June 11, 2013 -- Valley Heart & Vascular Institute (HVI) electrophysiologist Aysha Arshad, M.D., and her cardiac research were recognized by the international Heart Rhythm Society with the organization’s prestigious 2013 Highest Scoring Abstract Award to Women in EP.
Dr. Arshad, director of the Lead Extraction Program at the HVI’s Arrhythmia Institute, received her award during the Heart Rhythm Society’s annual meeting. She and more than 7,000 of the world’s most noted experts in cardiac rhythm management attended the Denver meeting and heard President Bill Clinton deliver the opening address.
Dr. Arshad’s research study compared the safety of three different medication strategies used to reduce the risk of procedure-related complications in 882 patients undergoing ablation procedures to treat atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is the most common disorder of the heart’s electrical system and affects almost 2 million people in the U.S. Several other Valley HVI electrophysiologists and researchers at three other high-volume ablation centers in the U.S. collaborated for this study.
The study’s participants received blood thinners in one of three different treatment strategies: 1. Dabigatran (Pradaxa®) administered before the ablation procedure and then resumed a few hours later; 2. Uninterrupted warfarin (Coumadin®); or 3. “Bridging,” where warfarin was stopped before and resumed after the ablation and an injectable blood thinner, enoxaparin (Lovenox®), was used to safely transition patients. The patients were evaluated for any complications within 30 days after the procedure.
“Up to this point, smaller research studies had suggested that the risk of complications was higher in patients treated with the relatively new drug Pradaxa compared with Coumadin,” notes Dr. Arshad. “Our study is the largest of its kind and showed that Pradaxa is just as safe and effective as Coumadin in the peri-ablation setting. Physicians who prescribe Pradaxa for patients requiring ablation can be reassured that the medication is as safe and may be easier to use than Coumadin, which can be difficult to regulate in many patients.”
Other Valley HVI Arrhythmia Institute electrophysiologists who participated in the research are Suneet Mittal, M.D., Director, Electrophysiology Laboratory; Dan Musat, M.D.; Mark Preminger, M.D., Director, Implantable Arrhythmia Devices; Tina Sichrovsky, M.D.; and Jonathan S. Steinberg, M.D., Director, Arrhythmia Institute.
The Arrhythmia Institute provides the full spectrum of diagnostic and treatment options for patients with all types of heart rhythm disorders. For more information about the Valley Heart & Vascular Institute, call 201-447-8456 or visit www.valleyheartandvascular.com.
Caption: Valley Heart & Vascular Institute electrophysiologist Aysha Arshad, M.D., and her cardiac research were recognized by the international Heart Rhythm Society with the organization’s prestigious 2013 Highest Scoring Abstract Award to Women in EP.