Heart Rhythm Editor Douglas Zipes Defends Peer Review

Rejecting an extraordinary request from industry to retract a controversial paper, Douglas Zipes, the editor-in-chief of HeartRhythm, has written a rare, highly pointed editorial defending the publication process. “If one disagrees with facts/statements in a publication,”  writes the editor, Douglas Zipes, “there is a well-defined approach that can begin with a letter to the editor or submission…

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Cameron Health’s Subcutaneous ICD Sails Through FDA Advisory Panel

S-ICD

The FDA’s Circulatory System Devices panel voted 7-1 on Thursday that the benefits of the Cameron Health subcutaneous ICD system (S-ICD) outweigh the risks in appropriately selected patients. Unlike all previous ICDs, the S-ICD is much easier to implant because it is does not require threading a lead to connect the device to the heart. Panel member Rick…

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FDA Advisory Panel Gives Green Light To HeartWare Ventricular Assist System

HeartWare

The FDA’s Circulatory System Devices panel voted 9-2 on Wednesday to recommend approval of the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System as a bridge to heart transplantation for patients with end-stage heart failure. The panel agreed unanimously (11-0) that the new device is effective. The panel was more divided about safety but ultimately voted  8-3 that the device…

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The Medicines Company Collaborates with AstraZeneca To Sell Brilinta (ticagrelor)

The Medicines Company will collaborate with AstraZeneca to help sell Brilinta (ticagrelor), AstraZeneca’s struggling oral antiplatelet drug. The collaboration is the first stage of  “a global collaboration for acute ischemic heart disease compound” announced by the two companies today. AstraZeneca will pay $15 million per year for The Medicines Company’s Brilinta-related sales activities, scheduled to begin in May….

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When You’re Hot You’re Hot: Salim Yusuf Second Most Influential Scientist in 2011

yusuf_salim_2009

McMaster University’s Salim Yusuf has tied for second place in the annual ranking of the “hottest” scientific researchers, according to Thomson Reuter’s Science Watch.  Yusuf was a co-author of 13 of the most cited papers in 2011. Only one other researcher, genomic pioneer Eric Lander of the Broad Institute of MIT, had more highly-cited papers than Yusuf. Two of…

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Study Sheds Light on Cardiac Device Infective Endocarditis

A new study sheds light on a rare but highly dangerous complication associated with device implants: cardiac device infective endocarditis (CDIE). Approximately 10-23% of device infections result in CDIE, leading, in one estimate, to an overall rate of 1.14 cases per 1,000 device-years. In a paper published in JAMA, Eugene Athan and colleagues analyzed data from 3,284…

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Meta-Analysis Compares Drug-Eluting and Bare-Metal Stents for Primary Angioplasty

A new meta-analysis comparing drug-eluting stents (DES) and bare-metal stents (BMS) in patients with myocardial infarction has provoked opposing take-away messages from an author of the study and an editorialist. The authors emphasize the reduction in target-vessel revascularization (TVR) associated with DES, but the editorialist focuses on several potential DES weaknesses suggested by the study….

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FDA Posts Results of Cameron Subcutaneous ICD Pivotal Trial

S-ICD

In preparation for Thursday’s meeting of the FDA’s Circulatory System Devices advisory panel, the FDA has released the results of the pivotal trial for the Cameron Health subcutaneous ICD system (S-ICD). The results have not been previously available. Unlike previous ICDs, which require threading a transvenous lead to the heart, the S-ICD system contains no leads…

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Aliskiren (Tekturna) Gets New Warning and Contraindication From FDA

The FDA has issued new warnings about antihypertensive drugs containing the direct renin inhibitor aliskiren (including Tekturna, Amturnide, Takamio, and Valturna) when used in combination with ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). The FDA now states that these drug combinations are contraindicated in patients with diabetes, and it is adding a new warning to…

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Arizona Cardiac Surgeons Pay $100,000 To Settle HIPAA Violations

An Arizone cardiac surgery group has agreed to pay $100,000 to resolve an investigation into potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). In the agreement the surgical group did not offer an admission of liability but did agree to implement a corrective action plan in addition to the payment….

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Periodontal Disease and CV Disease: Just Friends?

Demonstrating once again that association and causation should not be confused, the American Heart Association today published a scientific statement in Circulation asserting that there is no convincing evidence showing that periodontal disease causes cardiovascular (CV) disease or that treating periodontal disease will reduce CV disease. The statement does not rule out the possibility that periodontal disease can…

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Preoperative Statins Found to Reduce AF and Length of Stay But Not Mortality

In a systematic review published in the Cochrane Library investigators at the University of Cologne in Germany analyzed data from 11 trials that tested the effects of preoperative statins in 984 patients undergoing heart surgery. Preoperative administration of statins reduced the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF) and shortened the length of stay on the ICU and in the…

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New Perspective on the Dutch Cardiovascular Research Scandal

poldermans

New information and details have  emerged about the cardiovascular research scandal in the Netherlands. One prominent cardiologist with close ties to the central character in the scandal has been cleared of wrongdoing by his institution and a feature magazine article sheds new light on that central character, Don Poldermans. As previously reported here last November,…

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Million Dollar Bonuses For Five Ohio State University Electrophysiologists

Five Ohio State University electrophysiologists received 2011 bonus payments greater than $1 million, resulting in total pay for the year for each cardiologist of about $2 million. The news was first reported by the Dayton Daily News and subsequently covered by Heartwire. Five out of the 7 bonuses that topped $1 million at OSU went to the…

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Guest Post: After an Unprecedented Request for a Retraction, A Close Look at the Data

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. After an Unprecedented Request for a Retraction, A Close Look at the Data by Edward J Schloss MD Last week, St. Jude Medical took…

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Study Evaluates Losartan Efficacy in Heart Failure

The angiotensin II-receptor blocker (ARB) losartan has labored under the perception that it is not as potent as other ARBs, and some evidence has suggested that it may not confer the same clinical benefits as other ARBs in heart failure patients. In a paper from Denmark published in JAMA, Henrik Svanström and colleagues performed a country-wide registry study…

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Round Two: Heart Rhythm Editor Rejects St Jude Request to Retract Riata Paper

SmackDown!Brand

Douglas Zipes, the editor of Heart Rhythm, said the journal will not retract a controversial paper that has raised new safety concerns about St. Jude’s embattled Riata leads. On Friday (as reported here) St. Jude issued a press release alleging numerous mistakes and oversights in an article by Robert Hauser published online in Heart Rhythm linking the company’s Riata…

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Mark Midei Can’t Get a Job Taking Blood Pressure At A Walmart

Earlier this year I had the extraordinary experience of spending several hours on the phone with Mark Midei, the poster-boy (or scapegoat, depending on whom you ask) for all that’s wrong with interventional cardiology in the US. I approached the conversation with some trepidation and discomfort. I’d followed his story closely– but not obsessively– and…

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St. Jude Seeks Retraction of Hauser Article On Riata Leads

St. Jude Medical is seeking the retraction of an article by Robert Hauser in Heart Rhythm linking the company’s Riata and Riata ST leads to 20 or more deaths. In a press release (see below) issued on Friday afternoon, St. Jude alleges numerous mistakes and oversights in the Hauser paper. In a brief statement to CardioBrief, Hauser wrote:…

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Failure of Another Trial Testing Guided Antiplatelet Therapy Prompts Debate

Updated, Saturday, April 7 Yet another trial has failed to prove the hypothesis that guided antiplatelet therapy with platelet function testing or genetic testing improves outcomes. Although there has been no public announcement so far, the TARGET-PCI (Thrombocyte Activity Reassessment and GEnoTyping for PCI) was suspended last October, according to the TARGET-PCI page on ClinicalTrials.Gov….

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Investigation Begins in the Korean Plagiarism Case

An investigation has been initiated in the case of suspected plagiarism first reported on CardioBrief. The Editor-in-Chief of Korean Circulation Journal, where the suspected article was published, wrote me to say that the article is now being investigated by the publishing committee of the Korean Society of Cardiology and that an additional investigation has been requested from the…

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NIH Appoints Gary Gibbons As Next Director of the NHLBI

Gibbons

Gary Gibbons will be the next Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The selection of Gibbons was announced today by the National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins. Gibbons is the founder and current director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, chairperson of the Department of Physiology, and professor of physiology and medicine at the…

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Suicide and CV Death Increase After Diagnosis of Cancer

The risk of suicide and cardiovascular death rises sharply after cancer is diagnosed, according to a new study from Sweden published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Fang Fang and colleagues analyzed data from more than 6 million Swedes, including more than half a million who received a first diagnosis of cancer. Following a…

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Medical Societies Release Lists of Overused Tests and Procedures

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and other medical societies have released lists of commonly overused or misused tests of procedures. The action is part of Choosing Wisely, a broad initiative from the ABIM foundation. Here are the five tests or procedures identified by the ACC: Cardiac imaging tests (particularly, stress tests or advanced non-invasive imaging)…

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St Jude Withdraws Older LV CRT Leads From Market

St. Jude Medical today issued an advisory about its QuickSite and QuickFlex Left-Ventricular (LV) Leads, which connect to Cardiac Resynchronization (CRT) devices. The company said it would no longer sell these leads, but that it had received no reports of death or serious injury associated with the problem. The problem with the LV leads closely parallels…

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