Doctors have discovered a new way to treat and, in some cases, cure irregular heart rhythms. The technique uses a catheter similar to the one used to clear clogged arteries in the heart. In this case, the catheter delivers radio frequency energy to destroy cells that can trigger the extra heartbeats.
The treatment, called Radio Frequency Ablation, was tested in 70 heart patients at the University of Michigan. Researchers say more than 80% of the patients were either cured or had a major improvement.
The American Heart Association estimates that about two million Americans have Atrial Fibrillation. About 70% of these people are 65 or older. About 15% of stroke victims have a history of A.F. The study is published in the American Heart Association Journal Fibrillation.