Volume 4 Issue 1 - 2010
Medicine changes rapidly and Cardiology is often at the peak of this rate of change. Huge resources, both human and financial, are brought to bear to develop new improvements in care and validate and optimise current treatments. Perhaps, cynically, device and pharmacological companies see cardiac conditions as common, “important” and amenable to intervention above all other illnesses. In addition there is a significant political imperative to develop, standardise and prioritise care for ischaemic heart disease and other cardiac conditions.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice. It is a progressive condition in which arrhythmia-induced remodeling facilitates evolution from paroxysmal AF to persistent and permanent AF. Rhythm control of atrial fibrillation is receiving a resurgence with the recognition that catheter ablation may offer benefits not achieved with pharmacological therapy. Early detection and appropriate initial management can result in considerable improvements in patient’s quality of life, morbidity and mortality.
The evolving technologies of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and multi-detector computed tomography (CT) have helped establish their complementary role for non-invasive assessment of cardiac anatomy, function, myocardial ischaemia and viability, as well as coronary anatomy. Greater availability, as well as the accuracy and versatility of these techniques have fuelled the growing support for the use of CMR and CT in cardiology.