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Open access

Vito Francic, Martin Keppel, Verena Schwetz, Christian Trummer, Marlene Pandis, Valentin Borzan, Martin R Grübler, Nicolas D Verheyen, Marcus E Kleber, Graciela Delgado, Angela P Moissl, Benjamin Dieplinger, Winfried März, Andreas Tomaschitz, Stefan Pilz, and Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch

Objective

Cardiovascular disease manifestation and several associated surrogate markers, such as vitamin D, have shown substantial seasonal variation. A promising cardiovascular biomarker, soluble ST2 (sST2), has not been investigated in this regard – we therefore determined if systemic levels of sST2 are affected by seasonality and/or vitamin D in order to investigate their clinical interrelation and usability.

Design

sST2 levels were measured in two cohorts involving hypertensive patients at cardiovascular risk, the Styrian Vitamin D Hypertension Trial (study A; RCT design, 8 weeks 2800 IU cholecalciferol daily) and the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health Study (LURIC; study B; cross-sectional design).

Methods

The effects of a vitamin D intervention on sST2 levels were determined in study A using ANCOVA, while seasonality of sST2 levels was determined in study B using ANOVA.

Results

The concentrations of sST2 remained unchanged by a vitamin D intervention in study A, with a mean treatment effect (95% confidence interval) of 0.1 (−0.6 to 0.8) ng/mL; P = 0.761), despite a rise in 25(OH)D (11.3 (9.2–13.5) ng/mL; P < 0.001) compared to placebo. In study B, seasonal variations were present in 25(OH)D levels in men and women with or without heart failure (P < 0.001 for all subgroups), while sST2 levels remained unaffected by the seasons in all subgroups.

Conclusions

Our study provides the first evidence that systemic sST2 levels are not interrelated with vitamin D levels or influenced by the seasons in subjects at cardiovascular risk.

Open access

Federica Saponaro, Alessandro Saba, Sabina Frascarelli, Concetta Prontera, Aldo Clerico, Marco Scalese, Maria Rita Sessa, Filomena Cetani, Simona Borsari, Elena Pardi, Antonella Marvelli, Claudio Marcocci, Claudio Passino, and Riccardo Zucchi

Objectives

The aims of this paper were to evaluate the levels of Vitamin D (VitD) in patients with heart failure (HF), compared to a control group, to assess the effects of VitD on HF outcome and to compare VitD measurement between LIAISON immunoassay and HPLC-MS-MS methods in this population.

Design and Methods

We collected clinical, biochemical and outcome data from 247 patients with HF and in a subgroup of 151 patients, we measured VitD both with LIAISON and HPLC-MS-MS.

Results

HF patients had statistically lower 25OHD levels (45.2 ± 23.7 nmol/L vs 58.2 ± 24.0 nmol/L, P < 0.001) and a statistically higher prevalence of VitD insufficiency (61.1% vs 39.5%, P < 0.001) and deficiency (24.7% vs 6.6%, P < 0.001), compared to healthy controls. There was a significant inverse relationship between baseline 25OHD and risk of HF-related death, with a HR of 0.59 (95% CI 0.37–0.92, P = 0.02), confirmed in a multivariate adjusted analysis. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses showed that VitD insufficiency was associated with reduced survival in HF patients (log rank P = 0.017). There was a good agreement between LIAISON and HPLC-MS-MS (Cohen’s kappa coefficient 0.70), but the prevalence of VitD insufficiency was significantly higher with the former compared to the latter method (58.3%, n = 88 vs 55.6%, n = 84, P < 0.001). LIAISON underestimated the 25OHD levels and showed a mean relative bias of −0.739% with 95% of limits of agreement (−9.00 to +7.52%), when compared to HPLC-MS-MS.

Conclusions

25OHD levels adequately measured by HPLC-MS-MS showed to be low in HF population and to be correlated with HF-related risk of death.

Open access

Charlotte Janus, Dorte Vistisen, Hanan Amadid, Daniel R Witte, Torsten Lauritzen, Søren Brage, Anne-Louise Bjerregaard, Torben Hansen, Jens J Holst, Marit E Jørgensen, Oluf Pedersen, Kristine Færch, and Signe S Torekov

Rationale

The hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) decreases blood glucose and appetite. Greater physical activity (PA) is associated with lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. While acute exercise may increase glucose-induced response of GLP-1, it is unknown how habitual PA affects GLP-1 secretion. We hypothesised that habitual PA associates with greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight individuals.

Methods

Cross-sectional analysis of habitual PA levels and GLP-1 concentrations in 1326 individuals (mean (s.d.) age 66 (7) years, BMI 27.1 (4.5) kg/m2) from the ADDITION-PRO cohort. Fasting and oral glucose-stimulated GLP-1 responses were measured using validated radioimmunoassay. PA was measured using 7-day combined accelerometry and heart rate monitoring. From this, energy expenditure (PAEE; kJ/kg/day) and fractions of time spent in activity intensities (h/day) were calculated. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF; mL O2/kg/min) was calculated using step tests. Age-, BMI- and insulin sensitivity-adjusted associations between PA and GLP-1, stratified by sex, were evaluated by linear regression analysis.

Results

In 703 men, fasting GLP-1 concentrations were 20% lower (95% CI: −33; −3%, P = 0.02) for every hour of moderate-intensity PA performed. Higher CRF and PAEE were associated with 1–2% lower fasting GLP-1 (P = 0.01). For every hour of moderate-intensity PA, the glucose-stimulated GLP-1 response was 16% greater at peak 30 min (1; 33%, P rAUC0-30 = 0.04) and 20% greater at full response (3; 40%, P rAUC0-120 = 0.02). No associations were found in women who performed PA 22 min/day vs 32 min/day for men.

Conclusion

Moderate-intensity PA is associated with lower fasting and greater glucose-induced GLP-1 responses in overweight men, possibly contributing to improved glucose and appetite regulation with increased habitual PA.

Open access

Eng-Loon Tng, Yee Sian Tiong, Aye Thida Aung, Nicole Ya Yuan Chong, and Zhemin Wang

Background

Evidence on the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation in preventing stroke and thromboembolic events in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation is scarce.

Objective

We evaluated the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation.

Methods

Our study protocol was published in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (registration no. CRD42020222782). Four databases and two systematic review registers were searched through 25 November 2020 for interventional and observational studies comparing anticoagulation therapy with active comparators, placebo, or no treatment in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation. Random-effects meta-analysis and sensitivity analysis were performed. Quality of evidence was described using the GRADE framework.

Results

In the study, 23,145 records were retrieved. One randomized controlled trial and eight cohort studies were ultimately included. Effect estimates on the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation were extracted. Meta-analysis using the inverse variance and random-effects methods was conducted on four cohort studies with 3443 participants and 277 events. Anticoagulation in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation reduced the risk of ischemic stroke and systemic thromboembolism by 3% (95% CI: 1–6%). Warfarin may prevent ischemic stroke in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation if the CHA2DS2-VASc score exceeds 1 and when atrial fibrillation persists beyond 7 days. Direct oral anticoagulants may be associated with fewer bleeding events than warfarin.

Conclusions

Anticoagulation prevents ischemic stroke and systemic thromboembolism in people with thyrotoxic atrial fibrillation. Direct oral anticoagulants may be associated with fewer bleeding events.

Open access

Robert A Hart, Robin C Dobos, Linda L Agnew, Neil A Smart, and James R McFarlane

Pharmacokinetics of leptin in mammals has not been studied in detail and only one study has examined more than one time point in non-mutant mice and this was in a female mice. This is the first study to describe leptin distribution over a detailed time course in normal male mice. A physiologic dose (12 ng) of radiolabelled leptin was injected into adult male mice via the lateral tail vein and tissues were dissected out and measured for radioactivity over a time course of up to two hours. Major targets were the digestive tract, kidneys, skin and lungs. The brain was not a major target, and 0.15% of the total dose was recovered from the brain 5 min after administration. Major differences appear to exist in the distribution of leptin between the male and female mice, indicating a high degree of sexual dimorphism. Although the half-lives were similar between male and female mice, almost twice the proportion of leptin was recovered from the digestive tract of male mice in comparison to that reported previously for females. This would seem to indicate a major difference in leptin distribution and possibly function between males and females.

Open access

Jesper Krogh, Peter Plomgaard, Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Sten Velschow, Jesper Johannesen, Linda Maria Hilsted, Malene Schrøder, and Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen

Repeated blood sampling is required in certain clinical and research settings, which is currently performed by drawing blood from venous catheters requiring manual handling of each sample at time of collection. A novel body-worn device for repeated serial samples, Fluispotter®, with automated extraction, collection and storage of up to 20 venous dried blood spot samples over the course of 20 hours may overcome problems with current methods for serial sampling. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance and safety of Fluispotter for the first time in healthy subjects. Fluispotter consists of a cartridge with tubing, reservoir for flushing solution, pumps and filter-paper and a multi-lumen catheter placed in the brachial vein. We recruited healthy subjects for testing in an in-hospital setting. Fluispotter was attached by an anesthesiologist to 22 healthy subjects of which 9/22 (40.9 %) participants had all 20 samples taken, which was lower than the goal of complete sampling in 80 % of the subjects (p = 0.02). The main reason for sample failure was clogging of blood flow which was observed in 11/22 (50 %) of the participants. No serious adverse events occurred, and the participants rated the pain from insertion and removal of catheter as very low. A cortisol profile showed nadir values at midnight and highest values at 5 a.m. Although full sampling was not successful in all participants, the Fluispotter technology proved safe and highly acceptable to the participants producing the expected cortisol profile without the requirement of staff during sample collection.

Open access

Henri Honka, Jukka Koffert, Saila Kauhanen, Nobuyuki Kudomi, Saija Hurme, Andrea Mari, Andreas Lindqvist, Nils Wierup, Riitta Parkkola, Leif Groop, and Pirjo Nuutila

Aims/hypothesis

The mechanisms for improved glycemic control after bariatric surgery in subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are not fully known. We hypothesized that dynamic hepatic blood responses to a mixed-meal are changed after bariatric surgery in parallel with an improvement in glucose tolerance.

Methods

A total of ten morbidly obese subjects with T2D were recruited to receive a mixed-meal and a glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) infusion before and early after (within a median of less than three months) bariatric surgery, and hepatic blood flow and volume (HBV) were measured repeatedly with combined positron emission tomography/MRI. Ten lean non-diabetic individuals served as controls.

Results

Bariatric surgery leads to a significant decrease in weight, accompanied with an improved β-cell function and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) secretion, and a reduction in liver volume. Blood flow in portal vein (PV) was increased by 1.65-fold (P = 0.026) in response to a mixed-meal in subjects after surgery, while HBV decreased in all groups (P < 0.001). When the effect of GIP infusion was tested separately, no change in hepatic arterial and PV flow was observed, but HBV decreased as seen during the mixed-meal test.

Conclusions/interpretation

Early after bariatric surgery, PV flow response to a mixed-meal is augmented, improving digestion and nutrient absorption. GIP influences the post-prandial reduction in HBV thereby diverting blood to the extrahepatic sites.

Open access

Kristin Viste, Marianne A Grytaas, Melissa D Jørstad, Dag E Jøssang, Eivind N Høyden, Solveig S Fotland, Dag K Jensen, Kristian Løvås, Hrafnkell Thordarson, Bjørg Almås, and Gunnar Mellgren

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a common cause of secondary hypertension and is caused by unilateral or bilateral adrenal disease. Treatment options depend on whether the disease is lateralized or not, which is preferably evaluated with selective adrenal venous sampling (AVS). This procedure is technically challenging, and obtaining representative samples from the adrenal veins can prove difficult. Unsuccessful AVS procedures often require reexamination. Analysis of cortisol during the procedure may enhance the success rate. We invited 21 consecutive patients to participate in a study with intra-procedural point of care cortisol analysis. When this assay showed nonrepresentative sampling, new samples were drawn after redirection of the catheter. The study patients were compared using the 21 previous procedures. The intra-procedural cortisol assay increased the success rate from 10/21 patients in the historical cohort to 17/21 patients in the study group. In four of the 17 successful procedures, repeated samples needed to be drawn. Successful sampling at first attempt improved from the first seven to the last seven study patients. Point of care cortisol analysis during AVS improves success rate and reduces the need for reexaminations, in accordance with previous studies. Successful AVS is crucial when deciding which patients with PA will benefit from surgical treatment.

Open access

Caishun Zhang, Junhua Yuan, Qian Lin, Manwen Li, Liuxin Wang, Rui Wang, Xi Chen, Zhengyao Jiang, Kun Zhu, Xiaoli Chang, Bin Wang, and Jing Dong

Ghrelin plays a pivotal role in the regulation of food intake, body weight and energy metabolism. However, these effects of ghrelin in the lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN) are unexplored. C57BL/6J mice and GHSR−/− mice were implanted with cannula above the right LPBN and ghrelin was microinjected via the cannula to investigate effect of ghrelin in the LPBN. In vivo electrophysiological technique was used to record LPBN glucose-sensitive neurons to explore potential udnderlying mechanisms. Microinjection of ghrelin in LPBN significantly increased food intake in the first 3 h, while such effect was blocked by [D-Lys3]-GHRP-6 and abolished in GHSR−/− mice. LPBN ghrelin microinjection also significantly increased the firing rate of glucose-excited (GE) neurons and decreased the firing rate of glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons. Additionally, LPBN ghrelin microinjection also significantly increased c-fos expression. Chronic ghrelin administration in the LPBN resulted in significantly increased body weight gain. Meanwhile, no significant changes were observed in both mRNA and protein expression levels of UCP-1 in BAT. These results demonstrated that microinjection of ghrelin in LPBN could increase food intake through the interaction with growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) in C57BL/6J mice, and its chronic administration could also increase body weight gain. These effects might be associated with altered firing rate in the GE and GI neurons.

Open access

Tomaž Kocjan, Gaj Vidmar, Peter Popović, and Milenko Stanković

The 20-point clinical prediction SPACE score, the aldosterone-to-lowest potassium ratio (APR), aldosterone concentration (AC) and the AC relative reduction rate after saline infusion test (SIT) have recently been proposed for primary aldosteronism (PA) subtyping prior to adrenal vein sampling (AVS). To validate those claims, we performed a retrospective cross-sectional study that included all patients at our center who had positive SIT to confirm PA and were diagnosed with either bilateral disease (BPA) according to AVS or with lateralized disease (LPA) if biochemically cured after adrenalectomy from November 2004 to the end of 2019. Final diagnoses were used to evaluate the diagnostic performance of proposed clinical prediction tools. Our cohort included 144 patients (40 females), aged 32–72 years (mean 54 years); 59 with LPA and 85 with BPA. The originally suggested SPACE score ≤8 and SPACE score >16 rules yielded about 80% positive predictive value (PPV) for BPA and LPA, respectively. Multivariate analyses with the predictors constituting the SPACE score highlighted post-SIT AC as the most important predictor of PA subtype for our cohort. APR-based tool of <5 for BPA and >15 for LPA yielded about 75% PPV for LPA and BPA. The proposed post-SIT AC <8.79 ng/dL criterion yielded 41% sensitivity and 90% specificity, while the relative post-SIT AC reduction rate of >33.8% criterion yielded 80% sensitivity and 51% specificity for BPA prediction. The application of any of the validated clinical prediction tools to our cohort did not predict the PA subtype with the high diagnostic performance originally reported.