News and Views from ACC 2015

News and Views from ACC 2015

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting was in San Diego from March 14 to March 16, 2015. Our journalists and contributors blogged live from the conference floor, providing top-line results of the major studies and tidbits from the conference sessions.

Scroll through the blog below to see how the meeting unfolded. Full coverage of the meeting found on our ACC conference page.
  • This morning I'm covering a 2x2 trial: MATRIX. The first is looking at radial vs femoral access PCI in patients with ACS. The other half of that trial will be examining different antithrombotic regimens used during PCI. I have to say, I love covering radial vs femoral access trials. Last year, Dr. Sanjit Jolly took me down to his cath lab at Hamilton General Hospital and I got to see him do a few radial PCIs. It was very cool. Dr. Jolly is a big proponent of the benefits of radial-access PCI, particularly improved mobility and reduced bleeding.
  • MATRIX: Transradial Versus Transfemoral Access In Patients With Acute Coronary Syndromes Undergoing Invasive Management
    MATRIX: Bivalirudin Infusion Compared To Unfractionated Heparin In Patients With Acute Coronary Syndromes Undergoing Invasive Management
  • We can't stop quoting quotes that Dr. Pathak used to describe his Legacy Data: "It's never too late to be what you should have been before" , on the impact of obesity on atrial fibrillation and the impact of weight loss and weight gain on recurrence.
  • ulnar sketch

  • @DrSethdb with Dr R K Gokhroo

  • One of the only indispensable reasons for going to meetings is having a chance to discuss best practices and procedures with thought leaders. (Can't get that from remote access or web based learning)  I missed a presentation on ulnar artery catheterization and PCI but because Mellissa Walton-Shirley reported on it here I was moved to reach out to the author of the paper on ulnar access Dr R K Gokhroo (made possible through he ACC.2015 app) who graciously agreed to meet with me.
    I have been a radial first operator for 7 years but have had little experience with ulnar approach

    his tips:
    1. hyperextension of the wrist straightens the ulnar
    2. stick the ulnar more distally than we normally stick the  between 2 creases that are transverse across the distal wrist
    3. palpation alone is adequate - no ultrasound needed
    4. as you move more proximally along the palpable ulnar artery the tendon may need to be laterally reflected or displaced to access the ulnar which is significantly deeper
    5.  More proximally the vessel is difficult to compress and has higher issues with gaining hemostasis
    6.  Infiltrate with 1 -2 ml of lidocaine - important to give it on the radial side of the ulnar artery to avoid infiltration near the ulnar nerve
    6.  wire access and sheath placement require the same caution and approach as the radial sheath
    7.  Less spasm with ulnar - he use Diltiazem 2.5 mg, Nitroglycerin 50 mcg and Lidocaine 2% 2 ml (without preservative) as his cocktail.  The total of 4 cc diluted with 4 cc of saline and then given rapidly through sheath.
    8.  Ulnar loops are less frequent (he has seen 2 cases of 1500) and they can be often managed by palpation and physically straightening of the loop in the antecubitum
    9.  Ulnar occlusion rates are similar to radial occlusion are around 3%
    10. He does not use a compressive band - he uses a tightly bound rolled gauze - he does this in part because of cost.  It is then supported by a  dynaplast dressing.  He uses  3 overlapping 1 inch bands placed by the assisted while he maintains hemostasis manually. - he does not incrementally reduce pressure - he does not have any experience with TR band.
  • K M of stroke in thrombectomy patients

  • MACE of thrombectomy treated patients

  • TOTAL trial of routine thrombectomy conclusions

  • TOTAL 
    routine thrombectomy is not beneficial and increases stroke when patients with STEMI are treated with primary PCI
    one of the many things in CV medicine that make excellent sense but FAILS!!
    Add this to FIsh Oil, hormone replacement therapy, glucose - insulins - potassium and PVC suppression to the list of great ideas that were casualties of good RCT that demonstrated limited or no benefit and increased hazard that was not anticipated
    we should stop
  • More data (it's piling on) about the benefit of radial approach.
    In the MATRIX trial the number needed to treat to save i life was 167
    There is a learning curve investigation showed more benefit in more experienced labs and operators
    For the novice or late adopters I suggest:
    Radial Access: Get Onboard or Get Left Behind - Medscape
    www.medscape.com/viewarticle/837729
    I picked the brain of radial access proponent Sunil Rao to learn the best practices for transradial cardiac catheterization.
  • MATRIX trial data on radial access site outcomes

  • DANAMI 3 results

  • DANAMI3 PRIMULTI trial
    This trial continued the effort to clarify an uncertain but very important question
    Should we fix stenoses other than the culprit lesion when the patient has a primary PCI
    The difference here is that the patient had guidance with FFR for deciding about proceeding non culprit PCI.  This is an objective criteria not done in the prior studies.
    With complete revascularization (rather than culprit only) PCI there was a significant benefit with MACE = 22% v 13% ARR = 9  NNT = 11.  In patients who had culprit only revascularization 40% of the revascularizations were urgent.
    The ABIM Choosing Wisely initiative has recently dropped there prohibition against non culprit PCI which is good.  It seems like the ABIM is making allot of mistakes in the last year but as least they are not intransigent

  • I spent the morning here at ACC in a session on the future of cardiovascular medical education. Dr. John McPherson from Vanderbilt chaired the workshop of medical educators. They asked me to tell my story of lifelong learning.

    I led with the fact that when I left training at Indiana, AF ablation and CRT implantation had hardly been thought of. Now, these two procedures comprise the majority of my procedure volume.

    Lifelong learning was therefore a necessity. I presented my experience with writing and social media. My case was that participating in the public conversation was integral to staying current. I use Twitter to filter the noise. I hire 500 people to bring the data to me. I made the case that we as doctors had a moral responsibility to engage.

    The other presenters at the session discussed novel ways to teach in the new age. One thing was clear. The old didactic methods is out. I was especially drawn to Dr. Katie Berlacher’s (University of Pittsburgh) approach to team-based learning through case discussions. Also cool: Dr. Ben Morrison (Chesterfield MO) showed us how to make and share teaching videos. It did not look too hard. His work made me think about textbooks, that is, how the textbook of old are like museum pieces.
  • It was cool having my wife Staci in the audience.

  • Here is my fast and short summary of the most important trial to come out of ACC-- LEGACY
    1 Sustained weight lost associated with a dose-dependent reduction in AF burden.
    2 Patients with long-term weight loss were six-times more likely to be free of AF.
    3. Nearly half (46%) of overweight patients who lost 10% of their body weight were AF-free without drugs or ablation.
    4 Weight loss also benefited patients who were treated with medications and/or ablation.
    5. Patients with linear (gradual and steady) weight loss did better than those whose weight fluctuated, which offset some of the gains.
    6 Participation in a separate goal-directed, physician-led weight loss clinic increased the odds of durable weight loss and decreased the likelihood of weight fluctuation.
    7 Weight loss induced favorable structural remodeling. LA volume and CRP levels were lower in the >10% weight loss group.
    8. Durable weight also resulted in marked improvement in blood pressure—with less medication.
    9 Weight loss lowered the number of patients with HbA1c>7, decreased insulin levels, and lowered LDL..
    One word: Wow.
  • Dr Steven Wiviott @swiviott of @BrighamWomens Use and abuse of stress tests at #ACC15
    take homes
    1. Bayes Theorem of preprocedure likelihood is critical to thinking about stress testing
    2. Once a stress test is done if low risk but equivocal more hazard results are then challenging going forward: reassurance? , planning additional testing? hazards of additional testing?
    3. AUC in 2013 - outlined that many low risk patients are rarely appropriate - many patients get cath and PCI but only the appropriate cases have an impact on reducing MACE
    4. Utilization is increasing despite the AUC and Choosing Wisely initiative efforts which has a huge cost and radiation exposure risk
  • Appropriate Use Stress Testing 1

  • Appropriate Use 2

  • AUC stress test 3



  • I have been on Twitter for years and have never had a Tweet retweeted as much as the above picture. As of this note, it had been RTed 151 times.

    I said it was heresy at a cardiology meeting to…stop statins, stop anticoagulants, reduce blood pressure meds and ignore guidelines.  It’s not, really.

    Here is the story of that picture.

    The slide belongs to Staci Mandrola. She showed it during her talk on palliative care for the cardiologist.

    Her point on reducing pill burden is important. Staci told the audience that medicines that once conferred benefit can become a burden. That’s because things change over time—mostly, things get worse with age. (Humans are not like wine.)

    Guidelines may have directed us to use these drugs when patients were younger and healthier. But guidelines are drawn from RCTs that did not include older patients with multiple morbidities. 

    If we do as Dr. Staci and Dr. Verghese suggest—see the person in front of us as a whole person, not a series of organ systems--we would have no trouble with the act of deprescribing. It would be normal to remove burdensome treatments. It is, in fact, our duty to do no harm.

  • Just filed a story on the MATRIX radial vs femoral access study in ACS patients, which will be published soon on theheart.org. The study showed a large advantage for radial-access interventions (80% of patients went onto PCI from angiography). There was a 17% reduction in net clinical adverse events (NACE), which was driven by a 33% reduction in major bleeding and a 28% reduction in mortality. Researchers say radial access should be the default treatment strategy for ACS patients.
  • The Cardiology Show ACC 2015 Participants

  • Dr Fuster doesn't let a cellphone call break his stride during the cardiology show

  • We will be liveblogging from the ACC in San Diego, providing top-line results of the major studies, tidbits from the conference sessions, and more. Full coverage of the congress can be found on our ACC collection page
  • Safe travels to all ACC attendees and Happy St Patrick's Day

  • Goodbye San Diego Sun

Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform