Critical Transition Theory Shows Flickering in Heart Before Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation ranks among the most common heart conditions, and episodes are difficult to predict. Researchers have proposed a way to define cardiac state and have studied the dynamics before the cardiac rhythm changes from normal sinus to AF rhythm and vice versa. The work, appearing in Chaos and based on critical transition theory, looks to provide an early warning for those with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation with potential implications for future wearable devices.

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Atomic Magnetometer Points to Better Picture of Heart Conductivity

Mapping the electrical conductivity of the heart would be a valuable tool in diagnosis and disease management, but doing so would require invasive procedures, which aren’t capable of directly mapping dielectric properties. Significant advances have recently been made that leverage atomic magnetometers to provide a direct picture of electric conductivity of biological tissues, and in Applied Physics Letters, new work in quantum sensors points to ways such technology could be used to examine the heart.

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New evidence supports ablation for heart failure patients with atrial fibrillation

Only 1 in 13 everyday patients could have participated in a pivotal international clinical trial looking at the use of catheter ablation to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib) among people with heart failure. However, new Mayo Clinic research provides evidence supporting the benefit of ablation, and shows what the outcomes might be for everyday patients. The Mayo study will be published in Heart Rhythm Journal.

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Michigan hospital improves post-CABG outcomes, using proactive amiodarone protocol

A quality improvement project at Beaumont Hospital in Michigan resulted in a decreased incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation and shorter mean lengths of stay. The results indicate that an amiodarone POAF prophylaxis protocol could significantly reduce costs, improve patient outcomes and increase the overall quality of care.

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Skin-Cells-Turned-to-Heart-Cells Help Unravel Genetic Underpinnings of Cardiac Function

A small genetic study, published September 30, 2019 in Nature Genetics, identified a protein linked to many genetic variants that affect heart function. Researchers are expanding the model to other organ systems and at larger scales to create a broader understanding of genes and proteins involved.

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