Navigation Links
Freeze and desist: Disabling cardiac cells that can cause arrhythmia

Chicago Many patients are responding to a new, minimally invasive way of treating irregular heartbeats by freezing out the bad cells. Atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) is one such heart rhythm disorder, and it's the most common arrhythmia affecting Americans. However, new research shows that 70 percent of patients with the disorder who were treated with cryoballoon ablation, the freezing technique, are free of any heart rhythm irregularities one year out from having the procedure. These results suggest that this minimally invasive procedure may be faster, safer and more effective than the commonly used approach of burning the cells in order to put the heart back into a normal rhythm pattern. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the only hospital in the city of Chicago, and one of only three in the state of Illinois, performing this procedure. According to cardiologist, Bradley Knight, MD, the switch from "hot" to "cold" has been good for patients.

"This novel technology has the potential to help a large number of patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation," said Knight, director of electrophysiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. "It represents the first major advance in the tools available to us to perform catheter ablation for patients with intermittent atrial fibrillation in over a decade."

Not only is A-Fib the most common heart rhythm disorder, it's one of the most undertreated. Approximately three million Americans are estimated to have the disease. A-Fib results from abnormal electrical impulses in the heart. The irregularity can be continuous, or it can come and go. Some people can become light-headed or faint, and other symptoms include weakness, lack of energy or shortness of breath and chest pain. A big concern for patients with atrial fibrillation is preventing blood clots or stroke. Half of all diagnosed atrial fibrillation patients fail drug therapy, and if left untreated, have up to five times higher risk of stroke and increased chance of developing heart failure.

Catheter ablation procedures for patients with A-Fib are typically performed by delivering radiofrequency energy (heat) through an electrode at the tip of a catheter to cauterize small amounts of heart tissue responsible for A-Fib. The tissue that is targeted is in the left atrium, near the entrance to the pulmonary veins, while using a point-to-point treatment.

"This new technology called cryoballoon, represents a way to perform ablation in two important ways," says Rod Passman, MD, medical director of the program for atrial fibrillation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. "The first is that it freezes the heart tissue rather than using heat. Freezing may lead to less disruption of the lining of the heart chamber and might cause less damage to nearby structures like the esophagus compared to heating the tissue. The second way is that the large balloon allows for a much larger area of heart tissue to be ablated at one time. This should prevent gaps in the ablation lines that can occur with point-to-point radiofrequency ablation."

The FDA's approval of the technology used to do this procedure was based on a trial that demonstrated the safety and efficiency of the device in treating A-Fib. The study showed that 70 percent of patients treated with this freezing technique were free of A-fib at one year, compared to 7 percent of patients treated with drug therapy only. The study also demonstrated that patients enrolled in the study displayed a significant reduction of symptoms, a decrease in the use of drug therapy and great improvement in both physical and emotional quality-of-life factors.


Contact: Todd Medland
Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Related medicine news :

1. Wingman Project Implemented for Deep Freeze Mission
2. Revisions to Health Care Reform Must Include Rate Freeze, Rate Regulation and States Rights Provisions, Says Consumer Watchdog
3. SNM applauds temporary freeze on Medicare cuts
4. Fast-Freeze May Help Sperm Survive Storage, Study Finds
5. Antifreeze a Sweet But Lethal Drink for Pets
6. Disabling Skp2 gene helps shut down cancer growth
7. Button Batteries Killing, Disabling Children
8. Anxiety/panic disorder most frequent disabling comorbid disorder in TS patients, study finds
9. Physical symptoms common, disabling among patients with cancer and pain or depression
10. New cardiac CT technology drastically reduces patient radiation exposure
11. Cardiac Science Sets Date for Fourth Quarter, Year-End Results Release and Conference Call
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice ... The company is offering customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. ... at full price. According to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of the well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official ... independent group of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the largest, most successful and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They ... involvement with various organizations, and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also ... buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to ... Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their ... surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for ... excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served all of these ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- 3D bioprinting market is expected to ... report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic ... transplantation is expected to boost the market growth, as 3D ... --> 3D bioprinting market is expected to ... report by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds "Global Repaglinide ... "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide Market, ... forecasts data and information to its ... . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: