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Highlights from Heart Rhythm 2024

5 minute read

Investigators from Mass General Brigham made headlines at Heart Rhythm 2024, an international meeting of more than 9,500 experts in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. The meeting, which took place in Boston, allowed investigators to share ideas and discoveries, connect across disciplines, and jam together. One of the major achievements of Mass General Brigham researchers was the presentations of late breaking clinical trial (LBCT) data. In addition to contributions to advancements in research and treatment, five Brigham cardiologists performed as a part of a music band.

News Makers

Mass General Brigham researchers presented a large volume of research at the meeting (check out the full lists of BWH presenters and MGH presenters) including simultaneous publications on pulsed field ablation (PFA) for atrial fibrillation (AF), complications during femoral vein access, a novel alternative technique involving video assisted thoracic surgery, a safer epicardial access approach,and more.

Moussa Mansour, MD, one of the pioneers of PFA in the U.S., co-authored three late breaking clinical trials presented at Heart Rhythm. One of them, “A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Lattice-Tip Mapping and Ablation System with Radiofrequency and Pulsed Field Energy for Treating Persistent Atrial Fibrillation” was also published simultaneously in Nature Medicine. This was the first randomized trial using PFA for the treatment of persistent AF and demonstrated the feasibility and safety of this novel energy source for the ablation of persistent AF. Another PFA study, “Long-term Safety and Effectiveness After Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Pulsed Field Ablation from the U.S. Multicenter admIRE Study” demonstrated the safety and feasibility of a variable loop PFA catheter for the treatment of paroxysmal AF. A third LBCT, “Impact of Pulsed Field vs Thermal Ablation on One-Year Atrial Arrhythmia Burden – Sub-analysis of the ADVENT Trial” demonstrated the superiority of PFA when compared to conventional thermal ablation, in reducing AF burden in patients with paroxysmal AF.

Usha Tedrow (middle) receives the Wilton Wells Webster Lectureship award

Paul Zei, MD, a cardiologist at the Brigham, presented real-world clinical data showing that 82 percent of patients who received optimized treatment for atrial fibrillation had excellent outcomes, with more than 80 percent free from atrial arrhythmias and almost 90 percent free of antiarrhythmic drugs a year after ablation procedures. His work was covered in Cardiovascular Business News, HealthDay and more. Zei also provided expert commentary for a story in Healio about AI-guided cardiac ablation improves 1-year outcomes in persistent atrial fibrillation.

Additionally, Healio ran an article featuring commentary by Eugene H. Chung, MD, MPH, MSc, FACC, FHRS, FAHA, director of sports electrophysiology at MGH, on an expert consensus statement suggesting that return-to-play decision for athletes with arrhythmias should be individualized. Chung was vice chair of the Heart Rhythm Society Arrhythmias in Athletes Consensus Statement and co-chaired the session announcing its release.

Building on a Rich History of Leadership

Jagmeet Singh, MD, PhD, FHRS, the Founding Director of the Resynchronization and Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, served as the Opening Plenary Keynote Speaker at the meeting. During this 30-minute talk, he discussed gaps in healthcare systems, the role of sensors in care delivery, artificial intelligence in cardiac electrophysiology, future models of clinical care, and more.

As in years past, Mass General Brigham faculty were the recipients of numerous awards at this year’s meeting.

Cardiac Electrophysiology physician assistant Lauren Rousseau, MPAS, PA-C, receiving the highest scoring Abstract Award for women in EP for her abstract on assessing the effect of transvenous lead extraction on patients.

Katie Morganti Stewart, CNP, MS, a nurse practitioner in the Cardiovascular Performance Program (CPP) at Massachusetts General Hospital, received the highest scoring Allied Professional Abstract Award for her work describing the five-year experience of the Arrhythmias in Athletes Clinic, which she co-founded.

Usha Tedrow, MD, MS, fellowship director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Program at the Brigham, received the Wilton Wells Webster Lectureship award, which honors an individual who has made a significant and unique contribution in clinical electrophysiology through innovation in the advancement of patient care.

Brigham experts also led a hands-on ablation biophysics skills training for colleagues and had simultaneous publications in peer-reviewed journals accompanied by poster presentations.

Catching the Rhythm

For many attendees, one of the highlights of Heart Rhythm 2024 was a performance by the Dysrhythmics, a band that includes five Brigham cardiologists.