammatory process of systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid syndrome. The presence of aortic and mitral annular calcification in the serial imaging can provide information on aortic and valvular atherosclerotic progression, which may be modifiable by early steroid-lowering therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1536/ihj.20-050DOI Listing
November 2020

Practical guidance for echocardiography for cancer therapeutics-related cardiac dysfunction.

J Echocardiogr 2021 03 7;19(1):1-20. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Well-Aging Kyobashi Cardiovascular Clinic, Tokyo, Japan.

The prognosis of patients with cancer has improved due to an early diagnosis of cancer and advances in cancer treatment. There are emerging reports on cardiotoxicity in cancer treatment and on cardiovascular disease in cancer patients, from which cardiovascular disease has been recognized as a common cause of death among cancer survivors. This situation has led to the need for a medical system in which oncologists and cardiologists work together to treat patients. With the growing importance of onco-cardiology, the role of echocardiography in cancer care is rapidly expanding, but at present, the practice of echocardiography in clinical settings varies from institution to institution, and is empirical with no established systematic guidance. In view of these circumstances, we thought that brief guidance for clinical application was necessary and have therefore developed this guidance, although evidence in this field is still insufficient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12574-020-00502-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7932955PMC
March 2021

Subclinical Hypothyroidism as an Independent Determinant of Left Atrial Dysfunction in the General Population.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 03;106(4):e1859-e1867

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Purpose: Although subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is a common clinical entity and carries independent risk for incident heart failure (HF), its possible association with subclinical cardiac dysfunction is unclear. Left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LVGLS) and left atrial (LA) phasic strain can unmask subclinical left heart abnormalities and are excellent predictors for HF. This study aimed to investigate the association between the presence of SCH and subclinical left heart dysfunction in a sample of the general population without overt cardiac disease.

Methods: We examined 1078 participants who voluntarily underwent extensive cardiovascular health check-ups, including laboratory tests and 2-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography to assess LVGLS and LA reservoir, conduit, and pump strain. SCH was defined as an elevated serum thyroid-stimulating hormone level with normal concentration of free thyroxine.

Results: Mean age was 62 ± 12 years, and 56% were men. Seventy-eight (7.2%) participants exhibited SCH. Individuals with SCH had significantly reduced LA reservoir (37.1 ± 6.6% vs 39.1 ± 6.6%; P = 0.011) and conduit strain (17.3 ± 6.3% vs 19.3 ± 6.6%; P = 0.012) compared with those with euthyroidism, whereas there was no significant difference in left ventricular ejection fraction, LA volume index, LVGLS, and LA pump strain between the 2 groups. In multivariable analyses, SCH remained associated with impaired LA reservoir strain, independent of age, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, and pertinent laboratory and echocardiographic parameters. including LVGLS (standardized β -0.054; P = 0.032).

Conclusions: In an unselected community-based cohort, individuals with SCH had significantly impaired LA phasic function. This association may be involved in the higher incidence of HF in subjects with SCH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa730DOI Listing
March 2021

High Prevalence of Left Ventricular Non-Compaction and Its Effect on Chemotherapy-Related Cardiac Dysfunction in Patients With Hematological Diseases.

Circ J 2020 10 10;84(11):1957-1964. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo.

Background: Recent progress in chemotherapy has prolonged the survival of patients with hematological diseases, but has also increased the number of patients with chemotherapy-related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD). However, the causes of individual variations and risk factors for CTRCD have yet to be fully elucidated.Methods and Results:Consecutive echocardiograms of 371 patients were retrospectively evaluated for the presence of left ventricular (LV) non-compaction (LVNC). Individual LV ejection fraction (LVEF) outcome estimates were made using bivariate linear regression with log-transformed duration Akaike information criterion (AIC) model fitting. The prevalence of LVNC was 6-fold higher in patients with hematological diseases than in those with non-hematological diseases (12% vs. 2%; risk ratio 6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.0, 18.2). Among patients with hematological diseases, the ratio of myeloid diseases was significantly higher in the group with LVNC (P=0.031). Deterioration of LVEF was more severe in patients with than without LVNC (-14.4 percentage points/year [95% CI -21.0, -7.9] vs. -4.6 percentage points/year [95% CI -6.8, -2.4], respectively), even after multivariate adjustment for baseline LVEF, background disease distributions, cumulative anthracycline dose, and other baseline factors.

Conclusions: LVNC is relatively prevalent in patients with hematological diseases (particularly myeloid diseases) and can be one of the major risk factors for CTRCD. Detailed cardiac evaluations including LVNC are recommended for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1253/circj.CJ-20-0344DOI Listing
October 2020

Are there gender differences in the association between body mass index and left ventricular diastolic function? A clinical observational study in the Japanese general population.

Echocardiography 2020 11 21;37(11):1749-1756. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Increased body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), and HFpEF is more prevalent in elderly females than males. We hypothesized that there may be gender differences in the association between BMI and echocardiographic left ventricular (LV) diastolic parameters.

Methods: We enrolled 456 subjects (243 males) without overt cardiac diseases, all of whom underwent a health checkup. Early (E) and late (A) diastolic transmitral flow velocity, early diastolic mitral annular velocity (e'), and left atrial (LA) volume index were measured by echocardiography to assess LV diastolic function. To examine gender differences in the association between BMI and LV diastolic function, we analyzed the interaction effects of gender on the association between BMI and echocardiographic LV diastolic parameters.

Results: Although there were significant gender differences in the association between BMI and E/A and e' in the crude model (interaction effect 0.037 and 0.173, respectively; P = .006 and .022, respectively), these differences were not statistically significant after adjustment for factors related to LV diastolic function. On the other hand, there were significant associations between BMI and LV diastolic parameters in each gender, even after adjustment.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest there is no gender difference in the association between BMI and echocardiographic LV diastolic parameters. However, the association between BMI and LV diastolic parameters was significant in both genders. Controlling body weight might be beneficial for both women and men to prevent progression of LV diastolic dysfunction and development of HFpEF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/echo.14866DOI Listing
November 2020

Review of the efforts of the Japanese Society of Echocardiography for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the initial outbreak in Japan.

J Echocardiogr 2020 12 5;18(4):226-233. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Saiseikai Senri Hospital, Osaka, Japan.

Under the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Japanese Society of Echocardiography (JSE) has been working to protect medical staff involved in echocardiographic examinations and to prevent secondary infections caused by the examinations since mid-March 2020. This review aims to describe the footprint of the JSE's responses, focusing on the 3 months in which the initial outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic occurred in Japan. We summarized the six parts as follows: (1) the initial actions for COVID-19 of JSE, (2) JSE's actions for infection control-associated echocardiographic examinations, (3) statements from the American Society of Echocardiography during the COVID-19 pandemic and their Japanese translation by JSE, (4) making videos for explaining the practice of echocardiography during the COVID-19 pandemic, (5) attempts with the JSE members' opinions by the communication platform and surveys, and (6) efforts of final statement during the initial spread of COVID-19. We look forward that this review will help daily practices associated with echocardiography under the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future event of an unknown infectious disease pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12574-020-00487-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7474571PMC
December 2020
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