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At TCAI, our top priority is, of course, our own patients – their successful diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

But “behind the scenes,” TCAI’s world-class research team is continuously working to help improve the outcomes of all heart-arrhythmia patients everywhere. Our researchers lead and are involved in many clinical cardiac and electrophysiology studies, and their works are frequently published in medical journals.

This month’s issue of Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, for example, features an article co-authored by several TCAI doctors and their colleagues about the connection between atrial fibrillation [a-fib] and brain natriuretic peptide [BNP].

Brain natriur-huh?

BNP is a chain of amino acids secreted by the heart that tends to increase in people with heart trouble like a-fib. Women with a-fib naturally have a higher level of BNP in their plasma than men with a-fib do. So our researchers wanted to see how the connection between BNP and a-fib might be different for male vs. female patients who undergo cardiac ablation.

They found that men with a higher BNP before ablation were more likely to have their a-fib return after the procedure. But in women, baseline BNP made no discernible difference in whether a-fib recurred following an ablation procedure.

This information will help doctors, nurses and a-fib patients alike have better expectations and be better prepared before, during and after ablation treatment and recovery. And being prepared and knowing what to expect? Yes, please.

Another similar research project is just coming to a close at TCAI – researchers are studying whether a patient’s biomarkers [bloodstream signs] for inflammation before ablation can help forecast whether their a-fib recurs following the procedure.

And finally, if you’re an a-fib patient who suffers from migraine headaches, then it might ease your pain a little to know our researchers are currently studying how catheter ablation might affect migraines in people with a-fib.

With TCAI’s research team on the case, you just never know what new connection, revelation or revolutionary breakthrough may be coming next.

Learn even more about research at TCAI by clicking here.

~ Jamie LaRue, RN

 

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