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Understanding the mechanism of atrial fibrillation

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Understanding the mechanism of atrial fibrillation

Dr Sohaib Virk, Melbourne Health

2023 PhD Scholarships

Years funded: 2024 - 2026

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than half a million Australians. It is a growing epidemic and is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, dementia and death. Recent studies have shown successful restoration of normal heart rhythm can reduce these risks in patients with AF. Catheter ablation (CA) is a minimally invasive procedure that represents the most effective therapy to restore normal heart rhythm in AF. However, CA is not as effective in patients with long-lasting (persistent) AF because the electrical mechanisms driving abnormal heart rhythms in this cohort are more complex and poorly understood. This study will use novel electrical mapping methods and technologies to identify specific areas of the heart responsible for perpetuating the abnormal electrical conduction underpinning persistent AF. These findings will provide the basis for refined CA approaches that can more effectively restore normal heart rhythm in patients with persistent AF.

Last updated09 April 2024