Guest Post: Lessons from the Riata Recall– Part III

Editor’s Note: The following guest post is published with the permission of its author,  Edward J. Schloss, MD, (Twitter ID @EJSMD) the medical director of cardiac electrophysiology at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. Lessons from the Riata Recall– Part III by Edward J Schloss MD In two earlier posts on Cardiobrief (here and here), I have written…

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And the 2012 Award For the Most Dumbass Drug Promotion Goes To…

Xarelto 2011 Drug of the Year

The year 2012 is only 25% complete but it’s never too early to recognize an unprecedented and bold achievement in drug marketing. …

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Proof-of-Concept for Bedside Rapid Genotyping Test of CYP2C19

A new point-of-care test can rapidly identify people with a common genetic variant associated with impaired clopidogrel function. The authors claim that this is the first study to demonstrate the feasibility of delivering a genetic test at bedside. In an article published online in the Lancet, Jason Roberts and colleagues report on a new point-of-care test that can…

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20 Deaths Linked to New Problem with Riata Leads

Electrical malfunctions, not externalized conductors, may be the cause of 20 or more deaths associated with the troubled Riata ICD leads from St. Jude Medical, according to a new report published online in Heart Rhythm. Robert Hauser and colleagues at the Minneapolis Heart Institute searched the FDA’s MAUDE database and found 22 deaths caused by…

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Rolling Up the Carpets at the ACC

rolling up the carpets

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ASCERT Observational Study Finds Long Term Advantage for CABG Over PCI in High Risk Cases

A very large observational study finds that long-term mortality in high risk patients is lower after bypass surgery than after PCI. The results, which were previously revealed in January at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), were presented in final form at the American College of Cardiology by William Weintraub and published simultaneously…

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What To Do When Federal Investigators Knock On The Door

For more than a year now the federal investigation of hospitals suspected of improperly implanting ICDs has been the subject of considerable rumor and speculation. Now, two cardiologists who were involved in a federal audit at one hospital have published a detailed account of their experience. Jonathan Steinberg and Suneet Mittal are Columbia University-affiliated electrophysiologists…

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Bariatric Surgery Turns Back the Clock on Diabetes

Two new randomized trials offer new evidence that bariatric surgery is highly effective in obese patients with diabetes. The results, according to Paul Zimmet and K. George M.M. Alberti, writing in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, “are likely to have a major effect on future diabetes treatment.” In the STAMPEDE trial, which…

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PARTNER: TAVR Results Appear Durable at Two Years

Two year results of the influential PARTNER trial provide continued support for the growing acceptance of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in clinical practice. Previously, results of PARTNER at one year had demonstrated a similar mortality in high risk patients with aortic stenosis who received TAVR and surgery. The two year results were presented at the American College…

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Rivaroxaban Found Safe and Effective for Pulmonary Embolism

In recent years rivaroxaban has been found to be effective in the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after orthopedic surgery, for the prevention of stroke in AF patients, and as additional therapy to conventional antiplatelet therapy in ACS patients. Now, a study presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago and published simultaneously…

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Study Supports CT Angiography to Rule Out CAD in Chest-Pain Patients

Six million people each year in the US go to the emergency department (ED) with acute chest pain. Although only 10-15% of them turn out to have an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), most are admitted to the hospital. Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) has been proposed as a good method to quickly establish the presence or absence…

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Study Supports PCI Without Onsite Surgical Backup

Here’s a great example of genuine medical progress: 10% of the first 50 patients who received balloon angioplasty from the developer of the procedure, Andreas Grüntzig, required emergency bypass surgery. By 2002 only 0.15% of PCI patients required emergency surgery, leading many to believe that surgical backup was no longer necessary. Now a large new…

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Eric Peterson to Succeed Bob Harrington as Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute

Eric Peterson

The Duke Clinical Research Institute has announced that its new director will be Eric Peterson. The DCRI was founded by Robert Califf, who, as the director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI), will be Peterson’s boss. The DCRI’s second director, Robert Harrington, announced earlier this year that he was leaving Duke to become the chairman of the department…

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Novel Antiplatelet Agent Reduces CV Events But Increases Bleeding

Vorapaxar, the novel antiplatelet agent from Merck, appears to effectively reduce cardiovascular death and ischemic events in patients with MI, ischemic stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, but its potential utility is clouded by bleeding complications, including intracranial hemorrhage. Results from the TRA 2P-TIMI 50 (Thrombin Receptor Antagonist in Secondary Prevention of Atherothrombotic Ischemic Events) trial were presented…

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Welcome to Chicago!

ACC Welcome

Get ready for ACC.1212, the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. Sessions start on Saturday. The first late-breakers come off embargo at 9 AM ET (8 AM CT). See you in Chicago!…

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Large Meta-Analysis Finds Very Low Thrombosis Rates for Xience Stent

A large new meta-analysis published in the Lancet provides the best evidence yet that the cobalt-chromium everolimus eluting (CoCr-EES) stents  (Xience and Promus) have a significantly lower rate of stent thrombosis than bare-metal stents BMS) and other drug-eluting stents (DES). Tullio Palmerini and colleagues analyzed data from 49 randomized trials comparing different stents in more than 50,000 patients….

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Promising Phase 1 Results For New Monoclonal Antibody to PCSK9

Promising results from very early studies with an experimental new cholesterol-lowering drug, a monoclonal antibody to PCSK9, have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Evan Stein and colleagues report the results of two single-dose studies in which the drug, REGN727, was administered intravenously and subcutaneously to healthy subjects. In a third, randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging…

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Meta-Analysis Adds New Evidence For Cancer Benefits Of Daily Aspirin

Although daily aspirin was originally proposed to reduce cardiovascular events, the effects on cancer of daily aspirin have become increasingly apparent while the vascular benefits, especially in primary prevention, have become less clear. Now a new meta-analysis in the Lancet adds significantly new details to our understanding about the effects of aspirin and increases the…

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Questions Raised About Antiplatelet Therapy in Chronic Kidney Disease

Many people develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) as they grow older, and many people with CKD take antiplatelet agents to prevent cardiovascular events. However, the efficacy of antiplatelet therapy in CKD has not been examined, despite the fact that people with CKD are more likely to die from nonatherosclerotic conditions and are more likely to…

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Merck Drops Development of Oral Vernakalant for Atrial Fibrillation

Merck has discontinued its development of oral vernakalant for the long term prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence. Cardiome Pharma, Merck’s partner in the drug, said today that the “decision was based on Merck’s assessment of the regulatory environment and projected development timeline.” Merck and Cardiome will continue their partnership with the intravenous formulation of vernakalant,…

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A Case of Plagiarism Raises Blood Pressures

Plagiarism: it’s enough to raise your blood pressure. An article in Korean Circulation Journal appears to plagiarize from a similar article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). In 2009, Franz Messerli, a well-known hypertension expert at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, and Gurusher Panjrath, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, published a Viewpoint and Commentary…

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Studies Provide Strongest Evidence To Date For Causative Role of Inflammation in Heart Disease

Two large new meta-analyses published in the Lancet provide the first strong evidence demonstrating a cause-and-effect relationship between a specific inflammatory protein and the development of coronary heart disease (CHD). Both studies illuminate the role of interleukin-6 receptor (IL6R) by focusing on the common Asp 358Ala variant of the IL6R gene. The variant is known to dampen the…

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Achieving CLOSURE: Final Act of PFO Closure Device

You can choose from a myriad of metaphors– closing the book, sealing the deal, fixing a hole– but the story is simple: the publication of CLOSURE 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine is the final act of the long and sad melodrama of the CLOSURE 1 trial. As initially reported at the American Heart Association…

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Angioplasty Pioneer Geoffrey Hartzler Dead at 65

GHartzler1

Geoffrey Hartzler, a key figure in the development of interventional cardiology in the United States, has died from cancer at the age of 65. He was one of the first cardiologists to learn the technique of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) from its founder, Andreas Gruentzig. Hartzler then went on to perform the first angioplasty…

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Prominent Japanese Cardiologist Accused of Scientific Misconduct

matsubara09-pict1

Following accusations by independent bloggers in Japan and Germany, the American Heart Association (AHA) has issued an Expression of Concern about five papers published in AHA journals co-authored by Hiroaki Matsubara, a prominent cardiologist and researcher at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan. In addition to his many papers exploring the basic science of the renin-angiotensin system, Matsubara…

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