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Heating Heart With Cargeter Better Thn Drugs For Common Heart Rhythm Disorder

Posted Nov 15 2008 2:46pm

Treating a common heart rhythm disorder by burning heart tissue with a catheter works dramatically better than drug treatments, a major international study has found.

One year after undergoing a treatment called catheter ablation, 75 percent of patients with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation were free of symptoms. By comparison, only 21 percent of those treated with drugs were symptom-free. Results were so convincing the trial was halted early.

The ablation group also scored significantly higher on a quality-of-life scale

The study included 159 patients at 19 centers, including 15 centers in the United States. Results were presented at the American Heart Association 2008 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans by lead researcher Dr. David Wilber, director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine.

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