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Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia

 - practice management

Researchers developed and validated a simple risk model that identifies implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICDs) patients at risk of an inadequate defibrillation safety margin during defibrillation testing. By predicting who is at risk, physicians may be able to avoid related complications and better manage patients.

 - Beer

Jack, Jim and Jose may be doing more than hurting heads; they may be breaking hearts. According to a study published July 22 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, what people drink is as important as how much and how often they drink in developing atrial fibrillation (AF).

 - electrophysiology, ICD, pacemaker

Surgery to revise implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads had the highest overall incidence of major complications compared to initial implantation or procedures that did not involve the leads.

 - blood cells

In-hospital mortality for patients with atrial fibrillation who experienced intracranial bleeding was similar whether they were treated with dabigatran or warfarin in a study published online July 3 in Stroke. The findings may help physicians and patients who are choosing between the two types of anticoagulants.

 - ecg, heart, electrophysiology

Using data derived from patient monitoring devices, researchers found clearer, more reproducible results on burden and persistence in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients than through clinical observations alone.


More Stories

Medtronic pays $9.9M to settle kickback claims

Medtronic has agreed to pay nearly $10 million to settle a whistleblower case over alleged kickbacks to physicians who treated patients with its pacemakers and defibrillators.

Boehringer earmarks $650M to settle Pradaxa suits

Boehringer Ingelheim will pay $650 million in a comprehensive settlement over its anticoagulant dabigatran. The company faced thousands of lawsuits in the U.S. from patients who claimed the drug caused severe and fatal bleeding.

FDA study weighs in favor of dabigatran

The FDA maintained its position on the safety of the anticoagulant dabigatran after completing a study that included an older patient population. Based on the results, the agency said it would make no changes in its recommendations or to the labeling.

Feds scrutinizing two cardiac device makers

Two manufacturers are under the federal magnifying glass with investigations involving implantable cardiac devices. The investigations are unrelated.

HRS.14: Testing ICDs during implantation isn’t necessary

Keep it simple, … Well, you know the rest. Physicians now can apply that advice to defibrillator testing of cardiac devices during implantation, based on results from the SIMPLE trial presented May 8 at the Heart Rhythm Society’s scientific session in San Francisco. The practice was found to be safe but unnecessary.

Inaccurate INR results prompt recall of test strips

The FDA issued a Class I recall on test strips used to measure a patient’s international normalized ratio (INR) due to reports that ranges found through its product differed significantly from results in tests performed in a laboratory.

FDA OKs MRI-compatible pacemaker technology

The FDA approved a pacemaker system that allows the patient to undergo MR imaging scans with a limited exclusion zone.

Continents & conferences

When the Heart Rhythm Society’s scientific session kicks off next week, it likely will include a healthy contingent of presenters and attendees from outside the U.S. The international mix is especially beneficial in fields that depend on innovative technologies. 

Magnets in iPad 2 disrupt some ICDs if held close

An iPad 2 in close proximity of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) can trigger a magnet mode and potentially prevent therapeutic shocks, according to a study published online April 10 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Creative conferencing

Two upcoming cardiovascular conferences are broadening their scope with programs that will help build electrophysiology teams and unify service lines.

Continuing warfarin in ablations reduces periprocedural stroke risk

Keeping patients with atrial fibrillation on rather than off warfarin therapy during radiofrequency catheter ablation reduced the risk of periprocedural stroke in a randomized trial. The results were published online April 17 in Circulation.

Physicians underestimate stroke, bleeding risk in AF patients

Physicians tend to underestimate both stroke and bleeding risk when deciding whether or not to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with oral anticoagulants. An analysis published online March 29 in Circulation found that in up to 80 percent of cases, physician-assessed risk differed from objective risk scores.

Updated AF guidelines support use of RF ablation

Updated recommendations for the treatment of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation now call for the use of radio frequency ablation as a treatment, a joint American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and Heart Rhythm Society panel wrote in its 2014 guidelines issued March 28.

Leadless pacemaker safe, effective at 90 days

The use of a leadless, self-contained pacemaker was found to be safe and effective in a group of patients with an indication for single-chamber pacing who participated in a clinical trial. The study results were published online March 24 in Circulation.

Recalled leads illustrate fissures in FDA process

Citing two cases involving recalled leads in implantable cardiac devices as examples, two California researchers called for more postmarketing surveillance, publicly available data registries and better labeling to help physicians assess devices’ risks and benefits.

Maternal cardiac arrest more common than originally thought

The proportion of women who have cardiac arrest while in the hospital to give birth is much higher than previously believed, based on an analysis of 13 years of data published in the April issue of Anesthesiology. The research found that 1 in 12,000 pregnant women hospitalized for delivery experience cardiac arrest. Most women survive, and survival is increasing over time. 

Federal ORI charges cardiologist with misconduct

The federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI) ruled that an Illinois cardiologist engaged in misconduct by bullying fellows and asking attending physicians to falsify information in research records.

2 antibiotics linked to increased risk of death and serious arrhythmia

Physicians may want to consider prescribing antibiotics other than azithromycin and levofloxacin to older patients, based on the findings of a study published in the March/April issue of Annals of Family Medicine. Researchers found that both antibiotics increase the risk of mortality and arrhythmia during different time frames.

Newer cryoballoon scores on efficacy but with higher complication rate

A newer generation cryoballoon allowed for shorter ablation procedures with a high success rate in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation compared with the first-generation device but it also had a higher rate of phrenic nerve palsy, a serious complication, in a study published in the March issue of HeartRhythm.

Thoratec issues safety advisory after 4 deaths

Four patients who received the HeartMate II left ventricular assist system pocket system controller have died and five more patients have either lost consciousness or experienced other problems, Thoratec announced in a safety advisory.