Clinical Trial May Reduce Stroke in Patients With Irregular Heartbeats

Jun 07, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study at UC Health University Hospital may help reduce stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes irregular and dangerous heart rhythms.

Mehran Attari, MD, UC Health electrophysiologist and lead investigator on the study, along with colleagues at University Hospital will be looking at the clinical benefits of the combined use of defibrillators or cardiac resynchronization devices (CRTs) and the daily use of warfarin, a blood thinner, to see if outcomes improve for patients at risk for .

CRT involves the use of a specialized pacemaker to improve the electrical activation of the right and left ventricles in patients with heart failure.

" is the most common requiring medical treatment, with a 25 percent lifetime risk of development in the general population; heart failure affects roughly 5 million Americans,” he says. "These disorders are closely linked and contribute to an increased risk of embolism and stroke. In fact, one-sixth of all strokes are attributed to atrial fibrillation.

"In this study, we hope to detect atrial arrhythmias earlier using these new technologies and the predefined anticoagulation plan, reducing the rate of stroke, embolism, bleeding and death.”

The study—called IMPACT—is a multicenter, single-blinded and randomized clinical trial. Roughly 2,700 patients from up to 100 clinical sites worldwide will be placed into two groups and implanted with one of two FDA-approved monitoring devices after being deemed eligible to participate.

"Patients in both groups will be observed using the home monitoring components of each of the devices; however, patients and researchers in group two will not have access to this data,” Attari says. "These patients will receive physician directed based on conventional criteria while patients in group one will receive therapy, if needed, based on the device readouts.”

All study participants will be followed by physicians in the clinic every three to six months.

Stroke symptoms questionnaires will also be administered every three months to assess risk. This will take place either in the office visits or over the telephone.

Attari says researchers will use the CHADS2 model to estimate stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation.

"This model takes into account the patient’s age as well as other medical conditions, including congestive , hypertension, diabetes and prior stroke,” Attari says. "We hope that this study will shed light on a new way to prevent stroke from occurring, improving the way physicians practice medicine and improving the quality of life for our patients.”

Explore further: Clipping proteins that package genes may limit abnormal cell growth in tumors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Blood thinner causes stroke in some dialysis patients

Aug 27, 2009

The blood thinner warfarin can prevent strokes in most individuals with abnormal heart rhythms, but the drug may have the opposite effect in kidney disease patients on dialysis, according to a study appearing in an upcoming ...

Blood-Thinning Drug Linked to Increased Bleeding in Brain

Sep 29, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Patients who take the commonly used blood-thinning drug warfarin face larger amounts of bleeding in the brain and increased risk of mortality if they suffer a hemorrhagic stroke, new research from the University ...

Kidney disease increases the risk of stroke in patients

Mar 04, 2009

Chronic kidney disease increases the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common type of heart arrhythmia, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente researchers in the current online issue ...

Recommended for you

Organovo has 3D-printed liver tissue for drug testing

Nov 20, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The commercial release of 3D printed liver tissue was announced earlier this week. Organovo is the company behind the release. The product is intended for use for preclinical drug discovery ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.