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FDA Panel Gives Cautious Endorsement to Novel Boston Scientific Device (9 Oct 2014)

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The FDA’s Circulatory System Devices advisory panel gave an extremely cautious endorsement on Wednesday to Boston Scientific’s Watchman device, a novel catheter-delivered left atrial appendage closure device for people with atrial fibrillation. They signaled that although they thought the device should be made available they also thought that there should be significant restrictions on its use. The panel wrestled…

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Race and Ethnicity Do Not Affect the Benefits of Device Therapy in Heart Failure (11 Sep 2014)

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Boback Ziaeian, MD

Boback Ziaeian discusses his observational study exploring the benefits of guideline-recommended cardiac resynchronization therapy and ICD therapy in heart failure patients, according to race and ethnicity.

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An Electrophysiology Service Diagnostic Conundrum (25 Aug 2014)

Cardiology Case Discussion

Seth Shay Martin, MD and James Fang, MD

A 57-year-old woman with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, long-QT syndrome after ICD implantation, and severe anxiety presents a unique diagnostic challenge.

Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

Increased Cardiac Risk Linked to Clarithromycin (19 Aug 2014)

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Acute use of the popular macrolide antibiotic clarithromycin has been linked to a small but significant increase in cardiac death. In a report in the BMJ, researchers in Denmark analyzed the effects over a 14-year period of the acute use of penicillin V, roxithromycin, and clarithromycin. Earlier research raised concerns that marcrolide antibiotics in general, and erythromycin and azithromycin…

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What’s the Next Phase for Digoxin in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation? (11 Aug 2014)

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Mintu Turakhia, MD MAS

Mintu P. Turakhia discusses his observational study of digoxin use and mortality risk in patients with atrial fibrillation, using data from the TREAT-AF study.

Avatar of Larry Husten, PHD

Study Offers Little Support for an Old Drug (11 Aug 2014)

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Digoxin is one of the oldest drugs in the cardiovascular arsenal, derived from the foxglove plant and first described in the 18th century by William Withering. It is frequently used in patients with heart failure (HF) and with atrial fibrillation (AF). The few trials supporting its use were performed in HF patients before newer treatments…

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SIMPLE Can Be Complicated (17 Jul 2014)

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Joseph G Akar, MD/PhD and Johnny Michel Abboud, MD

Reimbursement issues might add a layer of complexity to the findings from the SIMPLE trial.

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To Screen or Not for AF: Is That the Question? (26 Jun 2014)

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Up to one third of ischemic strokes are of uncertain etiology or “cryptogenic,” meaning that there is no overt explanation such as severe carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis, or documented atrial fibrillation (AF). For some of these patients, intermittent AF may be present and could explain the ischemic stroke. This issue has been addressed by two…

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Yet Another Delay for Boston Scientific’s Watchman Device (18 Jun 2014)

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Boston Scientific hopes the third time will be the charm. The company disclosed on Tuesday yet another obstacle in the path to approval for its novel Watchman left atrial appendage closure device for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Although it has already been before two FDA advisory panels, the company said…

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European Medicines Agency Initiates Review of Ivabradine (16 Jun 2014)

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There may be trouble on the horizon for ivabradine, a heart drug marketed by Servier under the brand names of Corlentor and Procoralan. The drug is widely available in Europe and elsewhere, though it is not available in the U.S., where it is under development by Amgen. Although it hasn’t been widely reported,  the European…

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