Author + information
- Received January 5, 2017
- Revision received February 21, 2017
- Accepted March 23, 2017
- Published online June 5, 2017.
- Max Liebregts, MDa,∗ (, )
- Lothar Faber, MDb,
- Morten K. Jensen, MDc,
- Pieter A. Vriesendorp, MD, PhDd,
- Jaroslav Januska, MDe,
- Jan Krejci, MD, PhDf,
- Peter R. Hansen, MD, DMSc, PhDg,
- Hubert Seggewiss, MDb,h,
- Dieter Horstkotte, MDb,
- Radka Adlova, MDi,
- Henning Bundgaard, MD, DMScc,
- Jurriën M. ten Berg, MD, PhDa and
- Josef Veselka, MD, PhDi
- aDepartment of Cardiology, St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands
- bDepartment of Cardiology, Heart and Diabetes Centre NRW, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bad Oyenhausen, Germany
- cUnit for Inherited Cardiac Diseases, Department of Cardiology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
- dDepartment of Cardiology, Thoraxcanter, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
- eCardiocentre Podlesí, Třinec, Czech Republic
- f1st Department of Internal Medicine/Cardioangiology, International Clinical Research Centre, St. Anne’s University Hospital and Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
- gDepartment of Cardiology, Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark
- hDepartment of Internal Medicine, Schweinfurt, Germany
- iDepartment of Cardiology, 2nd Medical School, Charles University, University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic
- ↵∗Address for correspondence:
Dr. Max Liebregts, St. Antonius Hospital, Koekoekslaan 1,3430 EM, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands.
Objectives The aim of this study was to describe the safety and outcomes of alcohol septal ablation (ASA) in younger patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Background The American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association guidelines reserve ASA for older patients and patients with serious comorbidities. Data on long-term age-specific outcomes after ASA are scarce.
Methods A total of 1,197 patients (mean age 58 ± 14 years) underwent ASA for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Patients were divided into young (≤50 years), middle-age (51 to 64 years), and older (≥65 years) groups.
Results Thirty-day mortality and pacemaker implantation rates were lower in young compared with older patients (0.3% vs. 2% [p = 0.03] and 8% vs. 16% [p < 0.001], respectively). Ninety-five percent of young patients were in New York Heart Association functional class I or II at last follow-up. During a mean follow-up period of 5.4 ± 4.2 years, 165 patients (14%) died. Annual mortality rates of young, middle-age, and older patients were 1%, 2%, and 5%, respectively (p < 0.01). Annual adverse arrhythmic event rates were similar in the 3 age groups at about 1% (p = 0.90). Independent predictors of mortality in young patients were age, female sex, and residual left ventricular outflow tract gradient. Additionally, young patients treated with ≥2.5 ml alcohol had a higher all-cause mortality rate (0.6% vs. 1.4% per year in patients treated with <2.5 ml, p = 0.03).
Conclusions ASA in younger patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was safe and effective for relief of symptoms at long-term follow-up. The authors propose that the indication for ASA can be broadened to younger patients.
Alcohol septal ablation (ASA) for the treatment of obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) was introduced in 1995 as a percutaneous alternative to surgical myectomy (1). The American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association guidelines on HCM state that ASA should be reserved for older patients and patients with serious comorbidities and give a Class III recommendation (Level of Evidence: C) for ASA in younger patients if myectomy is a viable option (2). These recommendations reflected the lack of ASA studies with long-term follow-up, whereas myectomy had already been proved to be safe and effective. As a result, most studies comparing long-term outcomes of ASA and myectomy have significant age differences (3–5). Thus, in a recent meta-analysis of long-term outcomes following septal reduction therapy, the ASA patients (n = 2,013) were 9 years older than the myectomy patients (n = 2,791) (6). Studies on long-term outcome of young ASA patients are scarce. A recent smaller study (n = 217) showed that ASA in patients ≤55 years of age was effective for reduction of symptoms at short-term follow-up and had low mortality and adverse arrhythmic event (AAE) rates at long-term follow-up, comparable with patients with nonobstructive HCM (7). The aim of the present study was to further assess if ASA is safe and effective for younger patients by comparing complication rates, treatment effects, and long-term outcome of young, middle-age, and older patients after ASA.
Study design and patient population
An international multicenter observational cohort design was used. The study population consisted of 1,197 consecutive patients with HCM (mean age 58 ± 14 years; range 13 to 88 years; 49% female) who underwent ASA because of highly symptomatic left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction despite optimal medical therapy. Procedures were performed at 7 tertiary invasive centers from 4 European countries (Germany–Bad Oyenhausen; Czech Republic–Prague, Trinec, and Brno; the Netherlands–Nieuwegein; Denmark–Copenhagen and Gentofte) between January 1996 and August 2015. Studies reporting outcomes of subsets of this cohort have been published before (8–11).
Patients met the criteria for invasive treatment, including: 1) ventricular septal thickness ≥15 mm; 2) (provocable) LVOT gradient ≥50 mm Hg; and 3) persistent New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III or IV dyspnea or Canadian Cardiovascular Society class III or IV angina (2,12). In exceptional cases, patients with documented exertional syncope were also included. The choice of ASA instead of surgical myectomy was based on patient profile (age, comorbidities, and so on) and patient preference. All patients gave informed consent before the procedure. Details of the ASA technique have been published before (1,10). All procedures were performed by experienced interventional cardiologists and guided by myocardial contrast echocardiography.
Patients were divided into 3 age groups: young (≤50 years), middle-age (51 to 64 years), and older (≥65 years). Survival rates in the 3 groups were compared with the general population using age-, sex-, and country-specific mortality rates obtained from the respective national registries (http://www.destatis.de [Germany]; http://www.czso.cz [Czech Republic]; http://www.cbs.nl [the Netherlands]; http://www.dst.dk [Denmark]). Because of the controversy regarding the use of ASA in very young patients, the subgroup ≤35 years of age was also subjected to a separate descriptive analysis.
Follow-up and endpoints
Follow-up started at the time of ASA. There were some differences in post-ASA follow-up among the centers. Conventionally, all patients had first clinical checkups 3 to 6 months after the procedure and annual routine checkups after that. Adverse events were retrieved from national patient registries, from hospital patient records at the center at which follow-up occurred, and from information provided by patients themselves and/or their general practitioners. All implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) shocks were evaluated by an experienced electrophysiologist, unaware and independent of the study purpose and endpoints.
The primary endpoints of this study were all-cause mortality and AAEs during long-term follow-up. AAEs consisted of sudden cardiac death (SCD), resuscitated cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia (VT), and appropriate ICD shock, respectively. Secondary endpoints were periprocedural (≤30 days) atrioventricular block, cardiac tamponade, AAEs and mortality; pacemaker implantation, ICD implantation, (provocable) LVOT gradient, NYHA functional class, and need for reintervention at last clinical checkup, respectively. The study was in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
SPSS version 24 (IBM, Armonk, New York), R version 3.1.1 (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria), and Microsoft Excel 2010 (Microsoft, Redmond, Washington) were used for all statistical analyses. Categorical variables are summarized as percentages. Normally distributed continuous data are expressed as mean ± SD and skewed data as median (interquartile range). To compare continuous variables, the Student t test or Mann-Whitney U test was used, and to compare categorical variables, the chi-square test was used.
Cox proportional hazard regression was used to identify predictors of all-cause mortality and AAEs during long-term (>30 days) follow-up. The following variables with a potential impact on primary endpoint rates were evaluated, first in a univariate model: age, sex, baseline and residual NYHA functional class, baseline and residual LVOT gradient, conventional risk factors for SCD (family history of SCD, history of unexplained syncope, maximum left ventricular wall thickness ≥30 mm, nonsustained VT on Holter monitoring, abnormal blood pressure response to exercise), volume of alcohol injected during ASA, and need for reintervention. Variables with p values <0.15 were then entered into a multivariate analysis, which was performed using backward stepwise multiple Cox regression. Predictors of the primary endpoints are expressed as hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Kaplan-Meier graphs were used to show survival rates, and differences in survival were assessed using the log-rank test. All tests were 2 sided, and p values <0.05 were considered to indicate statistical significance.
The baseline characteristics of the young (n = 369, mean age 42 ± 8 years), middle-age (n = 423, mean age 58 ± 4 years), and older (n = 405, mean age 73 ± 5 years) patients are shown in Table 1. Figure 1 depicts the distribution of age at ASA within the different age groups. More older patients were in NYHA functional class III or IV before ASA compared with young patients (90% vs. 80%, p < 0.001). More young patients had at least 2 conventional risk factors for SCD (22% vs. 5% of older patients, p < 0.001), and more young patients had ICDs implanted (8% vs. 1% of older patients, p < 0.001). In 456 patients (38%), <60% of the conventional risk factors for SCD were available. These patients were therefore considered not to be risk stratified at all. During the study period, 210 patients were sent primarily to surgical myectomy.
Periprocedural (≤30 days) outcomes in the 3 age groups are shown in Table 2. Periprocedural mortality was higher in older patients compared with younger patients (2% vs. 0.3%, p = 0.03), and the incidence of AAEs was similar (p = 0.45). The AAEs within the first month all occurred in-hospital: 2 patients died of ventricular fibrillation (day 2 in a 42-year-old man, day 9 in an 86-year-old woman), and 22 patients received successful electric cardioversion for VT or ventricular fibrillation (16 within 48 h and 2 on the 2nd, 4th, and 10th days, respectively). Cardiac tamponade complicated the procedure in 3% of the older patients, compared with 0.3% of the young patients (p < 0.01). All cases of cardiac tamponade were thought to be related to temporary pacing. In young patients, more alcohol was used, compared with older patients (mean 2.4 ml vs. 2.1 ml, p < 0.01), which did not result in larger infarcts as assessed by creatinine kinase-MB measurements (maximum creatinine kinase-MB 77 IU/l vs. 82 IU/l, respectively, p < 0.01). Complete (transient) atrioventricular block occurred in 32% of patients ≤50 years, compared with 42% of patients ≥65 years (p < 0.01), resulting in permanent pacemaker implantation after ASA in 8% and 16%, respectively (p < 0.001), at last follow-up visit.
Long-term outcomes are shown in Table 3. At last checkup, 95% of the young patients were in NYHA functional class I or II, compared with 81% of the older patients (p < 0.001). Likewise, 89% of the young patients had improved at least 1 NYHA functional class, compared with 80% of older patients (p < 0.001). Residual LVOT gradient, reduction in LVOT gradient, and number of reinterventions during follow-up were similar between the different age groups.
Follow-up was complete in 99.6% of patients. The long-term (>30 days) AAE rates following ASA in young, middle-age, and older patients were 0.8%, 0.8%, and 1.0% per year, respectively (p = 0.90) (Figure 2). Approximately two-thirds of the AAEs were fatal in both young and older patients (Table 3). No independent predictors of AAEs in young and middle-age patients were found. In older patients, ≥2 conventional risk factors for SCD predicted AAEs during long-term follow-up (HR: 5.26; 95% CI: 1.13 to 24.51; p = 0.03). ICD implantation following ASA was more common in young compared with older patients (6% vs. 3%, p = 0.04).
During a mean follow-up of 5.4 ± 4.2 years, there were 165 deaths in total, which translates into mortality rates of 1% per year in young, 2% per year in middle-age, and 5% per year in older patients (Table 3). The 1-, 5-, and 10-year survival rates of all ASA patients were 97% (95% CI: 96% to 98%), 89% (95% CI: 89% to 91%), and 76% (95% CI: 73% to 80%), compared with 98%, 92%, and 80%, respectively, in the age- and sex-matched general population (p < 0.05) (Figure 3A). The 1-, 5-, and 10-year survival rates of patients ≤50 years were 99% (95% CI: 98% to 100%), 95% (95% CI: 92% to 97%), and 91% (95% CI: 88% to 95%), compared with 100%, 99%, and 97%, respectively, in the age- and sex-matched general population (p < 0.05) (Figure 3B). The 1-, 5-, and 10-year survival rates of patients 51 to 64 years were 98% (95% CI: 97% to 99%), 92% (95% CI: 89% to 95%), and 80% (95% CI: 74% to 86%), compared with 99%, 96%, and 89%, respectively, in the age- and sex-matched general population (p < 0.05) (Figure 3C). The 1-, 5-, and 10-year survival rates of patients ≥65 years were 94% (95% CI: 92% to 97%), 79% (95% CI: 74% to 84%), and 55% (95% CI: 47% to 64%), compared with 97%, 85%, and 64%, respectively, in the age- and sex-matched general population (p < 0.05) (Figure 3D). The cause of death was HCM related (SCD, heart failure, or stroke) in 70% of the young, 55% of the middle-age, and 31% of the older patients. The opposite pattern was the case for noncardiac deaths (17%, 43%, and 51%, respectively). According to multivariate analyses, independent predictors of all-cause mortality in young patients were age at ASA (HR: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.17; p = 0.02), female sex (HR: 3.03; 95% CI: 1.28 to 7.18; p = 0.01), volume of alcohol injected during ASA (HR: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.04 to 2.30; p = 0.03), and LVOT gradient at last checkup (HR: 1.01; 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.02; p = 0.02). No independent predictors of mortality in middle-age patients were found. Independent predictors of all-cause mortality in older patients were age at ASA (HR: 1.14; 95% CI: 1.07 to 2.21; p < 0.001), and ≥2 conventional risk factors for SCD (HR: 3.13; 95% CI: 1.40 to 7.00; p < 0.01).
The role of alcohol volume in young ASA patients was further explored by dividing the cohort into a high and low alcohol dose groups. A cutoff of 2.5 ml was chosen because in a previous analysis, a volume between 1.5 and 2.5 ml was found to be well balanced in terms of efficacy and risk for conduction disturbances (11). Six patients (1.6%) were excluded from this analysis because data regarding the volume of alcohol could not be retrieved. Patients who received ≥2.5 ml alcohol (n = 150) had a significantly higher all-cause and HCM-related mortality rate compared with patients who received <2.5 ml (n = 213). The 1-, 5-, and 10-year survival rates of patients who received <2.5 ml alcohol were 99% (95% CI: 99% to 100%), 98% (95% CI: 95% to 100%), and 94% (95% CI: 90% to 99%), compared with 98% (95% CI: 96% to 100%), 91% (95% CI: 86% to 96%), and 89% (95% CI: 83% to 94%), respectively, in patients who received a higher alcohol volume (p = 0.03) (Figure 4). The annual HCM-related mortality rate was found to be 0.2% in the <2.5 ml alcohol group, compared with 1.2% in the higher alcohol volume group (p < 0.01). Furthermore, patients who received the higher volume of alcohol developed larger infarcts (maximum creatinine kinase-MB 89 IU/l vs. 69 IU/l, p < 0.001), whereas there were no differences in LVOT gradient or NYHA functional class at long-term follow-up between the 2 groups (Table 4).
Outcomes in the very young
Of the young patients, 82 (21%) were ≤35 years of age and therefore considered to be “very young” (Figure 1). None of these patients died in relation to the procedure or within the first 30 days post-ASA. One patient (1.2%) experienced in-hospital VT requiring electric cardioversion. Twenty-one patients (26%) developed (transient) complete atrioventricular block, resulting in permanent pacemaker implantation in 4 patients (5%) at last follow-up visit. Thirteen patients (16%) underwent repeat ASA, and only 1 patient (1%) remained in NYHA functional class III or IV at last follow-up. Nine patients had received ICDs before ASA, and 6 patients were implanted with ICDs after the ASA procedure. Of these 15 patients (18%), 3 received an appropriate ICD shocks during follow-up. Combined with 2 SCDs (4 years after ASA in a 25-year-old man, 10 years after ASA in a 24-year-old woman) and 1 resuscitated cardiac arrest (9 years after ASA in a 35-year-old man), this translated to an AAE rate of 1.0% per year during long-term follow-up. With no other deaths in the very young, this made for an all-cause mortality rate of 0.3% per year.
With almost 1,200 patients from 4 European countries, this is the largest ASA cohort to date. The principal findings of this 5.4-year follow-up study were that: 1) young (≤50 years) patients had favorable long-term survival following ASA, with an all-cause mortality rate of 1% per year; 2) despite more risk factors for SCD, young patients had a similar AAE rate (0.8% per year) compared with middle-age and older patients; 3) symptom alleviation following ASA in young patients was excellent, with 95% of patients functioning in NYHA functional class I or II at long-term follow-up; 4) the 30-day mortality rate in young patients undergoing ASA was very low (0.3%); 5) young patients had one-half the risk for permanent pacemaker implantation compared with older patients; 6) the use of <2.5 ml alcohol for ASA was associated with an improved survival rate in young patients; and 7) ASA in very young (≤35 years) patients was safe and effective as well.
Previous age-specific ASA studies
Studies reporting on long-term outcomes of young patients following ASA are scarce. In 2014, a study was conducted that included 75 patients ≤50 years of age with a median follow-up of 5 years (13). Survival free of all-cause mortality following ASA at 10 years was found to be 94%. In 2016, a study was reported that included 217 ASA patients who were divided into young (≤55 years) and older (>55 years) groups and followed for 7.6 ± 4.6 years (7). ASA was similarly effective in both age groups for reduction of symptoms at short-term follow-up, and young patients were found to have a lower risk for procedure-related atrioventricular conduction disturbances. The 5- and 10-year survival of young patients was 95% and 90%, respectively, which was comparable with age- and sex-matched patients with nonobstructive HCM. These results are in line with those of the present study, except that along with a difference in (transient) atrioventricular block, we also found a 50% lower need for pacemaker implantation in young patients (8% vs. 16% in older patients). Furthermore, periprocedural cardiac tamponade and death were less frequent in young patients compared with older patients (0.3% vs. 3% and 0.3% vs. 2%, respectively). Symptom alleviation was excellent in young patients, with improvement of at least 1 NYHA functional class in 89% of patients to an NYHA functional class of I or II in 95% of patients at long-term follow-up. Of the older patients, only 81% were in NYHA functional class I or II at last checkup. However, residual LVOT gradient, reduction in LVOT gradient, and number of reinterventions were comparable in both groups, and clearly other factors can cause exertional dyspnea, especially in older patients.
Outcomes of very young patients following ASA were favorable as well, with 99% of them functioning in NYHA functional class I or II at last checkup and a further decline in the need for permanent pacemaker implantation to 5%. Moreover, the AAE rate was similar to the other age groups, and the all-cause mortality rate was only 0.3% per year.
ASA and surgical myectomy
The American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association guidelines on HCM from 2011 state that ASA should be reserved for older patients and patients with serious comorbidities and give a class III recommendation (Level of Evidence: C) for ASA in younger patients if myectomy is a viable option (2). These recommendations reflected the lack of ASA studies with long-term follow-up, whereas myectomy had been proved to be safe and effective. Despite these recommendations, recent reports show that about 43% of U.S. patients undergo ASA instead of myectomy (14), and these numbers are known to be even higher in Europe (15). Most of the studies comparing long-term outcomes of ASA and myectomy were reported after publication of the 2011 HCM guidelines (3–5,10,16). These more recent studies all showed similar mortality rates following ASA and myectomy, which clearly supports the long-term safety of ASA, especially considering that most of the ASA cohorts were on average older than their surgical counterparts. A recent meta-analysis of long-term outcomes of septal reduction therapy found an all-cause mortality rate of 1.5% per year following ASA compared with 1.4% per year following myectomy, and similar annual (aborted) SCD rates as well (6). Of the 50 studies examined in the systematic review that accompanied this meta-analysis, only 7 compared survival rates of their patients with HCM with the sex- and age-matched general population: Smedira et al. (17) (n = 323, Cleveland Clinic) and Ommen et al. (18) (n = 289, Mayo Clinic) found survival rates following myectomy to be comparable with the general population; Schaff et al. (19) (n = 749, Mayo Clinic), Woo et al. (20) (n = 388, Toronto General Hospital), and Sedehi et al. (5) (n = 171, Stanford University Medical Center) found survival rates following myectomy to be worse than the general population; Jensen et al. (8) (n = 279, 4 Scandinavian centers), Veselka et al. (9) (n = 178, 2 Czech centers), and Sedehi et al. (5) (n = 52, Stanford University Medical Center) found survival rates following ASA to be comparable with the general population; and Sorajja et al. (16) (n = 342, Mayo Clinic) found post-ASA survival to be comparable with the general population and with sex- and age-matched myectomy patients. What primarily differentiates these studies is that the ones with post-intervention survival rates comparable with the general population had <1,700 patient-years of follow-up, whereas the studies with a significant survival difference had follow-up of >2,300 patient-years. The present study, with about 6,500 patient-years of follow-up, belongs to the second category. Consequently, our results support that irrespective of septal reduction therapy, patients with severe symptomatic obstructive HCM have reduced long-term survival compared with the general population. Apart from comparisons with the general population, Ommen et al. (18) also reported specifically on survival of patients ≤45 years of age and found 92% of these to be alive 10 years post-myectomy. Woo et al. (20) did the same for patients <50 years of age and found a 10-year survival of about 90% following myectomy. These results correlate well with the 91% 10-year survival of young ASA patients found in the present study. Because symptom improvement was excellent and long-lasting in young ASA patients as well, we therefore propose that the indication for ASA can be broadened to younger patients.
ASA and alcohol volume
To date, there has been only 1 other study that showed a significant survival benefit from the use of a lower alcohol volume for ASA. This study, by Kuhn et al. (21), comprised 2 series: 329 patients treated in a dose-finding study with decreasing amounts of alcohol until 2001 (on average 2.9 to 0.9 ml) and 315 patients in the subsequent “low alcohol dose era” treated until 2005 (mean volume 0.8 ml). In the first group, patients treated with >2 ml of alcohol showed a higher mortality rate than patients treated with ≤2 ml. The mean follow-up period for this cohort was only 2 years, however, and the patients treated with a higher alcohol volume were by definition the first patients to undergo ASA at this center.
In the present study, the use of a higher volume of alcohol was found to predict all-cause mortality in young patients. In a recent analysis, alcohol volume of 1.5 to 2.5 ml was found to be well balanced in terms of efficacy and risk for conduction disturbances (11). After we divided our young cohort accordingly, the patients who received <2.5 ml alcohol were found to have a significantly lower all-cause and HCM-related mortality rate compared with patients who received ≥2.5 ml (Figure 4). Furthermore, although the high-volume group developed larger infarcts, the LVOT gradient and NYHA functional class at last checkup were comparable between the 2 groups. Of note, patients who received ≥2.5 ml alcohol were treated on average 5 years earlier than those treated with <2.5 ml. This trend of decreasing volumes of alcohol over the years is seen in most ASA studies and may thus further improve survival rates in young patients following ASA in the future.
Patient selection and specialized care
In a previous analysis, a higher residual LVOT gradient after ASA was found to predict long-term mortality (11). The present study documented the same association, but only in young patients, with an approximate 1% increase in all-cause mortality for each millimeter of mercury residual LVOT gradient. This emphasizes the importance of proper selection of patients suitable for ASA, especially in patients ≤50 years of age.
In line with the 2011 American College of Cardiology and 2014 European Society of Cardiology HCM guidelines (1,12), we recommend that all patients undergoing septal reduction therapy should be discussed by a multidisciplinary heart team (consisting of an imaging cardiologist, an interventional cardiologist experienced with ASA, and a surgeon experienced with myectomy) to determine the optimal therapy, by taking into account not only age but also factors such as mitral valve anatomy, coronary anatomy, existing conduction disturbances, septal thickness, comorbidities, and so on. When all of these factors have been weighted against one another, the heart team can provide optimal advice, leaving the final decision up to the patient. When an adult patient has no complicating factors, the advice should be that ASA and surgical myectomy are both safe and effective for relief of symptoms. However, ASA has a 5% to 16% (depending on the patient’s age) risk for permanent pacemaker implantation, compared with about 4% after myectomy (6). Furthermore, there is a higher risk for the need for reintervention following ASA (9% in the present study) compared with myectomy (6). Patients can subsequently weigh these higher risks following ASA against the somewhat higher burden of (rehabilitation from) open heart surgery and make a measured decision.
The retrospective, nonrandomized nature of the present study has several limitations. In the analysis concerning the role of alcohol volume in young patients, there was a potential for bias by indication, because patients who received a higher alcohol volume for ASA might have had different coronary artery anatomy and/or septal pathology (e.g., more fibrosis) compared with patients who received less alcohol. However, a Cox proportional regression analysis in young patients with use of basal septal thickness data in millimeters (as opposed to the binary conventional risk factor of maximum left ventricular wall thickness ≥30 mm) found the same results (not shown). Similar to other reported studies (5,8,9,16–18), the survival analyses in the very young patients and young patients treated with <2.5 ml of alcohol were underpowered. Therefore, no comparisons with the general population were made, and the results of these analyses should be interpreted with caution. Finally, we did not correct for individual or local alterations of percutaneous technique. However, all procedures were performed by experienced interventional cardiologists, and this implies that our findings are more generalizable than those of single-center investigations.
ASA in young patients with obstructive HCM is safe and effective for relief of symptoms at long-term follow-up. We propose that the indication for ASA can be broadened to younger patients.
WHAT IS KNOWN? The American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association guidelines reserve ASA for older patients and patients with serious comorbidities. Data on long-term age-specific outcomes after ASA are scarce.
WHAT IS NEW? We found that ASA in younger (≤50 years) patients with obstructive HCM is safe and effective for relief of symptoms at long-term follow-up. Therefore, we propose that the indication for ASA can be broadened to younger patients.
WHAT IS NEXT? In the smaller subgroup of very young (≤35 years) patients, ASA was found to be safe and effective as well. However, more studies with long-term follow-up of very young patients with HCM undergoing ASA are warranted to confirm these findings.
The authors thank J. C. Kelder, MD, PhD, Department of Cardiology, St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein, for his statistical assistance.
The authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.
- Abbreviations and Acronyms
- adverse arrhythmic event
- alcohol septal ablation
- confidence interval
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- hazard ratio
- implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
- left ventricular outflow tract
- New York Heart Association
- sudden cardiac death
- ventricular tachycardia
- Received January 5, 2017.
- Revision received February 21, 2017.
- Accepted March 23, 2017.
- 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation
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