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Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

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Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

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Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Pulsed Field Ablation Proves Safe Without Cerebral Complications

We have written many articles on Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA), a new and very effective treatment option for the ablation of A-Fib. (For a background on PFA, see my post: Pulsed Field Ablation—Emerging Tech for Atrial Fibrillation.)

PFA continues in clinical trials, is awaiting FDA approval in the U.S. (expected in 2024), and is already in daily use in some countries.

Previous studies have shown that PFA performs catheter ablation effectively with no adverse effects, such as coronary artery stenosis, persistent phrenic nerve palsy, or esophageal damage. PFA doesn’t damage surrounding non-cardiac tissue.

But what about cerebral damage?

Thermal (RF) Ablation: Silent Cerebral Lesions

When using thermal ablation (Radio Frequency), procedure-associated stroke, while rare, can be among the most severe disabling complications of RF ablation.

Recent studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have shown the occurrence of silent cerebral lesions and/or events with possible cerebral complications using RF ablation.

Are there cerebral complications with Pulsed Field Ablation as the energy source?

Pulsed Field Ablation: No Neurological Problems

In a small (though probably definitive) study from Germany, 30 patients with symptomatic paroxysmal A-Fib received a Pulmonary Vein Isolation using Pulsed Field Ablation energy. Stroke scores, using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, were assessed before the ablation and afterwards at 2 days and 30 days.

One day after receiving their Pulsed Field Ablation, patients underwent a cerebral MRI. Of patients, 97% showed no silent cerebral lesions or events. One patient did have a single, newly visible, asymptomatic, transient brain lesion. But forty days after the procedure, a follow-up MRI scan showed complete regression of the lesion.

None of the patients receiving the Pulsed Field Ablation had any neurological deficits.

Editor's CommentsEditor’s Comments:

Yet another study demonstrating the neurological safety of Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA). This study from Germany, used MRI to detect possible brain damage and found that PFA produced no neurological problems.
In practical terms, PFA is safer than current ablation energy sources.

Pulsed Field Ablation is a true game changer! I repeat my previous prediction that Pulsed Field Ablation will supersede all other types of catheter ablation for A-Fib.

Reinsch, N. et al. Cerebral safety after pulsed field ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Science Direct, Heart Rhythm, Available online 17 June 2022.


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