Botox Injections to the Heart?

New research suggests epicardial botulinum toxin injections may reduce the all-too-common complication of postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF), known to increase morbidity and affect 30% to 50% of patients after cardiac surgery.

The researchers turned to the neurotoxin, which reduces the release of acetylcholine from nerve terminals, because of the role autonomic imbalance plays in the development of AF. When injected near cardiac autonomic nerves in epicardial fat pads, botulinum toxin acts in an anticholinergic fashion on the atrium, shortening atrial effective refractory periods and blocking induction of AF, explained author and anesthesiologist Dr Nathan Waldron (Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC).

more: Medscape


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