October 5, 2021
The Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology Research at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center, an expert in abnormalities of the heartbeat and electrical system of the heart, presented new data on the heart and COVID-19 and other key topics at the Heart Rhythm Society 2021 Annual Scientific Sessions held in Boston, MA, July 26-30.
New data on the heart and COVID-19
Taya V. Glotzer, MD, FACC, FHRS, Professor of Medicine, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and Director of Cardiac Research, Hackensack University Medical Center, presented the results of “associated admission electrocardiogram (EKG) abnormalities mortality in COVID-19 patients, ”research she conducted with a group of cardiologists from Hackensack University Medical Center. The study showed that there are signals on admission ECGs that could predict which patients admitted with COVID-19 would perform poorly.
“There is a growing awareness of the effect of COVID-19 on cardiovascular function,” said Dr. Glotzer. “The objective of this research was to determine what parameters, if any, of baseline ECGs from patients admitted for treatment of COVID-19 are associated with the development of cardiac shock or mortality.”
Four ECG parameters were found to signal possible poor results: the presence of premature atrial beats, any atrial-ventricular block, poor R-wave progression (no normal increase in R-wave size) and an extended QT interval, the section on the ECG which represents the time it takes for the heart’s electrical system to reset. The study also found that mortality was more common in patients over the age of 60, male, obese, and high troponin (a protein that is integral to the contraction of heart muscle).
Dr. Glotzer and her team have also published results on the effects of COVID-19 on blood pressure and heart muscle function.
“Dr. Glotzer has been invited to present by senior management of the Company,” said Joseph E. Parrillo, MD, president, Heart & Vascular Hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center. “This is a wonderful indication of his position in as an expert in cardiac electrophysiology. “
“Optimizing remote monitoring for atrial fibrillation”
As an arrhythmia specialist with an interest in the detection of atrial fibrillation, Dr. Glotzer was invited to present: “Optimizing Remote Monitoring for Atrial Fibrillation” at the Heart Rhythm Society conference in July 2021. In this Presentation, she advised cardiologists, nurses, and nurse practitioners on how to best manage arrhythmias detected by implanted heart rhythm devices.
“Cardiac arrhythmias occur when the heart beats irregularly, too fast or too slow,” said Dr. Glotzer. “Patients who have implanted cardiac electronic devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators have an advantage because these devices can detect silent arrhythmias before they cause symptoms. “
She explained that by using Internet connectivity, it is now possible to examine the status of each patient’s heart rhythm on a daily basis. “This capability, called remote monitoring, holds great promise for patient care, with the potential to reduce stroke, decrease heart failure, prevent cardiomyopathy, and detect device malfunctions early. Remote monitoring shortens the time to diagnose and treat arrhythmia, improve patient satisfaction, and improve quality of life. For the healthcare system, remote monitoring can lead to fewer emergency room and office visits, lower costs to the healthcare system with fewer and shorter hospital stays, and better accessibility to the healthcare system. She said. “In addition, remote monitoring can help assess the effectiveness of patients’ treatment regimens and the possibility of modifying treatment early in the disease before arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation become a chronic disease.”
As this innovative diagnostic capability generates large amounts of data, protocols for triage and automated management of this new information are being developed, she explained. In his presentation, Dr. Glotzer discussed optimal remote monitoring techniques for the detection of atrial fibrillation.
Cardiac arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation, commonly known as AFib, is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. It occurs when the upper chambers of the heart do not contract properly, leading to a pool of blood and potentially clots; this can lead to an increased risk of stroke. Atrial fibrillation was associated with 175,000 deaths in the United States in 2018.1 It is estimated that 12.1 million people in the United States will have atrial fibrillation by 2030.2
“Treatments for atrial fibrillation include drugs, implanted electronic cardiac devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators, and medical procedures such as cardiac ablation, a procedure to remove or terminate faulty electrical pathways from sections of the heart. “commented Dr. Glotzer.
Dr Glotzer has been a member of the Heart Rhythm Society and a member of the organization since 1997. She is also a member of the American College of Cardiology and a member of the New Jersey Society for Pacing and Electrophysiology. She completed three scholarships at Bellevue Hospital Center / New York University Medical Center / Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center: one in cardiology; one in cardiac catheterization and angioplasty; and one in electrophysiology, the study of the heart’s electrical system. She is a peer reviewer for leading medical journals and has published extensively in the peer reviewed medical literature since 1987.
“Dr. Glotzer is an important part of our heart and vascular hospital and during her time here she has improved electrophysiology services for our patients,” said Lisa Tank, MD, chief medical officer, Hackensack University Medical Center.
The Heart Rhythm Society is a premier resource on arrhythmias, cardiac pacing, and electrophysiology. He represents medical, paramedical and scientific professionals from more than 70 countries specializing in heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve patient care by promoting research, education and optimal healthcare policies and standards and its vision is to end suffering and death from cardiac arrhythmias.
For more information on Hackensack Meridian Health’s cardiovascular services, visit https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/services/cardiovascular/.
1U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 2021.
2U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 2021.