Dr. Matthew Reynolds Discusses Quality of Life After Atrial Fibrillation Catheter Ablation — Video

By Mellanie True Hills

March 18, 2011 — In this video interview, Dr. Matthew Reynolds, of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, talked about his research looking at outcomes and quality of life following catheter ablation. The article we discussed, Improvements in Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients With Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Treated With Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation Versus Antiarrhythmic Drugs, appeared in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

This research analyzed quality of life data that was collected as part of the previously-reported THERMOCOOL catheter trial in which catheter ablation was found to be significantly more effective at maintaining sinus rhythm than antiarrhythmic drugs. In this trial, sponsored by Biosense Webster, 160 paroxysmal atrial fibrillation patients who had already failed one antiarrhythmic drug were randomized to either another antiarrhythmic drug or to catheter ablation. Dr. Reynolds looked at the quality of life data collected in the trial and found that there were dramatic and meaningful differences.

Two factors emerged as being correlated with improved quality of life—having had an ablation and absence of recurrent symptomatic AF. The study indicated that after failing one antiarrhythmic drug you have a much better chance of improvement in symptoms and improved quality of life from having an ablation than from trying more drugs.

Dr. Reynolds also spoke briefly about new research that may give patients information to help them make better decisions about their treatment options and may help ensure that insurance companies will pay for treatment.

View the video (almost 9 minutes):

    UPDATE: In the video interview, Dr. Reynolds mentioned his current research that might give patients information to help them make better treatment decisions. That research, which was just presented at the recent American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, indicated that radiofrequency catheter ablation could significantly decrease stroke risk. See the article about those findings at:

    Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation May Decrease Atrial Fibrillation Stroke Risk and Heart-Failure Events 

    About Matthew Reynolds, MD:

    Cardiologist & Electrophysiologist
    Director, Economics and Quality of Life Research Center, Harvard Clinical Research Institute
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Associate Director of Electrophysiology, Boston VA Healthcare System

    Dr. Matthew Reynolds is board-certified in Cardiovascular Medicine and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and performs cost-effectiveness and outcomes research. Dr. Reynolds is an Assistant Professor of Medicine for Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Master of Science in Health Policy & Administration from the Harvard School of Public Health. His post-graduate clinical training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, and Cardiac Electrophysiology were all completed at Beth Israel Hospital/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Dr. Reynolds is associate director of electrophysiology for the Boston VA Healthcare System, which houses the only active EP service within the VA’s New England region and is affiliated with the Brigham & Women’s Hospital electrophysiology fellowship program. He holds a research appointment at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Reynolds’ research interests involve studying the impact of new cardiovascular technologies on health care costs and quality of life, mainly in the area of cardiac electrophysiology.

    For more information, see:

    Video Transcript Coming Soon

    Disclaimer: At the time we’re publishing this interview, the company mentioned in the video and article is not a StopAfib.org donor.