This channel includes news and new technology innovations for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, also referred to as AF or afib. AF is a cardiac arrhythmia caused by irregular and often rapid heart rate. It is caused by the upper chambers (the atria) beating irregularly and uncoordinated with the lower ventricle chambers of of the heart. Symptoms include weakness with heart palpitations and shortness of breath. The conditional can lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart failure. AF episodes can cause the blood in the atria to stagnate and form clots, usually within the left atrial appendage (LAA). The clots can flow to the brain and cause a stroke. Treatments include anticoagulation therapy to dissolve clots, catheter or surgical ablation and LAA occlusion.
Biosense Webster's Carto Prime Mapping Module offers new tools to help shorten ablation time. Left is an example of Coherent imaging showing conduction identification, conduction velocity vectors and conduction barrier zones. Top right, Carto Finder Module automatic visualization of region of interest. Below right, LAT Hybrid imaging, showing correct identification of PVC location based on catheter location in sinus rhythm, and automated visualization of PVC points.
Boston Scientific recently introduced the newst iteration of LAA occluder device, the Watchman FLX. It uses small spikes to help better anchor the device and prevent embolization. Read more on this FDA approval.
New cardiac monitoring technologies allow for longer duration data collection. The Medtronic Reveal Linq implantable cardiac monitor allows for 24/7 monitoring for up to three years. This might not be necessary for most patients, and there are several newer Holter monitors that can record up to several days or several weeks of data in real-time.
The Linq II implantable cardiac monitor (ICM) system delivers improved device longevity compared to other ICMs and enhanced accuracy to correctly detect abnormal heart rhythms, simplifying the diagnosis and monitoring of patients. The new devices allows continuous cardiac monitoring for up to 4.5 years.