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Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia


Asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients could be at a heightened risk for cardiac complications, especially if the condition is paroxysmal, a study published in CHEST reports.

Artificial intelligence (AI)–assisted electrophysiology (EP) shows promise, but even its most ardent advocates aren’t ready for full-fledged endorsement—yet.   

The FDA issued a safety alert Jan. 17 for the Zoll LifeVest 4000, saying the external, wearable cardioverter defibrillator may fail to treat potentially fatal arrhythmias if it displays a specific error message which, by itself, doesn’t signal urgency.

Roughly 1 in 4 children with Brugada syndrome treated with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) received life-saving shock therapy in a single-center study of 35 patients published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. However, 20 percent experienced inappropriate shocks and another 14 percent had device-related complications, highlighting the challenging clinical decision-making in this high-risk group.

Analyzing the change in stroke risk factors for atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients was far more powerful in predicting stroke than assessing baseline risk factors alone, researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


Recent Headlines

Innovations in Electrophysiology

Electrophysiology (EP), as a subspecialty, is coming into its own. Electrophysiologists have access to more capital than in the past, and with a 10 to 15 percent annual market growth, it is one of the fastest growing sectors within cardiology. Vendors have taken notice and are focusing on technology and designs that cater specifically to EP docs.

CardioNet Q1 profits, losses increase CardioNet, a developer of wireless cardiac arrhythmia monitoring devices, saw an increase in both revenue and losses for its fiscal 2009 first quarter, which ended March 31.
Radiology IT ownership in the crosshairs
As the products of radiologydiagnostic imaging data and reportsbecome more widely distributed across the healthcare enterprise, debate has arisen within the medical community over which group is best able to administer and maintain radiology IT systems: the radiology department or a centralized IT group.
FDA panel narrowly approves Atritech Watchman for a-fib patients Atritech's Watchman, a percutaneously implanted left atrial appendage occlusion device, won the recommendation of a FDA advisory panel on April 23, for its ability to protect against stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
Baseline Q wave associated with increased risk of death
Data acquired in over 4,500 STEMI patients treated with primary PCI, provide novel and compelling evidence about the importance of a Q-wave on the baseline ECG as an independent prognostic marker of clinical outcome, according to a study in the April 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
FDA sends warning letter to St. Jude a-fib manufacturing facility
St. Jude Medical received a warning letter dated April 17 from the FDA related to its atrial fibrillation (AF) division manufacturing facility in Minnetonka, Minn., which makes Safire ablation catheters.
St. Jude Q1 earnings propelled by strong cardiovascular sales St. Jude Medical has reported a 16 percent uptick in net earnings, to $201 million from $177 million, for its fiscal 2009 first quarter, which ended April 4.
JAMA: Patients have better outcomes when electrophysiologists implant ICDs Patients whose implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are implanted by non-electrophysiologists are at increased risk of complications and are less likely to receive a specific type of ICD when clinically indicated, according to a study published in the April 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Oracle steps in to buy Sun for $7.4B
Oracle has crafted an agreement to buy server vendor Sun Microsystems for approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt.
Remotely Navigating the Heart with Water-Cooled Catheters The FDA in February approved the NaviStar ThermoCool Catheter (Biosense Webster) to treat atrial fibrillation (AF), the first ablation catheter in the U.S. to be approved to treat AF.