AimRADIAL Masterclass IV in Liverpool

Next week, on September 17-18, 2015, the 4th Advanced International Masterclass on the Transradial Approach will be held in Liverpool, England and, if you already perform or want to start using the wrist approach to diagnostic or interventional procedures, you need to attend. Where else will you be able to spend two-days with the most expert and experienced radial practitioners in the world?

I went to the last two AimRADIAL courses in New York City and Chicago and witnessed something I hadn’t really seen since the early days of angioplasty: a relatively small meeting (i.e. less than 300) attended by the pioneers of the procedure, cardiologists who have the largest experience in the radial approach, talking among themselves and trading their latest findings and techniques with each other, and sharing this information with the newer generation of physicians in attendance.It felt like an actual community! Continue reading

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Filed under Global Trends, Medical Education, Meetings & Conferences, Transradial Approach

Frontiers in Cardiology – One Day Course in New Jersey

MMC_Course_2015_140sq If you’re a cardiologist, Fellow, or in the allied health fields, and you weren’t able to make it to London for the five-day-long European Congress of Cardiology meeting, you can get a quick dose of the latest and greatest in a single day on Saturday, September 19, in Short Hills, New Jersey.

Titled “Frontiers in Cardiology,” this symposium is presented by the Morristown Medical Center, part of the Atlantic Health System, and features a stellar international faculty, including Maurice Buchbinder, Roxana Mehran, James Udelson, Nanette Wenger, and more. A range of contemporary topics are on the agenda, from atrial fibrilation to coronary artery disease, imaging and heart disease in women. Continue reading

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Filed under ACC, Medical Education, Meetings & Conferences

Radial Revolution in the U.S.

Seton Medical Center

Seton Medical Center

It was over a dozen years ago that I saw my first transradial PCI. I had booked a photo shoot with Dr. Felix Millhouse at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California, to get some shots for our web site. I did one case and was told that Dr. Millhouse was doing an urgent PCI in cath lab #2. So I went over to shoot it, but by the time I got to the lab, I was too late. I saw a man with his arm extended off the table. And Dr. Millhouse was removing his gloves. “Sorry,” he said. “We’re all done.” Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Industry, Global Trends, History, Transradial Approach

“A Type of Interventional Radiology”: A Quaint Memory from the New York Times

1983_NYT_Mag_280sqI recently was rifling through some old files of news clippings (you remember those pesky things, don’t you?) and came across a major New York Times Magazine feature from 1983. It was titled, “Toward the Conquest of Heart Disease.”

Three decades ago, as the article describes, the main treatments were surgical: valve replacement and the “far more complicated, technically demanding” bypass graft surgery. The author, Harry Schwartz, also identifies some exciting new advances in heart disease treatment: artificial hearts, heart transplants, new drugs, something called nuclear magnetic resonance (N.M.R.) that was “being used in a handful of hospitals” (today we call it MRI!). Continue reading

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Filed under History, Media Coverage

iFR and iFR Scout to be Featured in Live Case from Hammersmith

Dr. Justin Davies discusses value of using physiology-guided PCI

Dr. Justin Davies discusses value of using physiology-guided PCI

If you’ve been wondering what iFR (Instant wave-Free Ratio) is, how it works, how it compares to FFR (Fractional Flow Reserve) and, most importantly, how it affects clinical outcomes, then click here to register for a free, online, interactive live case being done on Monday, April 13, 2:30pm-3:30pm London Time, 9:30am-10:30am New York Time).

Interactive: that means you can ask questions!

Dr. Justin E Davies, interventional cardiologist at Imperial College NHS Trust, and developer of iFR, will be performing and guiding the worldwide audience through a live complex PCI multivessel case, using physiology to guide his procedure. Continue reading

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Filed under FAME I / FAME II, FFR, Global Trends, iFR, Imaging, Intravascular Guidance, Medical Education, Meetings & Conferences, Stent

Consumer Reports Overstates Cardiac CT Radiation Dose

  Consumer Reports regularly publishes health information to aid the consumer/patient in making decisions. And that’s a good thing. But also important is having the most current information, which their January 27, 2015 article, titled “The surprising dangers of CT scans and X-rays,” does not.

All of the cautions about imaging tests that are listed in the Consumer Reports article are valid: ask why the test is necessary; check the credentials of the imaging specialist; ask for the lowest effective dose; avoid unnecessary repeat scans.

But one important piece of data is almost a decade old and, as a result, is potentially misleading. I’m talking about the radiation dose from a Cardiac CT scan. The article states that a Cardiac CT Angiogram (CTA) exposes the patient to 12 mSv of ionizing radiation, or 120 times that of a chest X-ray. This was true years ago, when CTA was first being used to diagnose coronary artery disease. But it is not true today. Continue reading

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Filed under Cardiac CT, Imaging, Media Coverage, Non-Invasive Testing

Medicare Approves Drug-Coated Balloons for Outpatient Leg Angioplasty

Lutonix and IN.PACT drug-coated balloons

Last week saw the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approve reimbursement for the two drug-coated balloons that recently were approved by the FDA: C. R. Bard’s Lutonix and Medtronic’s IN.PACT.

C. R. Bard’s Lutonix drug-coated balloon (DCB) was approved in October 2014, while Medtronic’s IN.PACT Admiral was approved in January of this year. Both devices have shown superior results when compared to uncoated balloons (a.k.a. “plain old balloon angioplasty” or POBA). Continue reading

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Filed under Back to the Future, Endovascular, FDA, Health Insurance, History, Innovators, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Video