Patient Oriented Research in Cardiac Arrhythmia

Our research program is very patient focused. In general we have two criteria when considering starting a new project. Firstly is there an important clinical research question to be answered? Secondly does our group have the necessary experience, skills, resources and collaborations to be able to answer the question?


On this page


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


Current Team Members

Manager Clinical Research-Arrhythmia Group/ Project Manager:
Karen MacDonald

Administration Support:
Keri O’Reilly 

Research Coordinators:
Tammy Knight 
Sarika Naidoo

Graduate Student:
Krystina Lewis

Collaborating Investigators at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute:
Pablo Nery
Girish Nair


Theme 1: Management of anti-coagulation around electrophysiology procedures

BRUISE CONTROL-2 Study- a multicentre randomized controlled trial to investigate whether a strategy of Continued versus Interrupted novel oral anti-coagulant (NOAC) at the time of device surgery, in patients with moderate to high risk of arterial thrombo-embolic events, leads to a reduction in the incidence of clinically significant hematoma.

OCEAN Study- a multicentre randomized controlled trial to investigate whether a strategy of ongoing, long term oral anticoagulation is superior to a strategy of antiplatelet therapy (ASA) alone on the incidence of cerebral embolic events in moderate risk patients post-successful catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation.

Theme 2: Optimizing arrhythmia device therapy for cardiac patients

Image-HF-Project IIA study- a multicentre-cohort registry of patients clinically referred for primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator ICD with or without cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Delayed Enhancement MRI (DE-MRI) is being used as an aid in the prognostic utility of scar quantification techniques in predicting arrhythmic cardiac events and in assessing the predictive utility of scar volume and distribution in clinical response rates to CRT.

RAFT-PermAF study- a multicentre randomized controlled trial to determine whether cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) will reduce all-cause mortality or hospitalization for heart failure in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation and mild to moderate heart failure when compared to ICD therapy alone.

MAPIT CRT study- a multicentre randomized controlled trial to determine whether MRI-guided placement (using LV remodelling criteria) of the ventricular leads at the time of CRT device implant will result in improved CRT response in patients as compared to standard lead placement.

AdaptResponse study- a multicentre randomized controlled post-market trial to compare CRT devices containing the AdaptivCRT software algorithm to standard CRT devices in reducing all-cause mortality and intervention for heart failure decompensation in patients receiving a CRT implant.

RASP study- a multicentre randomized controlled trial to examine whether right ventricular (RV) septal pacing has any different effect on left ventricular function than RV apical pacing in patients who require a pacemaker.

Theme 3: Cardiac sarcoidosis

CHASM-CS study- a multicentre cohort registry study investigating cardiac sarcoidosis as the underlying cause for unexplained new onset significant cardiac electrical conduction system disease in patients less than 60 years of age, or patients with idiopathic sustained ventricular tachycardia.  The study is also following patients diagnosed with pulmonary or systemic sarcoidosis who have an abnormal ECG or holter or echo test.  The study will follow the clinical outcomes in these patients and assess the role of advanced imaging  in diagnosis and guiding treatment.

Available Positions


To enquire about available positions, please submit your CV with a cover letter detailing what you can bring to the team.