Electrophysiology & Arrhythmia

Digoxin, a cardiac glycoside popularly sold under the brand name Lanoxin, poses a major threat to the heart health of atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF) patients, according to a review published in the American Journal of Cardiology Oct. 4. Even without confounding conditions, the drug can raise an individual’s risk of all-cause mortality.

“The people most in need of it, those who might benefit from tests and distance monitoring, are the least likely to get (the Apple Watch),” Aaron E. Carroll, MD, wrote in the New York Times. “If we truly believed this was a medical test beneficial to the general population, insurance should pay for it."

The long-held belief that sudden cardiac arrests (SCAs) occur most commonly on weekday mornings has been debunked by a team in Portland, Oregon, whose recent study of more than 1,500 SCA victims failed to identify any peak windows during which heart patients were prone to sudden cardiac death.

In patients with atrial fibrillation who have experienced MI or undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), treatment with a combination of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) could significantly decrease the risk of bleeding and other major thromboembolic events, according to research published ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Increases in tricuspid regurgitation (TR) severity occurred in 11.5 percent of patients following transvenous lead extraction, according to a single-center study, which also identified lead age as an important predictor of acute TR increases and tricuspid valve injury.

A patient’s odds of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) fluctuate an average of 56 percent from one emergency medical services (EMS) agency to another, researchers reported Sept. 26 in JAMA Cardiology.

The prices of implantable medical devices to treat heart patients are up to six times higher in the United States than Germany, according to a study published Oct. 1 in Health Affairs.

OAC-ALONE, the first randomized trial to test the efficacy of oral anticoagulation (OAC) alone against combined OAC and a single antiplatelet agent (APT) in patients with atrial fibrillation and stable coronary artery disease, was unable to establish noninferiority of OACs to dual therapy, according to data presented at the 30th annual TCT conference in San Diego.

A strict protocol mandating coronary angiography and therapeutic hypothermia contributed to “startling” improvements in survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), researchers reported in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Atrial fibrillation patients are acutely aware of their five-fold increased risk of stroke, new research from StopAfib.org suggests—and 38 percent report feeling “trapped” between their fear of having a stroke and the major bleeding risks associated with anticoagulants.

Researchers have developed cardiology’s first pipeline for automated echocardiogram interpretation—an innovation that could cut healthcare costs while expanding care to underserved communities, according to a study published online this week in Circulation.

It’s well-known that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can be a life-saving tool to treat cardiac arrhythmias, but a new study from the University of Washington underscores just how crucial accessible AEDs can be during competitive sporting events.