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Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia

 - Heart Rate

It sounds contradictory, but more pacemaker monitoring could lead to longer battery life. An Italian retrospective analysis compared battery life between pacemakers with remote monitoring on vs. off and found that with remote monitoring on, patients went approximately 11 months longer between battery replacements. 

 - anticoagulants

The number of atrial fibrillation patients on dialysis given novel oral anticoagulants is growing. Research shows that dabigatran and rivaroxaban are increasingly being used by patients with atrial fibrillation on dialysis, despite concerns about creatinine clearance in this population.

 - heart, cardiology, cardiac

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.

 - Neon Heart

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

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.


More Stories

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.

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.