Dr John Mandrola practices cardiac electrophysiology in Louisville, KY. He finished training at Indiana University in 1996. His practice encompasses catheter ablation, including an eight-year experience with AF ablation, device implantation, and consultative EP. Outside of the EP lab, Dr Mandrola's two hobbies include competitive cycling and writing. He has maintained a medical, fitness, and cycling blog, Dr John M, for the past two years.
Trials and Fibrillations with Dr John MandrolaView all posts »
Of course you should follow a blog about the Heart Rhythm Society meetingMay 8, 2012 16:33 EDT
Let's say you aren't a heart-rhythm person. At first glance, you might think the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) meeting isn't worth following.
Let me try to convince you otherwise. We aren't esoteric. We are highly relevant.
For one, sudden cardiac death—from a ventricular arrhythmia—remains a leading cause of death. We are doing better with preventing and treating sudden death, but much work remains. I've looked at the abstracts; there will be a tremendous amount of information coming out this week on how to treat this great taker of human life. And no, not all of it will be about ICDs—or ICD lead failures.
Another reason to follow along is to learn more about the number-one cardiac diagnosis--atrial fibrillation. More than three million Americans and almost double that number of Europeans suffer from AF. Think about it; we don't know what causes the disease, how best to prevent its complications, and we surely don't know the best means to ablate it. Come on, there has to be a better way to eliminate AF than making 50 burns in the left atrium—and then coming back to do it again. (Excluding, of course, preventing it in the first place. But who can do that?) HRS will overflow with experts and other smart people presenting ideas and possible solutions to a disease that has yet to be brought to heel.
And finally, electrophysiology is not just about sudden death prevention and AF. The heart's rhythm shines a light on the level of inflammation and health. As our heart rhythm goes, so we go. Or, at least this is what I tell my patients—the ones who need more sleep, less food, and more exercise.
Steve Stiles, a real journalist here at theheart.org, will have the details of the HRS 2012 meeting. I will humbly give you my take. Consider it a regular doctor's view of the story. Don't look for nuance or perfect sentence structure. It's just me, Mandrola, talking about something I love.
For live twitter feeds, you can follow me @drjohnm. The HRS hashtag is #HRS2012.
Stay tuned. Leave a comment—it will make me happy if you do.