Stanford Arrhythmia Center Offers Research and Patient Care


Stanford Arrhythmia Center

Practicing cardiologist Sanjiv M Narayan, MD, PhD, helped to develop an innovative new therapy for patients affect by atrial fibrillation known as driver mapping while holding a professorship at the University of California, San Diego. This therapy is being increasingly used at treatment centers around the world. Dr. Sanjiv Narayan currently serves as professor of medicine at Stanford University, where he is also co-director of the Stanford Arrhythmia Center at Stanford Health Care.

In 2017, Stanford’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine launched a dedicated center for cardiac arrhythmia research, the Stanford Center for Arrhythmia Research, with the goals of building on the success of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service and focusing on an interdisciplinary approach. One of the goals of the research center is to ensure that findings in a laboratory setting are brought all the way to patients in the examination room.

The center uses innovative treatments developed at Stanford, including cryoablation and mapping based ablation. As one example, computer analysis of activation based on physiological information is used in FIRM to map areas of the heart that are appropriate for ablation (destroying or ablating problematic cells in the heart). As another example, capitalizing on their interdisciplinary goals, the center also developed the Hybrid Surgical-Catheter Ablation Program, combining the work of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to help achieve successful results for patients.


Advocates for Atrial Fibrillation Needed

Atrial Fibrillation pic
Atrial Fibrillation

Sanjiv M Narayan, MD, PhD, is a practicing cardiologist and professor of medicine at Stanford University in California. In his previous role as professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan developed new mapping techniques for atrial fibrillation and an innovative therapy used to treat the condition, known as map based – driver ablation for AF (one example is Focal Impulse and Rotor Modulation, FIRM)..

Atrial fibrillation (known as AF or afib) is a common heart rhythm condition characterized by heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness., an educational website for families and patients affected by AF, is currently seeking atrial fibrillation advocates for participation in a research-advocacy training program. Sponsored by The Alliance for Aging Research’s Senior Patient & Family Caregiver Network (SP&FCN), this program will provide participants with training to become merit reviewers for organizations including the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health, sit on research-related committees, and even partner with existing researchers to disseminate and design research.

A 2-day, in-person workshop will take place in Dallas, Texas, from November 19-21, 2019. Selected participants will be reimbursed for travel expenses and provided with a 2-night stay in a local hotel. Previous participants in this program have gone on to become research advocates with organizations such as The American Heart Association, The Food and Drug Administration, and the Alzheimer’s Associations’ Early Stage Support Group National Team, among others.

Beta Blockers Can Reduce Risk of AF Recurrence

Beta Blockers

A former faculty member at the University of California, San Diego, Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, is a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University and co-founder of the school’s Arrhythmia Center, a facility dedicated to researching causes of and treatments for cardiac arrhythmia. In his work, research cardiologist Sanjiv Narayan stays abreast of new insights into atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat.

Extreme moments of anger can trigger the body’s “fight-or-flight” mechanism, which releases epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream. For individuals who have a history of atrial fibrillation, however, these angry moments can potentially trigger a heart arrhythmia event. According to recent research, however, patients who take beta blockers are at a significantly reduced risk of experiencing this issue.

For one year, Yale University researchers followed patients with a history of atrial fibrillation. They found some instances of atrial fibrillation among the group of participants who were prescribed beta blockers, but much fewer than those who weren’t. This the second study in this area, with the first successfully attributing atrial fibrillation occurrence to extreme episodes of stress/anger. Beta blockers, which lessen adrenaline levels, also have a secondary benefit, as they can reduce the rate of heart attack.

Dr. Narayan Continues Research into All Aspects of AF Care

Sanjiv Narayan Abbott pic
Sanjiv Narayan

Sanjiv M. Narayan, MD, PhD, is a research cardiologist who serves as at Stanford University as both a faculty member and co-founder of the Stanford Arrhythmia Center, a multidisciplinary center aimed at broadening the area of cardiac arrhythmia research. Throughout the course of his career, former University of California, San Diego, professor Dr. Sanjiv Narayan has committed himself to being a part of ongoing research projects that explore all aspects of diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm).

In a recent trial, Dr. Narayan was part of a research team that studied 55 different patients with regular atrial fibrillation who had undergone ablation to treat their condition. Ablation is the scarring of blood vessels that are sending the abnormal electrical signals to the heart. Two different mapping methods were used to examine aspects of this treatment, including the methods that cause atrial fibrillation (driver mechanisms) in the first place.

Researchers concluded that ablation therapy resulted in sites that “show organized activation that fluctuate over time because of collision from concurrent organized zones or fibrillatory waves, yet recur in conserved spatial regions.” Based on these irregular readings, the team encourages researchers to examine data from their mapping methods compared to the existing data gained from mapping methods across years of research to better develop treatment plans for their atrial fibrillation patients.

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

Atrial Flutter pic
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.