Clinical Trial May Provide Cure For Patients With Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

October 11, 1998


A clinical trial at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center may offer new hope for patients with Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (PAF). According to scientists at the medical center, correctly identifying patients with PAF, pinpointing specific "trigger" areas in their hearts and non-surgically eliminating those triggers using radiofrequency energy (ablation) may offer a permanent cure for this type of cardiac arrhythmia. According to Dr. P.K. Shah, M.D., Director of the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, "The ability to cure Atrial Fibrillation in selected patients could not only eliminate the need for long-term therapy with drugs that often produce side effects, but would also eliminate the increased risk of stroke that often accompanies Atrial Fibrillation."
LOS ANGELES (October 9, 1998) - A clinical trial currently under way at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center may offer a permanent, non-surgical cure for patients who experience recurrent episodes of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (PAF) which is not controlled by medications. These patients are generally young (in their 40s or 50s), have apparent normal heart function, and no readily identifiable heart disease. As a result, they often go undiagnosed -- and untreated -- for years.

According to Rahul Doshi, M.D., Fellow, Cedars-Sinai Division of Cardiology -Electrophysiology, two key components of the study focus on early identification of patients with PAF (rapid, premature and irregular activity within the heart), and then locating the area or areas within the heart that "trigger" episodes of rapid or premature electrical activity.

"Key to this study is identifying which patients are appropriate candidates for ablation," says Dr. Doshi. This involves obtaining a complete medical history and physical, and then using diagnostic tools such as echocardiograms and continuous holter monitoring. For holter monitoring, EKG electrodes are connected to the patient and to a recorder for 24 to 72 hours. The patient can do this at home, returning at the end of the specified time period, so doctors can print out and review the recorded heart activity. "This shows if a patient is experiencing episodes of atrial fibrillation and frequent extra beats that might trigger it," says Dr. Doshi.

Once a patient has been identified as an appropriate candidate for the ablation procedure, treatment takes place in the Electrophysiology Laboratory. Electrode catheters are inserted into the heart to monitor and record electrical activity and to 'map' where the extra beats are originating. Once the site -- or sites -- have been pinpointed, Radiofrequency energy is delivered through the electrode to 'burn' (ablate) the trigger area, permanently eliminating future arrhythmias from that area. "This offers a real cure -- permanent," says Dr. Doshi.

According to P.K. Shah, M.D., Director of the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, "the ability to cure Atrial Fibrillation in selected patients could not only eliminate the need for long-term therapy with drugs that often produce side effects, but would also eliminate the increased risk of stroke that often accompanies Atrial Fibrillation."

Cedars-Sinai is the only Southern California facility involved in a clinical trial of this type, and one of only a few facilities in the world to offer the procedure. Scientists involved in the Cedars-Sinai clinical trial hope to raise awareness among other cardiologists, primary care physicians and the general public. For referral information, please call the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Division of Cardiology and Section of Electrophysiology, 310-855-4251. Available For Interviews:

Chun Hwang, M.D., Clinical Trial Lead Investigator and Visiting Scientist, Cedars-Sinai
C. Thomas Peter, M.D., Director of Electrophysiology at Cedars-Sinai
Peng-Sheng Chen, M.D., Director of Pacemaker and Device Clinic and Electrophysiology Research at Cedars-Sinai

For media information and to arrange an interview, please call 1-800-396-1002 (this number is not for publication).

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related Atrial Fibrillation Articles from Brightsurf:

Atrial fibrillation less deadly than it used to be, but still cause for concern: BU study
A first-of-its-kind study by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) shows a decline in deaths related to atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) over the last 45 years.

Postoperative atrial fibrillation does not impact on overall survival after esophagectomy
Volume 11, Issue 25 of Oncotarget reported that Administration of landiolol hydrochloride was found to be associated with reduced incidence of atrial fibrillation after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer in our previous randomized controlled trial.

People with atrial fibrillation live longer with exercise
More than 100,000 Norwegians have atrial fibrillation. They should be actively exercising for their health.

Atrial fibrillation among overweight people is not due to fat
In a recently published study, researchers from Aarhus University document that the risk of atrial fibrillation is not linked to the amount of body fat, but instead to large muscle mass, or more precisely, a high fat-free weight

Eating more protein could help ward off atrial fibrillation in women
Women who ate slightly more than the recommended daily amount of protein were significantly less likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AFib), a dangerous heart rhythm disorder that can lead to stroke and heart failure, when compared with those who consumed less protein, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).

Zebrafish teach researchers more about atrial fibrillation
Genetic research in zebrafish at the University of Copenhagen has surprised the researchers behind the study.

Personalized medicine for atrial fibrillation
The study, published in Europace, uses signals from implantable devices -- pacemakers and defibrillators -- to analyze electrical signals in the heart during episodes of atrial fibrillation.

Prescribing anticoagulants in the ED for atrial fibrillation increases long-term use by 30%
Patients prescribed anticoagulants after a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation in the emergency department are more likely to continue long-term use of medications to treat the condition, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Anticoagulant benefits for atrial fibrillation decrease with age
The net clinical benefit of anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation (AF) -- one of the most important causes of irregular heartbeats and a leading cause of stroke -- decreases with age, as the risk of death from other factors diminishes their benefit in older patients, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Research improves understanding of mechanism of atrial fibrillation
Mouse model studies show that noncoding DNA regions linked to atrial fibrillation risk can display long-range regulatory functions directed at Pitx2 gene and in this way predispose to the condition.

Read More: Atrial Fibrillation News and Atrial Fibrillation Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to