Cardiology Round-Up: Assessing Chemotherapy-related Cardiotoxicity, a Wearable Device that Allows Pregnant Women to Extract Fetal Heartbeats, and More.

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Cardiology section. In this week’s edition of the round-up: measuring GLS has prognostic value for chemotherapy-related cardiac dysfunction, a wearable device now allows pregnant women to extract their baby’s heartbeat, ambulatory blood pressure linked to a risk of cardiovascular disease among African Americans, and ‘silent’ stroke is a common occurrence.

The findings of a new study published in JAMA Cardiology suggest that  measuring global longitudinal strain (GLS), which detects early subclinical ventricular dysfunction, after the initiation of potentially cardiotoxic chemotherapy with anthracyclines with or without trastuzumab had good prognostic performance for subsequent cancer therapy–related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD). This study was a systematic search of the MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library databases from database inception to June 1, 2018. Researchers assessed the prognostic or discriminatory performance of GLS before or during chemotherapy for subsequent CTRCD and included 21 studies comprising 1,782 patients with cancer. According to the results of this study, the incidence of CTRCD ranged from 9.3% to 43.8% over a mean follow-up of 4.2 to 23.0 months (pooled incidence, 21.0%). For active treatment absolute, results showed that GLS (9 studies), the high-risk cutoff values ranged from −21.0% to −13.8%, with worse GLS associated with a higher CTRCD risk (odds ratio, 12.27; 95% CI, 7.73 to 19.47; area under the HSROC, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.83-0.89).

Researchers from the Stevens Institute of Technology have recently created a wearable device that allows pregnant women to extract their baby’s heartbeat. This technology is a non-invasive patch that has performed more effectively than any other fetal heart rate monitor on the market. The device uses the same type of sensors that smartphones use to rotate horizontally or vertically to sense vibrations from the mother’s stomach. Being that fetal activity causes the stomach and abdomen of the mother to vibrate, the researchers hypothesized that sensors could be used to analyze these vibrations to detect the heartbeat of the fetus. “What we are doing right now is … analyzing the original signal trying to find important features or potentially usable features or signals that could be used in the future for higher, more advanced algorithms,” stated one of the study researchers.

Daytime and nighttime ambulatory blood pressure were closely linked with the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in African Americans, according to a new study published in JAMA Cardiology. In this prospective cohort study, researchers assessed 1,034 African American participants from the Jackson Heart Study who had undergone and completed ambulatory blood pressure monitoring at study baseline. “Among African American individuals, higher daytime and nighttime systolic blood pressures were associated with an increased risk for CVD events and all-cause mortality independent of blood pressure levels measured in the clinic,” the researchers wrote.

The occurrence of covert or ‘silent’ strokes after surgery is more common than thought, results from a new study published in The Lancet suggest. Researchers for the NeuroVISION study recruited 1,114 participants in the study, 78 if whom had a perioperative covert stroke. After one year of follow-up, the researchers reported cognitive decline one year after surgery in 42% participants who had a perioperative stroke, and in 29% participants who did not have a perioperative covert stroke. One of the study authors said of the results: “The NeuroVISION Study provides important insights into the development of vascular brain injury after surgery and adds to the mounting evidence of the importance of vascular health on cognitive decline.”