Spotlight is on Electrophysiology

Todd J. Cohen, MD
Todd J. Cohen, MD
EP Lab Digest is kicking off this inaugural issue at a pivotal time period in the field of electrophysiology. Our Vice President, Mr. Richard Cheney, recently received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator for a non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction. His recent medical trials and tribulations have made it into the front page of the New York Times and other renowned newspapers to demonstrate the universality of implantable devices. He was treated quickly and appropriately by the George Washington Electrophysi-ology Team and received a Medtronics Gem III DR implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, which Mr. Cheney called a pacemaker-plus. This pacemaker-plus notion may help with the acceptance of these devices amongst routine EP patients. Now, I routinely refer to these devices to my patients as pacemaker-plus devices. Since almost all of our patients are familiar with a pacemaker, the reference to a more complex device has been very easily embraced by the American public. The fact that the number two man in our country has received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator has only highlighted the importance of arrhythmia awareness and for physician/cardiologist to look for markers of sudden cardiac death. These markers include clinical symptoms of palpitations, lightheadedness, dizziness (near syncope) and syncope. Importantly, there are patients who may have other markers which may not quite be as well defined, which include severe left ventricular dysfunction, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, and a positive signal average ECG, abnormal QT dispersion and/or abnormal T-wave alternans study. In summary, the American public, as well as our medical community, are now experiencing first hand (via the media) the impact of newer implantable devices. A 2001 Space Odyssey phenomenon! This journey is bringing arrhythmia awareness and its modern day treatment into the limelight. Again, EP Lab Digest plans to follow the developments of this existing field and will bring the most recent developments from not only physicians, but also the EP Lab nursing staff and technicians perspective. We welcome this journal, and we hope that you will enjoy it!