BSE and BCOS Guideline for Transthoracic Echocardiographic Assessment of Adult Cancer Patients Receiving Anthracyclines and/or Trastuzumab (2021)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Dobson R.; Ghosh A.K.; Manisty C.; Ky B.; Marwick T.; Stout M.; Pearce K.; Harkness A.; Steeds R.; Robinson S.; Oxborough D.; Adlam D.; Stanway S.; Rana B.; *Ingram T.; Ring L.; Rosen S.; Lyon A.R.; Plummer C.; Harbinson M.; Sharma V.; Augustine D.X.

Citation:
JACC: CardioOncology; Mar 2021; vol. 3 (no. 1); p. 1-16

Abstract:
The subspecialty of cardio-oncology aims to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with cancer or following cancer treatment. Cancer therapy can lead to a variety of cardiovascular complications, including left ventricular systolic dysfunction, pericardial disease, and valvular heart disease. Echocardiography is a key diagnostic imaging tool in the diagnosis and surveillance for many of these complications. The baseline assessment and subsequent surveillance of patients undergoing treatment with anthracyclines and/or human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) 2-positive targeted treatment (e.g., trastuzumab and pertuzumab) form a significant proportion of cardio-oncology patients undergoing echocardiography. This guideline from the British Society of Echocardiography and British Cardio-Oncology Society outlines a protocol for baseline and surveillance echocardiography of patients undergoing treatment with anthracyclines and/or trastuzumab. The methodology for acquisition of images and the advantages and disadvantages of techniques are discussed. Echocardiographic definitions for considering cancer therapeutics-related cardiac dysfunction are also presented.

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Can existing routine clinical data be used to predict hypoxaemia for mnd patients undertaking commercial flight? (2021)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
Cliff I.J.; Mustfa N.; Stone H.; Hurst C.; *Crawford E.

Citation:
Thorax; Feb 2021; vol. 76

Abstract:
Introduction: Pre-COVID-19, the total number of passengers traveling by commercial airlines rose to 4.3 billion, with Europe amounting to a 7.2% increase. The risks of respiratory compromised patients developing hypoxaemia during flight is well documented. Assessment of these patients is time consuming and often requires specialised equipment. Furthermore, the majority of evidence is based on research into patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The aim of this study is to investigate potential predictive biomarkers relating to the development of hypoxaemia during flight in patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Method(s): 118 MND patients referred into a fitness to fly service (n=118) completed baseline lung function and a Hypoxic Challenge Test (HCT) as part of a risk stratification for (Table presented) planned air travel (77 male). Data from patients requiring inflight oxygen was compared to patients who did not, in accordance with the British Thoracic Society recommendations 2011: Managing passengers with stable respiratory disease planning air travel. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, and Chi-Squared tests, as appropriate. Result(s): There was no significant difference between the pass (n=94) and fail (n=24) groups for age, gender, smoking history or BMI. There was a significant difference for all spirometry data (FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio – absolute, percent predicted and standardised residuals). Moreover, the resting blood gases (FiO221%) data showed significant difference for all parameters with the exception of pH (<0.001). The Regression analysis showed limited predictive value of spirometry and/or resting blood gas data with the exception of PaCO2 and base excess (BE). Conclusion(s): The predictive value of spirometic paraments and resting blood gases are limited in assessing hypoxaemia during commercial flight in MND patients, with the exception of parameters relating to respiratory failure. Despite the significant difference between the two groups, routine physiological data was limited in the predictive regression equations. We recommend that the safest approach in managing this group of patients is to perform an HCT in all patients intending to use air travel until more evidence-based data is available.

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Can historical assumptions be used to assess fitness to fly for MND and ILD patients? An evaluation of physiological parameters to risk stratify patients planning air travel (2021)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
Cliff I.J.; Mustfa N.; Stone H.; Hurst C.; Allen M.B.; *Crawford E.

Citation:
Thorax; Feb 2021; vol. 76

Abstract:
Introduction: The risk associated with commercial flight for respiratory compromised patients is well known. Many of the assumptions are based on studies that have included patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and have often been extended to other respiratory and non-respiratory disorders. This study aimed to examine differences in physiological parameters and Hypoxic Challenge Test (HCT) outcome in patients with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) and COPD. Method(s): Respiratory patients who were referred into a fitness to fly service (n=225) with COPD (n=51), MND (n=118) and ILD (n=56) completed baseline lung function and a HCT as part of a risk stratification for planned air travel. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, and Chi-Squared tests, as appropriate. Result(s): Demographic data relating to age, smoking history and BMI were significantly different between the patient groups. Spirometric data showed significant differences in Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) absolute, percent predicted and standardised residuals, however there was no significant difference in Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) absolute or percent predicted. Resting capillary blood gases (CBGs) (FiO221%) showed significant differences between patient groups in all parameters with the exception of pH. Responses to the hypoxic mix during the HCT (FiO215%) showed differences in all CBG values with the exception of pH. This was also mirrored in the corrective values (FiO228%). The difference between the PaO2 at rest (21%) and during the HCT (15%) is higher in the MND and ILD groups (2.66and 2.74 kPa respectively) versus the COPD group (2.2kPa). The HCT fail rate was greatest for the COPD group (table 1). Conclusion(s): In this retrospective, exploratory examination, the physiological data supports significant differences between the disorders for the majority of data. The assumptions and algorithms based on the study of COPD patients cannot be assumed for MND or ILD, and these groups need to be (Table presented) specifically studied to better understand their response to the commercial cabin environment.

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Cardiovascular disease incidence in 21 years follow-up in severe and non-severe familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) : Data from the UK Simon Broome FH register (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
Iyen B.; Qureshi N.; Weng S.; Roderick P.; *Capps N.; Durrington P.; Mcdowell I.; Soran H.; Neil A.; Humphries S.E.

Citation:
Atherosclerosis; Dec 2020; vol. 315

Abstract:
Background and Aims: The Simon Broome (SB) FH register has previously reported a 2.2-fold higher Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) mortality in those with “severe-FH” (SFH) compared to “non-severe-FH” (NSFH). Here we examine CVD morbidity over 21 years follow-up, by linking the register participants with the UK secondary care Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database.
Method(s): SFH and NSFH were as defined by the 2016 International Atherosclerosis Society criteria. Patients aged 20-79  years (52% female) were recruited from 21 UK lipid clinics and followed between 1997-2018. Outcomes analysed were composite CVD (first HES outcome of coronary heart disease (CHD), myocardial infarction, stable or unstable angina, stroke, TIA, PVD, heart failure, PCI and CABG) and then CVD subtypes. The excess Standardised Morbidity Ratio (SMbR) compared to an age-matched UK general practice sample was calculated (95% Confidence intervals).
Result(s): Of the 3553 SB register subjects, linkage with HES was available for 2988 (84%) participants, of whom 1,646 (66.7%) met the SFH definition. Overall the composite CVD SMbR was 6.55(6.20-6.92). In the SFH group (27,680 pyrs follow-up and 762 events) the SMbR for any CVD event was 9.38 (8.74-10.07), while in the NSFH group (13,750 pyrs follow-up and 237 events) was 5.87(5.17-6.67). For CHD the estimates were 11.88(11.01-12.82) vs 7.38(6.45-8.47) respectively.
Conclusion(s): CVD morbidity in conventionally treated FH patients was over 6-fold higher than the general population, with rates in those with SFH 60% higher than those with NSFH. This emphasises the potential value of more intensive lipid-lowering, and management of other risk factors for those with FH.

Cardiovascular disease incidence in 21 years follow-up in severe and non-severe familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) : Data from the UK Simon Broome FH register (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
Iyen B.; Qureshi N.; Weng S.; Roderick P.; *Capps N.; Durrington P.; Mcdowell I.; Soran H.; Neil A.; Humphries S.E.

Citation:
Atherosclerosis; December 2020; vol. 315

Abstract:
Background: The Simon Broome (SB) FH register has previously reported a 2.2-fold higher Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) mortality in those with “severe-FH” (SFH) compared to “non-severe-FH” (NSFH). Here we examine CVD morbidity over 21 years follow-up, by linking the register participants with the UK secondary care Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database.
Method(s): SFH and NSFH were as defined by the 2016 International Atherosclerosis Society criteria. Patients aged 20-79 years (52% female) were recruited from 21 UK lipid clinics and followed between 1997-2018. Outcomes analysed were composite CVD (first HES outcome of coronary heart disease (CHD), myocardial infarction, stable or unstable angina, stroke, TIA, PVD, heart failure, PCI and CABG) and then CVD subtypes. The excess Standardised Morbidity Ratio (SMbR) compared to an age-matched UK general practice sample was calculated (95% Confidence intervals).
Result(s): Of the 3553 SB register subjects, linkage with HES was available for 2988 (84%) participants, of whom 1,646 (66.7%) met the SFH definition. Overall the composite CVD SMbR was 6.55(6.20-6.92). In the SFH group (27,680 pyrs follow-up and 762 events) the SMbR for any CVD event was 9.38 (8.74-10.07), while in the NSFH group (13,750 pyrs follow-up and 237 events) was 5.87(5.17-6.67). For CHD the estimates were 11.88(11.01-12.82) vs 7.38(6.45-8.47) respectively.
Conclusion(s): CVD morbidity in conventionally treated FH patients was over 6-fold higher than the general population, with rates in those with SFH 60% higher than those with NSFH. This emphasises the potential value of more intensive lipid-lowering, and management of other risk factors for those with FH.

Case report: Evaluating the role of ultrasound in the diagnosis of bilateral persistent sciatic arteries (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Bell S.

Citation:
Ultrasound; 2020; vol. 28 (no. 2)

Abstract:
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) affects 13% of the population aged over 50 in the western world and can be divided into two main groups: organic and functional. Other less common causes to include in the differential diagnosis in younger patients are Buerger’s disease and anatomical variants such as duplication of the superficial femoral artery and persistent sciatic arteries (PSAs). PVD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Symptoms vary from cold extremities, intermittent claudication, to acute and critical ischaemia. All of these have a significant financial burden on critical healthcare resources. This case report evaluates the role of ultrasound in the diagnosis of bilateral PSAs. A 16-year-old female was referred by her GP to the vascular clinic presenting with bilateral intermittent claudication. On examination, missing dorsals pedis pulses were noted bilaterally. No previous imaging was available and the patient was referred for a lower limb Doppler ultrasound. Initial ultrasound scanning demonstrated no evidence of diseased vessels causing the patient’s pain, but unusual arterial anatomy. Both superficial femoral arteries tapered to the distal thigh, where collaterals were demonstrated. Following the scan a diagnosis of persistent bilateral sciatic arteries was made. Ultrasound, due to its many advantages, is usually the first line imaging investigation to assess the peripheral arteries. In this case ultrasound was able to demonstrate that there was no evidence of any organically diseased vessels, but an anatomical variant causing the patient’s symptoms. However, it was unable to demonstrate the overall view of the lower limb vasculature, the origin of the PSA, or provide all information to classify the sub type in view of any potential treatment or surgery. Although ultrasound is useful in the diagnosis of PSA, it lacks the ability to assess the whole of the peripheral circulation.

Sex differences in cardiovascular morbidity associated with familial hypercholesterolaemia: A retrospective cohort study of the UK Simon Broome register linked to national hospital records (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Barbara Iyen, Nadeem Qureshi, Stephen Weng, Paul Roderick, Joe Kai, *Nigel Capps, Paul N. Durrington, Ian FW. McDowell, Handrean Soran, Andrew Neil, Steve E. Humphries

Citation:
Atherosclerosis, Nov 2020 [epub ahead of print]

Abstract:
Background and aims: The UK Simon Broome (SB) familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) register previously reported 3-fold higher standardised mortality ratio for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women compared to men from 2009 to 2015. Here we examined sex differences in CVD morbidity in FH by national linkage of the SB register with Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).
Methods: Of 3553 FH individuals in the SB register (aged 20–79 years at registration), 2988 (52.5% women) had linked HES records. Standardised Morbidity Ratios (SMbR) compared to an age and sex-matched UK general practice population were calculated [95% confidence intervals] for first CVD hospitalisation in HES (a composite of coronary heart disease (CHD), myocardial infarction (MI), stable or unstable angina, stroke, TIA, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), heart failure, coronary revascularisation interventions).
Results: At registration, men had significantly (p < 0.001) higher prevalence of previous CHD (24.8% vs 17.6%), previous MI (13.2% vs 6.3%), and were commenced on lipid-lowering treatment at a younger age than women (37.5 years vs 42.3 years). The SMbR for composite CVD was 6.83 (6.33–7.37) in men and 7.55 (6.99–8.15) in women. In individuals aged 30–50 years, SMbR in women was 50% higher than in men (15.04 [12.98–17.42] vs 10.03 [9.01–11.17]). In individuals >50 years, SMbR was 33% higher in women than men (6.11 [5.57–6.70] vs 4.59 [4.08–5.15]).
Conclusions: Excess CVD morbidity due to FH remains markedly elevated in women at all ages, but especially those aged 30–50 years. This highlights the need for earlier diagnosis and optimisation of lipid-lowering risk factor management for all FH patients, with particular attention to young women with FH.

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Managing hyperlipidaemia in patients with COVID-19 and during its pandemic: An expert panel position statement from HEART UK (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Iqbal Z.; Ho J.H.; France M.; Schofield J.; Nicholson K.; Soran H.; Adam S.; Durrington P.; Syed A.; Neely D.; Rees A.; Payne J.; Khatib R.; Cegla J.; Byrne C.; Qureshi N.; *Capps N.; Ferns G.; Datta D.; Pottle A.; Halcox J.; Krentz A.

Citation:
Atherosclerosis; Nov 2020; vol. 313 ; p. 126-136

Abstract:
The emergence of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in a pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and its severity highly variable. The fatality rate is unpredictable but is amplified by several factors including advancing age, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and obesity. A large proportion of patients with these conditions are treated with lipid lowering medication and questions regarding the safety of continuing lipid-lowering medication in patients infected with COVID-19 have arisen. Some have suggested they may exacerbate their condition. It is important to consider known interactions with lipid-lowering agents and with specific therapies for COVID-19. This statement aims to collate current evidence surrounding the safety of lipid-lowering medications in patients who have COVID-19. We offer a consensus view based on current knowledge and we rated the strength and level of evidence for these recommendations. Pubmed, Google scholar and Web of Science were searched extensively for articles using search terms: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, coronavirus, Lipids, Statin, Fibrates, Ezetimibe, PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies, nicotinic acid, bile acid sequestrants, nutraceuticals, red yeast rice, Omega-3-Fatty acids, Lomitapide, hypercholesterolaemia, dyslipidaemia and Volanesorsen. There is no evidence currently that lipid lowering therapy is unsafe in patients with COVID-19 infection. Lipid-lowering therapy should not be interrupted because of the pandemic or in patients at increased risk of COVID-19 infection. In patients with confirmed COVID-19, care should be taken to avoid drug interactions, between lipid-lowering medications and drugs that may be used to treat COVID-19, especially in patients with abnormalities in liver function tests.

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Effective echo screening and inter modality agreement in the assessment of ascending thoracic aorta dimension (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Botley S.; *Challinor E.; *Ingram T.; *Lee E.; *Pakala V.

Citation:
Heart; Jul 2020; vol. 106

Abstract:
Introduction: Accurate measurement and interval monitoring of the ascending aorta for at risk individuals are crucial for prevention of life-threatening complications. Echocardiography (echo) is the first line screening test. Positive results are referred for computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), both are considered gold standard methods for imaging the whole aorta. These tests involve radiation (CT) and contrast (CT & MRI) exposure. An effective screening echo streamlines subsequent referrals to CT and MRI. Several published references (1,2,3) are in clinical use. Measurements are normalised to body surface area (1,3), height (2), gender (2,3) and age (3). The aims of this study were: Assess the inter-modality agreement of ascending aorta measurements between echo and CT. Compare the rate of ‘dilated aorta’ using the existing references (1,2,3). Methods Between Sep 2018 and Sep 2019, 107 patients underwent gated CT thoracic aorta at our institute as per clinically indicated. We retrospectively examined these records. We used Bland Altman plot to assess inter-modality agreement (echo & CT) of ascending aorta measurements. We reported inter and intra-observer variability for echo measurements as coefficient of variation. Echo aorta measurements were coded into ‘dilated’ or ‘normal’ after normalising for age, sex, height and weight as per the existing references (1,2,3). The rates of ‘dilated aorta’ using the three reference methods (1,2,3) were compared using Chi-squared test with Bonferroni adjustment. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 25 (IBM). Results Data were excluded from analysis due to incomplete biometrics (9), poor echo images (27). 71 subjects were included for analysis (age 68 +/- 14 years, BSA 1.9 +/- 0.2 m2, 52.1% male). 16 had bicuspid aortic valves. Intra- and interobserver variability for echo measurements were 1.2% and 1.4% respectively. Figure 1 shows the inter-modality agreement of ascending aorta measurements. Echo underestimated ascending aorta dimensions by a mean of 1.4 +/- 2.7 mm (95% CI 0.7-2.0 mm). There was a significant difference in the rates of ‘dilated aorta’ using the existing reference ranges (1,2,3): 59% (1), 27% (3) and 59% (2) of subjects had ‘dilated aorta’, c2 = 15.3, p=0.00. Conclusion Echo is an effective screening test for detecting ascending aorta dilatation. In our department, it has excellent intra- and inter- observer variability and good measurement agreement with CT. Normalising aortic dimension (3) resulted in the fewest ‘positive test’ requiring further imaging; potentially improving clinical efficacy of the service and avoiding contrast and radiation exposure for the patients.

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A minimum dataset for a level 1 echocardiogram: A guideline protocol from the british society of echocardiography (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Hindocha R.; Garry D.; Short N.; *Ingram T.E.; Steeds R.P.; Colebourn C.L.; Pearce K.; Sharma V.

Citation:
Echo Research and Practice; Jun 2020; vol. 7 (no. 2)

Abstract:
The British Society of Echocardiography has previously outlined a minimum dataset for a standard transthoracic echocardiogram, and this remains the basis on which an echocardiographic study should be performed. The importance of ultrasound in excluding critical conditions that may require urgent treatment is well known. Several point-of-care echo protocols have been developed for use by non-echocardiography specialists. However, these protocols are often only used in specific circumstances and are usually limited to 2D echocardiography. Furthermore, although the uptake in training for these protocols has been reasonable, there is little in the way of structured support available from accredited sonographers in the ongoing training and reaccreditation of those undertaking these point-of-care scans. In addition, it is well recognised that the provision of echocardiography on a 24/7 basis is extremely challenging, particularly outside of tertiary cardiac centres. Consequently, following discussions with NHS England, the British Society of Echocardiography has developed the Level 1 echocardiogram in order to support the rapid identification of critical cardiac pathology that may require emergency treatment. It is intended that these scans will be performed by non-specialists in echocardiography and crucially are not designed to replace a full standard transthoracic echocardiogram. Indeed, it is expected that a significant number of patients, in whom a Level 1 echocardiogram is required, will need to have a full echocardiogram performed as soon as is practically possible. This document outlines the minimum dataset for a Level 1 echocardiogram. The accreditation process for Level 1 echo is described separately.

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