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American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Implanted Monitor Accurately Detects Heart Rhythm Disturbances
Date:2/17/2010

Study highlights:

- Researchers report a more accurate way to detect and assess irregular heartbeats which can cause blood clots to form.

- Using this new technology can help healthcare providers assess patients who do not experience symptoms related to the heart rhythm disturbance called atrial fibrillation.

DALLAS, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Doctors soon may be able to more accurately monitor heart rhythm disturbances and gauge the severity of atrial fibrillation (AF) with a new algorithm used in the Reveal XT leadless implantable heart monitor, according to research reported in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, a journal of the American Heart Association.

"Patients with atrial fibrillation may be at significant risk for severe cardiovascular events due to the presence of the arrhythmia," said the study's lead author, Gerhard Hindricks, M.D., Ph.D., who is also a professor at the Heart Center of the University of Leipzig in Germany.

Detecting AF -- and adequately treating it -- is crucial, Hindricks said, because patients often don't have symptoms.

Some 2.2 million Americans have AF, in which the heart's two upper chambers -- the atria -- quiver instead of beating effectively.  Blood isn't completely pumped out of them, so it may pool and clot, raising the risk of stroke.  Roughly one in seven strokes occur in people with AF, according to American Heart Association statistics.

In the study, 247 patients suspected of having sporadic irregular heart rhythms were implanted with the Reveal XT monitor and outfitted with a Holter monitor.  This allowed researchers to compare heartbeats recorded by each monitor for the 46-hour study period.  The Reveal XT m
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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