March 10th, 2014
This week’s topics include cognitive function and brain structure in type 2 diabetics after intensive lowering of BP and lipid levels, the association of β-blocker therapy with risks of adverse CV events and deaths in those with ischemic heart disease undergoing noncardiac surgery, and more.
March 4th, 2014
Anticoagulation is a cornerstone of therapy for atrial fibrillation because it lowers the heightened risk for stroke in this population. People with chronic kidney disease are also at increased risk for stroke, but the benefits of anticoagulation are less clear in this group, and anticoagulation is used less often in AF patients who have CKD. […]
February 25th, 2014
The FDA has granted marketing approval for the Thermocool Smarttouch ablation catheter for use in patients with drug-resistant paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF), sustained monomorphic ischemic ventricular tachycardia, and type I atrial flutter. The device is manufactured by Biosense Webster, a Johnson & Johnson company. The device, according to the company, “is the first therapeutic catheter approved in the […]
February 18th, 2014
A new trial offers little support for early use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to treat atrial fibrillation (AF). Current guidelines state that RFA may be indicated in patients with symptomatic paroxysmal AF after antiarrhythmic drug therapy has failed. Although earlier hopes have been dashed that RFA would prove to be a cure for AF, some experts […]
February 5th, 2014
The Value of Imaging Atrial Tissue Fibrosis in Patients Who Undergo Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation
Nassir F. Marrouche, lead author of the DECAAF study, discusses the use of delayed-enhancement MRI to identify atrial tissue fibrosis in patients who undergo catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation.
January 28th, 2014
Although significant progress has been made in recent years, a new survey from the European Society of Cardiology finds that there are still too many atrial fibrillation patients who are not taking the best medications to reduce their elevated risk for stroke. Many elderly patients are not receiving oral anticoagulants — either traditional warfarin or […]
December 19th, 2013
Patients with atrial fibrillation seem to be at increased risk for ischemic stroke when starting warfarin prophylaxis, according to a case-control study in the European Heart Journal. The study was undertaken after trials of both apixaban and rivaroxaban noted increased stroke risks among patients transitioning to open-label warfarin. This study was funded by the makers of apixaban. […]
December 12th, 2013
The FDA’s Circulatory System Devices Panel yesterday gave a vote of confidence to Boston Scientific’s Watchman left atrial appendage closure device for the prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation patients. By a large majority, the panel agreed that the device was effective, that it was safe, and that the benefits outweighed the risks. In each case the […]
December 5th, 2013
A very large new meta-analysis finds a favorable risk-benefit for the new oral anticoagulant drugs in the setting of atrial fibrillation. The findings, published online in the Lancet, were remarkably consistent for all four of the new agents which have been fighting to replace warfarin, which was the only oral anticoagulant available for decades until the arrival of […]
November 26th, 2013
Christian Thomas Ruff, a coauthor of the ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 trial of edoxaban versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation, discusses the future of novel anticoagulants.