New research is showing that catheter ablation treatments work as well as or better than drugs at helping to reduce occasional episodes of irregular heartbeats in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation (AF).

Catheter ablation is a process that uses high frequency radio waves as a means of destroying the electrical triggers in the heart. This research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011. AF happens when the heart chambers beat in an irregular way. There is a specific version of this condition called paroxysmal AF, which causes patients to have separate bouts of irregular erratic beats that start spontaneously and don’t last longer than about a week. Right now, medication is used to treat the condition, but so far patients haven’t been responding very well to that method. If not controlled, AF can cause patients to develop blood clots and strokes.

The research on the catheter ablation may put an end to all of that. The study shows that the catheter can destroy the small bits of heart tissue that cause AF. For the study, researchers gathered random patients to have either the catheter treatment (146) or an anti-arrhythmic drug (148). Then they analyzed data collected after periods of 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months.

Jens Cosedis Nielsen, M.D., lead researcher and professor of cardiology at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, said, “Ablation therapy is at least as good and tends to be better than drug therapy at preventing episodes of atrial fibrillation. Not every patient should be offered ablation, but this research should be discussed with patients when a physician feels it is a viable treatment option.”

Previously, treatments for AF were all about prescription medications, including Multaq. While Multaq was effective enough for treating temporary AF, it was also found to cause liver failure in some patients. If you or a loved one have developed liver failure after taking Multaq, contact attorney Greg Jones for a free consultation today. I will work hard to help you get any money that you may be entitled to.