| August 17, 2008 11:14 am

Several weeks ago, while working on the revisions for a larger study, I noticed an important trend. Patients who suffer a recurrence of atrial fibrillation following catheter ablation quite often have a history of smoking. “That’s interesting,” I thought at the time. I then successfully stopped thinking about it, so that I could think about other important things. The ability of men to focus only on the task at hand being what it is. While spending time at Dr. Marrouche’s party last night, I ran into Brent Hill. Brent is the research coordinator for the Division of Cardiology. While talking, I mentioned the finding. He got quite excited about it. So excited, in fact, that he thought about co-opting the idea for his thesis. Some additional ideas that he shared:

  1. By what mechanism does smoking cause a recurrence of AF following the procedure? Might it be due to smoking induced ischemia?
  2. Is the effect mitigated by the number of cigarettes which the person smokes per day?
  3. Would offering smoking cessation materials help to increase the effectiveness of the ablation procedure?

Interesting things to think about! I think the next step is to formulate a number of specific hypotheses and draw up a formal proposal. At that point, it would be interesting to approach Marrouche and get his take on it.

Update

Though it may have been interesting to further think about and develop a map of how AF and smoking relate, I do not think that will ever be a possibility; unfortunately. Due to a number of personal reasons, I have decided that it is time for me to leave the AF group. I have greatly enjoyed the time that I have been able to work with the people in the group, but it is possible that my future lies somewhere outside of medicine. I will be posting a “Swan Song” shortly which describes my thoughts of how the various projects interconnect, but that will be my last thoughts on atrial fibrillation and its treatment.

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