Periodontal disease reduces atrial fibrillation recurrence

Higashihiroshima, Japan: Although periodontitis is not currently considered a modifiable risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF), a recent study examined whether periodontal treatment can improve catheter ablation, a minimally invasive procedure to correct atrial fibrillation. surgery) results. Research has found that treating periodontal disease months after surgery may reduce inflammation in the mouth and reduce the recurrence of patients' irregular and often fast heart rhythms. The study is one of the first to investigate the potential impact of periodontal disease treatment on atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation affects the heart and causes irregular heartbeats, increasing the risk of stroke, heart failure and even death. According to the American Heart Association, by 2030, more than 12 million people in the United States will have atrial fibrillation. About half of American adults age 30 or older have some form of periodontal disease, and the incidence increases with age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Therefore, the researchers sought to study whether improving the patient's oral condition could improve the outcomes of catheter ablation.

The study, conducted from April 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022, included 288 adults with atrial fibrillation who were scheduled to undergo catheter ablation, which uses radiofrequency energy to destroy heart tissue that causes atrial fibrillation. All participants were examined by a dentist before undergoing catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation, and 97 patients also received treatment for periodontal inflammation.

The researchers followed patients for 8.5 months to two years after the ablation procedure and found that 24% of participants experienced a recurrence of atrial fibrillation during that time. Additionally, they found that patients with severe periodontal inflammation who received periodontal treatment after catheter ablation were 61% less likely to have a recurrence of atrial fibrillation compared with patients who did not receive periodontal treatment.

“Appropriate treatment of periodontal disease appears to improve the prognosis of atrial fibrillation, and many people around the world can benefit from it,” said lead author Dr. Shunsuke Miyauchi, assistant professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Hiroshima University Health Services. stated in the manuscript.

The study also reported that patients who had a recurrence of atrial fibrillation had more severe periodontal disease than those who did not.

Dr. Miyauchi noted: “While the main findings were consistent with their expectations, we were surprised by the usefulness of a quantitative index of gum disease, called periodontal inflamed surface area, or PISA, in cardiovascular clinical practice.” The study found that high PISA (dental The sum of all hemorrhage areas in the peripheral pocket epithelium) predicts AF recurrence after catheter ablation.

“We are now conducting further studies to uncover the mechanisms underlying the relationship between gum disease and atrial fibrillation,” he added.

The study, titled “Blank Period Periodontal Treatment Improves Outcomes of Atrial Fibrillation Ablation,” was published online on April 16, 2024 in Journal of the American Heart Association.


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