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Heart Failure

 - scorpion

It was only a pilot study, and only in mice, and it requires harvesting venom from scorpions—no easy task. But a first report on a venom-based peptide points to a new compound for treating patients with acute heart failure.

 - ecg, heart, electrophysiology

Cardiac resynchronization with defibrillators (CRT-D) or pacemakers (CRT-P) fared well in an assessment of their benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. The document will remain available for review and comment through Dec. 15.

 - stomach pain

Physicians trying to get to the heart—and gut—of the relationship between heart failure and intestinal flora found that higher levels of microbe metabolites in the blood stream appeared to predict mortality risk. Heart failure patients stratified by levels of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) found in blood samples had progressively more risk for death by year five.

 - Pill Phone

For older male patients with heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy, erectile dysfunction medications may protect the heart,  a meta-analysis published online Oct. 18 in BMC Medicine found. The researchers also reported that the drugs were safe and well tolerated.

 - ecg, heart, electrophysiology

Breathing through the night does heart patients a world of good: For patients with heart failure and sleep disordered breathing, 30-day readmission rates dropped to zero when using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) adequately.


More Stories

Playtime reduces heart failure risk

Thanks to a Swedish study, we can add one more benefit to the list when talking about increasing down-time activity levels: reduced heart failure risks.

Heart failure patients with afib get little benefit from beta-blockers

Beta-blockers appeared to offer no or little clinical benefit to patients with heart failure and atrial fibrillation in a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual meeting and concurrently published online Sept. 2 in The Lancet.

Combo heart failure drug promises to improve survival

A novel drug that combines an ARB with a neprilysin inhibitor proved superior to the ACE inhibitor enalapril, even when the latter was prescribed at its target dose, for reducing the risk of death and hospitalization for heart failure in patients with reduced ejection fraction.

Medtronic set to launch CRT-pacemaker

The FDA approved a cardiac resynchronization therapy-pacemaker (CRT-P) for patients with heart failure or atrioventricular block.

1 in 3 heart failure patients will revisit ED frequently

Almost one-third of patients who visit the emergency department for acute heart failure will return two or more times within a year, results published online Aug. 19 showed. Could readmissions penalties exacerbate the problem?

Telemonitoring gets to heart failure patients IN-TIME

The IN-TIME study showed an improvement in clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure who were telemonitored, according to results published online Aug. 16 in The Lancet.

One-year cutoff for biopsies after heart transplants saves $22.5M

Physicians monitoring heart transplant patients rely on frequent endomyocardial biopsies to detect nonsymptomatic rejection. But for how long? One year may be sufficient, a cost-effectiveness analysis concluded. 

FDA OKs quadripolar lead, 2 CRT-Ds

The FDA approved a quadripolar lead and two cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) devices for treatment in patients with heart failure.

It’s local: Heart failure outcomes linked to neighborhood

Neighborhood effects may have an influence on readmissions in patients with heart failure. Whether or not patients themselves have a higher socioeconomic status, where they live may play a role in their post-release outcomes, according to a study published online July 29 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes.

Sitagliptin in diabetic HF patients: Less mortality, more HF hospitalizations

In diabetic patients with heart failure (HF), sitagliptin use was found to have lower mortality rates but more subsequent HF hospitalizations than other therapies. Researchers noted there was no increased risk of all-cause hospitalizations, however.

Thoratec buys maker of transapical systems for $35M

Thoratec, which makes implantable devices for patients with advanced heart failure, paid $35 million to acquire an Irish company that specializes in transapical surgical access systems.

Diabetes & heart failure: A delicate balancing act

Diabetes and heart failure have a very complex relationship. Having one puts a patient at risk for the other and once a patient has both, his or her condition may spiral quickly in a downward trajectory. In a viewpoint published June 18 in JAMA, physicians discussed concerns and the current state of therapies focused on caring for both diseases.

CRT benefits women with left bundle branch block more than men

Women with QRS of 130 milliseconds or greater see better outcomes than men when using cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). A study published online June 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine found that while women receive CRT defibrillation (CRT-D) less often than men, women with left bundle branch block and a QRS of 130 to 149 milliseconds had a 76 percent reduction in mortality and other heart failure-related events.

Transitional care for heart failure doesn’t dent 30-day readmissions

Use of home visits and multidisciplinary clinics helped to reduce all-cause readmissions and death up to six months after an index hospitalization for patients with heart failure, while telephone-based interventions also showed some success, according to a review of transitional care trials. But none seemed to lower 30-day readmission rates.

ICD use improves survival in less severe heart failure patients

Heart failure patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) between 30 and 35 percent do better with an implantable cardioverter-defibrilators (ICD) than without, a study published June 4 in JAMA confirmed. The findings also support guideline recommendations for use of ICDs in patients with LVEF of less than 30.

Severe heart failure may put patients at risk for diabetes

Patients receiving an increased loop-diuretic dose rate of heart failure drugs may have a greater risk of developing diabetes.

CardioMEMS gets FDA approval and buyout offer

Persistence paid off for CardioMEMS, maker of a miniaturized implantable system for monitoring patients with heart failure. After several years, the company received FDA approval for its namesake device, which has opened the doors for its acquisition by St. Jude Medical.

HF patients change resuscitation preferences near end of life

Many heart failure (HF) patients change their final resuscitation decisions close to the end of life, often while in the hospital. The findings may help cardiologists better counsel these patients. 

FDA says ‘no’ to serelaxin for heart failure

The FDA followed the lead of its counterpart in Europe by rejecting a bid from Novartis to approve serelaxin as a treatment for acute heart failure. The FDA stated that it needed more proof of the drug’s efficacy.

HeartWare: Monitor VAD batteries

Heartware International has issued back-to-back warnings about its ventricular assist device (VAD), with the most recent notice involving batteries in the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System.