Ablation increases survival for adults with atrial fibrillation

July 30, 2014, University of Michigan Health System
Ablation increases survival for adults with atrial fibrillation
Adults who undergo catheter ablation are 60 percent less likely to die from heart attack or heart failure later on, according to a University of Michigan Health System study. Credit: University of Michigan Health System

Adults who undergo a minimally invasive technique to treat atrial fibrillation are significantly less likely to die from a heart attack or heart failure, according to a long-term study by the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

More than 4 million people have atrial fibrillation, an age-related heart rhythm disorder that can cause a fluttering sensation in the chest and impair the heart's ability to pump blood.

The study published in Heart Rhythm shows cardiovascular mortality dropped by 60 percent among adults who had their normal heart rhythm restored through .

"The study findings show the benefit of ablation extends beyond improving quality of life for adults with atrial fibrillation. If successful, ablation improves life span," says lead study author Hamid Ghanbari, M.D., M.P.H., an electrophysiologist at the U-M Cardiovascular Center.

Even older patients and those with diabetes, a history of stroke and heart disease, sleep apnea and low ejection fraction saw the cardiovascular survival benefits of ablation, according to the study.

An accompanying editorial, characterizing atrial fibrillation ablation as a death-defying endeavor, says the thought-provoking study provides encouraging results for those involved in treating atrial fibrillation.

Researchers evaluated the 10-year medical history of 3,058 adults who had catheter ablation—most of them men averaging 58 years old with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation that comes and goes on its own.

The study is one of the first and longest looks ever at the clinical outcome of ablation treatment.

Catheter ablation is a common procedure that has evolved through innovations in catheter technology and development of antiarrhythmic and anticoagulant drugs.

The procedure requires insertion of a catheter into an upper chamber of the heart and delivery of radiofrequency energy to disrupt the short circuits causing .

The U-M Electrophysiology Program has performed more than 4,000 ablation procedures and participated in studies to perfect ablation tools.

Explore further: High frequency source ablation effective in treating atrial fibrillation

Related Stories

High frequency source ablation effective in treating atrial fibrillation

November 20, 2013
High frequency source ablation is as safe and effective as a more standard ablation treatment for patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, according to a late-breaking clinical trial presented at the American Heart Association's ...

Catheter ablation a first-line treatment for atrial flutter

July 1, 2014
Use of catheter ablation is not only beneficial for treating atrial flutter but also can significantly reduce hospital visits – both inpatient and emergency – and lower the risk for atrial fibrillation, according to research ...

Beaumont Health System first outside of Japan to test new atrial fibrillation technology

January 31, 2014
Beaumont Health System is the first center outside of Japan to use a new balloon ablation technology to treat atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder that affects about 3 million people in the U.S.

Study examines use of electrical energy for treating certain type of atrial fibrillation

February 18, 2014
Among patients with untreated paroxysmal (intermittent) atrial fibrillation (AF), treatment with electrical energy (radiofrequency ablation) resulted in a lower rate of abnormal atrial rhythms and episodes of AF, according ...

Magnetic resonance imaging before ablation for atrial fibrosis helps predict success of treatment

September 1, 2013
In patients with atrial fibrillation, delayed enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (DE-MRI) performed before ablative treatment can stage the degree of damaged heart tissue (atrial fibrosis) and help predict whether treatment ...

Alcohol may ease the nerves that cause atrial fibrillation

March 4, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Doctors in the U.S. and Japan have devised a way to treat atrial fibrillation by adding a little alcohol to minimally invasive therapies that target a cluster of misbehaving nerves known to trigger arrhythmia. ...

Recommended for you

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

January 9, 2018
Location. Location. Location.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.