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January 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29(1) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.001

New agents for DOAC reversal: a practical management review

Katie White, Uzma Faruqi, Alexander (Ander) T Cohen

Abstract

Bleeding is the commonest and most concerning adverse event associated with anticoagulants. Bleeding, depending on the severity, is managed in various ways, and for severe or life-threatening bleeding, specific antidotes are indicated and recommended. This review provides guidance relating to specific direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) reversal agents, the antidotes. We discuss their indications for use, dosing, and potential side effects.

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January 2022 Br J Cardiol 2022;29(1) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2022.002

Foundational drugs for HFrEF: the growing evidence for a rapid sequencing strategy

Kieran F Docherty, John J V McMurray

Abstract

In randomised, placebo- or active-controlled trials in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), each of the combination of a neprilysin inhibitor and an angiotensin-receptor blocker (i.e. sacubitril/valsartan), a beta blocker, a mineralocorticoid-receptor antagonist and a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor have been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality, firmly establishing the role of these five agents, prescribed as four pills, as foundational therapy for HFrEF. Traditionally, the guideline-advocated strategy for the initiation of these therapies was based on the historical order in which the landmark clinical trials were performed, and the requirement to up-titrate each individual drug to the target dose (or maximally tolerated dose below this) prior to initiation of another therapy. This process could take six months or more to complete, during which time patients would not be taking one or more of these life-saving drugs. Recently an alternative, evidence-based, rapid three-step sequencing strategy has been proposed with the aim of establishing HFrEF patients on low-doses of all four foundational treatments within four weeks. This strategy is based on the premise that the benefits of each of these therapies are independent and additive to the others, the benefits are apparent at low doses early following initiation, and a specific ordering of therapies may increase likelihood of tolerance of others. This article will outline this novel rapid-sequencing strategy and provide an evidence-based framework to support its adoption into clinical practice.

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November 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28:155–62 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.051

Transcatheter mitral valve intervention

Rea Ganatra, Robert Smith

Abstract

Mitral regurgitation is a common valvular heart disorder increasing with age. Many patients are ineligible for mitral valve surgery due to their age and other comorbidities. Left untreated, patients develop severe disease with a poor prognosis. The development of lower risk percutaneous mitral valve interventions has helped meet the needs of this previously untreated patient group. This review explores the recent and more established developments that have expanded the armamentarium for transcatheter mitral valve intervention.

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November 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28:134–38 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.048

Real-world evaluation of follow-up strategies after ICD therapies in patients with VT (REFINE-VT)

Patrick Tran, Leeann Marshall, Ian Patchett, Handi Salim, Shamil Yusuf, Sandeep Panikker, Michael Kuehl, Faizel Osman, Prithwish Banerjee, Harpal Randeva, Tarvinder Dhanjal

Abstract

Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) can prevent sudden cardiac death, but the risk of recurrent ventricular arrhythmia (VA) and ICD shocks persist. Strategies to minimise such risks include medication optimisation, device programming and ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation. Whether the choice of these interventions at follow-up are influenced by factors such as the type of arrhythmia or ICD therapy remains unclear. To investigate this, we evaluated ICD follow-up strategies in a real-world population with primary and secondary prevention ICDs.

REFINE-VT (Real-world Evaluation of Follow-up strategies after Implantable cardiac-defibrillator therapies in patients with Ventricular Tachycardia) is an observational study of 514 ICD recipients recruited between 2018 and 2019. We found that 77 patients (15%) suffered significant VA and/or ICD therapies, of whom 26% experienced a second event; 31% received no intervention. We observed an inconsistent approach to the choice of strategies across different types of arrhythmias and ICD therapies. Odds of intervening were significantly higher if ICD shock was detected compared with anti-tachycardia pacing (odds ratio [OR] 8.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7 to 39.6, p=0.007). Even in patients with two events, the rate of escalation of anti-arrhythmics or referral for VT ablation were as low as patients with single events.

This is the first contemporary study evaluating how strategies that reduce the risk of recurrent ICD events are executed in a real-world population. Significant inconsistencies in the choice of interventions exist, supporting the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to provide evidence-based care to this population.

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November 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28:144–7 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.049

Statin prescription and CV risk assessment in adult psychiatric outpatients with intellectual disability

Jamie Sin Ying Ho, George Collins, Vikram Rohra, Laura Korb, Bhathika Perera

Abstract

We performed a single-centre study to assess the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in psychiatry outpatients with intellectual disability (ID) using the QRISK-3 score.

There were 143 patients known to the ID psychiatry clinic enrolled. Of these, 28 (19.6%) had elevated CVD risk – defined as 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke of ≥10%. Of these, 57.1% were not prescribed statin therapy, which – after lifestyle measures – is recommended by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. The mean QRISK-3 score was 6.31% (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.84 to 7.78), with a relative risk of 3.50 (95%CI 2.34 to 4.67) compared with matched controls.

The high CVD risk identified in this study supports routine CVD risk assessment and management in adult outpatients with ID. Appropriate lifestyle measures and statin therapy could help reduce the excess CVD-related morbidity and mortality in ID patients.

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