Everyone who relapsed immediately restarted treatment. At their next follow-up visit, all were once again asymptomatic, and 17 of the 20 (85%) had an LVEF greater than 50%. Two of the other three had an LVEF of 45%-50%, and the other had an LVEF of 43%.
“So they did seem to recover when they went back on medication,” Dr. Halliday observed.
Underpowered exploratory analyses designed for hypothesis generation identified several potential baseline predictors of DCM relapse, including older age, being on three or more heart failure drugs, and use of a mineralocorticoid antagonist.
Designated discussant, commented, “Currently, in 2018, we have no true signature of recovery. These patients are indeed in cardiac remission and have an indefinite indication for continuing their evidence-based medical therapy without interruption.”
“The clinical implication here is, I think, we should TRED-lightly,” quipped Dr. Wilcox of Northwestern University in Chicago.
Her own research indicates that even patients who have recovered their LVEF and no longer seem to have a heart failure phenotype still have an abnormal myocardial substrate as evidenced by persistent dysfunctional cardiac mechanics on echocardiography. Nonetheless, she remains optimistic.
“I don’t think [TRED-HF] squelches the future of myocardial recovery. I think it actually invigorates the field for an assessment of genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics looking for that true signature of cardiac recovery,” she said.
, who chaired a press conference where Dr. Halliday presented the TRED-HF results, complimented the investigators for tackling what he termed “an incredibly important clinical question that comes up all the time.”
“I really want to commend the investigators for taking on what, on its face, might be an ethically challenging question by taking treatment away when we don’t know what the answer is likely to be. But they really checked all the boxes to make sure this was done in a very safe and monitored way, so that even though the outcome was what it turned out to be, the harm to patients was minimalized,” said Dr. Lloyd-Jones, professor and chair of the department of preventive medicine and director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Chicago.
“No patient wants to be on more medication than they need to be, but I think for the time being this class of patients is going to have to be maintained on medications until we understand a little more,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones concluded.
Dr. Halliday reported having no financial conflicts regarding the study, funded by the British Heart Foundation.
SOURCE: Halliday BP. AHA scientific sessions, Abstract 18621. Simulpub The Lancet. 2018 Nov 11. .