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Late-breaking clinical trials

Statins Have Significant Benefits For ICD Patients
Statins reduced the mortality by 78 percent in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) enrolled in the DEFINITE trail. Researchers at Chicago's Northwestern University believe the dramatic findings show the cholesterol-lowering drug may have other beneficial qualities that significantly improve heart function. "Statins may have other effects on the heart that could result in improved survival for patients with DCM, whether they have high cholesterol or not," said Jeffrey Goldberger, MD, lead author and director of clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Northwestern. Dr. Goldberger said further study is needed to test this and to learn more about the other ways that statins may benefit the heart. The retrospective study examined data from 458 patients enrolled in the DEFINITE trial. Effects of Statin Therapy on Arrhythmic Events and Survival in Patients with Nonischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy: a DEFINITE Substudy

Ablation Achieves Higher Success Rates Than Drug Therapy For Atrial Fibrillation
Ablation was found to be far more effective than anti-arrhythmic drugs (AAD) to treat atrial fibrillation in patients who had already failed at least one drug regimen. Ablation, a relatively non-invasive procedure to deaden tissue in the heart that disturbs its normal rhythms, had a 75 percent success rate in preventing arrhythmias; AAD alone had a six percent success rate. The randomized trial, the first to compare ablation and AAD, followed 112 patients at four centers worldwide for 12 months. Initially, approximately half the patients received ablation and half were treated with AAD. Thirty-seven patients in the AAD group joined the ablation group because of unacceptable control of their arrhythmia with drugs. "Patients for whom initial drug therapy is not effective should discuss with their doctors if ablation is a valid option," said Pierre Jais, MD, lead author and card
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Contact: Rachael Lille Moore
rmoore@HRSonline.org
202-464-3476
GYMR
20-May-2006


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