When pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) began being used as a therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), it was soon discovered that it is best used as a short-term treatment. This is because the adverse effect of vein reconnection was eventually found to be most common among patients who suffer from recurrent AF after they have had ablation treatment. More studies will have to be conducted to really test the durability and efficacy of long-term PVI.

Some smaller studies have suggested that patients who don’t have AF recurrences seem to also have less reconnected veins than the patients experiencing ongoing AF. Because of this, PVI was originally used as a means of isolating known and potential pulmonary vein sources of AF while limiting the risks associated with direct trigger ablation became the cornerstone of AF ablation, according to researchers.

It doesn’t seem to matter which approach to ablation is used (be it segmental or circumferential isolation); the reconnection of the vein seems to stem from small lesion gaps as opposed to large sectors of incomplete ablation. Anatomic, substrate and technical factors might all play a role in determining the inability to create transmural lesions for all of the locations that are targeted during the ablation procedure.

Larger studies have been conducted as well, and they show that “after circumferential PVI, ATP infusion (an alternative to adenosine) revealed predominantly transient reconnection in 41 percent of patients and 25 percent of veins. Further ablation rendered the patients free of ATP-dependent conduction. After 6 months of follow-up, 73 percent were free of AF compared with only 60 percent of the 170 consecutive patients ablated before their use of ATP testing.”

Ablations are done by passing one or more than one small tubes and catheters through the groin’s blood vessels to the heart. Patients are generally under a local anaesthetic during this procedure. Doctors then use an X-ray to help guide them to the heart’s electrical activity. After the correct position is located, a radiofrequency is sent to the catheter as a means of cauterizing the specific areas and stop the abnormal heart rhythm.

Regardless of the short-term success of PVI, many still see it as a better option to taking medications like Multaq. Multaq, made by Sanofi-Aventis, has been linked to serious side effects like liver failure and a worsening of the heart condition. Some deaths even occurred during one PALLAS study that forced the trial to be halted. The PALLAS study was meant to see if Multaq could be used as a treatment for permanent AF. (Multaq was originally approved to treat temporary AF.)

If you or a loved one have suffered from liver failure or a worsening heart condition after being treated with Multaq, contact the attorneys at Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.