Each spring there is a meeting where some 12,000 cardiologists and others come together to discuss the latest findings in interventional cardiology. The meeting started over 10 years ago to discuss advances in coronary angioplasty. This is the procedure where cardiologists stretch narrowings in the heart arteries using an inflatable balloon. Over the years angioplasty has rapidly developed and we have come to understand the things we need to do to get the best results.
Warfarin is the commonest drug now used as a blood thinner. But being on warfarin is a hassle. You have to have regular blood tests and the doses of drug you need to change may often change. Many other common drugs interfere with warfarin.
This morning along with several hundred others, I had the privilege of attending a masterclass in cardiology. Over the space of three hours we were treated to the presentation of ground breaking research in heart medicine. In this blog I will highlight some of these and give you some of my initial thoughts.
Where we are and where we are going in the treatment of Heart Disease
The end of the 2011 American Heart Association meeting. It is good to think where we are. I think this has been a most interesting meeting. Heart medicine is moving into several new areas of treatment. My personal view is that Cardiac Surgery and Angioplasty are now mature techniques. Further improvements are likely to be marginal. We know that the ideal way to treat most heart attacks is to open the blocked artery with a balloon as quickly as possible. For some cases changing the way we use blood thinners at the time of the procedure can increase the chances of success.