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Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia

 - medical scale

Analyzing the link between obesity and arrhythmia, LEGACY confirmed that among obese patients, weight loss greatly influenced freedom from atrial fibrillation, particularly among those who lost weight and maintained it. However, more than 5 percent fluctuation in weight over one year increased patient risks.

 - heart puzzle

Performing an ablation along with mitral valve surgery is more likely to keep cardiac patients free of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) at one year, according to results unveiled March 16 at the American College of Cardiology scientific session. But it also increased the risk of needing a pacemaker.

 - money

St. Jude Medical put aside $15 million to privately settle about 950 claims and other disputes over its Riata and Riata ST leads, the company reported in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 - AF Ablation

Long-term results from a French study on persistent atrial fibrillation suggest that a stepwise catheter ablation strategy may terminate atrial fibrillation in some patients for as long as five years after a procedure.

 - heart

High-resolution imaging may get physicians closer to the areas that most need epicardial ablation when addressing ventricular tachycardia (VT). Real-time multidetector CT to assist with epicardial ablation proved useful for determining optimal ablation while avoiding coronary arteries and phrenic nerves.


More Stories

Abbott completes Topera deal for $250M

Abbott wrapped up 2014 by completing its acquisition of Topera, a company that develops electrophysiology technologies to diagnose and treat patients with atrial fibrillation.

Anticoagulation's benefits may outweigh risks for afib with chronic kidney disease

Anticoagulation therapy may have a greater benefit to patients with atrial fibrillation and chronic kidney disease than risk. However, balancing the two may be about finding the right course of treatment for the right duration.

Take the lead

A recent analysis of Optim-insulated leads for implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) reported reassuring results. The study also highlights shortcomings—not with devices, but with people.

Review shows minimal mechanical failures in newer St. Jude leads

Analysis of St. Jude Medical’s Optim-insulated leads reveals low rates of mechanical failures, conductor fractures and all-cause abrasions by five years. “The bottom line of it all is that the results are very good,” the lead researcher told Cardiovascular Business.

ICD's shock history may inform next steps after battery fades

For patients who received no shocks from an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) before the end of its battery life, it may be worth considering a new risk-benefit analysis.

Aggressively managing risk factors improves outcomes after ablations

Aggressive management of risk factors may be the key to improving patient outcomes following ablation for atrial fibrillation. Findings published Dec. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggest that in patients with a high body mass index and more than one cardiovascular risk factor, improved long-term outcomes are possible when several risk factors were addressed.

Mortality findings raise more concerns over digoxin's use

Atrial fibrillation patients taking digoxin may have a 71 percent higher risk of dying, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in Circulation: Arrythmia and Electrophysiology.

Draft report: Jury’s still out on catheter ablation

The official position for catheter ablation as a treatment for atrial fibrillation in a draft technology assessment report for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is “can’t tell yet.” The draft report is open for review through Dec. 8.


Patients with in-hospital onset STEMI face worse outcomes

According to a study published Nov. 19 in JAMA, patients whose STEMI occurred in hospital had poorer outcomes than those whose STEMI occurred beyond the hospital doors.

Patients perceive spectrum of risk with anticoagulants

Physicians try to balance the tradeoff between bleeding and stroke risks when prescribing anticoagulants to patients with atrial fibrillation. But from the patient’s perspective, it seems new trumps old and death by bleeding is the worst, according to one study.

Robotic catheter ablation may face uphill battle

Robotic catheter ablation required less fluoroscopy time and appeared to reduce operator fatigue compared with manual procedures in a randomized trial. But a comparable success rate and technical problems may make uptake a rough slog.

Risk of cardiac death after PCI diminishes after 30 days

Cardiac mortality risks fell at the one-year mark for patients who underwent primary PCI following acute STEMI. A study published in the Nov. 18 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that while 30-day risks for cardiac death were elevated, the longer a patient survived, the more risk moved away from cardiac toward noncardiac death.

Biotronik settles fraud case for $4.9M

The device maker Biotronik agreed to pay $4.9 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged the company’s cardiac rhythm business committed fraud by “improperly inducing” cardiologists and electrophysiologists to implant its devices in patients.

Atrial fibrillation increases risk for asymptomatic brain lesions

Risks for silent cerebral infarctions were two times greater in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to a meta-analysis published Nov. 4 in Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers noted that this increased risk remained regardless of whether the atrial fibrillation was paroxysmal or persistent.

Higher risk of bleeds with dabigatran but lower risk of brain hemorrhage

Blacks and patients with impaired kidney function may be particularly at risk of bleeding if given the anticoagulant dabigatran, according to an analysis of Medicare data. Compared with warfarin, dabigatran had higher bleeding risks overall but a lower risk of intracranial hemorrhage.

Larger dose dabigatran offers benefits in elderly patients

Elderly patients given upper doses of the anticoagulant dabigatran had reduced risk for stroke, intracranial hemorrhage and mortality compared with warfarin, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in Circulation. However, dabigatran had an increased risk of major gastrointestinal bleeding. 

The fate of edoxaban

An FDA advisory panel meets today to discuss the safety and efficacy of yet another novel oral anticoagulant. The standards for approval may be shifting, though.

Abbott dives into EP market with 2 acquisitions

Abbott will buy two companies that develop electrophysiology products in a move designed to make Abbott a player in the catheter-based electrophysiology market. It also named a chief to lead the business.

Edoxaban gets its turn before FDA panel

An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to review an application for another novel oral anticoagulant to reduce the risk of stroke or systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

FDA approves St. Jude’s contact-force ablation catheter

The FDA approved St. Jude Medical’s contact-force ablation catheter for treating patients with atrial fibrillation.