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MRI May Help Gauge Stroke Risk in Atrial Fibrillation

People with an abnormal heart rhythm may have a higher risk of stroke if they also have certain changes in part of the heart, a new study suggests. The study looked at 169 people with atrial fibrillation. This condition causes part of the heart to quiver rather than beat normally. People in the study received a type of MRI before having a procedure to treat the abnormal rhythm. This type of MRI shows heart muscle movement, among other things. Researchers looked at the MRI results. They compared people who did or did not have a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). They saw differences in the heart between these two groups. The function of the upper left chamber (atrium) was different in those who had a history of stroke or TIA. Researchers said that seeing these features on an MRI may show a higher risk of stroke.

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