The top 10 most popular Vascular Specialist stories in May

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A pointed letter aimed at electronic health record (EHR) behemoth Epic, an argument in favor of endovascular treatment of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (rAAAs) and the first-ever Corner Stitch column were among the best-read stories here on the Vascular Specialist website during the month of May.

1. An open letter to Epic Systems

Our medical editor, Malachi Sheahan III, MD, penned an open letter to Epic, urging the company leadership to think again about mounting evidence in the scientific literature linking the blight of physician burnout to the EHR. “While most EHR companies are happy to stick their heads in the sand or offer useless platitudes toward the blight of physician burnout, I believe you have taken it one step further,” he writes. “Epic’s leadership appears to outright deny the established correlation between the EHR and burnout.”

2. The digital version of May’s Vascular Specialist print issue

Stories on the idea of radiation becoming “a be a thing of the past” in light of groundbreaking new imaging technology, a pilot study on the performance of endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) in office-based settings, and Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) advocacy efforts helping spark landmark change in research effort requirements were among those featured in the May print edition.

3. Candidates for 2021–22 SVS vice president revealed

The unveiling of the Texas-based tandem of William Shutze, MD, and Joseph Mills, MD, as the two candidates in line to become the next SVS vice president caught the eye of readers. The candidate with the most votes will be announced at an SVS virtual Annual Business Meeting June 16.

4. Hitting the spot: EVAR for rAAA should be ‘treatment of choice’ in 2021

Vascular titan Frank Veith, MD, took a Critical Issues America (April 16–17; Miami) audience on a three-decade-long journey through the history of EVAR for rAAAs, arguing that the procedure is “intuitively better” than open surgical repair, with its merits “so obvious, one wonders why endografts were not used sooner to treat ruptured AAAs.” This was also the main cover story in our May print issue.

5. A love for writing

Laura Marie Drudi, MD, wrote the debut column of Corner Stitch, a new monthly section devoted to trainees. Detailing her development as a writer in Vascular Specialist, she also announced her departure as our residents/fellows editor. “I have always had a love for writing, and found solace and peace in expressing myself through my handwritten stream of words,” she writes. “I believe my true voice has always been the words fashioned into reflections and stories—some of which have made it into print, and others that are not yet ready to be shared.”

6. One-year results from PROMISE I study of LimFlow system in ‘no-option’ CLTI patients published

Twelve-month data from the full patient cohort in the PROMISE I study of the LimFlow percutaneous deep vein arterialization (pDVA) system—published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery—contained results showing sustained positive outcomes for both amputation-free survival and wound healing in no-option chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) patients.

7. 21: VOYAGER PAD shows rivaroxaban ‘significantly’ reduced total ischemic events in PAD patients

Findings presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology (ACC.21; May 15–17; virtual) demonstrated that rivaroxaban combined with low-dose aspirin led to a significant reduction in the occurrence of total ischemic events in patients with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) who underwent lower-extremity revascularization, according to researchers conducting the VOYAGER PAD trial.

8. Wearable device for AV fistula remote monitoring shows promise—but faces commercial challenges

A new wearable device designed to remotely monitor arteriovenous (AV) fistulae function in dialysis access patients uncovered promising data, leading one set of researchers to conclude the technology offers hope for improved care and lower costs among a challenging patient population. The SmartPatch monitoring system is currently undergoing testing in a series of pilot studies aimed at tackling the healthcare burden of kidney failure and vascular access failure. Richard Neville, MD, detailed his team’s findings earlier this year during the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery (SCVS) annual meeting.

9. TCAR vs CEA: Research shows fewer myocardial infarctions after TCAR with use of general anesthesia

A Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) analysis uncovered a reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction after transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) compared to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) when general anesthesia is used—an observation mainly found in patients with symptomatic carotid artery stenosis.

10. Intermittent claudication and exercise therapy: A poor SET-up

Neelima Katragunta, MD, and Kevin Martin, MD, members of the SVS Coding Committee, analyzed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Comparative Billing Reports (CBRs) received by some vascular surgeons and the possible insurance denial that may occur in the setting of a clinically-indicated intervention for debilitating claudication after a trial of exercise therapy.

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