Cardiology in 2013: Like A Wrecking Ball

Perhaps I’m being overdramatic but I think  the best metaphor for the year in cardiology is Miley Cyrus on the wrecking ball. The Guidelines Wrecking Ball: Like Hannah Montana guidelines are supposed to be boring and reliable.  But in 2013 the guidelines were more like Miley Cyrus. Like a wrecking ball, the NIH abandoned its long-entrenched and highly influential role in producing…

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FDA Spanks 23andMe, Grants Breakthrough Status To Factor Xa Inhibitor, and Approves Promus Premier Stent

It was a busy morning at the FDA. Three new FDA actions may be of considerable interest in the cardiology universe: FDA Halts 23andMe Personal Genome Test– The FDA sent a scathing letter to 23andMe ordering the company to stop selling its Personal Genome Service (PGS) test.   The FDA highlighted two cardiology-related uses of PGS as “particularly concerning,”…

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The Italian Research Scandal Grows: New Questions And More Confusion

New questions are being raised about yet another published study from an embattled Italian research group. It also appears that despite attempts by some of the participants to respond to some of the previous questions and accusationst there is little likelihood that the growing scandal will be resolved anytime soon. The new allegations are the…

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Stents In The News

Three big stent stories were in the news today. You’d never know that all 3 were about the same topic.   The Ugly   The ugly side of stents is emphasized in David Armstrong’s Bloomberg News story on Mehmood Patel, the Louisiana interventional cardiologist serving a 10-year prison sentence for Medicare fraud. These days Patel “leads health-conscious inmates on…

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FDA Approves First New Atherectomy Device In 20 Years

The FDA today granted PMA approval to the Diamondback 360 Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System (OAS) for the treatment of severely calcified coronary arteries. Cardiovascular Systems, the manufacturer of the device, said that the OAS  was the first new coronary atherectomy system to receive FDA approval in 2 decades. The company said  it would begin a controlled launch of the…

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A Paper In The American Journal Of Cardiology About A Study That Was ‘Not Real’

New allegations about scientific misconduct have been raised about a cardiology group in a hospital in Italy. Some of the allegations come from a surprising source: Maria Grazia Modena, the former and highly prominent chief of cardiology at the hospital where the research was said to have been performed. The new allegations are the latest…

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Could Terrorists Have Hacked Dick Cheney’s ICD?

It happened in Homeland. Could it happen in real life? In a 60 Minutes segment scheduled for broadcast tomorrow, Dick Cheney says that his doctors turned off the wireless function of his implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) “in case a terrorist tried to send his heart a fatal shock,” according to the Associated Press. Years later, Cheney…

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Former ACC CEO Takes Reins Of Cardiovascular Research Foundation

The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) announced today that it had appointed Jack Lewin as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. Lewin is the former CEO of the American College of Cardiology. In April 2012 the ACC announced his abrupt departure from the college. No explanation was ever given for the sudden change. … Click here to read the full…

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A Vision Unfulfilled: Reflections On The Death Of TheHeart.Org (1999-2013)

(Updated, October 25–) On Friday, September 20 the cardiology website TheHeart.Org died. It lost its separate and unique identity and became a part of Medscape (which is owned by WebMD). I played a part in the founding and development of TheHeart.Org (THO) and I mourn its loss. What follows is some of that story and why…

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Can Inflating A Blood Pressure Cuff Improve Outcomes Following Bypass Surgery?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2013/08/15/can-inflating-a-blood-pressure-cuff-improve-outcomes-following-bypass-surgery/   For several decades cardiologists have been intrigued by the concept of ischemic preconditioning. A small body of research has consistently found that brief episodes of ischemia (in which reduced blood flow results in damage to tissue) appeared to somehow prepare the body to better handle a major episode of ischemia. Now a new study…

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Hot Line Trials For European Society Of Cardiology Congress Announced

The European Society of Cardiology has published the full program for the 2013 Congress taking place in Amsterdam from August 31 through September 4. There will be 4 Hot Line Sessions. Here is the schedule for Hot Line trials: … Click here to read the full post on Forbes.      …

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New Trend? Free Tablet Computers For All Registrants At TCT Meeting

Cardiologists and others who attend this year’s TCT meeting in San Francisco will receive a free tablet computer. TCT is the highly influential interventional cardiology meeting run by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. This year it will take place in San Francisco from October 27 through November 1. Heavily promoted in emails and on the site’s webpage, TCT is promising that…

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Dramatic Increase in Use of Radial Artery Access for PCI in the U.S.

In the last six years interventional cardiologists have dramatically increased their use of radial access for PCI, according to a retrospective study published in Circulation. Using data from the CathPCI registry on more than 2.8 million procedures between January 2007 and September 2012, Dmitriy Feldman and colleagues found that radial access PCI increased 13-fold, from a negligible 1.2% at the beginning of the study…

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Scientific Misconduct: From Darwin And Mendel To Poldermans And Matsubara

Responding to recent episodes of scientific misconduct in cardiovascular research involving once prominent cardiovascular researchers, the editor of the European Heart Journal, Thomas Lüscher, has written an editorial discussing the significance of the new cases and placing them in a historical context that includes allegations of scientific misconduct by Mendel and Darwin, among many others. … Poldermans was the…

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Are Most People With Complex Coronary Disease Getting The Best Treatment?

The relative value of PCI (stents) and bypass surgery for the treatment of people with blocked coronary arteries has been a topic of intense interest and debate for more than a generation now. Over time, the less invasive and more patient-friendly (and less scary) PCI has become the more popular procedure, but the surgeons (who…

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400 Patients Sue Kentucky Hospital and 11 Cardiologists Over Unnecessary Procedures

After undergoing more than two dozen cardiac procedures over a period of twenty years at St. Joseph Hospital in London, Kentucky, a patient was told by an outside cardiologist in Lexington that a recent procedure had been performed unnecessarily on an artery that was barely blocked. “I would have not carried out this procedure,” the…

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Should Radial Artery Access Be The Default Choice For PCI?

Over on CardioExchange six cardiologists, from fellows to senior faculty, talk about whether radial artery access should be the “default choice for PCI: Megan Coylewright, MD, MPH (interventional fellow, Mayo Clinic): …radial PCI should be a part of every interventionalist’s toolkit… Micah Eimer, MD (cardiologist, Glenview, IL): The data are pretty convincing on the lower rate of…

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2012 In Review: Social Media In Cardiology

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For a whole variety of reasons most cardiologists are not really comfortable diving into social media. For some reason they’re more comfortable remaining poolside, reading Braunwald or the latest mini JACC or Circulation than writing a blog or interacting with each other or their patients on Facebook or Twitter. Most cardiologists who do get their feet wet send out a few…

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