Heart Failure

Two new lawsuits have been filed against Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, the fourth and fifth malpractice complaints involving heart transplants at the Houston hospital since the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica exposed problems with its transplant program last year.

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center appointed a new president and restructured other staff after an investigation from the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica found mistakes at the Houston-based hospital’s heart transplant center led to patient deaths.

Public health insurance programs are covering an increasing number of heart transplant surgeries in the U.S., recent research suggests, meaning the outcomes of such procedures could hinge on decisions made by the federal government.

Tafamidis, Pfizer’s treatment for transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM), has been granted a priority review designation from the FDA, potentially speeding its path to approval.

Although childhood cancer survival has improved markedly over the past few decades, a new study out of the Netherlands suggests a greater proportion of those survivors are at risk of developing heart failure at young ages, due in part to cardiotoxic treatments.

A tool designed to assess the psychosocial status of heart transplant candidates may also be able to predict which left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recipients are at the highest risk of being readmitted to the hospital, Cleveland Clinic researchers reported Jan. 9 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Women with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) live longer than their male counterparts, but those additional years are plagued by a lower quality of life—including greater levels of self-reported anxiety, depression and physical disability—according to an analysis in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

AI applied to an electrocardiogram (EKG) test reliably detected asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction (ALVD)—a precursor to heart failure—and predicted which patients were most at risk of developing the condition in the future, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in Nature Medicine.

A French health tech company debuted its Chronolife vest—a cotton- and lycra-based wearable aimed at preventing medical emergencies in patients with chronic or congestive heart failure (CHF)—at CES 2019 in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, CNET reported.

University of Chicago Medicine physicians performed the 16th and 17th triple transplant surgeries in the United States within 30 hours of each other in late December, giving two different patients a healthy heart, kidney and liver all at once.

Compared to drug therapy alone, catheter ablation nearly halved the risk of death and improved a range of clinical outcomes for patients with both heart failure and atrial fibrillation (AFib) in a meta-analysis.

Another study has linked the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) to increased mortality among patients hospitalized for heart failure, prompting at least one cardiologist to urge policymakers to revise the policy.