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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. A disorder in the heart’s electrical system causes AF and other types of arrhythmia. AF occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals in the heart’s two upper chambers, called the atria, cause them to contract very fast and irregularly (this is called fibrillation). As a result, blood pools in the atria and isn’t pumped completely into the heart’s two lower chambers, called the ventricles. When this happens, the heart’s upper and lower chambers don’t work together as they should. Often, people who have AF may not even feel symptoms. However, even when not noticed, AF can lead to an increased risk of stroke. In many patients, particularly when the rhythm is extremely rapid, AF can cause chest pain, heart attack, or heart failure. AF may occur rarely or every now and then, or it may become a persistent or permanent heart rhythm lasting for years.
UK's first heart operation uses new Topera system to analyse electrical activity during AF

UK's first heart operation uses new Topera system to analyse electrical activity during AF

The UK's first heart operations using a novel software platform to pinpoint the source of the heart condition have been carried out in Leicester thanks to research at the University of Leicester. [More]
Call for improvements in CVD risk models

Call for improvements in CVD risk models

There are too many poorly validated models for predicting cardiovascular disease risk in the general population, researchers report in The BMJ. [More]
Targeting rotors challenged for nonparoxsymal AF

Targeting rotors challenged for nonparoxsymal AF

Targeted ablation of electrical rotors and focal sources is not a successful strategy in patients with persistent or long-standing atrial fibrillation, shows the randomised OASIS trial. [More]
Computerized decision support tool can assist physicians in prescribing stroke prevention therapy

Computerized decision support tool can assist physicians in prescribing stroke prevention therapy

Physician-researchers in the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati have developed a computerized decision support tool that uses a combination of patient information and characteristics to assist physicians and patients with decisions about blood thinning treatment to prevent strokes in individuals with atrial fibrillation. [More]
Study shows women undergoing TAVR have longer-term survival rate compared to men

Study shows women undergoing TAVR have longer-term survival rate compared to men

Data from one of the largest national registries of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) patients shows that although women are more likely to experience vascular complications in the hospital, their one-year survival rate is more favorable than men. [More]
Novel anticoagulants on ‘as-needed basis’ could be safe alternative to lowering stroke risk

Novel anticoagulants on ‘as-needed basis’ could be safe alternative to lowering stroke risk

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a rapid irregular heartbeat caused by pooling blood in the heart which can lead to heart failure and stroke, are often treated with an ablation, a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the tissue which causes the pooled blood. [More]
Study finds no gender-based differences on use of anticoagulation medications in TAVR patients

Study finds no gender-based differences on use of anticoagulation medications in TAVR patients

A study on the impact of using different anticoagulation medications on men and women who have undergone a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) found no difference in early vascular complications or mortality. [More]
Wolff-Parkinson-White patients continue to have atrial fibrillation risk even after catheter ablation, study finds

Wolff-Parkinson-White patients continue to have atrial fibrillation risk even after catheter ablation, study finds

Patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome who receive catheter ablation to cure their abnormal heart rhythms are just as likely as non-ablated patients to develop atrial fibrillation no matter what age they receive ablation, according to a new study. [More]
Long-term Warfarin use may increase dementia rates in AF patients

Long-term Warfarin use may increase dementia rates in AF patients

A new study of more than 10,000 patients treated long term with the blood thinner, Warfarin, reveals higher rates of dementia for patients with atrial fibrillation versus non-AF patients [More]
Study shows short-term statin treatment does not benefit heart surgery patients

Study shows short-term statin treatment does not benefit heart surgery patients

Giving daily doses of statins for a few days before and after heart surgery does not prevent heart muscle damage or the development of atrial fibrillation (AF), according to an international clinical trial led by the University of Oxford and funded by the British Heart Foundation. [More]
Vernakalant drug more effective than Ibutilide in treating recent-onset atrial fibrillation

Vernakalant drug more effective than Ibutilide in treating recent-onset atrial fibrillation

Vernakalant, a new drug for treating recent-onset atrial fibrillation, has proved to be considerably more effective than Ibutilide, an established drug in this indication. It was able to normalize patients' heart rhythm more rapidly and with fewer side-effects ocurring. This was revealed by a study conducted at the Department of Emergency Medicine at Medical University of Vienna/General Hospital that has recently been published in "Europace", a journal of the European Society of Cardiology. [More]
New oral blood thinners can decrease stroke risk in atrial fibrillation patients without frequent monitoring

New oral blood thinners can decrease stroke risk in atrial fibrillation patients without frequent monitoring

A new generation of blood thinners can reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, without requiring frequent monitoring and dietary restrictions. [More]
Micra Transcatheter Pacing System approved to treat heart rhythm disorders

Micra Transcatheter Pacing System approved to treat heart rhythm disorders

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first pacemaker that does not require the use of wired leads to provide an electrical connection between the pulse-generating device and the heart. While the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System works like other pacemakers to regulate heart rate, the self-contained, inch-long device is implanted directly in the right ventricle chamber of the heart. [More]
Patient's personal activity tracker, smartphone can help physicians treat new-onset atrial fibrillation

Patient's personal activity tracker, smartphone can help physicians treat new-onset atrial fibrillation

Emergency physicians used a patient's personal activity tracker and smartphone to identify the time his heart arrhythmia started, which allowed them to treat his new-onset atrial fibrillation with electrical cardioversion and discharge him home. [More]
Two common approaches to post-operative AF equally safe, effective

Two common approaches to post-operative AF equally safe, effective

Cleveland Clinic researchers, as part of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, have found that two common approaches to post-operative atrial fibrillation - rhythm control and rate control - are equally safe and effective. [More]
Two established atrial fibrillation ablation techniques show similar effects, safety outcomes

Two established atrial fibrillation ablation techniques show similar effects, safety outcomes

Two established techniques for correcting the root cause of the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation show similar effects and safety outcomes, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session. [More]
Loyola to conduct clinical trial of new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation

Loyola to conduct clinical trial of new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation

Loyola Medicine is enrolling patients in a landmark clinical trial of a new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat. [More]
Researchers find major gap in treatment for AF patients at higher risk for stroke

Researchers find major gap in treatment for AF patients at higher risk for stroke

Nearly half of all atrial fibrillation (AF) patients at the highest risk for stroke are not being prescribed blood thinners by their cardiologists, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco. [More]
AliveCor's new Kardia Band for Apple Watch allows people to capture medical-grade EKG anytime, anywhere

AliveCor's new Kardia Band for Apple Watch allows people to capture medical-grade EKG anytime, anywhere

AliveCor, Inc., the leader in FDA-cleared electrocardiogram (EKG) technology for mobile devices, announced today the introduction of the first medical-grade EKG band for the Apple Watch, Kardia Band (pending 510k clearance, available in late spring) along with a new app for smartphones (available now). [More]
Paroxysmal AF patients who practice yoga have better quality of life

Paroxysmal AF patients who practice yoga have better quality of life

Yoga improves quality of life in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, according to research published today in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Heart rate and blood pressure also decreased in patients who did yoga. [More]
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