"The findings suggest that we should take another look at how we've been assessing the importance and the impact of these episodes," says Christopher Granger, M.D., a cardiologist at the Duke Heart Center and the senior author of the study.
Granger says that until recently, the medical community generally felt that an episode of arrhythmia (also known as fibrillation or tachycardia) – while worrisome – didn't complicate outcomes much for patients with blocked arteries because fast and effective treatments usually get blood flowing properly again. "But this study tells us that we were wrong. Now we know that an episode of ventricular fibrillation at any point significantly affects a patient's chance of a successful outcome."
The study appears in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers examined the records of 5745 heart attack patients enrolled in an international study of heart attack patients scheduled to undergo catheterization and stenting procedures between 2004 and 2006. They tracked which patients experienced arrhythmia, when it occurred, and what happened to patients afterwards.
They found that almost 6 percent of the patients experienced at least one episode of sustained ventricular arrhythmia either before or after the procedure.
They found that ventricular fibrillation occurred in 329 of the patients in the study group. Twenty-five of them experienced fibrillation before catheterization, 180 experienced it during the procedure and 117 afterwards. Investigators found that those who experienced fibrillation at any point were 3-fold more likely to die within the first three months after the procedure, when compared to those who did not have any arrhythmia.
Patients with larger heart attacks and who had less blood flow to the heart muscle were more likely than others to experience arrhythmias. A majority of the episodes occurred within two days of the PCI procedure.
"The study is important because it has helped us identify a subset of patients who may need extra time in the hospital under more intense monitoring in order to get them safely through that two-day period post-procedure when the vast majority of these arrhythmic episodes occur," says Rajendra Mehta, M.D., a cardiologist at the Duke Heart Center and the lead author of the study. Researchers say the chances of a serious episode of arrhythmia fall significantly after the initial 48 hours following catheterization.
Colleagues from Duke who contributed to the study include Renato Lopes, Paul Armstrong, Aijing Starr and Karen Pieper. Additional co-authors include Judith Hochman, from New York University School of Medicine; Petr Widimsky, from Kralovske Vinohrady University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; and Paul Armstrong, from the University of Alberta, Canada.
Michelle Gailiun | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering