Mayo Clinic receives $48M to assess catheter ablation treatment for a-fib

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Mayo Clinic has received $48 million in grants to study the treatment of atrial fibrillation in 3,000 patients at 140 centers from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Funding for the trial consists of $18 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); $20 million from St. Paul, Minn.-based St. Jude Medical and $10 million from the Diamond Bar, Calif.-based Biosense Webster.

The CABANA (Catheter ABlation versus ANti-arrhythmic drug therapy for Atrial fibrillation) trial is designed to determine whether catheter ablation is more effective than drug therapy for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, according to the principal investigator Douglas Packer, MD, a cardiologist at Mayo in Rochester, Minn.

The study, which will take six years from beginning to releasing results, is a collaborative effort among Packer and Richard Robb, PhD, at Mayo Clinic, Kerry Lee, PhD, Daniel Mark, MD, at Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., and the NHLBI.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia seen by physicians and affects more than 2 million Americans. Most individuals with atrial fibrillation have identifiable risk factors, such as high blood pressure or structural heart disease, and tend to be elderly. Long-term complications resulting from atrial fibrillation and its treatment can include death, disabling stroke, serious bleeding and/or cardiac arrest.

The trial will determine whether left atrial catheter ablation to eliminate atrial fibrillation is better than current drug therapy, Packer said. The study also will examine atrial fibrillation recurrence, stroke risk, quality of life and cost effectiveness.