Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Predicting Atrial Fibrillation

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Dr. Salim S.Virani Discovers Genetic Markers That Help Predict Atrial Fibrillation in Bypass Surgery Patients.

Almost one-third of patients who undergo bypass surgery develop atrial fibrillation,” said Salim S. Virani, M.D., a staff cardiologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and an investigator at the Houston VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence. “It is the most common rhythm disturbance after this type of surgery.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

HOUSTON – Genetic markers have been identified that can predict the likelihood of patients developing atrial fibrillation after bypass surgery, as reported by a physician from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at the American College of Cardiology 60th Annual Scientific Session & Expo and Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit 2011 in New Orleans.

“Almost one-third of patients who undergo bypass surgery develop atrial fibrillation,” said Salim S. Virani, M.D., a staff cardiologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and an investigator at the Houston VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence. “It is the most common rhythm disturbance after this type of surgery.”

At the Summit, Virani was recognized for his research into this topic by being named one of only five Young Investigator Award Competition finalists.

Other studies have shown indications these genetic variations are related to atrial fibrillation, Virani said. The current study extends the findings to show people with this genetic variation are more likely to suffer from atrial fibrillation after bypass surgery as well as long term survival after bypass surgery.

“These findings must be further studied, but our findings could potentially affect the choice of therapy used to decrease atrial fibrillation,” said Virani, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Other health care professionals who contributed to the study include Ariel Brautbar, Vijay Nambi, and Christie M. Ballantyne, all of Baylor College of Medicine; Vei-Vei Lee, MacArthur Elayda, Shehzad Sami, James M. Wilson, and James T. Willerson, all of the Texas Heart Institute, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital; and Lorraine Frazier and Eric Boerwinkle, both of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

This work was supported by the Roderick D. MacDonald Research fund at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. Virani is supported by a Department of Veteran Affairs Health Services Research and Development Services Career Development Award and grants from the TexGen Foundation and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

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