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  • Journal article
    Khalique Z, Scott AD, Ferreira PF, Nielles-Vallespin S, Firmin DN, Pennell DJet al., 2019,

    Diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a comparison of motion-compensated spin echo and stimulated echo techniques

    , Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, Vol: 33, Pages: 331-342, ISSN: 0968-5243

    ObjectivesDiffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DT-CMR) interrogates myocardial microstructure. Two frequently used in vivo DT-CMR techniques are motion-compensated spin echo (M2-SE) and stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM). Whilst M2-SE is strain-insensitive and signal to noise ratio efficient, STEAM has a longer diffusion time and motion compensation is unnecessary. Here we compare STEAM and M2-SE DT-CMR in patients.Materials and methodsBiphasic DT-CMR using STEAM and M2-SE, late gadolinium imaging and pre/post gadolinium T1-mapping were performed in a mid-ventricular short-axis slice, in ten hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients at 3 T.ResultsAdequate quality data were obtained from all STEAM, but only 7/10 (systole) and 4/10 (diastole) M2-SE acquisitions. Compared with STEAM, M2-SE yielded higher systolic mean diffusivity (MD) (p = 0.02) and lower fractional anisotropy (FA) (p = 0.02, systole). Compared with segments with neither hypertrophy nor late gadolinium, segments with both had lower systolic FA using M2-SE (p = 0.02) and trend toward higher MD (p = 0.1). The negative correlation between FA and extracellular volume fraction was stronger with STEAM than M2-SE (r2 = 0.29, p < 0.001 STEAM vs. r2 = 0.10, p = 0.003 M2-SE).DiscussionIn HCM, only STEAM reliably assesses biphasic myocardial microstructure. Higher MD and lower FA from M2-SE reflect the shorter diffusion times. Further work will relate DT-CMR parameters and microstructural changes in disease.

  • Journal article
    Vamvakidou A, Jin W, Danylenko O, Chahal N, Khattar R, Senior Ret al., 2019,

    Low transvalvular flow rate predicts mortality in patients with low-gradient aortic stenosis following aortic valve intervention

    , JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, Vol: 12, Pages: 1715-1724, ISSN: 1936-878X

    OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the value of low transvalvular flow rate (FR) for the prediction of mortality compared with low stroke volume index (SVi) in patients with low-gradient (mean gradient: <40 mm Hg), low aortic valve area (<1 cm2) aortic stenosis (AS) following aortic valve intervention. BACKGROUND: Transaortic FR defined as stroke volume/left ventricular ejection time is also a marker of flow; however, no data exist comparing the relative prognostic value of these 2 transvalvular flow markers in patients with low-gradient AS who had undergone valve intervention. METHODS: We retrospectively followed prospectively assessed consecutive patients with low-gradient, low aortic valve area AS who underwent aortic valve intervention between 2010 and 2014 for all-cause mortality. RESULTS: Of the 218 patients with mean age 75 ± 12 years, 102 (46.8%) had low stroke volume index (SVi) (<35 ml/m2), 95 (43.6%) had low FR (<200 ml/s), and 58 (26.6%) had low left ventricular ejection fraction <50%. The concordance between FR and SVi was 78.8% (p < 0.005). Over a median follow-up of 46.8 ± 21 months, 52 (23.9%) deaths occurred. Patients with low FR had significantly worse outcome compared with those with normal FR (p < 0.005). In patients with low SVi, a low FR conferred a worse outcome than a normal FR (p = 0.005), but FR status did not discriminate outcome in patients with normal SVi. By contrast, SVi did not discriminate survival either in patients with normal or low FR. Low FR was an independent predictor of mortality (p = 0.013) after adjusting for age, clinical prognostic factors, European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation II, dimensionless velocity index, left ventricular mass index, left ventricular ejection fraction, heart rate, time, type of aortic valve intervention, and SVi (p = 0.59). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with low-gradient, low valve area aortic stenosis undergoi

  • Journal article
    Verdonschot JAJ, Hazebroek MR, Ware JS, Prasad SK, Heymans SRBet al., 2019,

    Role of targeted therapy in dilated cardiomyopathy: the challenging road toward a personalized approach

    , Journal of the American Heart Association, Vol: 8, Pages: e012514-e012514, ISSN: 2047-9980
  • Journal article
    Zhang N, Yang G, Gao Z, Xu C, Zhang Y, Shi R, Keegan J, Xu L, Zhang H, Fan Z, Firmin Det al., 2019,

    Deep learning for diagnosis of chronic myocardial infarction on nonenhanced cardiac cine MRI

    , Radiology, Vol: 294, Pages: 52-60, ISSN: 0033-8419

    BackgroundRenal impairment is common in patients with coronary artery disease and, if severe, late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging for myocardial infarction (MI) evaluation cannot be performed.PurposeTo develop a fully automatic framework for chronic MI delineation via deep learning on non–contrast material–enhanced cardiac cine MRI.Materials and MethodsIn this retrospective single-center study, a deep learning model was developed to extract motion features from the left ventricle and delineate MI regions on nonenhanced cardiac cine MRI collected between October 2015 and March 2017. Patients with chronic MI, as well as healthy control patients, had both nonenhanced cardiac cine (25 phases per cardiac cycle) and LGE MRI examinations. Eighty percent of MRI examinations were used for the training data set and 20% for the independent testing data set. Chronic MI regions on LGE MRI were defined as ground truth. Diagnostic performance was assessed by analysis of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). MI area and MI area percentage from nonenhanced cardiac cine and LGE MRI were compared by using the Pearson correlation, paired t test, and Bland-Altman analysis.ResultsStudy participants included 212 patients with chronic MI (men, 171; age, 57.2 years ± 12.5) and 87 healthy control patients (men, 42; age, 43.3 years ± 15.5). Using the full cardiac cine MRI, the per-segment sensitivity and specificity for detecting chronic MI in the independent test set was 89.8% and 99.1%, respectively, with an AUC of 0.94. There were no differences between nonenhanced cardiac cine and LGE MRI analyses in number of MI segments (114 vs 127, respectively; P = .38), per-patient MI area (6.2 cm2 ± 2.8 vs 5.5 cm2 ± 2.3, respectively; P = .27; correlation coefficient, r = 0.88), and MI area percentage (21.5% ± 17.3 vs 18.5% ± 15.4; P = .17; correlation coefficient, r = 0.89).ConclusionThe proposed deep learning f

  • Journal article
    Sabatino J, Di Salvo G, Krupickova S, Fraisse A, Prota C, Bucciarelli V, Josen M, Paredes J, Sirico D, Voges I, Indolfi C, Prasad S, Daubeney Pet al., 2019,

    Left Ventricular Twist Mechanics to Identify Left Ventricular Noncompaction in Childhood

    , CIRCULATION-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1941-9651
  • Journal article
    Diller G-P, Kempny A, Babu-Narayan SV, Henrichs M, Brida M, Uebing A, Lammers AE, Baumgartner H, Li W, Wort SJ, Dimopoulos K, Gatzoulis MAet al., 2019,

    Machine learning algorithms estimating prognosis and guiding therapy in adult congenital heart disease: data from a single tertiary centre including 10 019 patients

    , European Heart Journal, Vol: 40, Pages: 1069-1077, ISSN: 1522-9645

    Aims: To assess the utility of machine learning algorithms on estimating prognosis and guiding therapy in a large cohort of patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) or pulmonary hypertension at a single, tertiary centre. Methods and results: We included 10 019 adult patients (age 36.3 ± 17.3 years) under follow-up at our institution between 2000 and 2018. Clinical and demographic data, ECG parameters, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, and selected laboratory markers where collected and included in deep learning (DL) algorithms. Specific DL-models were built based on raw data to categorize diagnostic group, disease complexity, and New York Heart Association (NYHA) class. In addition, models were developed to estimate need for discussion at multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings and to gauge prognosis of individual patients. Overall, the DL-algorithms-based on over 44 000 medical records-categorized diagnosis, disease complexity, and NYHA class with an accuracy of 91.1%, 97.0%, and 90.6%, respectively in the test sample. Similarly, patient presentation at MDT-meetings was predicted with a test sample accuracy of 90.2%. During a median follow-up time of 8 years, 785 patients died. The automatically derived disease severity-score derived from clinical information was related to survival on Cox analysis independently of demographic, exercise, laboratory, and ECG parameters. Conclusion: We present herewith the utility of machine learning algorithms trained on large datasets to estimate prognosis and potentially to guide therapy in ACHD. Due to the largely automated process involved, these DL-algorithms can easily be scaled to multi-institutional datasets to further improve accuracy and ultimately serve as online based decision-making tools.

  • Conference paper
    Khalique Z, Ferreira PF, Scott AD, Nielles-Vallespin S, Wage R, Martinez-Naharro A, Fontana M, Hawkins PN, Firmin DN, Pennell DJet al., 2019,

    DIFFUSION TENSOR CARDIOVASCULAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE IN CARDIAC AMYLOIDOSIS

    , Annual Meeting of the British-Society-of-Cardiovascular-Magnetic-Resonance (BSCMR), Publisher: BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages: A6-A7, ISSN: 1355-6037
  • Journal article
    Vamvakidou A, Jin W, Danylenko O, Pradhan J, Li W, West C, Khattar R, Senior Ret al., 2019,

    Impact of Pre-Intervention Transaortic Flow Rate Versus Stroke Volume Index on Mortality Across the Hemodynamic Spectrum of Severe Aortic Stenosis

    , JACC-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING, Vol: 12, Pages: 205-206, ISSN: 1936-878X
  • Journal article
    Khalique Z, Ferreira P, Scott A, Nielles-Vallespin S, Wage R, Firmin D, Pennell Det al., 2018,

    Diffusion Tensor Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance of Microstructural Recovery in Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    , JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, Vol: 11, Pages: 1548-1550, ISSN: 1936-878X
  • Journal article
    Pennell DJ, Khalique Z, Ferreira PF, Scott AD, Nielles-Vallespin S, Kilner PJ, Kutys R, Romero M, Arai AE, Firmin DNet al., 2018,

    Deranged myocyte microstructure in situs inversus totalis demonstrated by diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance

    , JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, Vol: 11, Pages: 1360-1362, ISSN: 1936-878X
  • Book
    Manning WJ, Pennell DJ, 2018,

    Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease

    , Publisher: Churchill Livingstone, ISBN: 9780323415613

    Complemented by: Braunwald&#39;s heart disease / edited by Douglas P. Zipes, Peter Libby, Robert O. Bonow, Douglas L. Mann, and Gordon F. Tomaselli. 11th ed. 2018.

  • Journal article
    Ware JS, Amor-Salamanca A, Tayal U, Govind R, Serrano I, Salazar-Mendiguchia J, Garcia-Pinilla JM, Pascual-Figal DA, Nunez J, Guzzo-Merello G, Gonzalez-Vioque E, Bardaji A, Manito N, Lopez-Garrido MA, Padron-Barthe L, Edwards E, Whiffin N, Walsh R, Buchan RJ, Midwinter W, Wilk A, Prasad S, Pantazis A, Baski J, O'Regan DP, Alsonso-Pulpon A, Cook SA, Lara-Pezzi E, Barton PJ, Garcia-Pavia Pet al., 2018,

    A genetic etiology for alcohol-induced cardiac toxicity

    , Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol: 71, Pages: 2293-2302, ISSN: 0735-1097

    Background: Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is defined by a dilated and impaired left ventricle due to chronic excess alcohol consumption. It is largely unknown what factors determine cardiac toxicity on exposure to alcohol.Objectives: We sought to evaluate the role of variation in cardiomyopathy-associated genes in the pathophysiology of ACM, and to examine the effects of alcohol intake and genotype on DCM severity.Methods: We characterized 141 ACM cases, 716 dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases and 445 healthy volunteers. We compared the prevalence of rare, protein-altering variants in 9 genes associated with inherited DCM. We evaluated the effect of genotype and alcohol-consumption on phenotype in DCM.Results: Variants in well-characterized DCM-causing genes were more prevalent in patients with ACM than controls (13.5% vs 2.9%; P=1.2e-05), but similar between patients with ACM and DCM (19.4%; P=0.12) and with a predominant burden of Titin-truncating variants (TTNtv, 9.9%). Separately, we identified an interaction between TTN genotype and excess alcohol consumption in a cohort of DCM patients not meeting ACM criteria. On multivariate analysis, DCM patients with a TTNtv who consumed excess alcohol had an 8.7% absolute reduction in ejection fraction (95% CI -2.3 to -15.1, P<0.007) compared with those without TTNtv and excess alcohol consumption. The presence of TTNtv did not predict phenotype, outcome or functional recovery on treatment in ACM patients. Conclusions: TTNtv represent a prevalent genetic predisposition for ACM, and are also associated with a worse LVEF in DCM patients who consume alcohol above recommended levels. Familial evaluation and genetic testing should be considered in patients presenting with ACM.

  • Journal article
    Scott AD, Nielles-Vallespin S, Ferreira P, Khalique Z, Gatehouse P, Kilner P, Pennell D, Firmin Det al., 2018,

    An in-vivo comparison of stimulated-echo and motion compensated spin-echo sequences for 3T diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance at multiple cardiac phases

    , Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Vol: 20, ISSN: 1097-6647

    BackgroundStimulated-echo (STEAM) and, more recently, motion-compensated spin-echo (M2-SE) techniques have been used for in-vivo diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DT-CMR) assessment of cardiac microstructure. The two techniques differ in the length scales of diffusion interrogated, their signal-to-noise ratio efficiency and sensitivity to both motion and strain. Previous comparisons of the techniques have used high performance gradients at 1.5 T in a single cardiac phase. However, recent work using STEAM has demonstrated novel findings of microscopic dysfunction in cardiomyopathy patients, when DT-CMR was performed at multiple cardiac phases. We compare STEAM and M2-SE using a clinical 3 T scanner in three potentially clinically interesting cardiac phases.MethodsBreath hold mid-ventricular short-axis DT-CMR was performed in 15 subjects using M2-SE and STEAM at end-systole, systolic sweet-spot and diastasis. Success was defined by ≥50% of the myocardium demonstrating normal helix angles. From successful acquisitions DT-CMR results relating to tensor orientation, size and shape were compared between sequences and cardiac phases using non-parametric statistics. Strain information was obtained using cine spiral displacement encoding with stimulated echoes for comparison with DT-CMR results.ResultsAcquisitions were successful in 98% of STEAM and 76% of M2-SE cases and visual helix angle (HA) map scores were higher for STEAM at the sweet-spot and diastasis. There were significant differences between sequences (p < 0.05) in mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), tensor mode, transmural HA gradient and absolute second eigenvector angle (E2A). Differences in E2A between systole and diastole correlated with peak radial strain for both sequences (p ≤ 0.01).ConclusionM2-SE and STEAM can be performed equally well at peak systole at 3 T using standard gradients, but at the sweet-spot and diastole STEAM is more rel

  • Journal article
    Schafer S, Viswanathan S, Widjaja AA, Lim W-W, Moreno-Moral A, DeLaughter DM, Ng B, Patone G, Chow K, Khin E, Tan J, Chothani SP, Ye L, Rackham OJL, Ko NSJ, Sahib NE, Pua CJ, Zhen NTG, Xie C, Wang M, Maatz H, Lim S, Saar K, Blachut S, Petretto E, Schmidt S, Putoczki T, GuimarĂ£es-Camboa N, Wakimoto H, van Heesch S, Sigmundsson K, Lim SL, Soon JL, Chao VTT, Chua YL, Tan TE, Evans SM, Loh YJ, Jamal MH, Ong KK, Chua KC, Ong B-H, Chakaramakkil MJ, Seidman JG, Seidman CE, Hubner N, Sin KYK, Cook SAet al., 2017,

    IL-11 is a crucial determinant of cardiovascular fibrosis

    , Nature, Vol: 552, Pages: 110-115, ISSN: 0028-0836

    Fibrosis is a final common pathology in cardiovascular disease1. In the heart, fibrosis causes mechanical and electrical dysfunction1,2 and in the kidney, it predicts the onset of renal failure3. Transforming growth factor β1 (TGFB1) is the principal pro-fibrotic factor4,5 but its inhibition is associated with side effects due to its pleiotropic roles6,7. We hypothesised that downstream effectors of TGFB1 in fibroblasts could be attractive therapeutic targets and lack upstream toxicities. Using integrated imaging-genomics analyses of primary human fibroblasts, we found that Interleukin 11 (IL11) upregulation is the dominant transcriptional response to TGFB1 exposure and required for its profibrotic effect. IL11 and its receptor (IL11RA) are expressed specifically in fibroblasts where they drive non-canonical, ERK-dependent autocrine signalling that is required for fibrogenic protein synthesis. In mice, fibroblast-specific Il11 transgene expression or Il11 injection causes heart and kidney fibrosis and organ failure whereas genetic deletion of Il11ra1 is protective against disease. Thus, inhibition of IL11 prevents fibroblast activation across organs and species in response to a range of important pro-fibrotic stimuli. These data reveal a central role of IL11 in fibrosis and we propose inhibition of IL11 as a new therapeutic strategy to treat fibrotic diseases.

  • Journal article
    Halliday BP, Cleland JGF, Goldberger JJ, Prasad SKet al., 2017,

    Personalizing Risk Stratification for Sudden Death in Dilated Cardiomyopathy:The Past, Present, and Future

    , Circulation, Vol: 136, Pages: 215-231, ISSN: 0009-7322

    Results from the DANISH Study (Danish Study to Assess the Efficacy of ICDs in Patients with Non-ischemic Systolic Heat Failure on Mortality) suggest that, for many patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) do not increase longevity. Accurate identification of patients who are more likely to die of an arrhythmia and less likely to die from other causes is required to ensure improvement in outcomes and wise use of resources. Until now, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) has been used as a key criterion for selecting patients with DCM for an ICD for primary prevention purposes. However, registry data suggest that many patients with DCM and an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest do not have a markedly reduced LVEF. Additionally, many patients with reduced LVEF die from non-sudden causes of death. Methods to predict a higher or lower risk of sudden death include the detection of myocardial fibrosis (a substrate for ventricular arrhythmia), microvolt T-wave alternans (MTWA; a marker of electrophysiological vulnerability) and genetic testing. Mid-wall fibrosis is identified by late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging in around 30% of patients and provides incremental value in addition to LVEF for the prediction of SCD events. MTWA represents another promising predictor, supported by large meta-analyses that have highlighted the negative predictive value of this test. However, neither of these strategies have been routinely adopted for risk stratification in clinical practice. More convincing data from randomized trials are required to inform the management of patients with these features. Understanding of the genetics of DCM and how specific mutations affect arrhythmic risk is also rapidly increasing. The finding of a mutation in LMNA, the cause of around 6% of idiopathic DCM, commonly underpins more aggressive management due to the malignant nature of the associated phenotype. With the expansi

  • Journal article
    Khan TZ, Hsu LY, Arai AE, Rhodes S, Pottle A, Wage R, Banya W, Gatehouse PD, Giri S, Collins P, Pennell DJ, Barbir Met al., 2017,

    Apheresis as novel treatment for refractory angina with raised lipoprotein(a): a randomised controlled trial

    , European Heart Journal, Vol: 38, Pages: 1561-1569, ISSN: 1522-9645

    AimsTo determine the clinical impact of lipoprotein apheresis in patients with refractory angina and raised lipoprotein(a) > 500 mg/L on the primary end point of quantitative myocardial perfusion, as well as secondary end points including atheroma burden, exercise capacity, symptoms, and quality of life.MethodsWe conducted a single-blinded randomized controlled trial in 20 patients with refractory angina and raised lipoprotein(a) > 500 mg/L, with 3 months of blinded weekly lipoprotein apheresis or sham, followed by crossover. The primary endpoint was change in quantitative myocardial perfusion reserve (MPR) assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Secondary endpoints included measures of atheroma burden, exercise capacity, symptoms and quality of life.ResultsThe primary endpoint, namely MPR, increased following apheresis (0.47; 95% CI 0.31–0.63) compared with sham (−0.16; 95% CI − 0.33–0.02) yielding a net treatment increase of 0.63 (95% CI 0.37–0.89; P < 0.001 between groups). Improvements with apheresis compared with sham also occurred in atherosclerotic burden as assessed by total carotid wall volume (P < 0.001), exercise capacity by the 6 min walk test (P = 0.001), 4 of 5 domains of the Seattle angina questionnaire (all P < 0.02) and quality of life physical component summary by the short form 36 survey (P = 0.001).ConclusionLipoprotein apheresis may represent an effective novel treatment for patients with refractory angina and raised lipoprotein(a) improving myocardial perfusion, atheroma burden, exercise capacity and symptoms.

  • Journal article
    Ahmadvazir S, Shah BN, Zacharias K, Senior Ret al., 2017,

    Incremental prognostic value of stress echocardiography with carotid ultrasound for suspected CAD.

    , JACC Cardiovasc Imaging, Vol: 11, Pages: 173-180, ISSN: 1936-878X

    OBJECTIVES: This study hypothesized that ischemia and atherosclerosis assessment by ultrasound (US) may provide incremental prognostic information in patients with new-onset chest pain who do not have coronary artery disease (CAD). BACKGROUND: The clinical significance of atherosclerosis assessment by carotid US in patients undergoing stress echocardiography (SE) in such patients is unknown. METHODS: Consecutive patients with suspected angina but no history of CAD underwent simultaneous SE and US prospectively to assess myocardial ischemia and carotid plaque burden (CPB), respectively. Patients were followed up for major adverse events (MAEs)-all-cause mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and unplanned coronary revascularization. RESULTS: Of 591 recruited patients, 580 (men, 46%; mean age 59 ± 11 years) patients were available for follow-up. SE demonstrated myocardial ischemia in 12%, but prevalence of carotid plaques was 59%. During a mean follow-up of 1,117 ± 361 days, 40 first MAEs occurred. In the multivariable regression model, pre-test probability (PTP) of CAD (p = 0.001), abnormal SE (p < 0.0001), and CPB (p < 0.0001) predicted MAEs. MAE rates per year increased from 0.9% versus 1.97% versus 4.3% versus 9.7% in patients with no carotid plaque and normal SE versus patients who had plaque and normal SE versus those with no plaque and abnormal SE versus patients with plaque and abnormal SE, respectively (p < 0.0001). In hierarchical analysis, plaque burden provided incremental prognostic value over PTP of CAD and SE; likewise, SE was incremental to PTP-CAD and CPB (p < 0.0001 for both). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with suspected stable angina without known CAD, simultaneous SE (for ischemia) and US (for atherosclerosis) provided incremental prognostic value.

  • Journal article
    Tayal U, Prasad S, Cook SA, 2017,

    Genetics and genomics of dilated cardiomyopathy and systolic heart failure

    , GENOME MEDICINE, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1756-994X

    Heart failure is a major health burden, affecting 40 million people globally. One of the main causes of systolic heart failure is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the leading global indication for heart transplantation. Our understanding of the genetic basis of both DCM and systolic heart failure has improved in recent years with the application of next-generation sequencing and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). This has enabled rapid sequencing at scale, leading to the discovery of many novel rare variants in DCM and of common variants in both systolic heart failure and DCM. Identifying rare and common genetic variants contributing to systolic heart failure has been challenging given its diverse and multiple etiologies. DCM, however, although rarer, is a reasonably specific and well-defined condition, leading to the identification of many rare genetic variants. Truncating variants in titin represent the single largest genetic cause of DCM. Here, we review the progress and challenges in the detection of rare and common variants in DCM and systolic heart failure, and the particular challenges in accurate and informed variant interpretation, and in understanding the effects of these variants. We also discuss how our increasing genetic knowledge is changing clinical management. Harnessing genetic data and translating it to improve risk stratification and the development of novel therapeutics represents a major challenge and unmet critical need for patients with heart failure and their families.

  • Journal article
    Nielles-Vallespin S, Khalique Z, Ferreira PF, de Silva R, Scott AD, Kilner P, McGill L-A, Giannakidis A, Gatehouse PD, Ennis D, Aliotta E, Al-Khalil M, Kellman P, Mazilu D, Balaban RS, Firmin DN, Arai AE, Pennell DJet al., 2017,

    Assessment of myocardial microstructural dynamics by in vivo diffusion tensor cardiac magnetic resonance

    , Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol: 69, Pages: 661-676, ISSN: 0735-1097

    BackgroundCardiomyocytes are organized in microstructures termed sheetlets that reorientate during left ventricular thickening. Diffusion tensor cardiac magnetic resonance (DT-CMR) may enable noninvasive interrogation of in vivo cardiac microstructural dynamics. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a condition of abnormal myocardium with unknown sheetlet function.ObjectivesThis study sought to validate in vivo DT-CMR measures of cardiac microstructure against histology, characterize microstructural dynamics during left ventricular wall thickening, and apply the technique in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and DCM.MethodsIn vivo DT-CMR was acquired throughout the cardiac cycle in healthy swine, followed by in situ and ex vivo DT-CMR, then validated against histology. In vivo DT-CMR was performed in 19 control subjects, 19 DCM, and 13 HCM patients.ResultsIn swine, a DT-CMR index of sheetlet reorientation (E2A) changed substantially (E2A mobility ∼46°). E2A changes correlated with wall thickness changes (in vivo r2 = 0.75; in situ r2 = 0.89), were consistently observed under all experimental conditions, and accorded closely with histological analyses in both relaxed and contracted states. The potential contribution of cyclical strain effects to in vivo E2A was ∼17%. In healthy human control subjects, E2A increased from diastole (18°) to systole (65°; p < 0.001; E2A mobility = 45°). HCM patients showed significantly greater E2A in diastole than control subjects did (48°; p < 0.001) with impaired E2A mobility (23°; p < 0.001). In DCM, E2A was similar to control subjects in diastole, but systolic values were markedly lower (40°; p < 0.001) with impaired E2A mobility (20°; p < 0.001).ConclusionsMyocardial microstructure dynamics can be characterized by in vivo DT-CMR. Sheetlet function was abnormal in DCM with altered systolic conformation and reduced mobility, contrasting with HCM, which showed reduced mobility with alte

  • Journal article
    Ware JS, Seidman JG, Arany Z, 2016,

    Shared Genetic Predisposition in Peripartum and Dilated Cardiomyopathies REPLY

    , New England Journal of Medicine, Vol: 374, Pages: 2601-2602, ISSN: 1533-4406
  • Journal article
    Patel HC, Rosen SD, Hayward C, Vassiliou V, Smith GC, Wage RR, Bailey J, Rajani R, Lindsay AC, Pennell DJ, Underwood SR, Prasad SK, Mohiaddin R, Gibbs JSR, Lyon AR, Di Mario Cet al., 2016,

    Renal denervation in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (RDF-PEF): a randomised controlled trial

    , European Journal of Heart Failure, Vol: 18, Pages: 703-712, ISSN: 1879-0844

    AimHeart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is associated with increased sympathetic nervous system (SNS) tone. Attenuating the SNS with renal denervation (RD) might be helpful and there are no data currently in humans with HFpEF.Methods and ResultsIn this single-centre, randomised, open-controlled study we included 25 patients with HFpEF (preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction, left atrial (LA) dilatation or LV hypertrophy and raised B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) or echocardiographic assessment of filling pressures). Patients were randomised (2:1) to RD with the Symplicity™ catheter or continuing medical therapy. The primary success criterion was not met in that there were no differences between groups at 12 months for Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire score, peak oxygen uptake (VO2) on exercise, BNP, E/e’, LA volume index or LV mass index. A greater proportion of patients improved at three months in the RD group with respect to VO2 peak (56% vs 13%, P=0.025) and E/e’ (31% vs 13%, P=0.04). Change in estimated glomerular filtration rate was comparable between groups. Two patients required plain balloon angioplasty during the RD procedure to treat renal artery wall oedema.ConclusionThis study was terminated early due to difficulties in recruitment and was underpowered to detect whether RD improved the endpoints of: quality of life, exercise function, biomarkers and left heart remodelling. The procedure was safe in patients with HFpEF though two patients did require intra-procedure renal artery dilatation.

  • Journal article
    Grapsa J, Nunes MCP, Tan TC, Cabrita IZ, Coulter T, Smith BCF, Dawson D, Gibbs JSR, Nihoyannopoulos Pet al., 2015,

    Echocardiographic and Hemodynamic Predictors of Survival in Precapillary Pulmonary Hypertension Seven-Year Follow-Up

    , CIRCULATION-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING, Vol: 8, ISSN: 1941-9651
  • Journal article
    Roberts AM, Ware JS, Herman DS, Schafer S, Baksi J, Bick AG, Buchan RJ, Walsh R, John S, Wilkinson S, Mazzarotto F, Felkin LE, Gong S, L MacArthur JA, Cunningham F, Flannick J, Gabriel SB, Altshuler DM, Macdonald PS, Heinig M, Keogh AM, Hayward CS, Banner NR, Pennell DJ, O'Regan DP, San TR, de Marvao A, W Dawes TJ, Gulati A, Birks EJ, Yacoub MH, Radke M, Gotthardt M, Wilson JG, O'Donnell CJ, Prasad SK, Barton PJ, Fatkin D, Hubner N, Seidman JG, Seidman CE, Cook SAet al., 2015,

    Integrated allelic, transcriptional, and phenomic dissection of the cardiac effects of titin truncations in health and disease.

    , Science Translational Medicine, Vol: 7, Pages: 270ra6-270ra6, ISSN: 1946-6234

    The recent discovery of heterozygous human mutations that truncate full-length titin (TTN, an abundant structural, sensory, and signaling filament in muscle) as a common cause of end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) promises new prospects for improving heart failure management. However, realization of this opportunity has been hindered by the burden of TTN-truncating variants (TTNtv) in the general population and uncertainty about their consequences in health or disease. To elucidate the effects of TTNtv, we coupled TTN gene sequencing with cardiac phenotyping in 5267 individuals across the spectrum of cardiac physiology and integrated these data with RNA and protein analyses of human heart tissues. We report diversity of TTN isoform expression in the heart, define the relative inclusion of TTN exons in different isoforms (using the TTN transcript annotations available at http://cardiodb.org/titin), and demonstrate that these data, coupled with the position of the TTNtv, provide a robust strategy to discriminate pathogenic from benign TTNtv. We show that TTNtv is the most common genetic cause of DCM in ambulant patients in the community, identify clinically important manifestations of TTNtv-positive DCM, and define the penetrance and outcomes of TTNtv in the general population. By integrating genetic, transcriptome, and protein analyses, we provide evidence for a length-dependent mechanism of disease. These data inform diagnostic criteria and management strategies for TTNtv-positive DCM patients and for TTNtv that are identified as incidental findings.

  • Journal article
    Pennell DJ, Porter JB, Piga A, Lai Y, El-Beshlawy A, Belhoul KM, Elalfy M, Yesilipek A, Kilinc Y, Lawniczek T, Habr D, Weisskopf M, Zhang Y, Aydinok Yet al., 2014,

    A 1-year randomized controlled trial of deferasirox vs deferoxamine for myocardial iron removal in beta-thalassemia major (CORDELIA)

    , Blood, Vol: 123, Pages: 1447-1454, ISSN: 0006-4971

    Randomized comparison data on the efficacy and safety of deferasirox for myocardial iron removal in transfusion dependent patients are lacking. CORDELIA was a prospective, randomized comparison of deferasirox (target dose 40 mg/kg per day) vs subcutaneous deferoxamine (50-60 mg/kg per day for 5-7 days/week) for myocardial iron removal in 197 β-thalassemia major patients with myocardial siderosis (T2* 6-20 milliseconds) and no signs of cardiac dysfunction (mean age, 19.8 years). Primary objective was to demonstrate noninferiority of deferasirox for myocardial iron removal, assessed by changes in myocardial T2* after 1 year using a per-protocol analysis. Geometric mean (Gmean) myocardial T2* improved with deferasirox from 11.2 milliseconds at baseline to 12.6 milliseconds at 1 year (Gmeans ratio, 1.12) and with deferoxamine (11.6 milliseconds to 12.3 milliseconds; Gmeans ratio, 1.07). The between-arm Gmeans ratio was 1.056 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.998, 1.133). The lower 95% CI boundary was greater than the prespecified margin of 0.9, establishing noninferiority of deferasirox vs deferoxamine (P = .057 for superiority of deferasirox). Left ventricular ejection fraction remained stable in both arms. Frequency of drug-related adverse events was comparable between deferasirox (35.4%) and deferoxamine (30.8%). CORDELIA demonstrated the noninferiority of deferasirox compared with deferoxamine for myocardial iron removal. This trial is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00600938.

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