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Atrial Fibrillation Treatment Using Specialized Catheter Results In Better Outcomes Compared To Drug Therapy

Use of catheter ablation, in which radiofrequency energy is emitted from a catheter to eliminate the source of an irregular heartbeat, resulted in significantly better outcomes in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (intermittent cardiac rhythm disturbance) who had not responded previously to antiarrhythmic drug therapy, according to a study in the January 27 issue of JAMA. Atrial fibrillation (AF) represents an important public health problem, with patients having an increased long-term risk of stroke, heart failure and all-cause death. Although antiarrhythmic drugs are generally used as first-line therapy to treat patients with AF, they are associated with cumulative adverse effects over time and their effectiveness remains inconsistent, according to background information in the article.

Atrial Fibrillation Treated Much More Successfully With Catheter Ablation Than Drugs

Burning away heart tissue using a procedure called catheter ablation is dramatically more successful than drugs at treating atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder, according to a new landmark study published in a leading journal today. Lead researcher Dr. David Wilber, director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and colleagues, write about their findings in the 27 January online issue of JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association. Wilber presented data from this study to the Heart Rhythm Society's Scientific Sessions last year. They found that after one year, two thirds of patients who received catheter ablation to treat an irregular heartbeat caused by atrial fibrillation (A-Fib), no longer experienced recurrent irregular heartbeats or symptoms, compared with only 16 per cent of those treated with drugs.

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Landmark Heart Treatment Study

Treating a common heart rhythm disorder by burning heart tissue with a catheter works dramatically better than drug treatments, according to a landmark study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). One year after undergoing a treatment called catheter ablation, 66 percent of patients with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) were free of any recurrent irregular heartbeats or symptoms, compared with only 16 percent of those treated with drugs. Results were so convincing the trial was halted early. The study's lead researcher is Dr. David Wilber, director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Engineers Seek To Stem Massive, Deadly Flow Of Heart Disease

Virginia Tech researcher Pavlos Vlachos and his students in the College of Engineering have a tall order to tackle: Stem the grim progression of heart disease, which kills hundreds of thousands of people each year in the United States alone. Vlachos, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Advanced Experimental Thermofluid Engineering Research Laboratory, is waging this fight with what he calls his four children. That's not a condescending term for his researchers, but a parental pride in the series of cardiac-related projects he's working on. Vlachos literally treats these research projects as a parent would treat his or her children.

FDA Approves Left Ventricular Assist System For Severe Heart Failure Patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the HeartMate II, a continuous-flow, left ventricular assist system as a support for severe heart failure patients who are not acceptable candidates for heart transplantation. The HeartMate II is already FDA-approved for use in patients awaiting further, perhaps more complex treatment, such as transplants. Heart assist devices are surgically implanted mechanical pumps that help the heart's ventricle pump blood to the rest of the body. HeartMate II consists of a small, lightweight blood pump implanted in a patient's chest just below the heart. An electrical cable that powers the blood pump passes through the patient's skin to an external controller worn around the patient's waist.

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ARCA Announces Publication Of Bucindolol Data In Circulation: Heart Failure

ARCA biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABIO), a biopharmaceutical company developing genetically targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular disease, today announced that the paper "An alpha-2C-Adrenergic Receptor Polymorphism Alters the Norepinephrine Lowering Effects and Therapeutic Response of the Beta Blocker Bucindolol in Chronic Heart Failure" was published in the January 2010 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Circulation: Heart Failure ( The paper concludes that in the Beta-Blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST) adrenergic polymorphism substudy, the norepinephrine lowering and clinical therapeutic responses to bucindolol were strongly influenced by the alpha-2C adrenergic receptor genotype.

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