Advertisement

Syndicate

Physician Resources Home arrow Medical News arrow Mixed evidence on radiofrequency catheter ablation
Mixed evidence on radiofrequency catheter ablation
Written by NetDoc.com Medical News Feed   

A procedure that sends targeted energy into the heart through a catheter can be used to treat a common type of irregular heartbeat, but little is known about the treatment's long-term benefits and the best methods and circumstances for applying it, according to a new report funded by Department of Health & Human Services's (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

 

 

The report examines the use of a procedure called radiofrequency catheter ablation to treat a type of irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. The new comparative effectiveness report found that the procedure has been shown to provide benefits in maintaining normal heart rhythm over short periods of time (up to 1 year) but found little evidence indicating whether the procedure reduces the chance that patients will experience atrial fibrillation over the long term.

The report, which compared radiofrequency catheter ablation to medication-based therapy, also found that the effect of the procedure on stroke, a major risk for patients with atrial fibrillation, is unknown. Radiofrequency catheter ablation-a procedure in which a long, thin, flexible tube is put through a blood vessel into the heart-often is used when medications do not work. In this procedure, energy pulses are delivered through the catheter to the heart, destroying small areas of heart tissue where abnormal electrical signals may cause an arrhythmia to start.

Different techniques and instruments can be used for the procedure. While there is no strong evidence to suggest that one particular technique is best for any given patient, there is general consensus concerning a basic approach to ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation. In addition, there is little evidence indicating the procedure's effectiveness when used as a first-line therapy instead of medication.

"Radiofrequency holds promise for treating atrial fibrillation, but it is clear that more research is needed to demonstrate its potential long-term benefits," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "This report crystallizes the questions that researchers need to ask going forward."

Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat in adults, affects more than 2.2 million Americans, putting them at risk for heart failure, blood clots, or stroke. Patients with atrialfibrillation are typically treated with medication first, but medicines only work for about half of patients.

Discuss this article on the forums. (0 posts)

 
< Prev   Next >

Common Diseases

Swine Flu - Updates and information on H1N1 2009 (AKA Swine Influenza) pandemic.

Ankylosing spondylitis - Current protocols for diagnosis and treatment options.

Wegener granulomatosis - Autoimmune etiology and clinical course.

Diabetes - disease and management information, including diagnosis, typical treatment plans and diabetes supplies.

Advertisement

Medical Careers

The US medical jobs market has stayed hot for health care providers. Whether you believe that a provider shortage is in the offing or that the ratio of physicians-to-patients is too high, physician jobs and nursing jobs abound.

A wide variety of medical jobs can be found in the netdoc health care job listings. Particular strengths include permanent and locum tenens physician jobs, nursing jobs across the US, and radiology positions.

Other resources include physician salary information, medical career guidance, and the ability to post physician jobs.

Polls

When hiring your medical practice office manager, what was the most important consideration?
 
Copyright 2005 - 2019 Medical Resource Group, LLC. All rights reserved.