Navigation Links
Heating heart with catheter better than drugs for common heart rhythm disorder
Date:5/14/2009

MAYWOOD, Il. -- Treating a common heart rhythm disorder by burning heart tissue with a catheter works dramatically better than drug treatments, a major international study has found.

One year after undergoing a treatment called catheter ablation, 63 percent of patients with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation were free of any recurrent atrial arrhythmias or symptoms. By comparison, only 17 percent of those treated with drugs were arrhythmia-free. Results were so convincing the trial was halted early.

The ablation group also scored significantly higher on a quality-of-life scale.

The study included 167 patients at 19 centers, including 15 centers in the United States. Lead researcher Dr. David Wilber presented results at Heart Rhythm 2009, the Society's 30th Annual Scientific Sessions. Wilber is director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Il.

Atrial fibrillation, often called A-Fib, is the most common form of irregular heartbeat. Electrical signals, which regulate the heartbeat, become erratic. Instead of beating regularly, the upper chambers of the heart quiver. Not all the blood gets pumped out, so clots can form. Atrial fibrillation can lead to strokes and heart failure.

A-Fib patient Robin Drabant, 35, of Hanover Park, Il., said the condition once "made me feel like I was 90 years old with a failing heart." She was on a maximum dose of an A-Fib medication, which caused fatigue. Despite the drug, she still had episodes almost every day, lasting from 10 seconds to an hour or longer. "I would lose my breath and could feel my heart racing and fluttering," she said.

Wilber performed a catheter ablation on Drabant in May, 2008, and she no longer has A-Fib episodes. "I had great results," she said.

A-Fib symptoms include heart palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and fainting. "A lot of people are disabled," Wilber said. "They have no energy. They can't work. They have a very poor quality of life."

More than 2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, and there are about 160,000 new cases each year. The number is increasing, due in part to the aging population and the obesity epidemic.

Drugs such as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers can slow the heart rate during an A-Fib episode. Other drugs such as flecainide and propafenone can help maintain a normal rhythm. When drugs don't work or produce unacceptable side effects, alternative treatments include a pacemaker, surgery and catheter ablation.

In the ablation procedure, an electrophysiologist destroys small areas of heart tissue that are responsible for the erratic electrical signals. A catheter (thin flexible tube) is guided through blood vessels to the heart. The tip of the catheter delivers radiofrequency energy that heats and destroys tissue. Possible adverse effects include irritation of the lining of the heart, fluid in the lungs or around the heart, bleeding, clots and stroke.

In the study, 106 patients with frequent episodes of atrial fibrillation were randomly assigned to undergo ablation and 61 similar patients were randomly assigned to receive drug therapy. All patients had experienced at least three episodes of atrial fibrillation during the previous six months and had failed at least one attempt to control the rhythm with drugs.

The study was funded by Biosense Webster, which makes the ThermoCool catheter used in the trial. Wilber is a consultant to the company.

The study was the largest to date to compare ablation to drug therapy for atrial fibrillation. Earlier studies involved single centers and smaller sample sizes, Wilber said. An additional study called CABANA is designed to determine whether ablation patients live longer than patients receiving medication. Researchers will follow about 3,000 patients for three years.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. ALL vs. NOW: Pill Protest Heating Up
2. New research shows overheating newborns can increase the risk of SIDS
3. Heating Plastic Bottles Releases Potentially Harmful Chemical
4. NewCardio to Introduce Technology at Heart Rhythm Society Conference
5. From Heart Attack Scare to Half-Marathon
6. Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
7. Estrogen May Help Mens Hearts
8. INTERMACS: Total Artificial Heart Bridge-to-Transplant Rate 2x Higher at 6 Months Than BiVADS and LVADs
9. HeartWare to Present at Eighth Annual JMP Securities Research Conference
10. Stereotaxis Market Leadership Highlighted at Heart Rhythm 2009
11. Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Heating heart with catheter better than drugs for common heart rhythm disorder
(Date:5/26/2016)... Franklin, TN (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... today, and more than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide. On Sunday, June 5, 2016, ... the 29th annual National Cancer Survivors Day®. , National Cancer Survivors Day® is ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... In an effort to provide hair restoration information to the widest possible audience, Dr. Parsa ... not use the app. Dr. Mohebi, the founder of Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration, is making ... , Dr. Mohebi says, “The positive response to the Snapchat videos we started last month ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... North Cypress ... 13 at Blackhorse Golf Club in Cypress. With the help of community partners, the ... restores, empowers, and renews hope for wounded service members and their families through health, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... products recently hosted the first PowerWave Instructor Certification Course in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The ... group of fitness professional through the 8 hour interactive course to qualify participants ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... The introduction of our professional athletes coincides with ... ™”. , “We are proud to introduce Meghan Klingenberg, defender and World ... Brian Quick, wide receiver for Los Angeles who was a second round selection in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Zymo Research Corp. ... their new reference materials that help researchers obtain ... collection to analyses. The rapid growth of the ... researchers to have standard methods to improve the ... Biases inherently exist at every step of the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... According to market research "Global ... Demand Forecast to 2022 - Industry Insights by Type ... by P&S Market Research, the global insulin delivery device ... it is expected to grow at a CAGR of ... segment is expected to witness the fastest growth at ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Granger Diagnostics today ... test for wounds and infections. This test ensures ... and select viruses. The test requires only a ... David G. Bostwick , MD, ... to facilitate wound healing: "We are excited to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: