UPDATE : Friday, June 5, 2020
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‘Heart function closely related to kidney health’
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2020.01.15 16:27
  • Updated 2020.01.15 16:27
  • comments 0

Researchers at Severance Hospital have found that patients with atrial fibrillation who underwent electrocephalotomy showed improvement in their kidney functions.

From left, Professors Park Hui-nam, Yang Pil-sung, and Park Je-wook

Atrial fibrillation is one of the arrhythmia disorders, in which the atrium of the heart fails to perform regular contraction and relaxation movements and only trembles irregularly. As 25 percent of the blood from the heart goes to the kidneys, atrial fibrillation can lead to problems as poor cardiac exercise and insufficient blood supply can lower kidney functions. Also,’ if the blood circulation in the kidneys is not smooth and stagnant, it can lead to congestion symptoms, which can adversely affect the kidney function due to the internal pressure rise.

The team, led by Professors Park Hui-nam and Park Je-wook at the hospital, followed up on 571 patients who had undergone electrocephalotomy among patients with atrial fibrillation at Severance Hospital from 2009 to 2012. Professor Yang Pil-sung from CHA Bundang Hospital also participated in the research.

For the control group, the team analyzed the National Health Insurance Service data of 1,713 patients with atrial fibrillation who received only medication for five years.

As a result, the team confirmed that the renal function was improved in the patient group who received electrocephalotomy compared to the control group.

The renal function scale the team used the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is the amount of blood that the kidney filters for one minute and normal GFR is 90-120 ml/min.

In the electrocephalotomy group, GFR increased from 81.4ml before treatment to 84.6ml after five years of treatment, while the drug group showed a small improvement from 81.8 ml before treatment to 82.4 ml after five years of treatment.

Also, the patients who had normal heart rate for five years in both electrocephalotomy patients and those who received medication showed an average 2.7-fold improvement in renal function, compared with the patients who repeatedly had recurrent atrial fibrillation.

“Electrocephalotomy is used to restore the normal rhythm of the heart rhythm, so a sufficient supply of blood and smooth blood flow in the kidneys may have helped to restore kidney function,” Professor Park said. “About 42 percent of patients with atrial fibrillation who did not have diabetes mellitus showed improved renal function, more than 10 percent higher than those with diabetes (31.3 percent).”

The team hopes that this study will be widely used as an active treatment guide for the preservation of renal function in patients with atrial fibrillation, Park added.

Journal of the American Heart Association published the results of the study.


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