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Foreword

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It is my pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural issue of the relaunch for US Cardiology Review. I am excited to take on the role of Editor in Chief and look forward to working with an outstanding editorial board (see page 1) and staff to meet our mandate of providing timely and informative reviews and expert perspectives on current topics within the broad field of cardiovascular medicine.

Cardiology practice is challenged by rapid evolution based on accumulating evidence as well as a need for guidance in areas where evidence is incomplete. While there are a number of reliable formats for presenting new evidence, textbooks for review of historical data and basic mechanisms, and newer electronic formats for providing timely and efficient summaries, there is inadequate availability of reviews that are both detailed and timely. Within the topics selected, the semiannual publication hopes to offer advantages to both traditional textbooks, by providing the most contemporary presentations, as well as the various dynamic electronic formats, by providing more detail on the current evidence and historical perspective.

It is our hope that the format of US Cardiology Review, directed to a target audience of general cardiologists, will be a valuable clinical tool for optimizing patient care and clinical practice. By way of brief description, all articles published have been commissioned from or submitted by experts within a topic of interest and reviewed by established peers with expertise in the specific area. Only original work that is produced entirely by listed authors who are fully accountable for all content is considered.

In this relaunch issue we have commissioned several topical reviews and an expert perspective series. Dr Kittleson (page 8) leads with a discussion of the pathophysiologic basis for guideline directed pharmacologic management of chronic heart failure and dives deeply into the mechanisms and data supporting the use of two recently approved agents, the selective sino-atrial nodal inhibitor, ivradipine; and the combination of the neprilysin inhibitor, sacubitril, and the angiotensin receptor blocker, valsartan. Drs Martinez and Hayes (page 14) follow with a review of the ischemic complications of pregnancy, highlighting the risk factors and the acute and long-term management.

This is followed by two timely reviews related to management of atrial fibrillation. Dr Rao and colleagues (page 21) review current and emerging strategies for stroke prevention, including data for left atrial occlusion, and Drs Parikh and Venkatachalum provide a detailed discussion of rate control and other options for controlling symptoms (page 26). In the final review article, Dr Malik and colleagues (page 30) present a detailed review of risk stratification and contemporary management options for massive and sub-massive pulmonary embolus.

This issue concludes with a series on data quality and outcomes as they impact cardiology practice. Dr Dehmer (page 36) provides an authoritative analysis of the benefits and pitfalls for public reporting of outcome data. This is especially timely as cardiology and other specialties seek guidance for measuring and rewarding high-quality care. Dr Campbell (page 41) follows with an editorial perspective on the use of social media by cardiologists and our patients for a transformation of clinical care. As he notes, these are valuable tools that are being used increasingly by emerging physicians and that more senior physicians may have to learn. Finally, Dr Anderson (page 43) presents a valuable discussion of data standards and the work of our professional societies to develop these concepts for optimal utilization of the vast amount of information we wish to record and monitor.

I hope this first issue gives a flavor of the journal’s aims to offer timely reviews of routine practice clinical issues and perspectives on clinical and non-clinical issues that present a variety of challenges and opportunities. I trust you will find the selected papers valuable for your practice and that they will provide incentive for discussions of improving quality of care for your patients.