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Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia

 - question mark

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.


 - ecg, heart, electrophysiology

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.

 - Doctor and older patient

Communication among patients, providers and caregivers about risks for stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation needs an assist. Research presented Nov. 17 at the American Heart Association scientific sessions in Chicago found that when polled, few atrial fibrillation patients understood their stroke risks and some physicians missed opportunities to educate them.

 - doctor and patient

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.

 - AF Ablation

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.


More Stories

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.

Improved LVEF may allow physicians to switch patients to pacemakers

Some patients treated with cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillators (CRT-Ds) may qualify for pacemaker mode. After long-term improvements were seen with some patients, researchers posited that when left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) normalizes and it’s time to change the batteries, it may also be time to flip the switch from D to P.

Bramah Singh, pioneer in classifying anti-arrhythmic drugs, dies

Bramah N. Singh, MD, an emeritus professor of cardiology at University of California, Los Angeles, who co-developed a classification system for anti-arrhythmic medications, died at his home on Sept. 20, the university announced. He was 76 years old.

Dual-chamber setting in ICDs leads to fewer inappropriate shocks

When comparing risk of inappropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) shocks in two types of therapy, researchers in the OPTION study found a significant advantage in dual-chamber therapy. Fewer inappropriate shocks were delivered to patients on dual-chamber than on single-chamber settings, especially those programmed with algorithms for minimizing ventricular pacing.

FDA panel to revisit Watchman based on updated data

An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to vote Oct. 8 on the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure device to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. The FDA asked panelists to re-evaluate the filing in light of new clinical data on adverse events.

Defense awards $67M for airworthy defibrillators

The Department of Defense awarded contracts topping $67 million to two companies for airworthy defibrillators under its war-stopper funds.

The importance of keeping afib warfarin control stable

Steady time in therapeutic range is important for optimal care when treating atrial fibrillation patients using warfarin. However, research published online Sept. 2 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes insists that stability, seen through the international normalized ratio, not be overlooked.

When measuring novel anticoagulants, proceed with caution

The beauty of novel oral anticoagulants is that they come in fixed doses and don’t require monitoring, as warfarin does. Still, some circumstances warrant an assay, and clinicians should be aware of the potential pitfalls.

Afib patients living longer with ablation-maintained sinus rhythm

Can a little heat really mend a broken heart? Patients with atrial fibrillation were found to have a better mortality rate when sinus rhythm was maintained through radiofrequency ablation (RFA) according to a study published in the September issue of Heart Rhythm.

Get With The Guidelines' newest kid on the block: Afib

The American Heart Association has made improvements to guideline adherence in the treatment of atrial fibrillation a priority, according to a paper published Sept. 2 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Force-sensing SMART-AF proves safe and effective

A force-sensing ablation treatment for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) helped to improve outcomes in the SMART-AF study, according to results published Aug. 19 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. But an accompanying editorial raised questions.

Heart flutter in surgery presages stroke risk

Can atrial fibrillation (AF) or flutter during surgery predict stroke? Research published in the Aug. 13 issue of JAMA appears to confirm that it does.

Is digoxin safe for use in atrial fibrillation? Maybe not

Digoxin, for its wide use and history, may not be as safe for use in atrial fibrillation patients as it is assumed to be. Or is it? A study published Aug. 19 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology attempted to answer this question.

RF ablation to dominate market growth into 2020

The ablation market is expected to top $10 billion by 2020, according to Transparency Market Research, with radiofrequency ablation leading the charge.

Advancing on ADVANCE III: ICD interval affects hospitalizations, costs

A programming strategy for implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) reduced hospitalizations, length of stay and costs compared with standard care, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 6 issue of JAMA.

Complications increase risk for ICD infections

With surgery and introduction of a foreign object into a patient always comes some risk of infection. However, according to a study published online July 31 in Circulation, reducing that risk may involve more than just a clean site.

Older patients with severe dementia 2.9 times more likely to receive pacemaker

A team of researchers reviewing decisions to implant cardiac devices found that older patients with cognitive impairment were more often implanted with pacemakers, according to a study published online July 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Many patients unaware of options, risks with ICD replacement

More than half of patients due for replacement of their implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) generator did not realize they could opt out and many underestimated the risks of ICD replacement, according to a research letter published online July 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.