Outcomes following procedures for abnormal heart rhythms
Dr. Jonathan Hsu
University of California San Diego
About this study
Atrial fibrillation is the most common abnormal heart rhythm affecting millions worldwide. AF also substantially increases the risk of stroke which can be life-threatening. A common procedure for treating these abnormal heart rhythms is called an atrial fibrillation ablation. This procedure involves directing a catheter through the blood vessels to the heart to scar tissues that are responsible for abnormal heart rhythms and restore normal heart activity. We have compiled data on all atrial fibrillation ablation procedures done at the University of California San Diego since October 2009. We have collected data on baseline characteristics such as demographics (age, ethnicity, etc.) as well as procedural data. This database provides opportunity to study various populations of patients that have underwent atrial fibrillation ablation to better understand patient characteristics and conditions that will make the procedure more or less successful or make patients more or less prone to complications.
While research studies have shown that ablations reduce the total amount of atrial fibrillation, improve quality of life, and lower rates of combined death and hospitalization in certain patient populations, there are still many unanswered questions.(3) For instance, patients who have heart failure or those who are over 80 years old are underrepresented in research studies and we thus seek to shed light in these areas and others so that we can more safely and effectively treat the growing population with atrial fibrillation and other abnormal heart rhythms.
Cardiology provides both complex procedures that noticeably improve patient lives as well as complex cases that challenge you intellectually. It is also a very evidence-based field with lots of research constantly pushing the field forward, which I find exciting. This database research revolves around catheter ablation, an exciting new option for patients with atrial fibrillation and other abnormal heart rhythms. This procedure involves scarring areas of the heart with a catheter to try to restore a normal heart rhythm. I find this area of research exciting as there is a lot of potential to improve both quality of life and reduce risk of death in those with heart conditions.
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