The HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a cutting-edge treatment which uses ultrasound energy
rather than the traditional radiofrequency radiation used in ablations. This non-invasive procedure involves placing a band
around the heart which delivers ultrasound energy in a controlled manner to the heart tissues. The result is the formation
of lesions in heart tissue which block the errant electrical impulses that cause afib. This technique has a great future because
it does not involve open heart surgery and is more easily controlled than procedures which involve entry into the heart.
ASPIRIN NOT AS USEFUL FOR WOMEN UNDER 65
At the recent American College of Cardiology Convention in Orlando, Florida, it was reported that the use of aspirin
in women under 65 to avoid heart problems and stroke is not as effective as in men and women over 65. In an unexpected
outcome, a study involving 40,000 women who were at least age 45 showed that aspirin used by women under 65 reduced the risk
of stroke, such as that caused by afib, by only 17 percent, which is significant only because women suffer more strokes
than men do. The reason for the gender and age differences in usefulness of aspirin is not known, but some speculate
that the results may be due to the protective effect of estrogen in younger women. For more information, see the current
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION FOUNDATION PATIENT EDUCATION DAY
For those who live in the Boston, MA area or who are able to travel there, this announcement from the Atrial
Fibrillation Foundation [Boston, MA] may be of interest. They are holding their fourth annual Atrial Fibrillation
Day in Boston, MA, US, on October 8, 2005. The one-day conference will begin at 8:00 a.m.
with registration and a continental breakfast. (Editorial comment: probably decaf or no coffee!) The program will
begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. Lecturing physicians are with the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at the Massachusetts General
Hospital, and the program will consist of a series of lectures with a question and answer session after each lecture.
A copy of the agenda will be sent with your confirmation letter. For information on the conference and parking
Atrial Fibrillation Foundation
PO Box 249
Reading, MA 01867
SOME PAIN RELIEVERS MAY PROMOTE HYPERTENSION/AFIB
Because high blood pressure is an afib trigger, this new research finding
could be related to afib. However,
the incidence of afib in relation to the use of pain relievers may be mitigated by other factors such as additional
medication and an individual person's innate tendency toward high blood pressure. As always, the fact that we are all
different may modify this finding, I think.
On Aug. 16 Reuters Health published the information
<<that higher daily doses of some commonly used non-aspirin pain-relievers increase the risk of high blood
pressure in women, the results of two studies suggest. "Our results have substantial public health implications," the researchers
write, "and suggest that these agents be used with greater caution." Although previous research has indicated a link
between high blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, and analgesic use, those analyses failed to take into account
drug doses and the reasons for their use, Dr. John P. Forman and colleagues note in their report the medical journal Hypertension.
To read the full report on this news, go to
ANGER, HOSTILITY LINKED TO RHYTHM DISORDER IN MEN
To read this entire report, go to the URL listed after the quotation.
<<Mar 02 (Reuters Health) - Getting mad does not literally make the blood
''boil,'' but new research shows
that anger and hostility may increase the risk of
a heart-rhythm disorder that has been linked with stroke. The
findings suggest that anger management could be a promising way to reduce the risk of the rhythm disorder, known as atrial
fibrillation, according to the study's lead author.
SOURCE: Circulation advance online edition, March 2, 2004.
Date: March 02, 2004
VITAMIN C CAN HELP STABILIZE HEART RHYTHM
To read the article quoted in part below, go to this URL:
<<Aug 01 (Reuters Health) - Oral vitamin C appears to cut the risk of early
recurrence of abnormal health rhythm,
as know as atrial fibrillation, after
patients undergo electrical cardioversion, according to a new study. Vitamin C also
appears to reduce the low-level inflammation that accompanies this condition.
Early atrial fibrillation recurrence
after cardioversion may be due to
electrophysiological changes in the chambers of the heart, known as atrial
Dr. Panagiotis Korantzopoulos of 'G. Hatzikosta' General Hospital in
Ioannina, Greece, and colleagues report in the International
Journal of Cardiology.
Animal studies have shown vitamin C can help prevent such remodeling, they
note, and the vitamin
has been shown to reduce atrial fibrillation after cardiac
SOURCE: International Journal of Cardiology,
Publish Date: August 01, 2005
VITAMIN C PROTECTION AGAINST HEART DISEASE DOUBTED
Because afib is related to inflammation, anything that reduces inflammation could have a favorable effect on afib.
Although the article quoted here challenges the role of vitamin C in preventing heart problems, it seems that this idea is
worth further research and investigation.
To read the quoted article below in its entirety, go to the URL listed below.
<<Aug 08 (Reuters Health)
- High blood levels of vitamin C have been associated
with lower heart attack risk, but now UK researchers say socioeconomic
may account for the relationship. In other words, well-off people have less illness and high levels of vitamins,
but the two are not necessarily connected. While studies of a cross-section of a population have tied vitamin C intake to
coronary heart disease, controlled trials to see if vitamin C wards off heart trouble have shown no effect, Dr. Debbie A.
Lawlor of the University of Bristol and colleagues note in the medical journal Heart. >>
SOURCE: Heart, August 2005.
LOVE THOSE ROBOTS!
<<Apr 07 (HealthCentersOnline) - New technology employing a
robotically-guided catheter may offer a significant
improvement in the treatment
Atrial fibrillation is a rapid, abnormal heart rhythm caused
electrical impulses that begin in the upper chambers of the heart (atria). As a
result, the heart's lower
chambers (the ventricles) beat rapidly and
Radio frequency ablation is a procedure in which a physician
catheter through a blood vessel into the heart. Once positioned, the catheter
radio frequency pulse
to destroy (ablate) very small, carefully selected areas
of the heart that are causing the irregular signals, helping the
beat normally again.
Traditionally, a physician would manually push a stiff catheter through the
and into position. The success of such a procedure depends highly
on the skill of the physician, and the chances for complications
with inexperienced operators.
New technology allows a physician to provide safer ablation treatment by
a remotely-controlled catheter device. The technique uses a
robotically-controlled magnetic navigation system that allows
a team of
operators to guide the
catheter tip in three dimensions while using a scan of the patient's heart to
The catheter used in the robotic procedure also uses a soft, limp tip that
further reduces the chance
When used on patients with atrial fibrillation, the robotic system
successfully guided the catheter
into position in 38 of the 40 participants.
patients were all unable to adequately control their conditions with
There were no complications with the procedures.
"Based on our results, we believe that incorporation of
remote navigation and
ablation in the electrophysiology laboratory may represent a true revolution
regardless of age
and experience of the operators leading to a seismic change
in electrophysiologic paradigms for many laboratories worldwide.
have had a love/hate relationship with robots, but this psychological barrier
must be overcome. After
performing more than 10,000 procedures with manually
deflectable catheters, I have become enthusiastic for this emerging
explained Carlo Pappone, M.D., Ph.D. from the Department of Electrophysiology,
San Raffaele University Hospital
in Milan, in a recent press release. >>
The results of the study were published in an April issue of the Journal
the American College of Cardiology.
Copyright 2000-2006 HealthCentersOnline, Inc.
Publish Date: April 07, 2006