Oklahoma residents who have received the treatment called catheter ablation may be interested to learn that research has linked it to brain lesions in some cases. Catheter ablation is used to treat irregular heartbeats, and the brain lesions may occur when the procedure is performed on the left side. The small study was published in the American Heart Association journal "Circulation" and called for more research on how the lesions could be avoided as well as on their impact.
These abnormal heartbeats, called premature ventricular contractions, are increasingly associated with a higher incidence of heart failure and death. Therefore, catheter ablation has become a common treatment. The procedure is considered low risk and minimally invasive and can permanently stop these PVCs.
The left side of the heart leads to the brain while the right side leads to the lungs. Therefore, if a blood clot or other object forms when the procedure is done on the left side, it could result in a brain embolism. However, other procedures done on the left side appear to only rarely result in an embolism. This study found a total of 16 brain embolisms in seven out of 12 patients who had the ablation on the left side. None of the patients who had the ablation on the right side suffered an embolism.
People who have been harmed in this type of a manner might wonder whether they have been the victims of medical malpractice. Their attorneys would need to demonstrate that the harm occurred because the medical professional did not follow the requisite standard of care.