By Dave Fornell
The biggest news item from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 63rd Annual Scientific Session was that a transcatheter aortic valve had 26 percent better survival in high-risk patients than surgical valve replacement. This is a big deal, as it shows the promise of transcatheter valve technology to eventually replace open-heart surgical procedures is not a theory out in left field. What is more impressive is the fact that the operators were given three patients to learn how to use the CoreValve device before their fourth and subsequent patients counted in the trial. Despite the relative inexperience with the device and procedure compared to cardiac surgeons, who in most cases have been performing valve replacements for a decade or longer, the fact that the new device outperformed surgery is very impressive. Read more on the trial or watch a video interview with one of the lead investigators.
The major disappointment at ACC.14 was the presentation of the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 renal denervation U.S. pivotal trial. The device used failed to reduce blood pressure a statistically significant amount over a sham procedure, calling into question the future of denervation technology. This session was packed solid with thousands of attendees, who wanted to hear the details and what the future might be for this technology. Read more on the trial or watch a video interview with one of the investigators.
A key late-breaking presentation for cardiac imaging was a combination of five trials that show coronary artery calcium scoring provides an early indication of a patient’s long-term risk for heart disease. Read more on the trial.
A key presentation in electrophysiology was the long-term results from the MADIT-CRT trial, which showed greatly improved outcomes and survival in heart failure patients with left bundle branch block. Read more on the trial.
I walked the exposition show floor and found several new, innovative technologies and on display. I also found some technologies that highlight trends in cardiology, including examples of how to achieve patient engagement and enterprise imaging. Watch the video “DAIC Editor’s Choice for Most Innovative New Technology.”