9 a.m. Abstract 2159 Microwave energy successfully zaps atrial fibrillation in most patients. Atrial fibrillation (AF), the rapid fluttering of the heart's upper chambers, can result in poorer long-term survival and quality of life for heart surgery patients. Canadian doctors sought to rid patients of AF while correcting other defects. Twenty-three patients underwent the microwave technique ablation of lesions causing AF concurrently with surgeries, including heart valve replacement or repair and coronary artery bypass surgery. One patient had only AF ablation. After microwave treatment, only 17 percent stayed in AF immediately after surgery. One had a minor stroke; five required pacemakers. After an average follow-up of seven months, 78 percent of patients were free of AF. Microwave energy can ablate AF in a majority of patients with no device-related complications, said researchers, who caution that despite patients' return to sinus rhythm, stroke may occur in the early post-op period.
9 a.m. Abstract 2250 Anxiety, low social support associated with relapse in heart failure patients. Hospital re-admission due to worsening heart failure symptoms is commonplace. New research shows just how large a role emotional distress plays in the relapse of these patients. In a study of 139 outpatients with heart failure, do
Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association