Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Use of electrical energy studied for treating certain type of atrial fibrillation, in place of medications

Date:
February 18, 2014
Source:
The JAMA Network Journals
Summary:
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 to a study. Arial fibrillation affects approximately 5 million people worldwide and is associated with an increased risk of stroke. Drug treatment is recommended by practice guidelines as a first-line therapy in patients with paroxysmal AF. However, researchers now suggest that radiofrequency ablation is an accepted therapy in patients for whom antiarrhythmic drugs have failed, although its role as a first-line therapy needs further investigation.

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 to a study in the February 19 issue of JAMA.

Arial fibrillation affects approximately 5 million people worldwide and is associated with an increased risk of stroke. Drug treatment is recommended by practice guidelines as a first-line therapy in patients with paroxysmal AF. "Radiofrequency ablation is an accepted therapy in patients for whom antiarrhythmic drugs have failed; however, its role as a first-line therapy needs further investigation," according to background information in the article.

Carlos A. Morillo, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., of McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues compared ablation to drug treatment as first-line therapy in patients with paroxysmal AF who had not previously received treatment. The trial included 127 patients at 16 centers in Europe and North America; 61 patients received antiarrhythmic drug treatment and 66 radiofrequency ablation.

Recurrence of an atrial tachyarrhythmia lasting longer than 30 seconds (the primary measured outcome) occurred more often in the antiarrhythmic drug group than in the ablation group, 44 patients (72 percent) vs. 36 patients (55 percent). Asymptomatic AF was also observed more frequently with drug treatment, 11 patients (18 percent) compared with 6 patients (9 percent). Symptomatic recurrence of abnormal rhythm was more common with drug treatment, 36 patients (59 percent) in the antiarrhythmic drug group compared with 31 patients (47 percent) in the ablation group.

Quality of life was improved overall by both treatments but not significantly different between groups. No deaths or strokes were reported in either group; 4 cases of cardiac tamponade (the accumulation of a large amount of fluid [usually blood] near the heart that interferes with its performance) were reported in the ablation group.

The authors conclude that recurrence of an atrial tachyarrhythmia was frequent in both groups, and that when offering ablation as a therapeutic option to patients with paroxysmal AF who have not previously received antiarrhythmic drugs, the risks and benefits need to be discussed and treatment strategy individually recommended.

Hugh Calkins, M.D., of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md., comments on the findings of this study in an accompanying editorial.

"Morillo and colleagues have made an important contribution in defining the safety, efficacy, and clinical role of catheter ablation of AF in treating symptomatic patients with paroxysmal AF. Their trial not only provides new and important information concerning the efficacy of AF ablation but also serves as another reminder of the potential complications of invasive therapies such as AF ablation."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The JAMA Network Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Carlos A. Morillo, Atul Verma, Stuart J. Connolly, Karl H. Kuck, Girish M. Nair, Jean Champagne, Laurence D. Sterns, Heather Beresh, Jeffrey S. Healey, Andrea Natale. Radiofrequency Ablation vs Antiarrhythmic Drugs as First-Line Treatment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (RAAFT-2). JAMA, 2014; 311 (7): 692 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.467
  2. Hugh Calkins. Has the Time Come to Recommend Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation as First-Line Therapy? JAMA, 2014; 311 (7): 679 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.468

Cite This Page:

The JAMA Network Journals. "Use of electrical energy studied for treating certain type of atrial fibrillation, in place of medications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218163403.htm>.
The JAMA Network Journals. (2014, February 18). Use of electrical energy studied for treating certain type of atrial fibrillation, in place of medications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218163403.htm
The JAMA Network Journals. "Use of electrical energy studied for treating certain type of atrial fibrillation, in place of medications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218163403.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins