Nav: Home

Catheter ablations reduce risks of stroke in heart patients with stroke history, study finds

November 13, 2016

Atrial fibrillation patients with a prior history of stroke who undergo catheter ablation to treat the abnormal heart rhythm lower their long-term risk of a recurrent stroke by 50 percent, according to new research from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm caused by rogue electrical currents in the heart. The arrhythmia allows blood to pool and clot in the heart. When the clot breaks loose, it travels to the brain and causes a stroke.

When medications aren't successful in treating the arrhythmia, catheter ablations are used to create scar tissue in the upper left atrium of the heart that prevents rapid, chaotic electric currents, often from the pulmonary veins, from causing the abnormal rhythm.

"One of the most devastating complications of atrial fibrillation is a stroke and its prevention is the treatment cornerstone of the abnormal heart rhythm," said Jared Bunch, MD, lead author of the study and director of electrophysiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City. "Patients that have a prior history of stroke have a much greater risk of recurrent strokes. Our new research shows the more successful we are in treating the abnormal rhythm through the process required with catheter ablation, the better chance we have of lowering a patient's long-term risk of stroke."

Results of the study will be presented during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in New Orleans on Sunday, November 13, at 2:50 pm, CT.

The Intermountain study compared a group of 140 patients, who had a prior history of stroke and underwent their first catheter ablation, to two other patient groups, both of which also had a prior history of stroke, including 416 atrial fibrillation patients who did not receive a catheter ablation, and 416 stroke patients who did not have atrial fibrillation.

The patients were followed for five years and observed for recurrent outcomes of stroke, heart failure, and death.

The five-year risk of patients having another stroke was decreased in the patients who had a catheter ablation to treat atrial fibrillation, compared to the group that had no catheter ablation to treat their abnormal heart rhythm. The stroke rates of atrial fibrillation patients that underwent an ablation procedure were similar to patients with no history of atrial fibrillation.

"One of the most important findings of this study was that stroke rates in patients that underwent an ablation were similar to patients with no history of atrial fibrillation. This suggests that are management approach can alter some of the negative effects and natural history of atrial fibrillation. As physicians, we spend a lot of our time and energy trying to prevent stroke, this study helps us understand better how our management approaches can alter stroke risk," said Dr. Bunch. "Our research shows that more aggressive treatment of atrial fibrillation by using catheter ablations will reduce the chances a person will have a life-threatening stroke."
-end-
Other members of the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute team include Heidi T. May, PhD; Tami L. Bair, RN; Victoria Jacobs, PhD; Brian G. Crandall, MD; Michael Cutler, MD; Jeffrey S. Osborn, MD; Charles Mallender, MD; John D. Day, MD; and Peter Weiss, MD.

Intermountain Medical Center is the flagship facility for the Intermountain Healthcare system, which is based in Salt Lake City.

Intermountain Medical Center

Related Heart Failure Articles:

New hope for treating heart failure
Heart failure patients who are getting by on existing drug therapies can look forward to a far more effective medicine in the next five years or so, thanks to University of Alberta researchers.
Activated T-cells drive post-heart attack heart failure
Chronic inflammation after a heart attack can promote heart failure and death.
ICU care for COPD, heart failure and heart attack may not be better
Does a stay in the intensive care unit give patients a better chance of surviving a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure flare-up or even a heart attack, compared with care in another type of hospital unit?
Tissue engineering advance reduces heart failure in model of heart attack
Researchers have grown heart tissue by seeding a mix of human cells onto a 1-micron-resolution scaffold made with a 3-D printer.
Smoking may lead to heart failure by thickening the heart wall
Smokers without obvious signs of heart disease were more likely than nonsmokers and former smokers to have thickened heart walls and reduced heart pumping ability.
After the heart attack: Injectable gels could prevent future heart failure (video)
During a heart attack, clots or narrowed arteries block blood flow, harming or killing cells in the heart.
Heart failure after first heart attack may increase cancer risk
People who develop heart failure after their first heart attack have a greater risk of developing cancer when compared to first-time heart attack survivors without heart failure, according to a study today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Scientists use 'virtual heart' to model heart failure
A team of researchers have created a detailed computational model of the electrophysiology of congestive heart failure, a leading cause of death.
Increase in biomarker linked with increased risk of heart disease, heart failure, death
In a study published online by JAMA Cardiology, Elizabeth Selvin, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, and colleagues examined the association of six-year change in high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T with incident coronary heart disease, heart failure and all-cause mortality.
1 in 4 patients develop heart failure within 4 years of first heart attack
One in four patients develop heart failure within four years of a first heart attack, according to a study in nearly 25,000 patients presented today at Heart Failure 2016 and the 3rd World Congress on Acute Heart Failure by Dr.

Related Heart Failure Reading:

Heart Failure: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease
by Douglas L. Mann MD (Author), G. Michael Felker MD MHS FACC FAHA (Author)

Oxford Textbook of Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation (Oxford Textbooks in Cardiology)
by Michael Domanski (Editor), Mandeep R. Mehra (Editor), Marc Pfeffer (Editor)

The 4 Stages of Heart Failure
by Brian Jaski (Author)

Heart Failure: A Comprehensive Guide to Pathophysiology and Clinical Care
by Howard Eisen (Editor)

Heart Failure (Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology)
by Johann Bauersachs (Editor), Javed Butler (Editor), Peter Sandner (Editor)

Color Atlas and Synopsis of Heart Failure
by Ragavendra Baliga (Author)

Heart Failure Pocketcard Set
by M.D. Szady (Author), M.D. Bavry (Author)

Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition
by Edward K. Kasper (Author), Mary Knudson (Author)

Heart Failure
by Thomas Nelson

HEART FAILURE: Our Life Journey: The life journey of a group of Heart Failure Warriors

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Where Joy Hides
When we focus so much on achievement and success, it's easy to lose sight of joy. This hour, TED speakers search for joy in unexpected places, and explain why it's crucial to a fulfilling life. Speakers include inventor Simone Giertz, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee, journalist David Baron, and musician Meklit Hadero.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#499 Technology, Work and The Future (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're thinking about how rapidly advancing technology will change our future, our work, and our well-being. We speak to Richard and Daniel Susskind about their book "The Future of Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts" about the impacts technology may have on professional work. And Nicholas Agar comes on to talk about his book "The Sceptical Optimist" and the ways new technologies will affect our perceptions and well-being.