Harvard Heart Letter

New techniques for treating atrial fibrillation

A malfunction in the heart’s internal electrical system can disrupt the normal beating sequence and send the two upper chambers into a fast, irregular quiver known as atrial fibrillation. Episodes of atrial fibrillation can cause distressing symptoms or go unnoticed. Either way, untreated atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor for stroke. Medications are the first avenue of treatment to control symptoms and reduce risk. However, a host of new devices and technologies offer promise to people who are not helped by drug treatment.
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