Publications by authors named "R F Wachter"

685 Publications

Expert opinion paper on cardiac imaging after ischemic stroke.

Clin Res Cardiol 2021 Jun 18. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Atrial Fibrillation NETwork (AFNET) e.V., Münster, Germany.

This expert opinion paper on cardiac imaging after acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) includes a statement of the "Heart and Brain" consortium of the German Cardiac Society and the German Stroke Society. The Stroke Unit-Commission of the German Stroke Society and the German Atrial Fibrillation NETwork (AFNET) endorsed this paper. Cardiac imaging is a key component of etiological work-up after stroke. Enhanced echocardiographic tools, constantly improving cardiac computer tomography (CT) as well as cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offer comprehensive non- or less-invasive cardiac evaluation at the expense of increased costs and/or radiation exposure. Certain imaging findings usually lead to a change in medical secondary stroke prevention or may influence medical treatment. However, there is no proof from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that the choice of the imaging method influences the prognosis of stroke patients. Summarizing present knowledge, the German Heart and Brain consortium proposes an interdisciplinary, staged standard diagnostic scheme for the detection of risk factors of cardio-embolic stroke. This expert opinion paper aims to give practical advice to physicians who are involved in stroke care. In line with the nature of an expert opinion paper, labeling of classes of recommendations is not provided, since many statements are based on expert opinion, reported case series, and clinical experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-021-01834-xDOI Listing
June 2021

Prognostic value of right atrial dilation in patients with pulmonary embolism.

ERJ Open Res 2021 Apr 24;7(2). Epub 2021 May 24.

Dept of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Aims: Right atrial (RA) dilation and stretch provide prognostic information in patients with cardiovascular diseases. We investigated the prevalence, confounding factors and prognostic relevance of RA dilation in patients with pulmonary embolism (PE).

Methods: Overall, 609 PE patients were consecutively included in a prospective single-centre registry between September 2008 and August 2017. Volumetric measurements of heart chambers were performed on routine non-electrocardiographic-gated computed tomography and plasma concentrations of mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) measured on admission. An in-hospital adverse outcome was defined as PE-related death, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical ventilation or catecholamine administration.

Results: Patients with an adverse outcome (11.2%) had larger RA volumes (median 120 (interquartile range 84-152) 102 (78-134) mL; p=0.013), RA/left atrial (LA) volume ratios (1.7 (1.2-2.4) 1.3 (1.1-1.7); p<0.001) and MR-proANP levels (282 (157-481) 129 (64-238) pmol·L; p<0.001) compared to patients with a favourable outcome. Overall, 499 patients (81.9%) had a RA/LA volume ratio ≥1.0 and a calculated cut-off value of 1.8 (area under the curve 0.64, 95% CI 0.56-0.71) predicted an adverse outcome, both in unselected (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.9-5.2) and normotensive patients (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.3-5.6). MR-proANP ≥120 pmol·L was identified as an independent predictor of an adverse outcome, both in unselected (OR 4.6, 95% CI 2.3-9.3) and normotensive patients (OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.5-17.6).

Conclusions: RA dilation is a frequent finding in patients with PE. However, the prognostic performance of RA dilation appears inferior compared to established risk stratification markers. MR-proANP predicted an in-hospital adverse outcome, both in unselected and normotensive PE patients, integrating different prognostic relevant information from comorbidities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/23120541.00414-2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8141828PMC
April 2021

Systematic monitoring for detection of atrial fibrillation in patients with acute ischaemic stroke (MonDAFIS): a randomised, open-label, multicentre study.

Lancet Neurol 2021 06;20(6):426-436

Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Klinik und Hochschulambulanz für Neurologie mit Abteilung für Experimentelle Neurologie, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Berlin, Germany; German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), Berlin, Germany; Excellence Cluster NeuroCure, Berlin, Germany; Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Systematic electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring improves detection of covert atrial fibrillation in stroke survivors but the effect on secondary prevention is unknown. We aimed to assess the effect of systematic ECG monitoring of patients in hospital on the rate of oral anticoagulant use after 12 months.

Methods: In this investigator-initiated, randomised, open-label, parallel-group multicentre study with masked endpoint adjudication, we recruited patients aged at least 18 years with acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack without known atrial fibrillation in 38 certified stroke units in Germany. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to usual diagnostic procedures for atrial fibrillation detection (control group) or additional Holter-ECG recording for up to 7 days in hospital (intervention group). Patients were stratified by centre using a random permuted block design. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients on oral anticoagulants at 12 months after the index event in the intention-to-treat population. Secondary outcomes included the number of patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation in hospital and the composite of recurrent stroke, major bleeding, myocardial infarction, or death after 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months. This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02204267, and is completed and closed for participants.

Findings: Between Dec 9, 2014, and Sept 11, 2017, 3465 patients were randomly assigned, 1735 (50·1%) to the intervention group and 1730 (49·9%) to the control group. Oral anticoagulation status was available in 2920 (84·3%) patients at 12 months (1484 [50·8%] in the intervention group and 1436 [49·2%] in the control group). For the primary outcome, at 12 months, 203 (13·7%) of 1484 patients in the intervention group versus 169 (11·8%) of 1436 in the control group were on oral anticoagulants (odds ratio [OR] 1·2 [95% CI 0·9-1·5]; p=0·13). Atrial fibrillation was newly detected in patients in hospital in 97 (5·8%) of 1714 in the intervention group versus 68 (4·0%) of 1717 in the control group (hazard ratio [HR] 1·4 [95% CI 1·0-2·0]; p=0·024). The composite of cardiovascular outcomes and death did not differ between patients randomly assigned to the intervention group versus the control group at 24 months (232 [13·5%] of 1714 vs 249 [14·5%] of 1717; HR 0·9 [0·8-1·1]; p=0·43). Skin reactions due to study ECG electrodes were reported in 56 (3·3%) patients in the intervention group. All-cause death occured in 73 (4·3%) patients in the intervention group and in 103 (6·0%) patients in the control group (OR 0·7 [0·5-0·9]).

Interpretation: Systematic core centrally reviewed ECG monitoring is feasible and increases the detection rate of atrial fibrillation in unselected patients hospitalised with acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack, if added to usual diagnostic care in certified German stroke units. However, we found no effect of systematic ECG monitoring on the rate of oral anticoagulant use after 12 months and further efforts are needed to improve secondary stroke prevention.

Funding: Bayer Vital.

Translation: For the German translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(21)00067-3DOI Listing
June 2021

Subclinical Atrial Fibrillation and the Risk of Recurrent Ischemic Stroke.

Thromb Haemost 2021 Jun 21;121(6):697-699. Epub 2021 May 21.

Heart Research Institute, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1726403DOI Listing
June 2021