Survey for Athletes with AF

Hey Athletes: My colleague, Professor Rachel Lampert, from Yale, along with the StopAF.org patient group, seek to learn more about how atrial fibrillation (AF) and its treatments affect athletic people. If you are an athlete or if you regularly exercise vigorously, please give the Yale researchers a few moments of your time. Here is the… Continue reading Survey for Athletes with AF

Still Negative on Watchman

Many readers have contacted me to ask whether my negative viewson left atrial appendage occlusion with Watchman have changed since 2017.   The short answer is no. My views are even more negative today.  In 2016, I published an editorial on theHeart.org | Medscape Cardiology arguing that this procedure should stop. One of the rebuttals was that… Continue reading Still Negative on Watchman

AF, Ablation, Stents and Five Nuances

Joan has left an excellent comment on my recent 2019 AF ablation update. She brings up many important issues. Let’s dissect it. Q: Joan asks if it is common to see patients who think they are cured after AF ablation but are still in AF?  A: The scenario I described in my previous post is… Continue reading AF, Ablation, Stents and Five Nuances

AF Ablation Update 2019

Most years I write an update on any big developments in AF ablation. This year’s version will be a short one. I have little new to report. But it’s worth reviewing some basic issues. We still do not know the cause of atrial fibrillation (AF). That makes it hard to fix with ablation. Knowledge Deficits:… Continue reading AF Ablation Update 2019

Musings on the CABANA trial — AF ablation vs Drugs

Last week at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Boston, Dr. Douglas Packer from the Mayo Clinic presented results of The Catheter Ablation versus Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation (CABANA) trial. I cannot remember a more consequential HRS (Heart Rhythm Society) meeting. Before and after the presentation, CABANA talk dominated conversations amongst colleagues. I wrote… Continue reading Musings on the CABANA trial — AF ablation vs Drugs

Thoughts on CABANA — The biggest study in AF ablation in years

(The CABANA trial is slated for release in two days at the 2018 HRS Meeting. Here is a preview.) Technology has made modern life easier. This is good for lots of things, but not for avoiding atrial fibrillation (AF). As people in Western society grow older, heavier, less physically active, more distracted, and perhaps more… Continue reading Thoughts on CABANA — The biggest study in AF ablation in years

Take-home messages from Western AF 2018

The Western AF symposium may have had corporate sponsors, but it was no boondoggle. The sessions start at 0715 and go through 1830. Your head spins at the end of the conference. I learned a lot. Here are some fast-writing thoughts: New Energy Source for Ablation Electroporation looks to be a promising new energy source… Continue reading Take-home messages from Western AF 2018

CASTLE-AF (Ablation) Trial Delivers Benefits — Was I Critical Enough?

Doctors like me have performed AF ablation for more than a decade without knowing whether the major procedure improves outcomes. That sounds crazy but it’s true. Until now, the only evidence we had that doing all these burns or freezes in the heart helped people was that it made people feel better than they did… Continue reading CASTLE-AF (Ablation) Trial Delivers Benefits — Was I Critical Enough?

Thoughts on the Apple Watch and Mobile ECG

Last week I wrote a column on theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology on the new Apple Watch ECG and Kardia Band. The Tweet I sent out on Saturday has done well — 74 Retweets (without any robots) is pretty good. The Apple Watch ECG — The good, the challenges, and the really scary. My thoughts on… Continue reading Thoughts on the Apple Watch and Mobile ECG

The Nobel in Economics and Medicine?

Once again, the Nobel prize for economics–not science and medicine–has immense influence on the practice of medicine. Every day, in fact. This year, Richard Thaler, a behavioral economist at the University of Chicago, won for his work on human biases and temptations. The famous writer Michael Lewis (Moneyball) has a nice essay on Thaler’s work… Continue reading The Nobel in Economics and Medicine?

Inflammation, Ablation, Fats, LDL, etc .. My review of ESC 2017

The European Cardiology Congress, ESC as it is called, has grown into the largest medical meeting in the world. This year, more than 31,000 attendees from 153 countries came to Barcelona. I was busy. Here is an update of the big stories: Inflammation:  Experts agree that inflammation associates with heart disease. One of the keys… Continue reading Inflammation, Ablation, Fats, LDL, etc .. My review of ESC 2017