TCTMD’s Top 10 Most Popular Stories for May 2016

May 2016 was dominated by two interventional cardiology conferences, with a range of studies presented at the SCAI and EuroPCR meetings making the list of top stories for TCTMD this month. The biggest news, however, was the vote by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisors that tipped in favor of recommending patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure being approved as a treatment for cryptogenic stroke. A provocative study of transcatheter valve durability, a piece exploring radiation risks in the cath lab, and a look back at the branded statin era help round out our Top 10 list for May 2016.

Majority of FDA Advisors Give Green Light to Amplatzer PFO Closure Device for Stroke

PFO closure using the Amplatzer device should be approved as an option for patients with cryptogenic stroke, the majority of a panel of FDA advisors agreed—the latest twist in two decades’ worth of controversy, failed trials, and abandoned devices.

‘Signal’ of Poor Durability Seen With First-Generation TAVR Devices

Among elderly TAVR patients who survived 5 years postprocedure, up to half saw their devices begin to degenerate within 10 years, researchers reported at EuroPCR. While degenerated valves do not necessarily proceed to outright failure, the findings flag a potential problem as TAVR moves into increasingly younger and lower-risk patients.

Operator, Protect Thyself: SCAI Sessions Urge More Self Awareness of Radiation Risks

Interventional cardiologists attending the SCAI 2016 meeting lined up for free eye exams in the convention hall as part of a radiation research and prevention effort, amid growing concerns about operator and patient exposure in the cath lab.

Of Hands and Hearts: Upper-Extremity Dysfunction Common Early After Transradial PCI

Nearly three-quarters of patients undergoing PCI via the radial artery have some form of upper-extremity dysfunction 2 weeks after the procedure, according to interim results of a new study presented at EuroPCR 2016.

Studies Highlight Permanent Pacemaker Rates Among New-Generation TAVR Devices

Two new single-center studies presented at EuroPCR 2016 shed light on the need for a permanent pacemaker among patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement with newer-generation devices.

Dual Circulation Assessment, Low Volume Each Do a Disservice to Radial Access

Operators looking to improve patient outcomes and contemporize their practices should let go of outdated patient assessments and assumptions about radial access and move toward increasing their volume, researchers said at a SCAI 2016 session.

Embolic Protection in TAVR: If, When, What, and How Debated as Trials Wrap Up

As the TAVR field waits for results from ongoing cerebral protection studies, operators and investigators alike are debating how to track and quantify the risk of stroke, how to capture or deflect emboli and debris, and whether this effectively eliminates any risk.

No Safety Net: TAVR Can Be Done at Centers Without Surgical Backup, German Study Suggests

Patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement at hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery departments have rates of in-hospital mortality and major complications similar to those treated at hospitals with surgical backup, according to a new German analysis.

Reassuring Registry Data Suggest Scaffold Thrombosis Rates With BVS Declining

Two registries, one from France and one from Italy, suggest that when centers put in place very strict guidance around patient selection, technique, and antithrombotic therapy, scaffold thrombosis rates with the Absorb bioresorbable scaffold can be reduced. 

Requiem for a Heavyweight: Big Brand Statin Era Comes to a Close as Crestor Heads Off-Patent

May 2016 marks the end of an era: Crestor, once dubbed the “Super Statin” and the “Gorilla,” with annual sales in the range of $5 to $6 billion, has lost its market exclusivity in the United States.

Find news from SCAI, EuroPCR, and all the other meetings we cover on our conference news page. Last but not least, if you don’t have time to read the top news of the month, consider listening to it instead. Our Heart Sounds podcast recaps our biggest stories each month. You can stream or download Heart Sounds along with two other podcasts from our Pulse of Cardiology network.

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