The Handoff is a weekly roundup of cardiology news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.

  • The first patient procedure has been completed in the UNCOVER-AF study, the objective of which is to evaluate the incidence of device and procedure-related safety, effectiveness, and efficiency using the AcQMap High Resolution Imaging and Mapping System in atrial fibrillation ablation cases.
  • Stroke patients in the Chicago area will soon have access to Rush University Medical Center’s new Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit—a specialized ambulance that can reduce the average time between stroke onset and treatment from 60 to 19 minutes.
  • Air pollution may affect even young, healthy adults, according to a recent article published in the New York Times. One of the original study authors noted that the initial vascular injury is most likely minor, but prolonged exposure can contribute to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a reduction in reimbursements for the FDA-approved diagnostic test, AlloMap—a move that drew criticism from heart transplant patients and physicians alike.
  • The Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting, hosted by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, will take place from October 29 through November 2 in Washington, DC. Keep an eye out for clinical trial results in stents and CABG (EXCEL, NOBLE), cerebral protection in TAVR (SENTINEL), and stroke prevention with an LAA closure device (WATCHMAN US Post-Approval Study).
     
  • The Great American Smokeout will take place on November 17, 2016. Hosted by the American Cancer Society, the event encourages smokers to make a plan to quit and to take steps toward a healthier life and reducing their risk of cancer. The ACS website has many tools and resources available.
  • Severely premature infants with CHD may be eligible to participate in the ADO II AS (AMPLATZERTM Duct Occluder II Additional Sizes) clinical trial, recently announced by St. Jude Medical. The first-of-its-kind device is specifically designed to target pediatric cardiology patients, who are typically treated with an adult-sized device.
  • Researchers from the Mayo Clinic, University of California San Francisco, and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, among others, have published a clinical guideline in the Annals of Internal Medicine highlighting the lack of evidence linking calcium with or without vitamin D supplementation to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease risk in generally healthy adults.