July 2, 2012 — A study led by primary investigator Dr. Vitharani Kunanithy of Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, may provide hope for heart failure patients undergoing cardiac resychronization therapy. This treatment, also known as CRT, allows the heart to beat in a more synchronized fashion. In addition, this research demonstrated that use of CRT results in structural changes in the heart, namely, a reduction in the size of the left atrium in those whose left ventricles also benefitted from the treatment. This reduction in size of the left atrium could lead to a reduction in rhythm disturbances such as atrial fibrillation in these patients.
“This study provides evidence of a link between the structural and electrical systems within the heart. This work also suggests a plausible reason why individuals who respond favorably to CRT have fewer episodes of abnormal rhythms from the upper heart chambers. It also suggests that left atrial dimensions may be an echocardiographic marker of response to this therapy,” explained senior author Amer Johri, MD, FASE, also of Kingston General Hospital.
A poster based on the study will be presented on Sunday, July 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the exhibit and poster Hall during the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) 23rd Annual Scientific Sessions. Investigators will be available in the hall from 12:15p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The ASE Scientific Sessions will be held from June 27 to July 3, 2012, at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD.
For more information: www.asecho.org