Birnie, David

Overview 

David Birnie, MD, is staff cardiac electrophysiologist and Director of the Arrhythmia Service at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He is also Director, Clinical Research, Division of Cardiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Birnie leads the Ottawa region strategic research Innovation Cluster on Atrial Fibrillation.  

Background 

Dr. David Birnie received his medical degree (MB ChB) from Glasgow University in 1990. After completion of Internal Medical training at Aberdeen University he gained his MRCP (UK) in 1993. He spent three years as a cardiology research fellow at Glasgow University from 1993 studying the immunology of atherosclerosis and was awarded his PhD equivalent (MD) in 1996. Between 1996 and 2001 he undertook cardiology training at Glasgow University and received his Certificate of Completion of Specialist Cardiology Training in 2001. In addition he spent a year in 1999-2000 as a Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellow at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Dr. Birnie was recruited to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2002 as staff cardiac electrophysiologist and clinician Iinvestigator.

Dr. Birnie is a founding and current member of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society Research Committee. He is chair of the first international guidelines for the diagnosis and management of cardiac sarcoidosis. He currently sits on both Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Heart and Stroke Foundation peer review panels.

Since 2013, Dr. Birnie, as principal investigator, has been awarded grants from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and is a recipient of the  Heart and Stroke Foundation Ontario (HSFO) Mid Career Investigator Award, where his application was ranked no.1 in the competition. He plays a leading role as Co-Principal Investigator on the CIHR Canadian Atrial Fibrillation Stroke Prevention Network and in the NCE Canadian Arrhythmia Network (CANet). Dr. Birnie has previously been funded by the British Heart Foundation, HSFC, CIHR and the JP Bickell Foundation. 

To date, he has been involved in over 385 peer-reviewed presentations, publications, and book chapters. In 2014, Dr. Birnie was awarded the University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s Clinical Science Investigator of the Year award. Dr. Birnie has been an invited speaker at major international conferences including the American Heart Association, Heart Rhythm Society and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society meeting. He has managed to combine work with his major hobby, serving as cardiologist for the Medical Advisory Committee of the Canadian Soccer Association.

Research & Clinical Interests 

Clinical

Dr. Birnie is the Director of the Arrhythmia Service at UOHI. His clinical focus is on all aspects of cardiac electrophysiology including arrhythmia pharmacotherapy and radiofrequency ablation of simple and complex arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation. He also has a major clinical interest in all aspects of implantation and follow-up of device therapy for arrhythmias. This includes pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Research

Dr. Birnie’s major ongoing research interests are selection and optimization of CRT for heart failure patients, investigating optimal strategies for stroke reduction around device surgery and cardiac sarcoidosis.

Publications 

See current publications list at PubMed.

Selected publications:

  1. Birnie DH, Healey JS, Essebag V. Management of anticoagulation around pacemaker and defibrillator surgery. Circulation. 2014 May 20;129(20):2062-5
  2. Birnie DH, Sauer WH, Bogun F, Cooper JM, Culver DA, Duvernoy CS, Judson MA, Kron J, Mehta D, Cosedis Nielsen J, Patel AR, Ohe T, Raatikainen P, Soejima K. HRS expert consensus statement on the diagnosis and management of arrhythmias associated with cardiac sarcoidosis. Heart Rhythm. 2014 Jul;11(7):1305-23.
  3. Nery PB, Beanlands RS, Nair GM, Green M, Yang J, McArdle BA, Davis D, Ohira H, Gollob MH, Leung E, Healey JS, Birnie DH. Atrioventricular block as the initial manifestation of cardiac sarcoidosis in middle-aged adults. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2014 Aug;25(8):875-81.
  4. Nair GM, Nery PB, Redpath CJ, Lam BK, Birnie DH. Atrioesophageal fistula in the era of atrial fibrillation ablation: a review. Can J Cardiol. 2014 Apr;30(4):388-95.
  5. Nair GM, Nery PB, Redpath CJ, Birnie DH. Ventricular arrhythmias in patients with heart failure secondary to reduced ejection fraction: a current perspective. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2014 Mar;29(2):152-9
  6. Birnie DH, Healey JS, Wells GA, Verma A, Tang AS, Krahn AD, Simpson CS, Ayala-Paredes F, Coutu B, Leiria TL, Essebag V; BRUISE CONTROL Investigators. Pacemaker or defibrillator surgery without interruption of anticoagulation. N Engl J Med. 2013 May 30;368(22):2084-93.
  7. Birnie D, Lemke B, Aonuma K, Krum H, Lee KL, Starling RC, Milasinovic G, Gorcsan J 3rd, Houmsse M, Abeyratne A, Sambelashvili A, Martin DO. Clinical outcomes with synchronized left ventricular pacing: analysis of the adaptive CRT trial. Heart Rhythm. 2013 Sep;10(9):1368-74
  8. Verma A, Champagne J, Sapp J, Essebag V, Novak P, Skanes A, Morillo CA, Khaykin Y, Birnie D. Discerning the Incidence of Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Episodes of Atrial Fibrillation Before and After Catheter Ablation (DISCERN AF): A Prospective, Multi-center Study. JAMA Intern Med 2013 Jan 28;173(2):149-56.
  9. Birnie DH, Parkash R, Exner DV, Essebag V, Healey JS, Verma A, Coutu B, Kus T, Mangat I, Ayala-Paredes F, Nery P, Wells G, Krahn AD. Clinical predictors of Fidelis lead fracture. Circulation 2012; 125: 1217-1225

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