Researching Improvements in Ablation Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation


Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, is a cardiologist who serves as a professor of medicine and the director of the Stanford Arrhythmia Center at Stanford University. Throughout his career, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan has been a part of numerous research teams that study various aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Narayan and his team recently conducted a study titled, “Secular trends in the success rate of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation: The SMASH-AF cohort,” with the purpose of examining the evolution of ablation techniques for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Ablation is the scarring or destruction of heart tissue that sends the abnormal electrical signals that cause atrial fibrillation.

Researchers examined more than 16 years of records (180 studies total) in several public databases. The researchers found that, overall, improvements in ablation techniques for atrial fibrillation have been small but steady. Researchers say these findings indicate that major breakthroughs in atrial fibrillation treatment may have to come from advances in technology or from new ways of thinking about mechanisms of AF in addition to the pulmonary veins.


Domestic and Global Atrial Fibrillation Market to Keep Growing

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Atrial Fibrillation

For more than two decades, Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, has been working in the medical field. With postdoctoral training in neurology, electrophysiology, and cardiology, Dr. Sanjiv M. Narayan has spent much of his career serving as a cardiologist and teaching cardiology topics at schools such as Stanford University and UC San Diego. Dr. Narayan is particularly interested in atrial fibrillation, a major health problem around the world.

According to a report from Global Market Insights, the atrial fibrillation market in the United States is the largest in the world. By 2025, the market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 14 percent.

Experts expect this growth to occur steadily over the forecast period because of the adoption of modern healthcare infrastructure in the US along with an increasing number of new devices that address atrial fibrillation and the growing US geriatric population. Global Market Insights also noted that the global atrial fibrillation market will also increase for many of the same reasons. The global market is expected to surpass $12.5 billion by 2025.

Improving the Prediction of and Response to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The co-founder and co-director of the Stanford Arrhythmia Center, cardiologist Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, and his team strive to develop new treatments for heart rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation. Formerly a professor at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan studies topics that involve a number of cardiovascular conditions, including sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

SCA is a leading worldwide killer. People who experience SCA out of a hospital setting survive less than 10 percent of the time. To improve that statistic, certain challenges must be overcome in prediction and response pathways.

A study conducted by Dr. Narayan and other investigators found that prediction could benefit greatly by streamlining the classification of SCA by personalized risk factors such as genetic expression variants, their functional changes, structural factors in the heart and other disease conditions, using machine learning to integrate multidisciplinary discovery.

Response systems can be addressed by outfitting community response stakeholders (first responders, hospitals, schools, etc.) with external defibrillators and other technology to facilitate resuscitation when an SCA event occurs.

How Much Does the Cost of AF Ablation Vary Across Sites?

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Atrial Fibrillation

Respected cardiologist and researcher Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, is a professor of medicine at Stanford University and the founder and co-director of the Stanford Arrhythmia Center. A former professor of medicine at UC San Diego, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan continues research into cardiovascular medicine, including economic factors that affect the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

The benefits of cardiovascular treatment can be negatively impacted by major variations in the price of procedures from one facility to another. A research team including Dr. Narayan recently examined data from the Medicaid database and the MarketScan registry to examine the price differences in atrial fibrillation ablation.

They discovered that the median price variation between facilities was $25,100, but 5 percent of the institutions charged up to $57,800 more for AF ablation. While the median prices are lower than they have been in previous research, the potential for major differences in prices at specific facilities represents an opportunity for the institutions to examine their prices and generate more value for patients.

What You Need to Know About Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Risk

Sanjiv Narayan Abbott pic
Sanjiv Narayan

As co-founder and co-director of the Stanford Arrhythmia Center, cardiologist Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, Ph.D., works to develop world-class therapies for heart rhythm disorders like atrial fibrillation (Afib). Formerly a professor at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan’s most important achievements include the development of a new cardiac ablation treatment called Focal Impulse and Rotor Modulation (FIRM), which allows cardiac surgeons to eliminate disruptive heart tissue with greater precision and efficiency.

One of the main reasons cardiologists are concerned with finding a permanent treatment for Afib is that people with this type of arrhythmia are five times more likely to experience a stroke. Resulting from a blocked or burst blood vessel in the brain, a stroke can have effects ranging from severe, permanent damage to the brain to death. Other important facts to know about Afib and strokes include:

1. Each year, about 700,000 Americans have a stroke. Of these, about 15-20% are due to Afib.

2. Roughly 35% of people with Afib will experience a stroke over their lifetime.

3. Afib risk increases with age, doubling every decade after the age of 55.

4. Women account for 61% of stroke deaths in the US, and they are at higher risk of death from Afib than men.

Heart Rhythm Society Reports on New Anticoagulants for AFib Patients

Accomplished cardiologist Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, serves on the faculty of Stanford University, where he founded the Stanford Arrhythmia Center. A former professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan is also a longtime member of the Heart Rhythm Society.

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) sometimes experience stroke when blood pools, and eventually clots, in the atria due to the irregularity of their heartbeat. Because the clot formed in that area can reach the brain, the condition can lead to stroke even in patients who present with no discernible symptoms of AFib. Typically, doctors prescribe warfarin, an anticoagulant (blood thinner), to patients with atrial fibrillation to cut down on the risk of clotting and stroke. It is not yet clear whether different types of AF have different risks for stroke.

The Heart Rhythm Society now recommends a new type of blood thinner, called non-vitamin K oral anticoagulant (NOAC), as the standard treatment to prevent clotting and stroke in these patients. Research shows that NOACs are not associated with additional bleeding risks and are better at preventing clots. In AFib patients who suffer from mitral stenosis or who have an artificial heart valve, however, warfarin is still recommended.

About the 40th Annual Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions

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Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions

A cardiologist and professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University in California, Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, is a prolific researcher in the area of atrial fibrillation. A former faculty member at UC San Diego, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan is a longtime member of the Heart Rhythm Society.

The Heart Rhythm Society will hold Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions on May 8-11, 2019, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This will mark the organization’s 40th annual conference for scientific sessions.

The opening day of the conference will kick off with two featured symposia. The first will focus on new developments in atrial fibrillation (AF) screening, with talks given by experts in the field. After the lecture, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters in an interactive panel.

The second symposium will focus on the findings of the CABANA trial, a 2018 landmark trial comparing AF ablation to drug therapy. To learn more or register for the Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions, visit