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Mount Sinai first with new technique to prevent a major cause for heart-related stroke
Date:8/21/2009

(New York, NY August 21, 2009) Physicians at The Mount Sinai Medical Center were the first in the country to perform a non-surgical procedure using sutures to tie off a left atrial appendage (LAA), which is the source of blood clots leading to stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib is the most common sustained heart-rhythm disorder in the United States.

The procedure was performed Wednesday by Vivek Y. Reddy, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Mount Sinai Heart, and his colleague, Srinivas R. Dukkipati, MD, Director of Mount Sinai's Experimental Electrophysiology Laboratory. With the patient under general anesthesia, the physicians guided two catheters into the patient's heart to seal the LAA with a pre-tied suture loop. The technique is a safe alternative to drug therapies such as the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin) that can have serious side effects, as well as open-heart surgery, and more invasive implant surgery.

"People who take Coumadin because of atrial fibrillation include active and otherwise healthy people, as well as elderly people for whom the drug may be contraindicated," said Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Chair of the American/European Guidelines of Atrial Fibrillation.

Drs. Reddy and Dukkipati joined Mount Sinai this month to focus on building the institution's services for heart-rhythm disorders. They had been performing pre-clinical testing of the non-surgical LAA device, and this procedure represents its first application in people in the United States.

"We are very proud of the recruitment of Dr. Reddy and his exceptionally talented team," said Wayne Keathley, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Mount Sinai Hospital. "Their pioneering work has the potential to redirect the field of cardiac rhythm disorders."

"Compared to a lifetime of medication therapy, or other surgical modalities,
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Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
newsnow@mountsinai.org
212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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