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Effects of MitraClip on cognitive and psychological function in heart failure patients: the sicker the better

Valentin Terhoeven, Christoph Nikendei, Anna Cranz, Matthias Weisbrod, Nicolas Geis, Philip W Raake, Hugo A Katus, Wolfgang Herzog, Hans-Christoph Friederich, Jobst-Hendrik Schultz, Sven T Pleger
European Journal of Medical Research 2019 February 22, 24 (1): 14

PURPOSE: Cognitive impairment and reduced quality of life is a common condition in patients with heart failure (HF). Percutaneous mitral valve repair using (PMVR) MitraClip (MC) has emerged as a promising interventional tool, reducing all-cause mortality and hospitalization as well as increasing cognitive functioning and quality of life. However, the benefit of HF patients with severely depressed cognitive functioning remains unknown.

METHODS: We assessed cognitive functioning (figural memory-FGT, executive function-TOL, TMT B), psychosocial functioning (depression-PHQ-9, quality of life-SF36), and clinical parameters (echocardiography, 6-min walk test distance, and cardiac biomarkers) 1 day before (t0) and 6 weeks after (t1) MC intervention in HF patients (n = 40). First, paired sample t tests were conducted to uncover improvements in cognitive functioning post-MC intervention. Second, the COGBAT Norm-sample, a representative age-matched healthy sample, was used to compare participants' individual scores. Third, bivariate linear regressions were calculated for all key predictors of the detected improvements in cognitive functioning post-MC intervention (t1-t0).

RESULTS: Following the MC intervention, we found significant improvements in figural memory, executive functioning, and psychosocial functioning. Most of the patients with depressed executive functioning before the MC intervention showed post-intervention test scores within the normal range (> 50th percentile; t0 22.5% vs. t1 60%) as compared to the normative COGBAT sample. Regression analyses revealed that lower baseline scores in planning ability before the MC intervention (t0) were associated with greater planning ability (TOL; B = - 0.78, 95% CI - 1.04 to - 0.53), figural memory (FGT; B = - 0.26, 95% CI - 0.44 to - 0.07), and cognitive flexibility (TMT B; B = - 0.36, 95% CI - 0.50 to - 0.23) improvement post-MC intervention (t1-t0). Psychosocial functioning and age were not associated with these improvements.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with depressed executive functioning showed the greatest benefit from the MC intervention regarding cognitive functioning. Age and psychological functioning seem less important for cognitive performance improvements post-MC intervention. Hence, severely depressed cognitive functioning in patients is not a contraindication for PMVR using MitraClip.


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