Monthly Archives: November 2012

Stents, Trials and Studies: What’s in a Word?

What's In a Word?Today the editors of the HEART Group Journals, comprising the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and other participating cardiovascular publications, issued a “Statement on Matching Language to the Type of Evidence Used in Describing Outcomes Data.”

Although the title of the article may be a bit yawn-inducing, the editors deserve a kudo or two for attempting to clarify reporting on medical issues. Continue reading

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Filed under ACC, Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Clinical Trials / Studies, Drug-Eluting Stents, FDA, Media Coverage, Patients

Angioplasty: From the Legs to the Heart and Back to the Legs

Charles Dotter, MD in LIFE Magazine

Charles Dotter, MD in LIFE Magazine, August 1964

Angioplasty! A word at the center of the recent TCT meeting in Miami, attended by 12,000 healthcare professionals. A word coined half-a-century ago by Dr. Charles Dotter, a radiologist who practiced at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Dotter’s idea was simple: to open up arterial blockages in the legs from the inside out: by snaking a catheter down the circulatory system to the blockage, instead of cutting through the various layers of body tissue to repair the artery through open surgery. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Meetings & Conferences, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), Video

Today is World Diabetes Day!

World Diabetes DayWorld Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. It engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness.

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225. Continue reading

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Filed under Diabetes, Risk Factors

A Stent By Any Other Name Now Has Other Names!

Is this stent necessary? Is this angioplasty inappropriate? Is this cardiologist uncertain if the procedure will help? Ever since the Appropriate Use Criteria for Coronary Revascularization were published, the three category labels of “appropriate,” “uncertain,” and “inappropriate” have confused the profession, press and population at large. The issue of definitions had still not been addressed in the most recent update of the AUC.

So (drumroll, please) yesterday, new categories were approved by the ACC Appropriateness Use Criteria Working Group. The new terminology will be “Appropriate,” “May Be Appropriate”(which replaces “Uncertain”), and “Rarely Appropriate” (which replaces “Inappropriate”). Continue reading

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Filed under ACC, Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Media Coverage, Shared Decision-Making

Notes from the Bunker: Sandy Follows Me from the TCT in Miami to Home in New York

MIami Beach Convention Center (left) and Long Island, NY (right)

(L) Palm fronds outside of Miami Beach Convention Center; (R) three days later, oak tree smashed into house on Long Island  (click to enlarge)

As I braved the strong winds and rain of Hurricane Sandy in Miami Beach a little over a week ago in order to hear the latest about stents, angioplasty, renal denervation, aortic valves, and more at the annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting, I wished a number of times that I was just sitting by the fire in my comfortable small home at the eastern end of Long Island.

The wind and rain went sweeping through the Floridian avenues, palm trees bending, fronds flying. Wednesday night and Thursday were the worst. Boston Scientific had to relocate their “Technology Preview” from the rooftop of the Perry South Beach Hotel to a meeting room inside. All of us in the press room at TCT were checking to see if our Friday flights were being cancelled or not. Continue reading

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Filed under Meetings & Conferences