Do We Need Heart Teams for Complex Cardiac Arrhythmias? A Cardiologist’s Perspective

  • Mark Ainslie
  • Jennifer L. Reed
  • Krystina B. Lewis
  • David Hugh BirnieEmail author


In many academic cardiovascular centers, there has been a long-standing tradition of collaboration in the management of patients with complex arrhythmias. More recently, there have been initiatives at our institution and others to extend this further, i.e., create a formal “heart team” approach. The ultimate goal is to provide high-quality, evidence-based, timely, cost-effective, personalized care to patients with complex arrhythmias. This chapter will review three areas where the heart team has a key role in the management of complex cardiac arrhythmias:
  1. (i)

    Atrial fibrillation

  2. (ii)

    Ventricular arrhythmias

  3. (iii)

    Inherited arrhythmia syndromes (IAS)


The complex arrhythmia heart team approach has already been shown to be cost-effective in a number of areas. The hope is that the concept of the “complex arrhythmia heart team” will continue to evolve and grow at our institution and others. Going forward, we hope to convince healthcare administrators and funders that savings achieved by the team should, at least in part, be directed to support the team. In the meantime, we will continue to focus on our ultimate goal to provide high-quality, evidence-based, timely, cost-effective, personalized care to patients with complex arrhythmias.


Complex arrhythmias Atrial fibrillation Ventricular arrhythmias Inherited arrhythmia syndromes Cost-effective Shared decision-making 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Ainslie
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Reed
    • 2
  • Krystina B. Lewis
    • 3
  • David Hugh Birnie
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Lancashire Cardiac Centre, Department of Cardiac ElectrophysiologyBlackpoolUK
  2. 2.University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Department of Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Lab, Division of Cardiac Prevention and RehabilitationOttawaCanada
  3. 3.University of Ottawa School of NursingOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Division of CardiologyUniversity of Ottawa Heart InstituteOttawaCanada

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