Background In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of tocilizumab in adult patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 with both hypoxia and systemic inflammation. Methods This randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy [RECOVERY]), is assessing several possible treatments in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in the UK. Those trial participants with hypoxia (oxygen saturation <92% on air or requiring oxygen therapy) and evidence of systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein ≥75 mg/L) were eligible for random assignment in a 1:1 ratio to usual standard of care alone versus usual standard of care plus tocilizumab at a dose of 400 mg–800 mg (depending on weight) given intravenously. A second dose could be given 12–24 h later if the patient's condition had not improved. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality, assessed in the intention-to-treat population. The trial is registered with ISRCTN (50189673) and ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT04381936 ). Findings Between April 23, 2020, and Jan 24, 2021, 4116 adults of 21 550 patients enrolled into the RECOVERY trial were included in the assessment of tocilizumab, including 3385 (82%) patients receiving systemic corticosteroids. Overall, 621 (31%) of the 2022 patients allocated tocilizumab and 729 (35%) of the 2094 patients allocated to usual care died within 28 days (rate ratio 0·85; 95% CI 0·76–0·94; p=0·0028). Consistent results were seen in all prespecified subgroups of patients, including those receiving systemic corticosteroids. Patients allocated to tocilizumab were more likely to be discharged from hospital within 28 days (57% vs 50%; rate ratio 1·22; 1·12–1·33; p<0·0001). Among those not receiving invasive mechanical ventilation at baseline, patients allocated tocilizumab were less likely to reach the composite endpoint of invasive mechanical ventilation or death (35% vs 42%; risk ratio 0·84; 95% CI 0·77–0·92; p<0·0001). Interpretation In hospitalised COVID-19 patients with hypoxia and systemic inflammation, tocilizumab improved survival and other clinical outcomes. These benefits were seen regardless of the amount of respiratory support and were additional to the benefits of systemic corticosteroids. Funding UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council) and National Institute of Health Research.
Background-It has recently been recognized that atrial fibrillation can originate from focal sources in the pulmonary veins (PVs). However, the mechanisms of focal atrial fibrillation have not been well characterized. We assessed the electrophysiological characteristics of the PVs using high-resolution optical mapping. Methods and Results-Coronary-perfused, isolated whole-atrial preparations from 33 normal dogs were studied.Programmed electrical stimulation was performed, and a 4-cm 2 area of the PV underwent optical mapping of transmembrane voltage to obtain 256 simultaneous action potentials. Marked conduction slowing was seen at the proximal PV, compared with the rest of the vein, on both the epicardial (31.3Ϯ4.47 versus 90.2Ϯ20.7 cm/s, Pϭ0.001) and endocardial (45.8Ϯ6.90 versus 67.6Ϯ10.4 cm/s, Pϭ0.012) aspects. Pronounced repolarization heterogeneity was also noted, with action potential duration at 80% repolarization being longest at the PV endocardium. Nonsustained reentrant beats were induced with single extrastimuli, and the complete reentrant loop was visualized (cycle length, 155Ϯ30.3 ms); reentrant activity could be sustained with isoproterenol. Sustained focal discharge (cycle length, 330 to 1100 ms) was seen from the endocardial surface in the presence of isoproterenol; each focus was localized near the venous ostium. Conclusions-The normal PV seems to have the necessary substrate to support reentry as well as focal activity. Although reentry occurred more distally in the vein, focal activity seemed to occur more proximally.
Patients with AF recurrence following RFA have a higher mean LAV/LAVi compared to patients with no recurrence. Large LAV/LAVi increases the odds of AF recurrence post RFA.
Background: Abnormalities in intracellular calcium (Ca) cycling during Ca overload can cause triggered activity because spontaneous calcium release (SCR) activates sufficient Ca-sensitive inward currents to induce delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs). However, little is known about the mechanisms relating SCR and triggered activity on the tissue scale. Methods and Results: Laser scanning confocal microscopy was used to measure the spatiotemporal properties of SCR within large myocyte populations in intact rat heart. Computer simulations were used to predict how these properties of SCR determine DAD magnitude. We measured the average and standard deviation of the latency distribution of SCR within a large population of myocytes in intact tissue. We found that as external [Ca] is increased, and with faster pacing rates, the average and SD of the latency distribution decreases substantially. This result demonstrates that the timing of SCR occurs with less variability as the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca load is increased, causing more sites to release Ca within each cell. We then applied a mathematical model of subcellular Ca cycling to show that a decrease in SCR variability leads to a higher DAD amplitude and is dictated by the rate of SR Ca refilling following an action potential. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that the variability of the timing of SCR in a population of cells in tissue decreases with SR load and is dictated by the time course of the SR Ca content.
HighlightsThe authors discuss the concept of atrial myopathy; its relationship to aging, electrophysiological remodeling, and autonomic remodeling; the interplay between atrial myopathy, AF, and stroke; and suggest how to identify patients with atrial myopathy and how to incorporate atrial myopathy into decisions about anticoagulation.Atrial myopathy seen in animal models of AF and in patients with AF is the result of a combination of factors that lead to electrical and structural remodeling in the atrium. Although AF may lead to the initiation and/or progression of this myopathy, the presence of AF is by no means essential to the development or the maintenance of the atrial myopathic state.Methods to identify atrial myopathy include atrial electrograms, tissue biopsy, cardiac imaging, and certain serum biomarkers. A promising modality is 4-dimensional flow cardiac magnetic resonance. The concept of atrial myopathy may help guide oral anticoagulant therapy in selected groups of patients with AF, particularly those with low to intermediate risk of strokes and those who have undergone successful AF ablation. This review highlights the need for prospective randomized trials to test these hypotheses.
Although the development of abnormal myocardial mechanics represents a key step during the transition from hypertension to overt heart failure (HF), the underlying ultrastructural and cellular basis of abnormal myocardial mechanics remains unclear. We therefore investigated how changes in transverse (T)-tubule organization and the resulting altered intracellular Ca(2+) cycling in large cell populations underlie the development of abnormal myocardial mechanics in a model of chronic hypertension. Hearts from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs; n = 72) were studied at different ages and stages of hypertensive heart disease and early HF and were compared with age-matched control (Wistar-Kyoto) rats (n = 34). Echocardiography, including tissue Doppler and speckle-tracking analysis, was performed just before euthanization, after which T-tubule organization and Ca(2+) transients were studied using confocal microscopy. In SHRs, abnormalities in myocardial mechanics occurred early in response to hypertension, before the development of overt systolic dysfunction and HF. Reduced longitudinal, circumferential, and radial strain as well as reduced tissue Doppler early diastolic tissue velocities occurred in concert with T-tubule disorganization and impaired Ca(2+) cycling, all of which preceded the development of cardiac fibrosis. The time to peak of intracellular Ca(2+) transients was slowed due to T-tubule disruption, providing a link between declining cell ultrastructure and abnormal myocardial mechanics. In conclusion, subclinical abnormalities in myocardial mechanics occur early in response to hypertension and coincide with the development of T-tubule disorganization and impaired intracellular Ca(2+) cycling. These changes occur before the development of significant cardiac fibrosis and precede the development of overt cardiac dysfunction and HF.
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