Cardiac drug study by SGPGIMS wins first prize

A drug study undertaken by Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) cardiology department has been awarded the first prize of excellence in cardiology by the AV Gandhi Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI).

An official statement issued by the institute said, “The study is likely to give a ray of hope to many patients afflicted with mitral valve disease and atrial fibrillation to achieve normal cardiac rhythm and lead to a good quality life.”

Dr. Anindya Ghosh of the department, who presented the data, received the first prize amongst all the thesis submitted from across India.

Prof. Aditya Kapoor, who mentored the work, told reporters that India has a very high burden of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) that involves the valves of the heart and usually often affects young people in their prime and productive phase of life.

“RHD usually leads to valve stenosis (narrowing) and regurgitation (leakage) with narrowing of the mitral valve (mitral stenosis or MS) being the commonest outcome of RHD. Nearly one third of patients have irregular, chaotic heart rhythms called atrial fibrillation (AF). If uncontrolled, this can cause dislodgement of clots from inside the heart to vital organs of the body leading to stroke and limb gangrene, a condition called thromboembolism,” he explained.

He said that the currently used drugs for control of AF in such patients have the disadvantage of having a lot of side effects.

Prof. Kapoor further said, “We studied the role of a drug called Flecainide in 50 such patients. Though used to treat certain types of abnormal heart rhythms by blocking abnormal electrical signals in the heart, it was never tried before in patients with RHD, due to fears of cardiac toxicity. Our work showed that the drug was effective in achieving normal cardiac rhythm in nearly 75 per cent cases which is extremely encouraging. Also, no untoward side effects of the drug were observed in the follow up studies too.”

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