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Implantable monitor may help diagnose common heart rhythm disturbance

Category: Coagulation and blood clotting disorders

An implantable leadless heart monitor equipped with a newly developed algorithm may soon help doctors more accurately test for and assess the heart rhythm disturbance known as atrial fibrillation, according to a recent study.

Atrial fibrillation is an asymptomatic disorder that causes blood to pool and clot. Approximately one in seven strokes occurs in people suffering from the condition, Health Day News reports.

In the study, nearly 250 patients suspected of having an irregular heartbeat were implanted with a Reveal XT heart monitor. Following 46 hours of observation, the monitor was able to correctly identify more than 96 percent of all patients with atrial fibrillation.

The study's lead author Gerhard Hindricks noted that additional studies need to be conducted to determine the long term accuracy of the heart monitor.

"The device has a limited data storage capacity and this may be a limitation during longer follow-up periods," said Hindricks. "Thus, long-term performance and validation studies are needed to find the optimal way of handling the device."

The researchers expect the Reveal XT heart monitor to be best used as a way to assess the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation.

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