Treating Atrial Fibrillation: 2004What have we learned?

Jodie Miller
Jodie Miller
Dear readers, How have treatment options for atrial fibrillation (AF) changed over the years? An estimated 2 million Americans suffer from AF. Much news has been coming out on this topic, including its relation to anger to a new finding that shows biventricular pacing as the preferred method of therapy. In this issue of EP Lab Digest, we have several articles that discuss the new data on AF. For example, Dr. James A. Reiffel has provided the findings of the Rythmol Atrial Fibrillation Trial (RAFT). The RAFT trial studied the efficacy and safety of sustained-release propafenone for the prevention of symptomatic recurrences of atrial fibrillation. Trial data showed that the frequency of symptomatic arrhythmia recurrence in AF patients was significantly reduced in all three twice-daily propafenone SR doses tested. Dr. Reiffel writes that as a result we now have a new first-line therapy option for these patients. In addition, Dr. Fishel and colleagues discuss treating AF with veno-atrial antral ablation. Their EP lab currently performs more than 200 ablations annually, and have used several techniques such as focal trigger ablations, ostial pulmonary vein isolations and circumferential pulmonary conduit ablations. In this article, the authors include a case of a patient with a three-year history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Preliminary data showed early success rates. I hope you enjoy all of the articles in this issue. I ll see you at next month s NASPE - Heart Rhythm Society meeting. Thanks for reading!