Publications by authors named "V Liebe"

44 Publications

Recurrence of atrial fibrillation after pulmonary vein isolation in dependence of arterial stiffness.

Neth Heart J 2021 Nov 24. Epub 2021 Nov 24.

First Department of Medicine-Cardiology, University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Arterial stiffness (AS) has emerged as a strong predictor of cardiovascular (CV) diseases. Although increased AS has been described as a predictor of atrial fibrillation (AF), its role as a risk marker for AF recurrence has not yet been elucidated.

Methods: Patients with AF who underwent pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) were included in this study. Presence of AS was evaluated by measuring aortic distensibility (AD) of the descending aorta by transoesophageal echocardiography.

Results: In total, 151 patients (mean ± standard deviation (SD) age 71.9 ± 9.8 years) were enrolled and followed for a median duration of 21 months (interquartile range 15.0-31.0). During follow-up, AF recurred in 94 (62.3%) patients. AF recurrence was seen more frequently in patients with permanent AF (27% vs 46%, p = 0.03) and in those who had undergone prior PVI (9% vs 23%, p = 0.02). AD was significantly reduced in patients with AF recurrence (mean ± SD 2.6 ± 2.3 vs 1.5 ± 0.7 × 10 mm Hg, p < 0.0001), as well as left atrial volume index (LAVI) (mean ± SD 29 ± 12 vs 44 ± 15 ml/m, p < 0.0001). Multivariable analysis revealed LAVI (odds ratio (OR) 2.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-3.4) and AS (OR 3.6, 95% CI 2.8-4.1) as independent risk factors of AF recurrence.

Conclusion: Increased AS and left atrial size were independent predictors of AF recurrence after PVI. AD as surrogate marker of AS seemed to reflect the overall CV risk. In addition, AD was significantly correlated with left atrial size, which suggests that increased AS leads to atrial remodelling and thus to AF recurrence.

Trial Registration: German registry for clinical studies (DRKS), DRKS00019007.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12471-021-01644-wDOI Listing
November 2021

Cardiac Contractility Modulation in Patients with Ischemic versus Non-ischemic Cardiomyopathy: Results from the MAINTAINED Observational Study.

Int J Cardiol 2021 Nov 27;342:49-55. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

First Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim (UMM), Faculty of Medicine Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, European Center for AngioScience (ECAS), and DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research) Partner Site Heidelberg/Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) is an FDA-approved device-based therapy for patients with systolic heart failure and normal QRS width who are symptomatic despite optimal drug therapy. The purpose of this study was to compare the long-term therapeutic effects of CCM therapy in patients with ischemic (ICM) versus non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM).

Methods: Changes in NYHA class, KDIGO CKD stage, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), and NT-proBNP levels were compared as functional parameters. Moreover, observed mortality rates at 1 and 3 years were compared to those predicted by the MAGGIC heart failure risk score, and observed mortality rates were compared between groups for the entire follow-up period.

Results: One hundred and seventy-four consecutive patients with chronic heart failure and CCM device implantation between 2002 and 2019 were included in this retrospective analysis. LVEF was significantly higher in NICM patients after 3 years of CCM therapy (35 ± 9 vs. 30 ± 9%; p = 0.0211), and after 5 years, also TAPSE of NICM patients was significantly higher (21 ± 5 vs. 18 ± 5%; p = 0.0437). There were no differences in other effectiveness parameters. Over the entire follow-up period, 35% of all patients died (p = 0.81); only in ICM patients, mortality was lower than predicted at 3 years (35 vs. 43%, p = 0.0395).

Conclusions: Regarding improvement of biventricular systolic function, patients with NICM appear to benefit particularly from CCM therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2021.07.048DOI Listing
November 2021

Determinants of arterial stiffness in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Arch Cardiovasc Dis 2021 Aug-Sep;114(8-9):550-560. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

First department of medicine (cardiology), University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, European Centre for AngioScience (ECAS), 68167 Mannheim, Germany; DZHK (German centre for cardiovascular research) Partner Site Heidelberg/Mannheim, 68167 Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Arterial stiffness has emerged as a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease, end-organ damage and all-cause mortality. Although increased arterial stiffness has been described as a predictor of atrial fibrillation, the relationship between arterial stiffness and atrial fibrillation is uncertain.

Aim: We assessed arterial stiffness in patients with atrial fibrillation compared with that in a control group.

Methods: We enrolled 151 patients with atrial fibrillation who underwent pulmonary vein isolation (mean age 71.1±9.8 years) and 54 control patients with similar cardiovascular risk profiles and sinus rhythm, matched for age (mean age 68.6±15.7 years) and sex. Aortic distensibility as a measure of arterial stiffness was assessed by transoesophageal echocardiography. Patients with atrial fibrillation were followed over a median of 21 (15 to 31) months.

Results: Compared with control patients, patients with atrial fibrillation had significantly lower aortic distensibility (1.8±1.1 vs. 2.1±1.1 10mmHg; P=0.02). Age (hazard ratio 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.003 to 0.03; P=0.02) and pulse pressure (hazard ratio -1.35, 95% confidence interval -0.07 to -0.03; P<0.0001) were the strongest predictors of decreased aortic distensibility in the study cohort. This effect was independent of the type of atrial fibrillation (paroxysmal/persistent). During follow-up, decreased aortic distensibility was a predictor of cardiovascular and all-cause hospitalizations, as well as recurrences of atrial fibrillation, with a higher incidence rate of events in patients in the lowest aortic distensibility quartile (P=0.001).

Conclusions: Aortic distensibility was significantly reduced in patients with atrial fibrillation, with age and pulse pressure showing the strongest correlation, independent of the type of atrial fibrillation. Additionally, decreased aortic distensibility was associated with cardiovascular and all-cause hospitalizations, as well as recurrences of atrial fibrillation, which showed a quartile-dependent occurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acvd.2020.12.009DOI Listing
October 2021

Extent of peri-infarct scar on late gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and outcome in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Heart Rhythm 2021 Jun 28;18(6):954-961. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany; DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research) partner site, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Only a minority of patients who receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) on the basis of left ventricular ejection fraction receive appropriate ICD therapy. Peri-infarct scar zone assessed by late gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance (LGE-CMR) is a possible substrate for ventricular tachyarrhytmias (VTAs).

Objective: The aim of our prospective study was to determine whether LGE-CMR parameters can predict the occurrence of VTA in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM).

Methods: Two hundred sixteen patients with ICM underwent CMR imaging before primary or secondary ICD implantation and were prospectively followed. We assessed CMR indices and CMR scar characteristics (infarct core and peri-infarct zone) to predict outcome and VTAs.

Results: Patients were followed up for 1497 days (interquartile range 697-2237 days). Forty-seven patients (21%) received appropriate therapy during follow-up. Patients with appropriate ICD therapy had smaller core scar (31.5% ± 8.5% vs 36.8% ± 8.9%; P = .0004) but larger peri-infarct scar (12.4% ± 2.6% vs 10.5% ± 2.9%; P = .0001) than did patients without appropriate therapy. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, peri-infarct scar (hazard ratio 1.15; 95% confidence interval 1.07-1.24; P = .0001) was independently and significantly associated with VTAs whereas left ventricular ejection fraction, right ventricular ejection fraction, core scar, and left atrial ejection fraction were not.

Conclusion: Scar extent of peri-infarct border zone was significantly associated with appropriate ICD therapy. Thus, LGE-CMR parameters can identify a subgroup of patients with ICM and an increased risk of life-threatening VTAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2021.01.023DOI Listing
June 2021

Arterial Stiffness Is Associated With Increased Symptom Burden in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation.

Can J Cardiol 2020 12 3;36(12):1949-1955. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

First Department of Medicine - Cardiology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany; DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research) partner site Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Increased arterial stiffness (AS) has been described as a predictor of atrial fibrillation (AF). This study was performed to assess whether increased AS leads to a higher symptom burden in patients with AF.

Methods: One hundred sixty-two consecutive patients (104 male, 58 female) with diagnosed AF (paroxysmal or persistent) were enrolled. Symptoms most likely attributable to AF were quantified according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Severity of Atrial Fibrillation (SAF) scale. AS indices (aortic distensibility, cyclic circumferential strain, and aortic compliance) were characterized using transoesophageal echocardiography.

Results: The cohort was divided into asymptomatic to oligosymptomatic (SAF scale 0-1, n = 78 [48.1%]) and symptomatic (SAF scale ≥ 2, n = 84 [51.9%]) patients. Symptomatic patients tended to be younger (median, 75 [interquartile range (IQR) 67-80] vs 71 [65-79]; P = 0.047) and were more likely to be female (22 [28.2%] vs 36 [42.9%]; P = 0.052). Hypertension was more frequent in symptomatic patients. Aortic compliance indices each were reduced in symptomatic patients, most pronounced for aortic compliance (median, 0.05 [IQR 0.03-0.06] vs 0.04 [0.03-0.05] cm/mm Hg; P = 0.01) followed by cyclic circumferential strain (median, 0.09 [IQR 0.07-0.11] vs 0.07 [0.04-0.10]; P = 0.02) and aortic distensibility (10 mm Hg, median, 1.74 [IQR 1.34-2.24] vs 1.54 [1.12-2.08]; P = 0.03). Multivariable analysis revealed aortic compliance as an independent predictor for symptoms in patients with AF with an odds ratio of 2.6 (95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.4; P = 0.003).

Conclusions: AS contributes to a high symptom burden in patients with AF, emphasizing the prognostic role of AS in the early detection and prevention in patients with AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2020.08.022DOI Listing
December 2020
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