California dreamin'
Kaitlyn Dmyterko, staff writer
SAN FRANCISCO--"California dreamin' on such a winter's day," sang the Mamas and the Papas. Exciting news poured out of the 32nd annual Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) meeting in San Francisco last week, which included the role of newer anticoagulants, novel technologies for patients who suffer from various heart rhythm disorders and a healthy debate around healthcare policy and reform. There is great hope that these promising results will be taken back and integrated into clinical practice.

Results of one late-breaking clinical trial CONFIRM(ed) that using a diagnostic mapping system acutely terminated or substantially slowed atrial fibrillation (AF) with less than 10 minutes of ablation. Focal impulse and rotor modulation (FIRM) ablation increased freedom from AF by 70 percent, according to the study’s principal investigator Sanjiv Narayan, MD, PhD.

Also at HRS, Also at HRS, researchers found that use of a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) could effectively convert and detect ventricular fibrillation through shock. The system decreased hospitalizations from heart failure and episodes of sudden cardiac death and the researchers concluded that its use was comparable to conventional ICD therapy.

Additionally, researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that using a laser balloon catheter can successfully isolate the pulmonary veins in the majority of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation cases. In fact, that success rate was almost 90 percent.

Based on their results, the study presenters concluded that the laser balloon catheter can achieve persistent, long-lasting pulmonary vein isolation in these AF patients.

"All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey," sang the Mamas of the Papas when dreaming of California. The research from this year's HRS is promising and positive and these promises may offer reprieve from the brown leaves and grey skies of yesterday's EP.

Kaitlyn Dmyterko
Senior Writer, Cardiovascular Business