CCI study: 90 days between stenting and noncardiac surgery may be sufficient | Too much exercise can be risky for heart attack survivors | Study finds inexplicable variation in prices for common tests
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August 19, 2014
SCAI SmartBrief
News for Invasive/Interventional Cardiologists

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CCI study: 90 days between stenting and noncardiac surgery may be sufficient
New research suggests implantation of drug-eluting stents ahead of noncardiac surgery is not associated with greater risk of adverse outcomes than bare-metal stents; however, patients do better if they wait more than 90 days between stenting and surgery. The findings, reported in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, suggest a 90-day waiting period between PCI and surgery may be adequate. Guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology call for waiting a year or more before surgery. (8/14)
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Too much exercise can be risky for heart attack survivors
A study of 2,400 heart attack patients found that high levels of exercise, such as running more than 30 miles or walking more than 46 miles weekly, could more than double the risk of another heart attack. Researchers reported on the website of Mayo Clinic Proceedings that about 6% of heart attack survivors reach that level of exercise, but exercising within moderate limits significantly reduced the risk of heart-related death for most patients. HealthDay News (8/12)
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Policy & Professional News
Justice Department closes Brilinta clinical trial case
The Justice Department has closed an investigation into AstraZeneca's 18,000-patient PLATO study of the heart drug Brilinta, or ticagrelor. Some experts had criticized the study design, including the patient population, 21% of which came from Poland and Hungary, and issues with monitoring of patients and reporting of data. Investigator Dr. Lars Wallentin said findings expected to be released next year will further allay concerns about ticagrelor, which gained FDA approval in 2011. Reuters (8/19), American City Business Journals/Philadelphia/Health Care Inc. blog (8/19), Medscape (free registration)/ (Montreal) (8/19)
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STEMI centers work with stakeholders to provide streamlined care
A growing number of organizations are working together to streamline and coordinate STEMI treatment, ensure high-level care en route to the hospital and get patients to a facility that offers PCI if needed. Experts say relationships between stakeholders are a pillar of efforts to improve care. "To be an excellent STEMI receiving center, you have to have a great relationship with the referring hospital, because if they don't do a good job, we can't do a good job," said Dr. Peter Berger, Geisinger Health System's chairman of cardiology. "You also have to have a great relationship with the EMS ambulance and Life Flight. If all of those pieces aren't in place, we can't be as good as we need to be." HealthLeaders Media (8/13)
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Medical Developments
Robotic imaging could revolutionize remote health care, researchers argue
E-health just got an upgrade with the publication of two studies evaluating the use of ultrasound conducted by a remotely controlled robotic arm. One study involved carotid artery evaluation with a Massachusetts patient and a Germany-based operator, while in the other, echocardiography controlled from more than 100 miles away was used. "Our successful experiment opens up a new frontier for the use of remote, robotic ultrasound imaging that could potentially be more efficient and cost-effective overall for health care access and delivery," said Dr. Partho Sengupta, who participated in the research. mHealth News (8/12), Medscape (free registration) (8/13)
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Studies evaluate salt intake, heart disease risks
Daily salt intake of 7.5 grams to 15 grams is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, while consuming too little or too much can be harmful, McMaster University researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings go against current guidelines on sodium intake for heart disease prevention. HealthDay News (8/13)
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Join the conversation about mobile technology for cardiologists
The latest Eye on Intervention blog reviews four promising applications that interventional cardiologists and other savvy cath lab professionals should check out. This week's blogger, Jordan Safirstein, MD, FSCAI, started the discussion with a brief look at a handful of "portable tools that have the potential to streamline daily practices for the cardiologist while saving health care dollars." Dr. Safirstein is keeping the conversation going by fielding comments from Eye on Intervention readers. Join in -- add a comment to share your experiences, lessons learned as well as information on apps you love!
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The best of the best: MSCAI nominations due Oct. 31
Help identify the best of the best in interventional cardiology. Nominate a deserving colleague for MSCAI today! The MSCAI designation was developed to recognize SCAI Fellows who have been identified by their peers as having demonstrated excellence in invasive/interventional cardiology over a career, manifested by a commitment to the highest levels of clinical care, innovation, publication and teaching. Learn more about this honor and make your nomination by Oct. 31.
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A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."
-- Nelson Mandela,
former South African president
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The news summaries appearing in SCAI SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. SCAI is not responsible for the content of sites external to SCAI, nor do reports in SCAI SmartBrief constitute the official opinion of SCAI.
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