News & Medical Papers

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

Anticoagulation in AF: NICE guideline update

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Learn about changes to the role of anticoagulation in the management of AF-related stroke, as outlined in today's NICE clinical guideline on the management of AF.

Visit NICE website to download guideline in full

Download NICE Patient Decision Making Aid

Download NICE Implementation Collaborative (NIC) Consensus Statement

Visit AF Association's Care AF website
Moderate alcohol use associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation

cxvascular.com, 18 July 2014
Even in moderation, consumption of wine and hard liquor may be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation, according to new research recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research did not identify a similar risk for moderate consumption of beer.
Read more

High self-competence may act as a protective factor against lower quality of life in children with pacemakers

cxvascular.com, 16 July 2014
A low sense of self-competence seems to contribute to decreased quality of life for paediatric patients with pacemakers, according to results of a study recently published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
Read more

New President-Elect of the British Heart Rhythm Society (BHRS) on his vision for the future

cxvascular.com, 14 July 2014
Nick Linker (consultant cardiologist, The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK) is president-elect of the British Heart Rhythm Society (BHRS), an executive committee member of the Arrhythmia Alliance—UK’s heart rhythm charity—and programme director of Heart Rhythm Congress (HRC).
Read more

What is the best strategy for managing atrial fibrillation?

cxvascular.com, 14 July 2014
After personally performing more than 3,000 atrial fibrillation ablation procedures I have to ask myself: am I even making a dent in this disease? I cannot remember seeing so many new patients, even young patients, with atrial fibrillation when I began my cardiology fellowship nearly 20 years ago.
Read more

News from the 23rd European Stroke Conference

bjcardio.co.uk, July 2014
The European Stroke Conference meeting was held in Nice, France, from May 6th–9th 2014. It was a busy programme with over 1,500 abstracts presented, as well as educational programmes presented alongside the scientific and clinical content. Dr Paul Guyler, Consultant Stroke Physician, Southend University Hospital, NHS Trust reports on some of the highlights.
Read more

French studies show oral anticoagulants do not cause an increased risk of severe hemorrhage

thepharmaletter.com, 15 July 2014
The ANSM and CNAMTS studies examined the risks observed in the use of both kinds of treatments.
Read more

Device therapy considerations in end of life care

theguardian.com, 10 July 2014
Her defibrillator battery was due for replacement. She also had a terminal illness. Lung cancer or the risk of a cardiac arrest? How does a doctor develop the skills to make such a decision?
Read more

PREVAIL Published: Results from study on Watchman device

medscape.com, 30 June 2014
ROCHESTER, MN – The PREVAIL study, a clinical trial evaluating the safety of the Watchman (Boston Scientific) left atrial appendage (LAA) closure device in the treatment of patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF), is now published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Read more

Clydebank hospital pioneers breakthrough device

clydebankpost.co.uk, 13 July 2014
A CLYDEBANK hospital has become one of the first in Europe to make a life saving heart device more readily available to its patients.
Read more



For children with pacemakers, 'self-competence' affects quality of life

sciencecodex.com, 10 July 2014
For children and teens living with a cardiac pacemaker, a low sense of self-competence seems to contribute to decreased quality of life, reports a study in the July Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
Read more

Boehringer continues award-winning ChatAFib tweet chat

pmlive.com, 7 July 2014
Boehringer Ingelheim will today host the third installment in its award-winning #ChatAFib tweet chat programme.
Read more

NICE AF guidance seeks to prevent 1000s of strokes

arwatch.co.uk, 26 June 2014
Thousands of people with atrial fibrillation (AF) suffer strokes, disability or death which are avoidable, according to new guidance published by the National institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and produced by the National Clinical Guideline Centre.
Read more

Western University scientists find longer heart monitoring could reduce stroke risk

lfpress.com, 25 June 2014
Doctors in North America could prevent more crippling and fatal strokes if they simply monitored patients longer, research in London has found.
Read more

Miniature cardiac monitor passes test in small European study

medscape.com, 25 June 2014
NICE, FRANCE – A small usability study testing a miniaturized implanted cardiac monitoring system in European patients shows the device successfully resulted in the wireless transmission of data in nearly 70% of patients who received the implant. After a systems upgrade to the firmware, however, the transmission success rate improved to 79.2%, report investigators.
Read more

Women Helped by CRT More Than Men

medpagetoday.com, 23 June 2014
Among patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB) and mild heart failure, women derive a benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) at shorter QRS durations compared with men, an FDA analysis showed.
Read more

Study shows 90% of S-ICD patients are free from complications at two years

medscape.com, 23 June 2014
NICE, FRANCE – A longer-term assessment of a new subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) (Boston Scientific) shows that just over 90% of patients are free from complications at two years.
Read more

CardioStim 2014, Day 3: Treating Atrial Fibrillation: Drugs, Ablation, or Neither?

medscape.com, 20 June 2014
In the era of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, antiarrhythmic drugs will become obsolete. This was the title of a pro/con debate here at CardioStim 2014 .
Read more

Ten major studies, announcements of technological advances in arrhythmia treatment

healio.com, 20 June 2014
In recent years, several new technologies for the treatment of arrhythmia disorders have emerged, while older technologies have continued to be improved upon.
Read more

Consultant praises heart treatment advice that could affect thousands of West Norfolk patients

lynnnews.co.uk, 18 June 2014
New treatment guidelines, which could affect thousands of people living with a common heart problem in West Norfolk, have been welcomed by a senior consultant.
Read more

RCP welcomes updated NICE guidance for people with common heart rhythm disorder

RCP London, 18 June 2014
“Management of atrial fibrillation (AF) remains lamentable with far too many people having strokes because they have not been adequately treated either to get them back into a normal rhythm or to anticoagulate them.” Professor Tony Rudd, chair of the Intercollegiate Working Party for Stroke said today.
Read more

National alliance formed to improve AF care

healio.com, 18 June 2014
Five US cardiac centers and a patient advocacy group have formed the National Alliance of Integrated AFib Centers, an organization dedicated to improving care delivery and quality of life for patients with atrial fibrillation, according to a press release.
Read more

Study shows new CRT-ICD device associated with reduction of costs of AF

marketwatch.com, 19 June 2014
New data from the Medtronic, Inc. MDT +3.56% Adaptive CRT trial show a 61 percent (p=0.01) lower risk of atrial fibrillation (AF)-related problems in patients who receive a cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) with the Medtronic-exclusive AdaptivCRT(TM) algorithm compared to conventional biventricular pacing therapy.
Read more

'Aspirin may not be good enough to treat irregular heart beat' - Taunton cardiologist's reaction

thisisthewestcountry.co.uk, 19 June 2014
THOUSANDS of people in Somerset with one of the most common heart problems are being advised that aspirin may not be good enough following the latest guidance by an organisation that gives health advice to the Government.
Read more

Cardiac Lead Extraction celebrates 25-Year anniversary at Cardiostim

news-medical.net, 18 June 2014
A quarter century ago, doctors treating patients with implanted cardiac pacemakers had a big problem. Their patients were outliving the complex electrical devices that gave them an acceptable quality of life.
Read more

GPs told to review aspirin use in patients with atrial fibrillation

pulsetoday.co.uk, 18 June 2014
GPs are to be tasked with reviewing all their patients with atrial fibrillation who are taking aspirin, under final NICE guidance published today that recommends anticoagulant therapy as the only option for stroke prevention in these patients.
Read more

Pharmacists diagnose stroke risk with iPhone-based ECG

cnet.com, 1 April 2014
Researchers at the University of Sydney have examined the use of a smartphone-compatible heart monitor to diagnose the risk of stroke.
Read more

Air pollution linked to irregular heartbeat and lung blood clots

nursingtimes.net, 11 June 2014
“Air pollution is linked to increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lung,” BBC News reports.
Read more

Smartphone-enabled ECG devices effective at detecting arrhythmias in children

healio.com, 10 June 2014
SAN FRANCISCO — Smartphone-enabled ECG devices were effective in enabling physicians to diagnose arrhythmia disorders in a pediatric population, according to findings presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.
Read more

Aggressive lifestyle management helps improve success rate after AF ablation

cxvascular.com, 14 May 2014
Researchers in Australia have found that aggressive management of cardiovascular risk factors and weight can impact dramatically the long-term success rate of freedom from atrial fibrillation following ablation.
Read more

FDA approves new pacemaker system with ProMRI technology

cxvascular.com, 14 May 2014
Biotronik has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for its Entovis pacemaker system with ProMRI technology.
Read more

EMA approves new dabigatran indications

theheart.org, 9 June 2014
As expected, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has extended the indications for the oral anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim) to include treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) and prevention of recurrent DVT and PE in adults, the agency announced on Friday.
Read more

Age 75+ No Bar to Rivaroxaban Benefit vs Warfarin: ROCKET-AF

medscape.com, 6 June 2014
DALLAS, TX — They had more bleeding, embolic events, and strokes regardless of treatment, but patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) aged 75 years or older showed about the same relative efficacy and safety benefits from rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Bayer Pharma/Janssen Pharmaceuticals) compared with warfarin as did younger patients in a secondary analysis of the ROCKET-AF trial.
Read more

Using limb-lead ECGs to investigate asymptomatic atrial fibrillation in primary care

bjcardio.co.uk, June 2014
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a dangerous, prevalent condition whose first presentation may be ischaemic stroke. Anticoagulation dramatically reduces stroke risk if patients are first identified. While screening enhances AF detection, it is unclear whether opportunistic pulse palpation or systematic electrocardiogram (ECG) screening is superior.
Read more

Mahaim fibre tachycardia in a patient with type B Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

bjcardio.co.uk, June 2014
A 56-year-old male with no previous significant medical history initially presented to his general practitioner for a routine health check prior to starting a new occupation. An electrocardiogram (ECG) was taken that was found to be unusual and, hence, a referral to cardiology outpatients was made.
Read more

Webinar in Portuguese on atrial fibrillation

17 June 2014, Worldwide
On 17 June 2014 from 18:00 to 19:00 CET, join Adalberto Lorga Filho, Carlos Morais and Luiz Magalhaes for a live webinar on Atrial Fibrillation: New perspectives for an old problem.
Read more

European prescribing of new anticoagulants on the increase

pmlive.com, 23 May 2014
Doctors in Europe are increasingly favouring the new generation of anticoagulant drugs to treat and prevent blood clots, according to baseline data from an on-going study.
Read more

Heart experts: screen for HCM muscle thickening disease

guardian.com, 19 May 2014
Researchers say that families should be checked for the genetic condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Read more

Studies Presented at Heart Rhythm 2014 Demonstrate Accuracy of the AliveCor® Heart Monitor and Confirm Patient Satisfaction

digitaljournal.com, 19 May 2014
SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AliveCor, Inc. announced today that studies presented at Heart Rhythm 2014, the Heart Rhythm Society's 35th Annual Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, May 7-10, 2014 expand the growing body of clinical information evaluating the use of the AliveCor® Heart Monitor.
Read more

PREDICt-RM: Remote monitoring reduced mortality in patients with ICDs, CRT-Ds

healio.com, 19 May 2014
SAN FRANCISCO — In a new study, use of remote monitoring in patients with Boston Scientific implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators was associated with improved survival compared with no remote monitoring.
Read more

Remotely monitoring heart patients with implanted defibrillators lowers risk of death

medicalxpress.com, 13 May 2014
Patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) have significantly lower risk of death and re-hospitalization if they are followed through an automatic, wireless remote monitoring system, a Yale clinical study has found. Results of the study are being presented at the annual meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society.
Read more

SIMPLE: Defibrillation testing safe, but did not improve outcomes

healio.com, 11 May 2014
SAN FRANCISCO — Routine defibrillation testing appears to be safe, but does not improve outcomes in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators to detect and treat ventricular fibrillation, according to study results presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.
Read more

Leadless pacemaker shows promising results at 1 year

healio.com, 9 May 2014
SAN FRANCISCO — The Nanostim leadless pacemaker continued to show safety and efficacy at 1 year, according to findings from the LEADLESS study presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.
Read more

Bias among EPs who refer AF patients for ablation

medscape.com, 10 May 2014
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — To someone with a hammer, does everything look like a nail? For electrophysiologists (EPs), the saying might be amended slightly, but are those who perform catheter ablations for the treatment of atrial fibrillation more likely to recommend that patients undergo the invasive procedure?
Read more

Heart Rhythm Society Commences Annual Scientific Sessions In San Francisco Set To Explore The Crossroads Of Technology And Medicine

digitaljournal.com, 7 May 2014
Record number of abstracts being presented reflects the expansion of a dynamic medical field and reinforces the Society's commitment to providing the latest in science and education.
Read more

Cardiac Monitoring & Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) Market Worth .3 Billion by 2017

digitaljournal.com, 4 May 2014
The report "Cardiac Monitoring & Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) Market [ECG, Implantable Loop Recorder, Holter, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), Automated External Defibrillator (AED), Pacemaker, CRT-D, CRT- P] - Global Forecasts to 2017", analyzes and studies the major market drivers, restraints, and opportunities in North America, Europe, Asia, and Rest of the World.
Read more

General practice AF scheme could prevent 1,600 strokes a year

gponline.com, 2 May 2014
Around 1,600 strokes a year could be prevented if an East London programme that encouraged GPs to prescribe anticoagulants to more AF patients was rolled out across the UK, research suggests.
Read more

New hospital to be built in Cambridge

gov.uk, 1 May 2014
Papworth hospital, a leading specialist heart and lung hospital, will move from its current location outside Cambridge onto the Addenbrooke’s hospital site in the city.
Read more

Job vacancy: Arrhythmia Clinical Nurse Specialist

Closing Date:

An exciting Specialist Arrhythmia Nurse post has recently become available at the Bristol Heart Institute. We are looking for an enthusiastic nurse with relevant cardiology experience to work with the team within a dynamic and  rapidly expanding electrophysiology service. For further details please see the forthcoming advertisement on the NHS jobs website.
View job posting on NHS website
Can antidotes increase use increase uptake of non-Vitamin K antagonists?

medpagetoday.com, 29 April 2014
The perceived danger of catastrophic bleeding in the absence of an antidote for the novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) appears to be impeding their use for stroke prevention, although that fear is overblown, a researcher said.
Read more

EFFORTLESS data illustrate long-term safety, efficacy of subcutaneous ICD

healio.com, 25 April 2014
Real-world data from the EFFORTLESS S-ICD registry indicate that the Boston Scientific subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator demonstrates appropriate performance and has comparable rates of clinical events and inappropriate shocks as conventional implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
Read more

EMA Poised to Approve Expanded Dabigatran Indications

medscape.com, 25 April 2014
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has set the stage for expanding the indications for the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim).
Read more

Current, recent NSAID use may increase AF risk

healio.com, 26 April 2014
The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was linked to an increased risk for atrial fibrillation in a recent study.
Read more

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