an ineffective dose. Fearful of a hemorrhage in the brain, or uncontrolled bleeding in an accident or emergency surgery, doctors may prescribe an amount of warfarin insufficient to prevent a stroke, he said.
Last year, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan, an electrophysiologist at the University of California, San Diego, and co-authors described a way to more accurately identify the electrical “hot spots” in the heart responsible for an abnormal rhythm. Ablating those regions was nearly twice as effective as the standard approach to eliminating atrial fibrillation with ablation, the team reported in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
But even when all traces of A-fib are eliminated, Dr. Ruff said, continued treatment with an anticoagulant is needed to guard against stroke. “Once a person has had A-fib, there is an increased risk of stroke even if their heart is in normal rhythm,” he said.