August 29, 2013

Researchers explore use of light to correct life-threatening arrhythmias

Treatment seen as gentler alternative to jolts delivered by defibrillators

When a beating heart slips into an irregular, life-threatening rhythm, the treatment is well known: deliver a burst of electric current from a pacemaker or defibrillator. But because the electricity itself can cause pain, tissue damage, and other serious side-effects, a Johns Hopkins-led research team wants to replace these jolts with a kinder, gentler remedy: light.