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ISSN / EISSN : 0009-7322 / 1524-4539
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Michinari Hieda, , Christopher M. Hearon Jr, James P. MacNamara, Katrin A. Dias, Mitchel Samels, Dean Palmer, Sheryl Livingston, Margot Morris,
Circulation, Volume 144, pp 934-946;

Background: Individuals with left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and elevated cardiac biomarkers in middle age are at increased risk for the development of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Prolonged exercise training reverses the LV stiffening associated with healthy but sedentary aging; however, whether it can also normalize LV myocardial stiffness in patients at high risk for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is unknown. In a prospective, randomized controlled trial, we hypothesized that 1-year prolonged exercise training would reduce LV myocardial stiffness in patients with LV hypertrophy. Methods: Forty-six patients with LV hypertrophy (LV septum >11 mm) and elevated cardiac biomarkers (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide [>40 pg/mL] or high-sensitivity troponin T [>0.6 pg/mL]) were randomly assigned to either 1 year of high-intensity exercise training (n=30) or attention control (n=16). Right-heart catheterization and 3-dimensional echocardiography were performed while preload was manipulated using both lower body negative pressure and rapid saline infusion to define the LV end-diastolic pressure-volume relationship. A constant representing LV myocardial stiffness was calculated from the following: P=S×[Exp {a (V–V 0 )}–1], where “P” is transmural pressure (pulmonary capillary wedge pressure – right atrial pressure), “S” is the pressure asymptote of the curve, “V” is the LV end-diastolic volume index, “V 0 ” is equilibrium volume, and “a” is the constant that characterizes LV myocardial stiffness. Results: Thirty-one participants (exercise group [n=20]: 54±6 years, 65% male; and controls (n=11): 51±6 years, 55% male) completed the study. One year of exercise training increased max by 21% (baseline 26.0±5.3 to 1 year later 31.3±5.8 mL·min –1 ·kg –1 , P <0.0001, interaction P =0.0004), whereas there was no significant change in max in controls (baseline 24.6±3.4 to 1 year later 24.2±4.1 mL·min –1 ·kg –1 , P =0.986). LV myocardial stiffness was reduced (right and downward shift in the end-diastolic pressure-volume relationship; LV myocardial stiffness: baseline 0.062±0.020 to 1 year later 0.031±0.009), whereas there was no significant change in controls (baseline 0.061±0.033 to 1 year later 0.066±0.031, interaction P =0.001). Conclusions: In patients with LV hypertrophy and elevated cardiac biomarkers (stage B heart failure with preserved ejection fraction), 1 year of exercise training reduced LV myocardial stiffness. Thus, exercise training may provide protection against the future risk of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in such patients. Registration: URL: ; Unique identifier: NCT03476785.
Alexander Y. Payumo, Xi Chen, Kentaro Hirose, Xiaoxin Chen, Alison Hoang, Sheamin Khyeam, , Jiajia Wang, Qing Chen, Nevan Powers, et al.
Circulation, Volume 144, pp 1000-1003;

, , , Elias Björnson, , Håkan Ahlström, Joakim Alfredsson, Oskar Angerås, Göran Berglund, Anders Blomberg, et al.
Circulation, Volume 144, pp 916-929;

Background: Early detection of coronary atherosclerosis using coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), in addition to coronary artery calcification (CAC) scoring, may help inform prevention strategies. We used CCTA to determine the prevalence, severity, and characteristics of coronary atherosclerosis and its association with CAC scores in a general population. Methods: We recruited 30 154 randomly invited individuals age 50 to 64 years to SCAPIS (the Swedish Cardiopulmonary Bioimage Study). The study includes individuals without known coronary heart disease (ie, no previous myocardial infarctions or cardiac procedures) and with high-quality results from CCTA and CAC imaging performed using dedicated dual-source CT scanners. Noncontrast images were scored for CAC. CCTA images were visually read and scored for coronary atherosclerosis per segment (defined as no atherosclerosis, 1% to 49% stenosis, or ≥50% stenosis). External validity of prevalence estimates was evaluated using inverse probability for participation weighting and Swedish register data. Results: In total, 25 182 individuals without known coronary heart disease were included (50.6% women). Any CCTA-detected atherosclerosis was found in 42.1%; any significant stenosis (≥50%) in 5.2%; left main, proximal left anterior descending artery, or 3-vessel disease in 1.9%; and any noncalcified plaques in 8.3% of this population. Onset of atherosclerosis was delayed on average by 10 years in women. Atherosclerosis was more prevalent in older individuals and predominantly found in the proximal left anterior descending artery. Prevalence of CCTA-detected atherosclerosis increased with increasing CAC scores. Among those with a CAC score >400, all had atherosclerosis and 45.7% had significant stenosis. In those with 0 CAC, 5.5% had atherosclerosis and 0.4% had significant stenosis. In participants with 0 CAC and intermediate 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease according to the pooled cohort equation, 9.2% had CCTA-verified atherosclerosis. Prevalence estimates had excellent external validity and changed marginally when adjusted to the age-matched Swedish background population. Conclusions: Using CCTA in a large, random sample of the general population without established disease, we showed that silent coronary atherosclerosis is common in this population. High CAC scores convey a significant probability of substantial stenosis, and 0 CAC does not exclude atherosclerosis, particularly in those at higher baseline risk.
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