AFib procedure may protect against stroke.

In Brain Science, Stroke by Brainy Days Ahead

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common heart rhythm disorder, are five times more likely to experience a stroke compared to the general population. Researchers at Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina conducted the largest study yet to assess the effects of closing the area of the heart known as the left atrial appendage as an add-on procedure during cardiac surgery. They found that such a procedure was associated with a 40 percent reduction in the risk of thromboembolism (a condition when a blood clot forms and blocks an artery, which can cause a stroke or other complications). The researchers believe the procedure may be a particularly good option for people with AFib who are at high risk for stroke but cannot take or tolerate anticoagulant medications.