Welcome to the March issue of JAFIB. Hope you all are heading to a relaxing and enjoyable spring break in the northern hemisphere. This issue of the journal brings you a several important articles with tremendous scientific merit. February and March marked two busy months with a lot activity on the educational front. The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute (TCAI) successfully completed the EP LIVE 2014 in Austin. It was an exciting two days of live cases of all types showcased from St. David Medical Center. It attracted a wide range of physicians, allied professionals from various parts of the country. The cases ranged from lead extractions to Mediguide mapping and ablation. There was intense discussions and view point presentations that really made this a very informative educational session. During a two day course, more than 15 live cases of different variety have been shown and discussed. It offered different levels of learning experience from fellows to more seasoned practitioners alike.
The second meeting that really made its presence felt was the International Symposium on Left Atrial Appendage (ISLAA 2014) in Orlando, Florida from March 14-16th. In its second iteration, it definitely attracted a large number of physicians, allied professionals and industry. This is a compelling new frontier that spans not only electrophysiology but also interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery and neurology. Over a two and half day course, the audience had a chance to learn about the embryology, anatomy, physiology and contribution to systemic thromboembolization and arrhythmia of a ubiquitous cardiac vestige called the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA). There was an extensive amount of ground covered in interventions for LAA exclusion. The implantation techniques and scientific data relevant to each of the LAA exclusion technologies has been reviewed. The role of oral anticoagulation and extensive discussions on the Novel Anticoagulants for stroke prophylaxis has been discussed. There was a balanced emphasis on a wide range of strategies that was very inclusive of various specialties. There was some fascinating new information presented on the neuroendocrine function of the LAA. Clearly ISLAA turned out to be the first and only multi-disciplinary meeting that brought everyone together to better understand the LAA and device appropriate strategies that address the specific needs. It concluded by raising questions on the stroke prophylaxis in AF patients on a global scale. The faculty was simply superb and the enthusiasm was simply boundless. The message from ISLAA 2014 was so compelling that one or two copycat LAA meetings have already been announced in the United States. Have a wonderful spring and see you all in HRS 2014.
Dhanunjaya (DJ)Lakkireddy MD, FACC, FHRS Associate Editor JAFIB
Andrea Natale MD, FACC, FHRS, FESC Editor-in-Chief JAFIB