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July 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.032 Online First

Real-world experience of selexipag titration in pulmonary arterial hypertension

Sarah Cullivan, Anandan Natarajan, Niamh Boyle, Ciara McCormack, Sean Gaine, Brian McCullagh

Abstract

Selexipag is an oral selective prostacyclin-receptor agonist that was approved for use in patients with World Health Organisation (WHO) functional class II–III pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Treatment with individualised doses of selexipag resulted in significant reductions in the composite end point of death or a complication related to PAH in the phase III GRIPHON (Prostacyclin [PGI2] Receptor Agonist In Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension) study. In order to better understand the real-world approach to selexipag titration and to establish the individualised maintenance regimens used in our centre, we performed this retrospective study of the first 20 patients prescribed selexipag. Baseline characteristics differed from the GRIPHON study, with more combination therapy and comorbidities at drug initiation. Maintenance doses were stratified as low-dose in 10% (n=2), medium-dose in 70% (n=14) and high-dose in 20% (n=4). This study highlights that selexipag can be safely initiated, titrated and transitioned in an outpatient setting to achieve an individualised dosing regimen.

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July 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.033 Online First

Acute Takotsubo cardiomyopathy as a complication of transoesophageal echocardiogram

Fraser J Graham, Shona M M Jenkins

Abstract

A 52-year-old woman, referred for transoesophageal echocardiography, developed acute Takotsubo cardiomyopathy during the examination as a result of emotional distress beforehand. Asymptomatic left ventricular apical ballooning with severe systolic dysfunction within minutes of the emotional trigger was the first sign of any abnormality.

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July 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28(3) doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.034 Online First

A broad complex tachycardia in a patient on flecainide

Debjit Chatterjee

Abstract

This is an interesting case of wide complex tachycardia in a patient on flecainide for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Diagnostic possibilities were discussed, actual diagnosis revealed, and explanation provided.

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June 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28:55 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.024

ECG changes in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 infection

Mengshi Yuan, Zafraan Zathar, Frantisek Nihaj, Stavros Apostolakis, Fairoz Abdul, Derek Connolly, Chetan Varma, Vinoda Sharma

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) commonly involves the respiratory system but increasingly cardiovascular involvement is recognised. We assessed electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities in patients with COVID-19.

We performed retrospective analysis of the hospital’s COVID-19 database from April to May 2020. Any ECG abnormality was defined as: 1) new sinus bradycardia; 2) new/worsening bundle-branch block; 3) new/worsening heart block; 4) new ventricular or atrial bigeminy/trigeminy; 5) new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF)/atrial flutter or ventricular tachycardia (VT); and 6) new-onset ischaemic changes. Patients with and without any ECG change were compared.

There were 455 patients included of whom 59 patients (12.8%) met criteria for any ECG abnormality. Patients were older (any ECG abnormality 77.8 ± 12 years vs. no ECG abnormality 67.4 ± 18.2 years, p<0.001) and more likely to die in-hospital (any ECG abnormality 44.1% vs. no ECG abnormality 27.8%, p=0.011). Cox-proportional hazard analysis demonstrated any ECG abnormality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12 to 3.47, p=0.019), age (HR 1.03, 95%CI 1.01 to 1.05, p=0.0009), raised high sensitivity troponin I (HR 2.22, 95%CI 1.27 to 3.90, p=0.006) and low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (HR 1.73, 95%CI 1.04 to 2.88, p=0.036) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality.

In conclusion, any new ECG abnormality is a significant predictor of in-hospital mortality.

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June 2021 Br J Cardiol 2021;28:47–8 doi: 10.5837/bjc.2021.025

A National Heart Disease Strategy for Scotland: the BHF proposal to Government

David McColgan, Dennis Sandeman, Adrian J B Brady

Abstract

Heart disease remains a major cause of death and disability in Scotland, accounting for around 10,000 deaths each year.1 Ischaemic heart disease is still Scotland’s single biggest killer, responsible for 11.3% of all deaths in 2018, and accounts for 25,000 hospital admissions each year. While it is true that there have been improvements in survival from heart attacks and other acute events in Scotland over the last half century, it is also the case that significant challenges remain.

The reduction in deaths from heart attacks means that more people are living with heart disease as a long-term condition. On top of this, the population is getting older,2 and increasingly people are living with associated comorbidities, many requiring long-term support. The number of people living with cardiovascular risk factors in Scotland continues to increase, health inequalities persist and in some cases, have worsened.3

Beyond ischaemic heart disease, the incidence of conditions like heart failure,4 heart valve disease,5 and atrial fibrillation are increasing. There is also a need to consider the impact of less common, but no less important conditions, such as congenital heart disease and inherited heart conditions. Around 28,000 people in Scotland have an inherited heart condition, the most common of which is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Congenital heart disease is one of the most common birth defects in Scotland, affecting around one in every 150 births. Improved survival rates mean that a growing number of people are living into adulthood with congenital heart disease.

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