News & Medical Papers


For current guidelines and updates from within the arrhythmia healthcare community please visit Arrhythmia Watch.


Sudden cardiac death robs many years of life

medpagetoday.com, 21 April 2014
The burden of sudden cardiac death in terms of years of potential life lost is high compared with other leading causes of death in the U.S., researchers found.
Read more

CE EU launch for world's first MRI compatible ICD

nasdaq.com, 10 April 2014
Medical device major Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) recently won CE Mark approval for its Evera MRI SureScan implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) system. With the approval, this system has become the world's first endorsed ICD that also allows full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Read more

Ablation patients 'feel less pain' if put in trance by nurses

nursingtimes.net, 10 April 2014
Visualising a “safe place” helps patients reduce pain while undergoing procedures, according to a complementary health study by Danish nurse researchers.
Read more

Routinely replace initial primary-prevention ICDs? Maybe not

medscape.com, 9 April 2014
PHILADELPHIA, PA — By the time patients with a first primary-prevention implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) are due for a new device, about one-fourth no longer fulfill indications for such an ICD and as a group have a reduced risk of later needing appropriate device therapy, suggests a retrospective analysis.
Read more

ARISTOTLE: Poorly controlled BP greatly increased risk for stroke in patients with AF

healio.com, 7 April 2014
WASHINGTON — Poorly controlled BP was independently associated with a 50% higher risk for stroke in the ARISTOTLE clinical trial population of patients with atrial fibrillation, according to data presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.
Read more

NIS Registry: 0.6% In-Hospital Mortality for Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias

medscape.com, 7 April 2014
MILWAUKEE, WI — The in-hospital mortality rate from catheter ablations performed for cardiac arrhythmias over the course of a decade is 0.6%, according to an analysis of the Nationwide Inpatients Sample (NIS) registry.
Read more

Painkillers linked to higher risk of stroke: Alert over prescription medicines used by millions

telegraph.co.uk, 9 April 2014
Irregular heart rhythm can lead to more serious problems including stroke, heart failure and reduced life expectancy.
Read more

NSAIDs might spark AF

medpagetoday.com, 8 April 2014
The risk of atrial fibrillation was higher among individuals ages 55 and older who were using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a Dutch study showed.
Read more

Jersey welcomes new arrhythmia nurse specialist

Sister Angela Moss has recently been appointed as the new arrhythmia nurse specialist in Jersey. Angela has also become one of the first nurses in the Island to complete the nurse prescribing course meaning that she now is able to see heart patients independently, prescribe and adjust their medication. This new service has had an immediate impact on patients on the Island with patients seen and discharged home quickly and followed up sooner. The post was created by Consultant Cardiologist Dr Andrew Mitchell following an anonymous donation and ongoing funding has been secured from the local government.

Watch video

AliveCor announces results of SEARCH-AF trial

digitaljournal.com, 2 April 2014
Study identifies people with unknown atrial fibrillation at high risk of stroke
Read more

Most ICD athletes can play sports without cardiac risks

medscape.com, 3 April 2014
WASHINGTON, DC — In the end, it really wasn't much of a debate at all. Two experts, citing similar research, made the case that most athletes with heart problems requiring an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) should be allowed to participate in sports.
Read more

How a smartphone case could help prevent strokes

smh.com.au, 3 April 2014
Smartphone-wielding pharmacists could become foot soldiers in efforts to prevent strokes in older Australians, researchers suggest.
Read more

Patch outperforms Holter for prolonged heart rhythm tracking

arwatch.co.uk, March 2014
A small adhesive wireless device worn on the chest for up to two weeks does a better job detecting arrhythmias than the Holter monitor, according to research published recently in the American Journal of Medicine.
Read more

ARISTOTLE: new analysis shows less bleeding and strokes with apixaban

arwatch.co.uk, March 2014
The novel oral anticoagulant apixaban is associated with fewer intracranial haemorrhages compared with warfarin, as well as less adverse consequences following extracranial haemorrhage, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Read more

Are ICD Patients Who Drive Post-VT Ticking Time Bombs?

medscape.com, 30 March 2014
Think about what it's like not to be able to drive, Dr Joshua M Cooper (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA) asked attendees here at the American College of Cardiology 2014 Scientific Sessions.
Read more

Heart Groups Issue New Afib Guidance

medpagetoday.com, 28 March 2014
An updated guideline on the management of patients with atrial fibrillation released by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Heart Rhythm Society includes recommendations on the new oral anticoagulants.
Read more

Researchers create smartphone device that performs blood tests

medicalnewstoday.com, 22 March 2014
Researchers have created a smartphone device that can perform blood tests - a creation they say could "improve the quality of life" for people undergoing treatment for the prevention of blood clots.
Read more

Limitations of novel oral anticoagulants challenge their widespread use

cxvascular.com, 18 February 2014
Even though novel oral anticoagulants present an “amazing opportunity to improve stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation”, according to Peter Kowey (chief of Cardiology at Main Line Heath and professor of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, USA), there are still several limitations that affect their widespread use.
Read more

Detection of atrial fibrillation with insertable cardiac monitors is superior to standard monitoring in cryptogenic stroke patients

cxvascular.com, 20 February 2014
Results from the CRYSTAL AF trial have shown that atrial fibrillation in patients with cryptogenic stroke is better detected with insertable cardiac monitors than standard monitoring at six, 12 and 36 months. 
Read more

Genome-wide association studies mislead on cardiac arrhythmia risk gene

medicalxpress.com, 20 March 2014
Although genome-wide association studies have linked DNA variants in the gene SCN10A with increased risk for cardiac arrhythmia, efforts to determine the gene's direct influence on the heart's electrical activity have been unproductive.
Read more

ESC webinar on Challenges in Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation

ESC Education, 18 Mar 2014
On 26 March 2014 from 18:00 to 19:00 CET, join Felicita Andreotti and Joao Morais online for an interactive live webinar focusing on the latest ESC Clinical Guidelines on Atrial Fibrillation.

Register for free by 24 March 2014

Read more

MRI Safe in Patients with Subcutaneous Defibrillators

medscape.com, 11 March 2014
Patients implanted with a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD System, Cameron Health and Boston Scientific) can safely undergo MRI, according to a study of the first cohort of patients to be evaluated.
Read more

Anticoagulation safe for CKD, study finds

gponline.co.uk, 10 March 2014
Studies had suggested anticoagulation may increase the health risks in these patients, while others found no added risk.
Read more

Can antibiotics trigger arrhythmias?

medpagetoday.com, 10 March 2014
Azithromycin and levofloxacin were both associated with elevated risks of death and serious cardiac arrhythmias during standard lengths of prescription, a study of mostly male military veterans showed.
Read more

NHS England expands its Commissioning through Evaluation programme to include Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO)

england.nhs.uk, 10 March 2014
Specialist hospitals are being invited to submit expressions of interest to take part in the delivery of the Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) procedure for the prevention of AF-related stroke.
Read more

Rosetta Genomics Announces Publication of Data Correlating miR-150 to Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With Chronic Systolic Heart Failure

wsj.com, 3 March 2014
Study Demonstrating microRNAs to Be Good Biomarkers for Heart Failure Complements Earlier Rosetta Published Study; Rosetta Advancing a microRNA-Based Assay in Heart Failure.
Read more

The subcutaneous defibrillator: who it can benefit and why

escardio.org, 4 March 2014
If a given patient necessitating implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator has no indications for cardiac resynchronisation, bradycardia support or antitachycardia pacing and provided this patient's condition or previous history would make the absence of leads within the heart and the preservation of central venous circulation preferable, than the newly developed subcutaneous cardioverter defibrillator is a first line indication.
Read more

My top 10 tips for ECG interpretation

bjcardio.co.uk, March 2014
In this new regular series ‘ECGs for the fainthearted’ Dr Heather Wetherell will be interpreting ECGs in a non-threatening and simple way. Confident interpretation of ECGs is fast becoming a dying art form. What’s more, it’s an art form that any good scientist can enjoy!
Read more

It’s only words…

bjcardio.co.uk, March 2014
We continue our series in which Consultant Interventionist Dr Michael Norell takes a sideways look at life in the cath lab…and beyond. In this column, he considers how we talk to our patients.
Read more

Patient understanding of frequently used cardiology terminology

bjcardio.co.uk, March 2014
Effective communication is known to increase patient satisfaction and correlates with improved health outcomes.
Read more

CT Appears Safe in Patients With Pacemakers, ICDs

medpagetoday.com, 27 February 2014
Patients with cardiac rhythm management devices showed no clinically significant major or minor events related to computed tomography (CT) imaging over a 10-year period at two large-volume care centers, researchers reported.
Read more

JOB VACANCY: 2x Arrhythmia Care Co-ordinators (Plymouth)

4 February 2014, NHS Jobs


We are looking to recruit two WTE staff with a strong background as either a Cardiac Nurse or Cardiac Physiologist to fulfil the role of ‘HeartSwell SW – Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Arrhythmia Care Coordinators’. 


This is an exciting developmental role, supporting the implementation of the quality requirements set out within Chapter 8 of the NSF for Coronary Heart Disease: Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death (DoH, March 2005).


The post holders will work to develop improved diagnostic, referral and treatment pathways for arrhythmia patients across the care continuum from primary to tertiary care, engaging with healthcare professionals across the network area, including those caring for patients with Adult Congenital Heart Disease. The ACC posts will ensure that the service offered would be convenient and accessible to patients. They will assist in ensuring that patients receive timely and streamlined care as well as contributing to reducing waiting times, waiting lists for treatment and inappropriate admissions to acute beds.


Learn more and apply

Cutting Inappropriate ICD Shocks: Long Arrhythmia-Detection Time Strategy Confirmed

medscape.com, 21 February 2014
Programming implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to delay the time they take to treat ventricular arrhythmias—that is, with prolonged detection times—cut mortality by 23% and inappropriate shocks by more than one-half in a meta-analysis encompassing about 4900 patients.
Read more

Success Rate of AF Ablation Without Antiarrhythmic Drugs Is 40% in Europe

medscape.com, 20 February 2014
A European pilot study of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing catheter ablation reveals that just over 40% of patients are free from AF at one year without the use of antiarrhythmic medications.
Read more

Insertable loop recorders offer “the best opportunity” to diagnose unexplained syncope and abnormal heart rhythms

cxvascular.com, 20 February 2014
Nick Linker, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK, Executive Committee member of the Arrhythmia Alliance—UK’s heart rhythm charity—and president elect of the British Heart Rhythm Society, recently implanted, for the first time in the UK, the smallest version of an insertable loop recorder. He spoke to Cardiac Rhythm News on the role and advantages of implantable loop recorders in the diagnosis of syncope and cardiac arrhythmias, the main features of this new device and its cost-effectiveness.
Read more

RAAFT-2 Published, but Editorial Says No Changes in AF Guidelines

medpagetoday.com, 18 February 2014
The Radiofrequency Ablation vs Antiarrhythmic Drugs as First-Line Therapy of Atrial Fibrillation (RAAFT 2) trial, a study that showed radiofrequency catheter ablation with pulmonary-vein isolation could be successfully performed as first-line therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), is now published.
Read more

Initial treatment with radiofrequency ablation instead of medication better in controlling paroxysmal AF

medpagetoday.com, 18 February 2014
Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (Afib) recurred significantly less often in patients initially treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) instead of medication, results of a randomized trial showed.
Read more

Study reveals overall success rate of AF ablation in Europe

news-medical.net, 18 February 2014
One-quarter of high risk patients do not receive anticoagulants after ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF), according to the latest survey of European practice.
Read more

Anticoagulants prescribed more frequently in AF patients, underused in elderly

healio.com, 16 February 2014
The use of oral anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation has increased in the past decade, but antiplatelet therapy remains common in this population, recent study data suggest.
Read more

Researchers at OSU aspire to fix damaged hearts by repairing their natural pacemakers

medcitynews.com, 14 February 2014
Instead of implanting a medical device to keep arrhythmic hearts beating on pace, researchers at Ohio State dream of being able to give the heart back its own natural pacemaking abilities.
Read more

Digital media could work as tool to improve health

reuters.com, 14 February 2014
After a desperate mother in South Wales, UK, posted a video of her baby having a seizure on Facebook, one of her friends provided the diagnosis that had eluded the boy's doctor.
Read more

Heart Rhythm Society's Choosing Wisely List Disappoints

medscape.com, 12 February 2014
The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) waited a long time to introduce its Choosing Wisely list of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.
Read more

Shock-Energy Testing with ICDs Provides No Benefit

medpagetoday.com, 7 February 2014
KFAR SABA, ISRAEL – Defibrillation-threshold (DFT) testing performed at the time of ICD implantation failed to reduce the risk of death, malignant ventricular arrhythmias, or inappropriate shocks when compared with individuals implanted without DFT, a new study shows.
Read more

NICE issues draft guidance on coagulation testing device

NursingTimes.net, 6 February 2014
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published recommendations for self-monitoring the clotting of blood in people on long-term anticoagulation therapy.
Read more

Mini heart monitor implant is one of the first in UK

Northern Echo, 5 February 2014
THE James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough has become the first in the UK to implant a new miniature wireless heart monitor.
Read more

BMJ content available for free

To mark National Heart Month 2014, BMJ have pulled together cardiology highlights from across our portfolio of products.

We have free articles from Heart and our other cardiology titles, free modules from BMJ Learning, links to videos and podcasts from The BMJ, and last but not least, we have information about our BMJ Masterclasses at the end of the month.

Learn more

Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network & Cinical Senate Newsletter

January 2014

Read more

Highlights from HRC 2013

bjcardio.co.uk, 20 December 2014
The Heart Rhythm Congress (HRC) remains the largest and fastest growing heart rhythm meeting in the UK, providing education and training to promote diversity and improved technology for all involved in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia patients. We report highlights from this year’s meeting, HRC 2013, held in Birmingham from September 20th–23rd 2013.
Read more

Dabigatran improves the efficiency of an elective direct current cardioversion service

bjcardio.co.uk, February 2014
Anticoagulation prior to direct current cardioversion (DCCV) is mandatory to reduce the risk of thromboembolism. We examined the impact of the use of dabigatran as an alternative to warfarin on the efficiency of an outpatient DCCV service.
Read more

Aspirin still overprescribed for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation

medicalxpress.com, 28 January 2014
Aspirin is still overprescribed for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF) despite the potential for dangerous side effects, according to research published today.
Read more

NICE guidance on implantable cardiac devices

nursingtimes.net, 21 January 2014
Implantable cardiac devices offer an “important” option for the treatment and prevention of life-threatening arrhythmias and heart failure, according to draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Read more

Researchers discover how heart arrhythmia occurs

medicalxpress.com, 19 January 2014
Researchers have discovered the fundamental biology of calcium waves in relation to heart arrhythmias.
Read more

Air Pollution: Acute Trigger of Atrial Fibrillation

medpagetoday.com, 10 January 2014
New research fingers air pollution as an instigator of atrial fibrillation (AF) events in at-risk individuals. Increases in fine particulate matter, black carbon, and nitrogen dioxide—all traffic-related pollutants—triggered irregular heartbeats in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) within as little as 2 hours after exposure, according to the study findings.
Read more

More caffeine may lower risk of atrial fibrillation

medpagetoday.com, 7 January 2014
Habitually consuming caffeine in coffee and other drinks and foods may protect against atrial fibrillation, a meta-analysis suggested.
Read more

Novel Patch Detects More AF Events than Holter Monitor

medscape.com, 6 January 2013
The novel Zio patch (iRhythm Technologies, San Francisco, CA), worn for 14 days, outperformed a conventional Holter monitor worn for 24 hours, in a study of patients who underwent ambulatory ECG monitoring to detect suspected cardiac arrhythmia. Among 146 patients who simultaneously received both devices, the patch detected 96 arrhythmias, whereas the Holter detected 61 arrhythmias (p<0.001).
Read more

Dabigatran Under the FDA's Watchful Eye

medscape.com, 6 January 2014
The US Food and Drug Administration is requesting input from the public on a proposed study that will assess safety outcomes in adults with atrial fibrillation who recently started treated with dabigatranetexilate (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim) or warfarin.
Read more

FDA Plans New Safety Assessment Of Dabigatran (Pradaxa)

forbes.com, 3 January 2014
Since the approval of dabigatran (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim) in Europe in 2008 and in the US in 2010 there have been persistent and lingering concerns about the drug’s safety. Now the FDA plans to perform a large new assessment of the drug compared to warfarin.
Read more

AF registry data reveal low use of novel oral anticoagulants in Europe

healio,com, 3 January 2014
The use of novel oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation is low in Europe, and compliance with European treatment guidelines for AF is suboptimal in those at the lowest and highest risk for stroke, according to a report by the European Society of Cardiology.
Read more

Bystander CPR Better When More People Help

medpagetoday.com, 3 January 2014
Cardiac arrest victims were more likely to receive good-quality bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if multiple people assisted, researchers found.
Read more

Positive EP Test Helps ID Post-MI Patients for ICDs

medscape.com, 2 January 2014
Post–myocardial infarction (MI) patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction who have a negative electrophysiologic study (EPS) showing no inducible ventricular tachycardia (VT) can do without the protection of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a new study shows.
Read more

ACC Predicts Biggest Cardiology News for 2014

medscape.com, 30 December 2013
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has released its best guess as to the biggest stories in cardiovascular medicine in 2014, among them a reminder of some of the big trial results cardiologists have been looking forward to seeing for years.
Read more

Promising Data on Antidotes to New Anticoagulants

medscape.com, 20 December 2013
New "proof of concept" data on 2 antidotes for the new oral anticoagulants have shown impressive results, with both bringing about immediate reversal of anticoagulant effect with no indication of prothrombotic complications.
Read more

Novel Oral Anticoagulants vs Warfarin: The Truth is Relative

medscape.com, 18 December 2013
The makers of novel anticoagulant (NOAC) drugs have done well. A neutral observer might think these drugs are the next penicillin.
Read more

Warfarin raises stroke risk by 70% when first initiated

pulsetoday.co.uk, 19 December 2013
GPs have been warned to monitor patients who have been recently initiated on warfarin, as these patients have a paradoxical 71% increased risk of stroke within the first 30 days of use.
Read more

Medicines Optimisation scope

NICE, November 2013

Read more
Watchman Afib Device Wins FDA Panel Nod

medpagetoday.com, 11 December 2013
A panel of FDA advisers gave strong backing to an implantable device that's an alternative to blood-thinners in preventing strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation -- an endorsement that comes 3 years after the FDA rejected the Watchman device.
Read more

Case report: recurrent syncope in head and neck cancer

bjcardio.co.uk, December 2013
Syncope is defined as a transient loss of consciousness due to cerebral hypoperfusion followed by rapid and complete recovery. It is a common complaint, accounting for 3–5% of Accident and Emergency (A&E) attendances, and up to 50% of these patients are admitted to hospital.1 One rare cause of reflex syncope is mechanical stimulation of the carotid sinus by cancers of the head and neck, and this case demonstrates the challenges in its management.
Read more

Heart-powered pacemaker project receives £5m

eandt.theiet.org, 10 December 2013
Perpetually self-powered electronic systems that could be implanted into the human body and power cardiac pacemakers are being developed as a part of an EU-funded project.
Read more

New findings advance the opportunities for a ‘pacemaker in a bottle’

imt.ie, 11 December 2013
Johns Hopkins heart researchers are unravelling the mystery of how a modified pacemaker used to treat many patients with heart failure, known as cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT), is able to strengthen the heart muscle while making it beat in a co-ordinated fashion.
Read more

Boehringer Ingelheim Blood Clot Drug Shows Consistency

dddmag.com, 12 October 2013
New data analyses from Boehringer-Ingelheim show that the positive treatment effect (efficacy and safety profile) of Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) 150mg twice-daily was consistent in a wide range of patients with acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the leg veins, or pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot in the lung, regardless of age, renal function, simultaneous use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or low-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or the presence of cancer.
Read more

Watchman Afib Device Gets Second Chance

medpagetoday.com, 10 December 2013
The Watchman transcatheter left atrial appendage closure device will be considered again by an FDA advisory committee for the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.
Read more

FDA looks again at Boston Scientific anti-stroke device

FoxNews.com, 9 December 2013
U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff reviewing data on Boston Scientific Corp's novel anti-stroke device highlighted the implant's failure to meet a key goal for effectiveness in a recent study but said on Monday that other data must be weighed in deciding whether it should be approved.
Read more

Sorin wins CE Mark for Intensia defibrillators

massdevice.com, 6 December 2013
Sorin lands CE Mark approval in the European Union for its Intensia line of implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices.
Read more

'New' Oral Anticoagulant Stroke-Protection Benefits in AF Cut Across Subgroups in Meta-Analysis

medscape.com, 5 December 2013
LONDON, UK — Collectively, four new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) protect against stroke or systemic embolism better than warfarin and compare favorably on safety in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), concludes a meta-analysis of four big randomized trials, all major showcases for the agents' potential value in AF.
Read more

Final Scope issued on NICE public health guidance Independence and mental wellbeing (including social and emotional wellbeing) for older people

NICE, November 2013

View stakeholder comments received
View final scope
Learn more about development of this guidance

Invitation to apply for the position of Standing committee member for the Clinical Guideline Rapid Updates Standing Committee B-pilot programme

NICE, November 2013
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is a world leader in setting standards for high quality health and social care and for promoting healthy living. We provide authoritative, evidence-based guidance on the most effective ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease and ill health.
Learn more

ICD remote patient monitoring technology underused

healio.com, 4 December 2013
Fewer than half of patients who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator capable of remote patient monitoring use the technology within 180 days of implant, researchers reported in a recent study.
Read more

GARFIELD provides snapshot into real world of AF

Preliminary results from a 'real world' registry, GARFIELD, looking at newly-diagnosed patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at risk for stroke, were presented at the meeting. Little is known about AF management and outcomes outside clinical studies and the registry will follow patients globally for up to six years. Early results show oral anticoagulants are being under prescribed in high-risk patients. Drs Henry Purcell and Henry Oluwasefunmi Savage discuss the registry findings in our BJC podcast.
View podcast now

EHRA Practical Guide on the use of new oral anticoagulants in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation: executive summary

EHRA, November 2013
New oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are an alternative for vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) to prevent stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).
Read more

Surrogates often make call to deactivate heart devices

uk.reuters.com, 26 July 2013
People who have implanted heart devices rarely have advance directives indicating whether they want them deactivated near the end of life, according to a new study. So the decision often has to be made by loved ones.
Read more

NICE Clinical guidelines, CG172 - Issued: November 2013

MI - secondary prevention: secondary prevention in primary and secondary care for patients following a myocardial infarction.

Read more

View consultation comments and responses

Daiichi blood thinner safer, as effective as warfarin: study

uk.reuters.com, 19 November 2013
A new blood clot and stroke preventer from Daiichi Sankyo proved as effective and safer than widely used warfarin in a large, late stage trial of patients with atrial fibrillation, paving the way for it to compete with other new warfarin alternatives on the market.
Read more

More, Faster Hypothermia No Better After Cardiac Arrest

medpagetoday.com, 17 November 2013
Strategies to cool out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients more or faster had little extra impact on outcomes, two trials showed.
Read more

Resveratrol derivative shows promise in treating atrial fibrillation

cxvascular.com, 30 October 2013
A new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology has shown that a new medication based on resveratrol—a compound found in red wine and nuts—is an effective inhibitor of several potential targets involved in atrial fibrillation development.
Read more

Radiation exposure in supraventricular tachycardia ablation reduced with minimally fluoroscopic mapping system

cxvascular.com, 8 November 2013
Radiofrequency ablation of supraventricular tachycardia guided by the non-fluoroscopic Ensite NavX mapping system (St Jude Medical) has shown lower levels of ionising radiation exposure for the patient and for the operator compared with conventional catheter ablation, according to preliminary results from the NO-PARTY Italian trial.
Read more

Magnetic analogue of ECG shows 89% accuracy diagnosing long QT syndrome in human foetuses

cxvascular.com, 13 November 2013
A first-of-its-kind study, published on 11 November in Circulation, has found that foetal magnetocardiography (fMCG)—the magnetic analogue of electrocardiograms (ECG)—may help to diagnose and possibly treat in utero long QT syndrome. Results using fMCG show 89% accuracy diagnosing long QT syndrome in the womb.
Read more

ECG Methodical Analysis

bjcardio.co.uk, September 2013
In this new regular series ‘ECGs for the fainthearted’ Dr Heather Wetherell will be interpreting ECGs in a non-threatening and simple way. She hopes this will help keep the art alive in primary care. In this first article, she looks at ECG methodical analysis.
Read more

Cardiomyopathy - clinical review

gponline.com, 8 November 2013
Discussing the diagnosis, management and prognosis of cardiomyopathy. By Dr cardiologist Dr Rajiv Sankaranarayanan.
Read more

Calon (Catheter Ablation: Linking Outcomes to NICE)

October 2013
CALON is making progress, with negotiations underway to access the data needed a pilot project which will link patient information from different sources to give improved information on cardiac ablation.

Read October 2013 newsletter
AFib may spark MI

medpagetoday.com, 4 November 2013
Although myocardial infarction is a known risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation, the relationship might work the other way around, too, researchers found.
Read more

Clinical strategies for selecting oral anticoagulants in atrial fibrillation

cxvascular.com, 17 October 2013
Patients with atrial fibrillation have a five- to seven-fold greater risk of stroke than the general population, and approximately 20% of ischaemic strokes are due to this arrhythmia. Vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin have been the long-standing anticoagulants for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation.
Read more

Discrepancies in CRT-ICD battery longevity

cxvascular.com, 17 October 2013
An independent study demonstrates significant differences in battery longevity between contemporary cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The results, published in Europace, show that Boston Scientific and St Jude Medical devices had longer battery life compared with Medtronic devices.
Read more

Papworth Hospital cardiologist's work on cutting edge defibrillator contributes to international award

cambridge-news.co.uk, 30 October 2013
A life-saving defibrillator developed at Papworth Hospital has received the coveted Prix Galien in New York.
Read more

End-of-Life Care in Patients With Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators

medscape.com, October 2013
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)-delivered shocks can cause substantial distress, warranting consideration of ICD deactivation at end of life.
Read more

Novel anticoagulant prescriptions on the rise among elderly patients

healio.com, 27 October 2013
Prescriptions for novel oral anticoagulants in Canada have increased rapidly since their approval for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, particularly among patients aged 85 years or older, according to a recent report.
Read more

Key questions on syncope in older people

pulse-learning.co.uk, 17 October 2013
Gerontologists Professor Rose Anne Kenny and Dr Nigel Stout answer questions from GP Dr Mandy Fry on underlying causes of syncope, first-line investigations and prescribing fludrocortisone.
Read more

Weighing up blood-thinners: Is warfarin always the best choice?

medicalxpress.com, 17 October 2013
Patients who are responding below par to the anticoagulant drug warfarin have several options. They can undergo even more blood tests to monitor their response to the different dosages of this medication which is prescribed to prevent strokes, or they could start using one of the newer, yet more expensive, anticoagulants on the market.
Read more

Tiny Leadless Pacemaker Earns CE Mark Approval

medscape.com, 14 October 2013
ST PAUL, MN - St Jude Medical today announced that the leadless pacemaker (Nanostim), an intracardiac device that has done away with arguably their most problematic component, has been given CE Mark approval for sale in Europe.
Read more

CHA2DS2-VASc Score Best for Stroke Risk Assessment in AF

medscape.com, September 2013
Further data confirming that the CHA2DS2-VASc score is preferable to the CHADS2 score in identifying patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at very low risk for stroke who do not need anticoagulation have come from a large German registry study.
Read more

Pediatric atrial fibrillation, rare, but has serious complications risk and high recurrence rates

medicalxpress.com, 7 October 2013
Atrial fibrillation (AF), characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat, is the most common chronic arrhythmia in adults, but is rare in children. In one of the first studies of pediatric "lone AF" (AF without associated heart disease), researchers found a nearly 40% recurrence rate and that AF in the young is accompanied by substantial symptoms.
Read more

Biotronik Releases Ilesto DX ICD/CRT-D in US

medgadget.com, 7 October 2013
Having received FDA approval for the Ilesto family of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) / cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) devices, BIOTRONIK is launching the Ilesto DX platform in the US.
Read more

Improved Survival Among Danish Cardiac-Arrest Patients

theheart.org, 1 October 2013
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — More and more individuals in Denmark are surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, possibly because of an increase in bystanders performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to the results of a new study.
Read more

Framingham Heart Study Celebrates 65 Years

theheart.org, 3 October 2013
FRAMINGHAM, MA — The Framingham Heart Study (FHS), the longest-running study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, is turning 65 years old next week.
Read more

Fallout from Bleeding Less Severe in Patients on Dabigatran Compared with Warfarin

tctmd.com, 3 October 2013
Patients with atrial fibrillation (A-fib) or venous thromboembolism (VTE) who experience major bleeding on the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran require a shorter intensive care stay and show a trend for lower mortality than do similar patients on warfarin, according to a review of comparative trials published online September 30, 2013, ahead of print in Circulation.
Read more

VIDEO: ESC 2013 - Highlights on arrhythmia and device therapy

cxvascular.com, 17 September 2013
Christophe Leclercq, Rennes, France, chairperson of two European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2013 sessions in cardiac resynchronisation therapy, speaks about this year’s congress highlights on arrhythmia and device therapy and also what is expected from the ESC congress 2014 in the electrophysiology field. 
Watch video

Sports and arrhythmias: to screen or not to screen

cxvascular.com, 17 September 2013
Screening athletes for the risk of sudden cardiac arrest has been a topic of discussion for many years. Jacob Tfelt-Hansen, author of a Danish study on this subject, gave an overview about different positions and studies that favour or disfavour this practice. He will be speaking on this at Venice Arrhythmias (27–29 October, Venice, Italy).
Read more

"Off hours" limit access to AEDs in cardiac arrest

theheart.org, 17 September 2013

Despite widespread placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in one European city, more than half of all cardiac arrests occurred during hours when access to the lifesaving devices is not possible, according to the results of a new study.

Read more

Team discovers patient-specific cure for dangerous heart rhythm disorder

medicalxpress.com, 17 September 2013
The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) research team has successfully and completely reversed the effects of the hERG (human ether-a-go-go-related gene) mutation in long QT syndrome 2 (LQTS 2) in patient-specific heart cells, scoring a world's first.
Read more

Bad medicine: atrial fibrillation

BMJ.com, 17 September 2013

Last week, our sister charity AF Association responded to an article in the British Medical Journal entitled ‘Bad medicine: atrial fibrillation’ which claimed that the effectiveness of anticoagulation to prevent stroke in AF was overstated. A comprehensive rebuttal of these claims, from the charity's Medical Advisory Committee, has been successfully acknowledged and published online in the BMJ.

Please can we call upon your support to click the ‘like’ button for the letter on the BMJ website. The more ‘likes’ received, the more likely the response will be included in the weekly print issue of the BMJ.

Please like and show your support here

Read original article

Caution over use of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation

BMJ.com, 16 September 2013
Read the response and challenge from Dr Gareth J Wynn and Dr Dhiraj Gupta to this article, first published in the British Medical Journal on Friday 14th September 2013.
Read more

Read original article

Mass AF screening flags stroke risk

theheart.org, 13 September 2013
Systematic screening of more than 25 000 individuals aged 75 to 76 identified untreated AF in 5%, putting them at increased stroke risk, preliminary findings of the STROKESTOP study show.
Read more

One-Year Data From Global Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Registry Show Antithrombotic Agents Not Optimally Used to Prevent Stroke

sacbee,com, 3 September 2013

One-year outcomes data from the first cohort of the Global Anticoagulant Registry in the FIELD (GARFIELD), an innovative, independent academic research initiative, provide insights into the elevated stroke risk among subpopulations of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
Read more

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/03/5703116/one-year-data-from-global-atrial.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/03/5703116/one-year-data-from-global-atrial.html#storylink=cpy

Finding the least disruptive approach to tachy-brady syndrome: AF ablation vs pacemaker/drugs

theheart.org, 2 September 2013
One effect of becoming an AF ablation doctor is that you implant fewer pacemakers. Why would this be?
Read more

ECHO-CRT: Resynchronization no help, may be harmful in narrow-QRS heart failure

theheart.org, 3 September 2013
Amsterdam, the Netherlands - No, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) will not improve outcomes in patients with narrow QRS intervals (ie, <130 ms) who nonetheless have evidence of ventricular dyssynchrony by echocardiographic criteria. In fact, it may actually increase the risk of cardiovascular death.