Critical Care: Ablation helps some patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure

January 2005 
Volume 35  Number 1
Pages 32cc8 - 32cc8
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    Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) can put patients with heart failure back into normal sinus rhythm, improving left ventricular function. It may also free some patients from the need for antiarrhythmic drugs, according to a study.

    French researchers followed 58 patients with symptomatic heart failure and AF who were resistant to at least two antiarrhythmic drugs. A control group of 58 patients without heart failure also had ablation for AF.

    After 1 year and either one or two ablation treatments, 78% of the patients with heart failure and 84% of the control group remained in sinus rhythm. Sixty-nine percent of the heart failure patients and 71% of the control patients didn't need to take antiarrhythmic drugs.

    Three patients had serious complications—two in the heart failure group, and one in the control group. On the other hand, two patients in the heart failure group improved enough to be ...

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