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Resynchronization Benefits Some Heart Failure Patients

Patients with atrial fibrillation have improved function, ejection fraction

THURSDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure patients with atrial fibrillation benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy, with improved function and ejection fraction, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Gaurav A. Upadhyay, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of five studies involving 1,164 patients comparing the impact of cardiac resynchronization therapy for patients in atrial fibrillation and sinus rhythm.

The researchers found that both groups of patients benefited from cardiac resynchronization therapy. There was no significant increase in mortality at one year in atrial fibrillation patients, and both groups had similar improvements in New York Heart Association functional class. Compared with atrial fibrillation patients, sinus rhythm patients had greater improvement in the six-minute walk test and the Minnesota score. However, compared with sinus rhythm patients, atrial fibrillation patients had a small but significantly greater change in ejection fraction, the authors report.

"Patients in atrial fibrillation show significant improvement after cardiac resynchronization therapy, with similar or improved ejection fraction as sinus rhythm patients, but smaller benefits in regard to functional outcomes," Upadhyay and colleagues conclude.

Several of the study authors report financial relationships with the medical equipment industry.

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