The VANISH2 trial is designed to determine the best treatment for people who have life-threatening abnormalities of heart rhythm. Heart attacks leave scars in the heart muscle. The scars can interfere with the normal signaling within the heart that controls the heart beat. In some cases, the interference can cause a very dangerous abnormal heart rhythm known as ventricular tachycardia (VT). This rhythm is the most common cause of sudden death in Canada. When patients are at high risk for recurrences of VT, a defibrillator (ICD) can be implanted which can shock the heart back to normal rhythm from a cardiac arrest. These devices are life-saving but do not prevent the abnormal rhythm, they just provide a rescue when it occurs.
In order to prevent dangerous arrhythmias, doctors use strong rhythm control drugs or a procedure called catheter ablation. An ablation is performed by advancing wires through the blood vessels into the heart, using X-rays and other imaging to see where they are and the short circuits within the scar can then be identified and interrupted (ablated).
Neither the drugs nor the ablation procedure work perfectly and both carry risk. This trial is designed to determine which treatment is the best.
Dr. John Sapp JR., MD, FRCPC, FHRS
Director of Heart Rhythm Department
QEII Health Sciences Centre
Dr. John Sapp’s research efforts have centred primarily on ventricular tachycardia investigation and management. His research work includes studies of intramyocardial needle ablation for treatment-refractory ventricular tachycardia, the role of catheter ablation for ischemic ventricular tachycardia, body surface mapping to derive an inverse solution and quantify its accuracy and the improvement of rapid mapping of ventricular tachycardia.