Bacteria living in the human gut and life-threatening heart rhythms
Dr. Ramil Goel
North Florida Foundation for Research and Education
Malcom Randall Veterans Administration Medical Center
About this study
Life-threatening heart rhythms called ventricular arrhythmias (also known as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation) are a leading cause of death in patients with heart disease. We still do not know the factors that make these abnormal heart rhythms worse or occur more often. Prior research suggests that organisms (bacteria, virus, etc) that inhabit the gut affect heart function. This study is hoping to determine if there is an association between the types of organisms living in your gut and life-threatening heart rhythms.
If we can better understand any association between types of organisms in your gut and life-threatening heart rhythms, we may be able to predict which patients are at higher risk for life-threatening heart rhythms. These findings could help us identify new treatments to decrease risk of cardiac arrest and death.
Cardiac Electrophysiology (EP) is one of the youngest branches in medicine, dealing with rhythm disturbances in heart. Studying the complicated flow of electricity in the heart and trying to correct it using various medications and catheter-based interventions is challenging but also very intellectually stimulating. Most of all, what fascinates me about this field is the difference we make in many of our patients' lives. From troublesome palpitations affecting quality of life in some young patients to life-threatening cardiac arrest rhythms in usually older, sick patients, we strive to make a significant difference in the clinical course of the disease using a combination of time tested drugs and sophisticated technology. This idea of being able to help patients is what made me choose medicine as a career in the first place, and EP lets me bring this to fruition on most days! Since our current understanding of rhythm disorders and treatments is incomplete, I would like to contribute through exciting scientific research to advance the field.
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