MedPage: Ablation for Afib Dogged by Complications

Action Points

  • This study found that catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation — with its promise of drug-free symptom relief and long-term outcome benefits — thus far has been hindered by high rates of periprocedural complications and a frequent need for rehospitalization.
  • Older age, female sex, prior hospitalization for atrial fibrillation, and recent hospital procedure experience were all associated with a higher risk of complications and/or 30-day readmission after ablation

7 Responses to MedPage: Ablation for Afib Dogged by Complications

  1. Dan Walter says:

    Well from cursory research it appears that RMN is no more safe or effective than earlier techniques:

    “While this may lower the risk of complications such as perforation and tamponade, studies have shown that a reduced force-time integral is associated with smaller lesion volumes.[45] This has the potential to make ablation less effective. Thus, long-term outcome studies with sufficient power to demonstrate both equivalent efficacy and improved safety are needed.”

    And it seems that the phrase “more long-term studies are needed to determine safety and efficacy” is standard language for any paper on catheter ablation for afib for the past 15 years.

    What I am trying to say in my book is that cardiac catheter ablation for afib started out with the worthy goal of becoming a cure. It turns out that it doesn’t work, but after investing so much money and career effort into the idea, they had to sell it anyway. There was too much time and money invested to just walk away.

    It may be right for some people. But it is not a cure. It is a palliative and temporary fix at best. It is a corporate-driven procedure that is riskier and less effective than advertised.

    But a lot of people don’t want to hear that.

    • chris nix says:

      You might want to check out HRS conference in Denver next week.
      There is at least one company advertising a 94% success rate in curing Afib utilizing RMN. Cursory research may not be sufficient to keep up with technology not available for studies done from 2005-2008.

      • I’m sure the HRS is claiming success, they have been for 20 years, because The Heart Rhythm Society is an industry front:

        “Among the society’s biggest funders are makers of defibrillators and catheters used during cardiac ablation. Nearly half of the $16 million in annual revenues last year came from the device and drug industries, according to records on its website.”

          • chris nix says:

            By the way, I wouldn’t condemn an entire industry because you encountered one doctor who held himself out as an expert in ablation and proceeded to inflict harm on a/multiple patient/s. Suggest you consult with Dr. Andrea Natale or David Burkhardt at St. David’s in Texas for a more current view.

          • Mohiz says:

            Last month I paid a visit to the ER with a case of AFIB and while follow-up tests iaitcnde that it may have been a one time experience what really has me scratching my head is a detailed invoice totaling over $10,000 for less than a 5 hour visit. a0

  2. chris nix says:

    So I’m guessing that there has been no progress made in the past 5 years since this study is analyzing procedures taking place from 2005-2008? Anything more current going on, such as RMN ablations?

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