Consensus Document Provides Roadmap To Uptake Of TAVI In US

Following the recent approval by the FDA of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), the ACC, AATS, SCAI, and STS, in conjunction with several other medical organizations, have released a critical consensus document to guide use of the new landmark procedure. “We have tried to collate the evidence into a coherent road map for judicious use, rational…

Click here to continue reading…

Robert Harrington Leaving Duke for Stanford University

Harrington

Robert Harrington will be leaving his position as the director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, a position he has held since 2006, to become the new chair of the department of medicine at Stanford University. Harrington was also the Richard S. Stack MD Distinguished Professor at Duke University School of Medicine. The news was publicly…

Click here to continue reading…

Appropriate Use Criteria for Revascularization Updated

The ACC, AHA, and other organizations have released updated appropriate use criterial for coronary revascularization. The 2012 Appropriate Use Criteria for Coronary Revascularization Focused Update incorporates data from the SYNTAX trial on the indications for PCI and CABG in patients with symptomatic, multivessel disease, as well as data from the CathPCI registry. Here are some of the…

Click here to continue reading…

Very Large Observational Study Finds Significant Mortality Advantage for CABG Over PCI in High Risk Patients

Although PCI has a small, early mortality benefit compared to CABG in high risk patients, after the first year a striking survival advantage for CABG develops, according to results of the ASCERT study, presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) meeting. Fred Edwards presented the high-risk subset of…

Click here to continue reading…

ACC 2012 Roster of Late-Breaking Clinical Trials

The American College of Cardiology has released the roster of late-breaking clinical trials that will be presented in March at the ACC Scientific Sessions: ACC.12 Opening Session and Late-Breaking Clinical Trials Saturday, March 24, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Effect of Transendocardial Autologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cell Delivery on Functional Capacity, Left Ventricular Function…

Click here to continue reading…

Lancet Editor Richard Horton Tweets Dark View of Contemporary Medicine

Horton

One brief message at a time, Lancet editor Richard Horton is tweeting his dark view of the contemporary medical establishment. If you have any interest at all in peeking behind the curtain to see what really goes on behind the scenes of top medical organizations then you need to follow Richard Horton’s Twitter feed. In sudden…

Click here to continue reading…

NHLBI Launches Two Large Cardiac Arrest Treatment Trials

The NHLBI today announced the launch of two large clinical trials evaluating treatments for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The Continuous Chest Compressions (CCC) trial will randomize 23,600 people with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to either standard CPR or continuous chest compressions, both delivered by paramedics or fire fighters. In recent years, studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, …

Click here to continue reading…

Big Drop in Incidence and Fatality of MIs in England

Since 2002 in England the incidence of acute MI has dropped by one-half and the case fatality rate by one-third, according to a new study published in BMJ. The overall decline in deaths from MI are about equally due to improvements in the prevention of MI and the treatment of MI. Kate Smolina and colleagues…

Click here to continue reading…

Huge Study Finds Risk Factors Do In Fact Predict Risk

An enormous new meta-analysis confirms the important role that risk factors play over a lifetime in the development of cardiovascular disease. In a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jarett Berry and colleagues report on the new meta-analysis from the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project, which contains data from 18 epidemiological studies including more than…

Click here to continue reading…

FDA Rejects Proposed Chronic Kidney Disease Indication for Vytorin

The FDA rejected a new indication for Merck’s Vytorin and Zetia (ezetimibe plus simvastatin and ezetimibe alone) in chronic kidney disease patients. As a consolation prize, however, the agency approved a new label for Vytorin that will incorporate the results of SHARP (Study of Heart and Renal Protection), which found that Vytorin reduced the incidence of…

Click here to continue reading…

Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Against 5 Cardiologists in Pennsylvania

The US government has joined a cardiologist in a whistleblower lawsuit against Hamot Medical Center  in western Pennsylvania  and a group of cardiologists with whom he once practiced, Ed Palattella reports in the Erie Times-News. Cardiologist Tullio Emanuele, who now practices in Kentucky, has accused five former colleagues, members of Medicor Associates Inc. and its affiliate, Flagship Cardiac,…

Click here to continue reading…

Black Tea Found To Lower Blood Pressure

A new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine provides the best evidence yet that drinking black tea can lower blood pressure. Jonathan M. Hodgson and colleagues randomized 95 regular tea drinkers to either 3 cups per day of either black tea (containing 429 mg of polyphenols and 96 mg of caffeine) or placebo. At 3 and 6…

Click here to continue reading…

St Jude Medical Statement on the Riata ICD Lead Summit

In response to the guest post summarizing the Riata ICD Lead Summit, St. Jude Medical sent the following statement to CardioBrief: We recognize that the phenomenon of externalized conductors presents a complex patient management scenario for physicians who may be able to visualize an anomaly, but it is important to remember that most leads with…

Click here to continue reading…

Rita Redberg and Roger Blumenthal Clash Over Statins for Primary Prevention in the Wall Street Journal

The debate over whether statins should be used for primary prevention moved to the Wall Street Journal with opposing perspectives from cardiologists Roger Blumenthal and Rita Redberg. Blumenthal argues that “there is a mountain of high-quality scientific evidence” to support the use of statins in people without known heart disease but “demonstrated to be at high…

Click here to continue reading…

Guest Post: Report from the Riata ICD Lead Summit

riata summit poster

Second update: Click here to review the slides from the meeting (posted by the Minneapolis Heart Institute), Update: Click here to read a statement from St Jude Medical in response to this post. Editor’s Note: Edward J. Schloss (Twitter ID @EJSMD), the medical director of cardiac electrophysiology at the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, returned…

Click here to continue reading…

CT Angiography Found Less Helpful in Patients With High Calcium Scores

Computed tomography angiography (CTA) has been proposed as a less invasive method to exclude obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), but no consensus has been achieved about its clinical role in different patient subsets. Now a new report published in JACC from the CORE-64 (Coronary Artery Evaluation Using 64-Row Multidetector Computed Tomography Angiography) study shows that CTA may not…

Click here to continue reading…

Guest Post: A critical analysis of ABC & Bill Weir’s “lifesaving test” story

Editor’s Note: The following guest post by Gary Schwitzer is reprinted with permission from his HealthNewsReview blog, an indispensable resource for tracking the best and worst of healthcare journalism. A critical analysis of ABC & Bill Weir’s “lifesaving test” story by Gary Schwitzer ABC News is in the midst of a major promotion of Dr. David…

Click here to continue reading…

FAME II: Additional Thoughts About FFR in the Real World

Earlier today I reported the news that enrollment in the FAME II study had been stopped early by the DSMB. From the initial presentation of the first FAME trial several years ago, I’ve been fascinated by the potential of this technology, since it offers the tantalizing prospect of helping identify atherosclerotic lesions that actually will…

Click here to continue reading…

New Enrollment in FAME II Halted After Interim Analysis Shows Benefits of FFR

Following a positive interim analysis showing that fractional flow-reserve-guided PCI was superior to optimal medical treatment, an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) has recommended that patient enrollment in the ongoing FAME II trial  be stopped. The news was announced by the trial sponsor, St. Jude Medical. FAME II (Fractional Flow Reserve-Guided Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Plus Optimal…

Click here to continue reading…

Cangrelor Proposed As Bridge To Surgery

As a potent and reversible platelet inhibitor, cangrelor has been proposed for use in a bridging strategy for patients scheduled for surgery who are currently taking clopidogrel or another thienopyridine. To test this strategy, the BRIDGE investigators randomized 210 ACS or stent patients awaiting CABG and taking a thienopyridine to receive either cangrelor or placebo…

Click here to continue reading…

Resveratrol and Fraud

Last week a new case of scientific misconduct came to light. University of Connecticut resveratrol researcher Dipak Das was accused of serious scientific misconduct. (You can read my brief post about the case or, for all the gory details, you can follow the story on Retraction Watch.) In this post I’d like to make two fairly simple…

Click here to continue reading…

The Safety of the Long Distance Runner

Long distance runners may be lonely but they are not at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The RACER (Race Associated Cardiac Arrest Event Registry) investigators analyzed data from 10.9 million registered participants in marathons and half-marathons that took place in the US during the…

Click here to continue reading…

ASSERT Sheds Light on the Role of Subclinical AF in Stroke

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine sheds some much-needed light on the precise role of subclinical atrial fibrillation (AF) in the prognosis and development of ischemic stroke. ASSERT (Asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Evaluation in Pacemaker Patients and the Atrial Fibrillation Reduction Atrial Pacing Trial) followed 2580 patients with a newly implanted pacemaker or ICD…

Click here to continue reading…

Director of UConn CV Research Center Accused of Scientific Misconduct

Dipak Das

[See update at the end of the story] Following an extensive investigation, Depak Das, a professor in the Department of Surgery and director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center, has been accused of serious scientific misconduct. UConn has informed 11 scientific journals about the investigation. Das had numerous publications on resveratrol…

Click here to continue reading…

Researchers Find Lower Sweet Spot for Potassium Levels in MI

Current guidelines for the treatment of acute MI recommend that serum potassium be maintained between 4.0 and 5.0 mEq/L, and some believe that the upper limit could be raised to 5.5, but evidence is based on small, outdated studies. Now a new study published in JAMA suggests that the ideal potassium range should be adjusted downward….

Click here to continue reading…