BAY SHORE, NY – Southside Hospital is the first on Long Island to enroll patients in the FDA-approved aMAZE clinical trial studying left atrial appendage closure for patients with persistent atrial fibrillation, defined as atrial fibrillation that lasts longer than a week.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is an irregular rapid heartbeat, in the upper chambers – atria -- of the heart that results in a chaotic contraction of these chambers. When a patient has Afib they often feel their heart beating fast -- termed palpitations -- shortness of breath and even fatigue or malaise. Of utmost concern is the stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation where blood clots can form in the sac of tissue called the left atrial appendage. Patients are given blood thinners to decrease the risk of stroke in this arrhythmia.
More than five million people in the United States are affected by atrial fibrillation, according to SentreHEART, the administrator of the aMAZE clinical trial.
The aMAZE clinical trial involves closing off the left atrial appendage through a minimally invasive procedure using the LARIAT Suture Delivery Device along with an atrial fibrillation ablation where electrical heart tissue is burned in an attempt to reorganize electrical contraction. The LARIAT Suture Delivery Device and the ablation are performed by cardiologists with a specialty in electrical heart disease. This opportunity to combine left atrial appendage ligation and Afib ablation as performed in the aMAZE trial has shown greater success of eliminating the arrhythmia than the ablation alone.
“We have been treating patients with persistent atrial fibrillation with ablation and have seen suboptimal results in this patient population,” said Erik Altman, MD, director of cardiac electrophysiology at Southside. “I am happy to be able to offer them a more comprehensive solution to their irregular heartbeat. The opportunity to close off the left atrial appendage with a stitch will alleviate the patients’ burden of lifelong blood thinners”.
Donna Moravick, NP, Southside’s executive director, said, “Southside Hospital has constantly been seeking the latest technology and options to treat patients. The aMAZE clinical trial is yet another option patients can seek at Southside Hospital to treat atrial fibrillation.”
For more information about the aMAZE clinical trial and other cardiac services at Southside Hospital, call 631-591-7400.
Contact: Alexandra Zendrian