Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review (AER) has become one of the key ways that clinicians interested in heart rhythm management stay up to date with the latest science in electrophysiology. The quality of the articles has been crucial to the success of the journal and this is a result of the hard work of the contributors and the skill and dedication of the editorial team, led by Dr Demosthenes Katritsis.
In the previous issue, Hugh Calkins joined as Section Editor for Clinical Electrophysiology and Ablation and reflected on the progress made in the understanding and treatment of heart rhythm problems. I share his feeling of privilege that I have had the opportunity to be part of the race to discovery that electrophysiology has been over the last 30 years. Looking back on my procedure reports from the mid- to late-1990s, I am amazed at how ignorant and naïve we were and I wonder whether I will feel the same – when I come to my retirement at the end of the next decade – looking back on those that I write today.
AER has documented much of this progress and the quality of the content is stunning. While it is difficult to choose, I would suggest that those who are new to the journal go back to read Ramanan Kumareswaran and Francis E Marchlinski’s Practical Guide to Ablation for Epicardial Ventricular Tachycardia: When to Get Access, How to Deal with Anticoagulation and How to Prevent Complications (July 2018), Josep Brugada and Roberto Keegan’s article on Asymptomatic Ventricular Pre-excitation: Between Sudden Cardiac Death and Catheter Ablation (March 2018) and Angelo Auricchio and colleagues’ editorial on Key Lessons from the ELECTRa Registry in the Modern Era of Transvenous Lead Extraction (August 2017).1–3
Authors can feel assured that their contributions are widely read and debated. A good indicator of this is the correspondence that many articles stimulate, an example being His Bundle Pacing: A New Frontier in the Treatment of Heart Failure by Nadine Ali et al. (June 2018), which was particularly popular among my colleagues.4
AER has been good at spotting trends and addressing clinical challenges. My personal predictions as to the areas likely to see the greatest growth or innovation over the next five years will be: His bundle pacing, simplification of AF ablation (including better mapping tools for persistent AF), better risk stratification of patients at risk of sudden death, the role of MRI and implantable defibrillators and the role of catheter ablation in ventricular ectopy as a supplementary therapy for patients with cardiomyopathy. David Callans gave a nice overview of this final subject in the December 2017 issue.5
AER has become the official journal of the British Heart Rhythm Society (BHRS). The BHRS is the first heart rhythm society established in the world; it is a reflection of our history at the BHRS that it was established as the British Pacing and Electrophysiology Group, because it pre-dated the innovation of ablation. While the UK is going through the painful process of disconnecting itself from Europe, we at the BHRS continue to be committed to partnership, scientific collaboration and friendship with our colleagues in Europe and worldwide, as we continue the exciting journey of discovery and improvement to make the lives of patients with heart rhythm problems better and longer.
The BHRS’s work supporting AER in its mission to inform, educate and stimulate clinicians will be a key part of our desire to be open and outward looking.
At the recent national Heart Rhythm Congress, issues of AER had to be replaced twice on our stand because they proved so popular. As scientists and clinicians, we will face many challenges over the next few years but I am optimistic that the future is bright for a community so keen to inform and educate themselves.
President, British Heart Rhythm Society, and Consultant Cardiologist, Barts Heart Centre, London, UK