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.

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