The Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has a well-established reputation for innovation in atrial fibrillation (Afib) treatment. Twenty years ago, the Brigham pioneered cryoablation therapy, which currently comprises about 20 percent of Afib ablations conducted worldwide.
Over the past decade, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has evolved from a high-risk procedure to one that has become a standard of care. Each year, thousands of patients undergo this minimally invasive procedure.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a mainstay of therapy for rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, its use in treating COVID-19 patients in recent months has raised concerns over a possible link to acute cardiac toxicity.
In March of 2020, Brigham and Women’s Hospital purchased four additional extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines to prepare for a possible surge of COVID-19. It wasn’t yet clear if ECMO could support critically ill COVID-19 patients, but early reports from China had shown promise.
The Cardiac Amyloidosis Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was the first of its kind in the United States. Established 10 years ago by Rodney H. Falk, MD, a widely recognized expert in cardiac amyloidosis, the collaborative program has expanded to diagnose and treat every form of amyloidosis, involving experts from cardiology, cardiac pathology, gastroenterology, hematology, nephrology, oncology and neurology.
In the last decade, there has been rapid progress in the treatment of aortic valve disease with catheter-based therapies. For adults with aortic stenosis, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has become commonplace, with Brigham and Women’s Hospital offering the highest-volume TAVR program in New England.
Ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with structural heart disease can be life-threatening and often requires a multi-pronged treatment strategy. While implanted defibrillators can detect arrhythmias, shocks can be painful and sometimes harmful.
Medications can help manage or eliminate VT, but they can have limited efficacy and toxicities. And while radiofrequency catheter ablation can destroy abnormal heart tissues, success rates range from 49 to 75 percent.