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Research ranges from the study of the causes to treatment, with the overall aim being to improve patient care.
Hospital Clínic has pioneered research that has demonstrated that very intense exercise increases the risk of atrial fibrillation and we are currently studying the reasons why.
Researchers are also studying the changes that occur in the atria and why they trigger arrhythmia in patients with atrial fibrillation, regardless of its origin. Of the alterations known to cause atrial fibrillation, there is special interest in the use of magnetic resonance imaging to identify fibrosis (scarring) on the atrium; to obtain detailed information about the amount of fibrosis, its location and how it varies over time, so treatment can be adapted to each patient.
This information will help improve catheter ablation procedures and determine which patients will gain the most benefit.
Work on technological improvements is also underway to create more effective ablation techniques. While other research is focusing on new, more effective antiarrhythmic agents and anticoagulants for different types of people with atrial fibrillation.