New Clinical Trial Targets AFib Patients

Iowa Heart Center Participating in AMAZE clinical trial

July 21, 2017

Mercy and Iowa Heart Center are participating in a clinical trial evaluating a new treatment option for patients with persistent and/or longstanding atrial fibrillation (AFib).

The AMAZE clinical trial is evaluating a new approach that combines catheter ablation with the use of a device called the LARIAT Suture Delivery Device to close off the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA), a muscular pouch connected to the left atrium of the heart. . The LARIAT is a permanent, non-surgical option for LAA closure that uses remote suture delivery to close the LAA from the outside of the heart.

In some patients with AFib (quivering or irregular heartbeat), the LAA does not contract effectively and can become a source of stroke-causing blood clots. The LAA may also be a source of abnormal electrical activity that triggers AFib. 

Catheter ablation, a common treatment for AFib, is a technique used to destroy small areas in the heart that may be causing rhythm issues by sending electrical (or sometimes cold) energy to the problem area.

The randomized, controlled AMAZE trial is enrolling 600 persistent and/or longstanding persistent AFib patients who are candidates for pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) catheter ablation. The objective of AMAZE is to determine if the LARIAT procedure, plus a PVI ablation, will lead to a reduced incidence of recurrent AFib compared to PVI alone.  

"The AMAZE trial could help validate the mechanical and electrical isolation benefits of the LARIAT device and demonstrate that it will reduce or eliminate these electrical triggers. It may eventually become an important component in reducing recurrence in patients with persistent AFib," says site principal investigator Troy Hounshell, M.D., electrophysiologist , Iowa Heart Center.

To find out more about the AMAZE trial at Mercy, please call Iowa Heart Center Research at (515) 633-3842.

About Iowa Heart Center

Iowa Heart Center, founded in 1970, is one of the nation’s premier cardiovascular medicine practices. With clinics and offices in Des Moines, Ames, Ankeny, Carroll, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Newton, and Ottumwa, Iowa Heart Center’s physicians and staff are committed to providing world-class heart care, research and prevention services to Iowa families.