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Heart Failure

 - healthcare cost

Congestive heart failure topped the list for 30-day readmissions of Medicare beneficiaries in 2011 and ranked among the top 10 high-volume conditions for two other payer categories in an analysis released in April.

 - going to surgery

Patients who receive clonidine during noncardiac surgery may have an increased risk of hypotension and nonfatal cardiac arrest, according to research presented March 31 at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific session in Washington, D.C.

 - EKG, heart
Cardiac resynchronization therapy with a defibrillator (CRT-D) in patients with mild heart failure symptoms, left ventricular dysfunction and a left bundle branch block may improve survival, researchers found. They presented their late-breaking clinical trial data March 30 at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific session in Washington, D.C.
 - Allure

The FDA approved three St. Jude Medical pacemaker devices, including its quadripolar cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker.

 - Heart Failure - Don't use until 3/1/12

Experiencing shortness of breath while bending forward, termed “bendopnea,” could be an indicator of heart failure, according to researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


More Stories

Serelaxin hits roadblock in Europe

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended that serelaxin not be approved as a treatment to relieve symptoms in patients with acute heart failure. The European committee’s decision could influence an FDA panel that will review the drug’s application in February.

Despite decline in use, rates of digoxin toxicity still high

Although clinicians use digoxin less frequently as newer, safer agents start taking its place, toxicity has not decreased, which suggests the need for better management and monitoring of the drug, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Circulation: Heart Failure.


Higher heart rates at discharge linked to readmissions, death

Heart failure patients who have higher heart rates at discharge may face a higher risk of dying or being readmitted within 30 days, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Increased thromboses noted in patients with HeartMate II LVAD

Patients treated with the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD) may be at higher risk for device thrombosis, based on the findings of a study published online Nov. 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers found an increase in the number of thromboses compared with the results of pre-approval clinical trials.


More continuity needed in heart failure management

There are numerous medication therapy strategies along the continuum of managing heart failure (HF), and the authors of a review article published online Oct. 10 in The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits argued that these various medication therapies need to be coordinated in a way that allows for continuity of care through each stage of treatment.

Some practices fail to treat heart failure according to guidelines

Not all cardiologists treat patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction according to established guidelines, and these variations in care are largely due to practice-level factors, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

AHA sums up heart-related data on childhood cancer survivors

Survivors of childhood cancer are living longer, but over time the cardiotoxicity of some chemotherapies and radiation therapy may be taking a toll on their hearts. The American Heart Association published a scientific statement online Sept. 30 in Circulation that reviewed the evidence of cardiotoxicity in childhood survivors and highlighted future directions.

Hospitals' nesiritide use declines at different rates

Fewer hospitals now use nesiritide for heart failure due to safety concerns highlighted in 2005, and a study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure found that hospitals changed the way they use the drug in three distinct patterns. They categorized facilities as “low users,” “fast de-adopters” and “slow de-adopters,” but there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of hospital characteristics.

Regular physician follow-up may be crucial to post-discharge HF
When it comes to improving outcomes after hospitalization for heart failure (HF), early and regular physician follow-up could be a critical factor. Canadian researchers found that mortality risk and the chances for urgent readmission were lower among HF patients who saw a physician within 30 days of discharge, especially if they saw a physician who cared for them at least twice in the year before their initial admission.
In heart failure, higher volumes point to lower mortality

Patients with heart failure may have a lower risk of dying if they are treated by high-volume physicians, according to findings published online Aug. 7 in Circulation: Heart Failure. The study found an association between high physician volume and lower mortality among heart failure patients, which was especially strong in lower-volume hospitals and for physicians who are not cardiologists.

Hospitalized heart failure patients may not be getting optimal care

Patients hospitalized with acute heart failure receive variable and often substandard care, even when they are part of a randomized clinical trial, researchers reported in the July 30 edition of Circulation.

Warfarin: Fewer risks in younger patients?

A subgroup analysis of a clinical trial found that younger patients taking warfarin were less likely to experience a composite endpoint of ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage or death. They were also less likely to experience stroke and death separately, with or without hemorrhage.

Team advances research using growth factors to treat heart failure

A research team at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine has partnered with Acorda Therapeutics to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new biological product that has the potential to treat patients with even severe, progressive heart failure.

ARC-HF finds benefits in catheter ablation strategy

Results from a randomized clinical trial comparing catheter ablation with rate control in patients with heart failure and persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) found peak oxygen consumption increased significantly in the ablation group.

FDA puts 30-day limit on tolvaptan for heart failure patients

The FDA instructed physicians to limit the use of tolvaptan, a drug sometimes prescribed to heart failure patients, to no more than 30 days due to possible liver damage that could lead to organ transplantation or death.

Biventricular pacing bests conventional care in BLOCK HF

Patients with atrioventricular block and mild to moderate heart failure who were randomized in the BLOCK HF trial to biventricular pacing as a whole had better outcomes than counterparts who received conventional right ventricular pacing.

Shock & awe: Pretreatment plus cell therapy may benefit some HF patients

Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improved in patients with postinfarction heart failure (HF) who received a shock-wave facilitated infusion of bone marrow-derived cells in a small randomized clinical trial. The improvement at four months was modest but significant, according to CELLWAVE trial researchers.

HeartWare patient’s death prompts FDA report

The FDA issued an adverse event report describing the death of a patient whose HeartWare ventricular assist device lost power.

ACC recommends updated coverage for VADs

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in early March urging the agency to consider a new coverage paradigm for Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs).

FDA grants artificial heart HUD designation

The FDA has approved two humanitarian use device (HUD) designations for Syncardia System’s 50cc Total Artificial Heart to be used for destination therapy and pediatric bridge to transplant.