ACC preannouncement season begins with small company’s press release

I’d never heard of targeted pulsed electromagnetic field (tPEMF(tm)), or that it might be beneficial in ischemic heart disease, until I ran across the press release below. I’m always wary of press releases like these, especially when they come from tiny precarious companies. Nevertheless, there’s something intriguing about this, but I urge you to exhibit extreme…

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FAME pubbed in NEJM: is FFR ready to step into the spotlight?

One of the most intriguing studies at last fall’s TCT was FAME, which tested the value of fractional flow reserve (FFR) versus conventional angiography for guiding PCI. Now the study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, accompanied by an editorial written by Stephen Ellis. The use of FFR resulted in a…

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Newer antipsychotic agents also cause SCD

Newer antipsychotic agents like olanzapine, risperidone, and quetiapine are just as likely to cause sudden cardiac death as older agents such as haloperidol and thioridazine, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In an accompanying editorial, Sebastian Scheeweiss and Jerry Avorn argue that in “the absence of clearly established…

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More headaches for PFO closure devices

PFO closure devices have been having a tough time. First the trials for treatment of migraine ran into all sorts of trouble. (See below.) Now the first trial for prevention of stroke may be in similar hot water. Yesterday, NMT medical issued a press release with a very complicated update on the company’s CLOSURE I clinical…

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Senate investigation revealing new details in Avandia case, WSJ reports

Senator Grassley’s investigation into the Avandia case is turning up new, potentially embarrassing details about GSK’s internal responses to the controversy, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.  In response to the forthcoming Nissen meta-analysis, a GSK consultant wrote: “The numbers are the numbers, the analysis is very similar to our own.” The WSJ…

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Exercise found beneficial in PAD patients

PAD patients benefit from treadmill exercise, according to a new study published in JAMA.  …

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Despite negative endpoints, researchers remain committed to lifestyle modifications

Despite two negative NHLBI-sponsored trials presented at the AHA last November, researchers remain convinced that lifestyle modification is worthwhile, according to  a feature news story in JAMA by Mike Mitka. Both FIT Heart and HF-ACTION failed to reach their primary endpoint, but the researchers, Lori Mosca of Columbia and Chris O’Connor of Duke, make a strong case…

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Medtronic acquires AF ablation company

Medtronic announced today that it had bought Ablation Frontiers, Inc. The company specializes in radiofrequency catheter ablation for AF. Medtronic appears to be committed to covering the AF field. Last fall it acquired Cryocath, which specialized in cryoablation treatments for AF. You can read the Medtronic press release or the Wall Street Journal story….

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After a year-long review FDA finds nothing new about vytorin

The FDA has finally completed its review of ENHANCE that it started in January 2008. It’s finding: there was no difference in clinical outcome between the vytorin-treated and the simvastatin-treated patients in clinical outcomes, though vytorin, as expected, had greater efficacy in lowering cholesterol. The FDA advises patients that, pending the results of IMPROVE-IT, “patients…

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Boston Scientific acquires company with biodegradable polymer DES technology

Boston Scientific has announced that it has bought Labcoat Limited, a private company developing advanced DES technology located in Ireland. You can read the press release by clicking below:…

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HIV-infected cardiothoracic surgeon

The CDC is reporting in MMWR about an Israeli cardiothoracic surgeon who was found to be infected with HIV in 2007. Although he practiced for more than 20 years and performed approximately 150 procedures each year, he does not appear to have transmitted the virus to any of his patients….

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45 years in the business (Bill Roberts part 2)

In addition to dissecting, like the good pathologist he is, the status of cardiovascular journals (see previous post in this blog),  Bill Roberts, AJC editor, looks back on 45 years in the cardiovascular arena. In 1963  he was a cardiology fellow under Braunwald at the NIH. Roberts writes: That was the year President John F. Kennedy…

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Too many cardiology journals! Bill Roberts, AJC editor, speaks out

William Roberts, the editor of The American Journal of Cardiology since shortly after William Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood, makes a bold statement in an online editor’s note (in press): “there are too many cardiovascular journals!”…

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Court dismisses complaint against Medtronic over Fidelis leads

A US District Court has dismissed a case against Medtronic over the Fidelis lead failures. The decision follows the significant precedent-setting Supreme Court decision last year in Riegel v Medtronic. You can read the Wall Street Journal story or the Medtronic press release by clicking below….

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Has COURAGE been vindicated?

The ACC, the AHA, and a whole alphabet soup worth of other cardiovascular organizations (SCAI, STS, AATS, ASNC, ASE, HFSA SCCT) have published (or in some cases just endorsed) a report, called the ACCF/SCAI/STS/AATS/AHA/ASNC 2009 Appropriateness Criteria for Coronary Revascularization. The report  will probably provide comfort to those who were big supporters of COURAGE. I’m guessing…

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NPY gene linked to early CV disease

Duke researchers have linked variations in the neuropeptide Y (NPY) gene to early cardiovascular disease. The article appears in the Public Library of Science Genetics.  You can read a news story at Science Daily.  …

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Stent pioneer digs a tunnel

A feature story in the Wall Street Journal details the saga of stent pioneer Julio Palmaz and his wife in building a 100,000 square foot underground tunnel for their vineyard in Napa Valley. Palmaz told Journal reporter  Christina Duff that he and his wife had visited Napa Valley while he was a resident at UC-Davis  and…

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