UAMS Heart Researcher Wins Prestigious Award


Abhishek Deshmuk, M.D., (left) and Hakan Paydak, M.D., (right)

May 31, 2013 | Abhishek Deshmukh, M.D., a UAMS cardiology fellow, has been recognized for his research in atrial fibrillation ablation, a treatment that treats a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation.

Deshmukh, whose research was chosen from 3,500 research abstracts, received the prestigious Eric N. Prystowsky Clinical Research Award at the annual Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Denver.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our program,” said Hakan Paydak, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the UAMS Cardiac Electrophysiology Program. “Dr. Deshmukh is our star, and it has been a great pleasure to work with him the past three years.”

Compiling research from 10 years and more than 94,000 ablation procedures from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample Database, Deshmukh assessed the safety of the procedure across the country and the optimal operator and hospital volume considered safe for performing it.

Atrial fibrillation ablation is considered to be a more effective therapy compared to medications in treating atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder in the country. Deshmukh said that the ablation procedure will play a major role in improving quality of life, decreasing dementia and stroke rates, and in increasing the utilization of health care resources.

“There are more than 20,000 ablation procedures conducted each year, and the complication rates are around 7 percent,” Deshmukh said. “About 2.3 million Americans are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and, based on the census, this number is expected to rise to 5.6 million by 2050.”

During the procedure, catheters are placed inside the left atrium and the areas around the pulmonary veins are isolated.

Paydak said UAMS conducts ablation procedures regularly, and patients experience very few complications. He expects ablation procedures to increase at UAMS as the department plans to expand this year.

The Eric N. Prystowsky Clinical Research Award is part of the Heart Rhythm Society and promotes excellence in clinical research by recognizing the highest scoring abstract in the clinical electrophysiology and catheter ablation category after a peer-review process.

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