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Open access

Peter H Waddingham, Sanjeev Bhattacharyya, Jet Van Zalen and Guy Lloyd

Objective

Patients with non-ischaemic systolic heart failure (HF) and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) are a heterogenous group with varied morbidity and mortality. Prognostication in this group is challenging. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the significance of the presence of contractile reserve as assessed via stress imaging on mortality and hospitalisation.

Methods

A search for studies that non-invasively assessed contractile reserve in patients with DCM or non-ischaemic HF with reduced ejection fraction, stress imaging with follow-up data comparing outcomes. A range of imaging modalities and stressors were included. We examined primary endpoints of mortality and secondary endpoints of combined cardiovascular events including HF progression or hospitalisation. Our analysis compared endpoints in patients with contractile reserve and those without it.

Results

Nine prospective cohort studies were identified describing a total of 787 patients. These studies are methodologically but not statistically heterogenous (I 2 = 31%). Using a random effect model, the presence of contractile reserve was associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular events odds ratios of 0.20 (CI 0.11, 0.39) (P < 0.00001) and 0.13 (CI 0.04, 0.40) (P = 0.0004), respectively.

Conclusion

Regardless of stressor and imaging modality and despite the significant methodological heterogeneity within the current data (imaging techniques and parameters), patients with non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy and reduced EF who demonstrate contractile reserve have a lower mortality, and lower events/hospitalisations. The presence of contractile reserve therefore offers a potential positive prognostic indicator when managing these patients.

Open access

Richard Wheeler, Richard Steeds, Bushra Rana, Gill Wharton, Nicola Smith, Jane Allen, John Chambers, Richard Jones, Guy Lloyd, Kevin O'Gallagher and Vishal Sharma

A systematic approach to transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) is essential to ensure that no pathology is missed during a study. In addition, a standardised approach facilitates the education and training of operators and is helpful when reviewing studies performed in other departments or by different operators. This document produced by the British Society of Echocardiography aims to provide a framework for a standard TOE study. In addition to a minimum dataset, the layout proposes a recommended sequence in which to perform a comprehensive study. It is recommended that this standardised approach is followed when performing TOE in all clinical settings, including intraoperative TOE to ensure important pathology is not missed. Consequently, this document has been prepared with the direct involvement of the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists (ACTA).

Open access

David Oxborough, Saqib Ghani, Allan Harkness, Guy Lloyd, William Moody, Liam Ring, Julie Sandoval, Roxy Senior, Nabeel Sheikh, Martin Stout, Victor Utomi, James Willis, Abbas Zaidi and Richard Steeds

The aim of the study is to establish the impact of 2D echocardiographic methods on absolute values for aortic root dimensions and to describe any allometric relationship to body size. We adopted a nationwide cross-sectional prospective multicentre design using images obtained from studies utilising control groups or where specific normality was being assessed. A total of 248 participants were enrolled with no history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension or abnormal findings on echocardiography. Aortic root dimensions were measured at the annulus, the sinus of Valsalva, the sinotubular junction, the proximal ascending aorta and the aortic arch using the inner edge and leading edge methods in both diastole and systole by 2D echocardiography. All dimensions were scaled allometrically to body surface area (BSA), height and pulmonary artery diameter. For all parameters with the exception of the aortic annulus, dimensions were significantly larger in systole (P<0.05). All aortic root and arch measurements were significantly larger when measured using the leading edge method compared with the inner edge method (P<0.05). Allometric scaling provided a b exponent of BSA0.6 in order to achieve size independence. Similarly, ratio scaling to height in subjects under the age of 40 years also produced size independence. In conclusion, the largest aortic dimensions occur in systole while using the leading edge method. Reproducibility of measurement, however, is better when assessing aortic dimensions in diastole. There is an allometric relationship to BSA and, therefore, allometric scaling in the order of BSA0.6 provides a size-independent index that is not influenced by the age or gender.

Open access

Jet van Zalen, Nikhil R Patel, Steven J Podd, Prashanth Raju, Rob McIntosh, Gary Brickley, Louisa Beale, Lydia P Sturridge and Guy W L Lloyd

Resting echocardiography measurements are poor predictors of exercise capacity and symptoms in patients with heart failure (HF). Stress echocardiography may provide additional information and can be expressed using left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), or diastolic parameters (E/E′), but LVEF has some major limitations. Systolic annular velocity (S′) provides a measure of longitudinal systolic function, which is relatively easy to obtain and shows a good relationship with exercise capacity. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship among S′, E/E′ and LVEF obtained during stress echocardiography and both mortality and hospitalisation. A secondary objective was to compare S′ measured using a simplified two-wall model. A total of 80 patients with stable HF underwent exercise stress echocardiography and simultaneous cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Volumetric and tissue velocity imaging (TVI) measurements were obtained, as was peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak). Of the total number of patients, 11 died and 22 required cardiac hospitalisation. S′ at peak exertion was a powerful predictor for death and hospitalisation. Cut-off points of 5.3 cm/s for death and 5.7 cm/s for hospitalisation provided optimum sensitivity and specificity. This study suggests that, in patients with systolic HF, S′ at peak exertion calculated from the averaged spectral TVI systolic velocity of six myocardial segments, or using a simplified measure of two myocardial segments, is a powerful predictor of future events and stronger than LVEF, diastolic velocities at rest or exercise and VO2 peak. Results indicate that measuring S′ during exercise echocardiography might play an important role in understanding the likelihood of adverse clinical outcomes in patients with HF.

Open access

Nicola Smith, Richard Steeds, Navroz Masani, Julie Sandoval, Gill Wharton, Jane Allen, John Chambers, Richard Jones, Guy Lloyd, Bushra Rana, Kevin O'Gallagher, Richard Wheeler and Vishal Sharma

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a relatively common inherited cardiac condition with a prevalence of approximately one in 500. It results in otherwise unexplained hypertrophy of the myocardium and predisposes the patient to a variety of disease-related complications including sudden cardiac death. Echocardiography is of vital importance in the diagnosis, assessment and follow-up of patients with known or suspected HCM. The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) has previously published a minimum dataset for transthoracic echocardiography, providing the core parameters necessary when performing a standard echocardiographic study. However, for patients with known or suspected HCM, additional views and measurements are necessary. These additional views allow more subtle abnormalities to be detected or may provide important information in order to identify patients with an adverse prognosis. The aim of this Guideline is to outline the additional images and measurements that should be obtained when performing a study on a patient with known or suspected HCM.

Open access

Sveeta Badiani, Jet van Zalen, Saad Saheecha, Lesley Hart, Ann Topham, Nikhil Patel, Lydia Sturridge, Andrew Marshall, Neil Sulke, Stephen Furniss and Guy Lloyd

Background

The rate of progression of aortic regurgitation (AR) is not well described. Current guidelines state that asymptomatic patients with mild AR should be followed up every 3–5 years and 1–2 yearly for moderate AR. This study describes the lesion and clinical based progression of mild and moderate AR in a population of patients undergoing systematic follow-up.

Methods and results

341 patients with either mild or moderate AR were included. The rates of clinical events (death, aortic valve replacement and cardiac hospitalization) and progression of AR are reported.

341 patients were included; mean age was 71.1 years (IQR 66–80 years) and the median follow-up period was 4.6 (IQR 2–6.7) years. 292 patients did not have any events during follow-up. 3 patients required aortic valve replacement (2 of these due to severe aortic stenosis and 1 due to severe mitral regurgitation and co-existent moderate AR). 44 patients required cardiac hospitalization. 9 patients died during follow-up and 35 patients (10%) showed a progression of AR during follow-up with an average time of 4.0 ± 2.6 years. 8 patients (2.3% of the total) progressed to severe AR.

Patients with mixed valvular pathology showed a greater increase in AR progression (27 (15%) vs 8 (5%); P = 0.004).

Conclusions

Over medium term systematic follow-up progression and clinical events in patients with AR is rare, regardless of etiology. Patients who suffered from AR as an isolated valve pathology were less likely to show AR progression over time.

Open access

Gill Wharton, Richard Steeds, Jane Allen, Hollie Phillips, Richard Jones, Prathap Kanagala, Guy Lloyd, Navroz Masani, Thomas Mathew, David Oxborough, Bushra Rana, Julie Sandoval, Richard Wheeler, Kevin O'Gallagher and Vishal Sharma

There have been significant advances in the field of echocardiography with the introduction of a number of new techniques into standard clinical practice. Consequently, a ‘standard’ echocardiographic examination has evolved to become a more detailed and time-consuming examination that requires a high level of expertise. This Guideline produced by the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) Education Committee aims to provide a minimum dataset that should be obtained in a comprehensive standard echocardiogram. In addition, the layout proposes a recommended sequence in which to acquire the images. If abnormal pathology is detected, additional views and measurements should be obtained with reference to other BSE protocols when appropriate. Adherence to these recommendations will promote an increased quality of echocardiography and facilitate accurate comparison of studies performed either by different operators or at different departments.

Open access

Mohammad Qasem, Victor Utomi, Keith George, John Somauroo, Abbas Zaidi, Lynsey Forsythe, Sanjeev Bhattacharrya, Guy Lloyd, Bushra Rana, Liam Ring, Shaun Robinson, Roxy Senior, Nabeel Sheikh, Mushemi Sitali, Julie Sandoval, Richard Steeds, Martin Stout, James Willis and David Oxborough

Introduction

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited pathology that can increase the risk of sudden death. Current task force criteria for echocardiographic diagnosis do not include new, regional assessment tools which may be relevant in a phenotypically diverse disease. We adopted a systematic review and meta-analysis approach to highlight echocardiographic indices that differentiated ARVC patients and healthy controls.

Methods

Data was extracted and analysed from prospective trials that employed a case–control design meeting strict inclusion and exclusion as well as a priori quality criteria. Structural indices included proximal RV outflow tract (RVOT1) and RV diastolic area (RVDarea). Functional indices included RV fractional area change (RVFAC), tricuspid annular systolic excursion (TAPSE), peak systolic and early diastolic myocardial velocities (S′ and E′, respectively) and myocardial strain.

Results

Patients with ARVC had larger RVOT1 (mean ± s.d.; 34 vs 28 mm, P < 0.001) and RVDarea (23 vs 18 cm2, P < 0.001) compared with healthy controls. ARVC patients also had lower RVFAC (38 vs 46%, P < 0.001), TAPSE (17 vs 23 mm, P < 0.001), S′ (9 vs 12 cm/s, P < 0.001), E′ (9 vs 13 cm/s, P < 0.001) and myocardial strain (−17 vs −30%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

The data from this meta-analysis support current task force criteria for the diagnosis of ARVC. In addition, other RV measures that reflect the complex geometry and function in ARVC clearly differentiated between ARVC and healthy controls and may provide additional diagnostic and management value. We recommend that future working groups consider this data when proposing new/revised criteria for the echocardiographic diagnosis of ARVC.