Publications by authors named "Seppo Utriainen"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Hydroxychloroquine reduces interleukin-6 levels after myocardial infarction: The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled OXI pilot trial.

Int J Cardiol 2021 Aug 4;337:21-27. Epub 2021 May 4.

Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki University, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Objectives: To determine the anti-inflammatory effect and safety of hydroxychloroquine after acute myocardial infarction.

Method: In this multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled OXI trial, 125 myocardial infarction patients were randomized at a median of 43 h after hospitalization to receive hydroxychloroquine 300 mg (n = 64) or placebo (n = 61) once daily for 6 months and, followed for an average of 32 months. Laboratory values were measured at baseline, 1, 6, and 12 months.

Results: The levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) were comparable at baseline between study groups (p = 0.18). At six months, the IL-6 levels were lower in the hydroxychloroquine group (p = 0.042, between groups), and in the on-treatment analysis, the difference at this time point was even more pronounced (p = 0.019, respectively). The high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels did not differ significantly between study groups at any time points. Eleven patients in the hydroxychloroquine group and four in the placebo group had adverse events leading to interruption or withdrawal of study medication, none of which was serious (p = 0.10, between groups).

Conclusions: In patients with myocardial infarction, hydroxychloroquine reduced IL-6 levels significantly more than did placebo without causing any clinically significant adverse events. A larger randomized clinical trial is warranted to prove the potential ability of hydroxychloroquine to reduce cardiovascular endpoints after myocardial infarction.
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August 2021

Manifestations and Outcome of Cardiac Sarcoidosis and Idiopathic Giant Cell Myocarditis by 25-Year Nationwide Cohorts.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 03 4;10(6):e019415. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Heart and Lung Center University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital Helsinki Finland.

Background Cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) and giant cell myocarditis (GCM) share many histopathologic and clinical features. Whether they are parts of a one-disease continuum has been discussed. Methods and Results We compared medical record data of 351 CS and 28 GCM cases diagnosed in Finland since the late 1980s and followed until February 2018 for a composite end point of cardiac death, aborted sudden death, and heart transplantation. Heart failure was the presenting manifestation in 50% versus 15% (<0.001), and high-grade atrioventricular block in 21% versus 43% (=0.044), of GCM and CS, respectively. At presentation, left ventricular ejection fraction was ≤50% in 81% of cases of GCM versus in 48% of CS (=0.004). The median (interquartile range) of plasma NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide) was 5273 (2782-11309) ng/L on admission in GCM versus 859 (290-1950) ng/L in CS (<0.001), and cardiac troponin T exceeded 50 ng/L in 17 of 19 cases of GCM versus in 48 of 239 cases of CS (<0.001). The 5-year estimate of event-free survival was 77% (95% CI, 72%-82%) in CS versus 27% (95% CI, 10%-45%) in GCM (<0.001). By Cox regression analysis, GCM predicted cardiac events with a hazard ratio of 5.16 (95% CI, 2.82-9.45), which, however, decreased to 1.58 (95% CI, 0.71-3.52) after inclusion of markers of myocardial injury and dysfunction in the model. Conclusions GCM differs from CS in presenting with more extensive myocardial injury and having worse long-term outcome. Yet the key determinant of prognosis appears to be the extent of myocardial injury rather than the histopathologic diagnosis.
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March 2021

Sudden death in cardiac sarcoidosis: an analysis of nationwide clinical and cause-of-death registries.

Eur Heart J 2019 10;40(37):3121-3128

Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University and Helsinki University Hospital, Stenbäckinkatu 9, Helsinki, Finland.

Aims: The present study was done to assess the role of sudden cardiac death (SCD) among the presenting manifestations of and fatalities from cardiac sarcoidosis (CS).

Methods And Results: We analysed altogether 351 cases of CS presenting from year 1998 through 2015 in Finland. There were 262 patients with a clinical diagnosis and treatment of CS, 27 patients with an initial lifetime diagnosis of giant cell myocarditis that was later converted to CS, and 62 cases detected at autopsy and identified by screening >820 000 death certificates from the national cause-of-death registry. The total case series comprised 253 females and 98 males aged on average 52 years at presentation. High-grade atrioventricular block was the most common first sign of CS (n = 147, 42%) followed by heart failure (n = 58, 17%), unexpected fatal (n = 38) or aborted (n = 12) SCD (14%), and sustained ventricular tachycardia (n = 48, 14%). Severe coronary artery disease was found at autopsy concomitant with CS in four of the 38 cases presenting with fatal SCD. Of all deaths recorded till the end of 2015, 64% (n = 54/84) were unexpected SCDs from CS that had either been silent during life or defied all attempts at diagnosis. The Kaplan-Meier estimate (95% CI) of survival from symptom onset was 85% (80-90%) at 5 years and 76% (68-84%) at 10 years.

Conclusion: Together fatal and aborted SCD constitute 14% of the presenting manifestations of CS. Nearly two-thirds of all fatalities from CS are caused by undiagnosed granulomas in the heart.
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October 2019

Outcome of Cardiac Sarcoidosis Presenting With High-Grade Atrioventricular Block.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2018 08;11(8):e006145

Heart and Lung Center (H.-K.N., J.L., K.E., R.K., P.S., M.K.).

Background: Symptomatic high-grade atrioventricular block (AVB) is the most common and often the only presenting manifestation (lone AVB) of cardiac sarcoidosis. Implantation of an intracardiac cardioverter defibrillator instead of a pacemaker is recommended, but the true risk of fatal arrhythmia, one incident to lone AVB in particular, remains poorly known.

Methods: We used Myocardial Inflammatory Diseases in Finland Study Group Registry to analyze the presentations, left ventricular (LV) function, pacemaker therapy, and ventricular arrhythmias in cardiac sarcoidosis. From year 1988 to 2015, altogether 325 cases of cardiac sarcoidosis were diagnosed in Finland. Of them, 143 patients (112 women, mean age 52 years) presented with Mobitz II second degree or third degree AVB in the absence of other explanatory cardiac disease.

Results: Concomitant with AVB at presentation, 20 patients had either ventricular tachycardia or severe LV dysfunction with ejection fraction <35% and 29 patients had nonsevere LV dysfunction (ejection fraction, 35%-50%) while 90 patients presented with AVB alone. During a median of 2.8 years' follow-up, 23 sudden cardiac deaths (fatal or aborted) and 19 ventricular tachycardias were recorded as arrhythmic end point events. Their composite 5-year incidence (95% confidence interval) was 56% (36%-88%) in the AVB subgroup with ventricular tachycardia or severe LV dysfunction versus 24% (12%-49%) in the subgroup with nonsevere LV dysfunction and 24% (15%-38%) with lone AVB ( P=0.019). The 5-year incidence of sudden cardiac death was 34% (16%-71%), 14% (6%-35%), and 9% (4%-22%) in the respective subgroups ( P=0.060).

Conclusions: The risk of sudden cardiac death is significant in cardiac sarcoidosis presenting with high-grade AVB with or without ventricular tachycardia or LV dysfunction. The consensus recommendation to implant an intracardiac cardioverter defibrillator whenever permanent pacing is needed seems well-founded.
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August 2018

Predictors of pocket hematoma in patients on antithrombotic therapy undergoing cardiac rhythm device implantation: insights from the FinPAC trial.

Ann Med 2014 May;46(3):177-81

Heart Center, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku , Turku , Finland.

Background: The FinPAC trial showed that the strategy of uninterrupted oral anticoagulation (OAC) was non-inferior to interrupted OAC for the primary outcome of bleeding and thromboembolic complications in patients undergoing cardiac rhythm management device (CRMD) implantation.

Methods: We conducted a post hoc analysis of the FinPAC data to explore the incidence and predictors of significant (> 100 cm(2)) pocket hematoma after CRMD implantation among the study population (n = 447). A total of 213 patients were on OAC, 128 were on aspirin, and 106 on no antithrombotic therapy.

Results: The incidence of significant pocket hematoma during hospital stay was significantly higher among patients using OAC (5.6%) and aspirin (5.5%) than in those with no antithrombotic medications (0.9%), but only one patient (0.8%) in the aspirin group needed revision of hematoma. Two patients (0.9%) in the OAC group and one (0.8%) in the aspirin group needed blood products. In multivariable regression analysis, no pre- procedural features predicted the significant hematoma in any of the groups.

Conclusions: Clinically significant pocket hematoma is a rare complication after CRMD implantation in patients with ongoing therapeutic OAC. The incidence of significant pocket hematoma formation is similar in patients using OAC and those using aspirin.
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May 2014