January 15, 2008 - Surgeons and electrophysiologists who used AtriCure's endoscopic bipolar ablation system to treat atrial fibrillation (AF) said the procedure was successful in 82 percent of patients that presented with paroxysmal AF and 56 percent of patients that presented with persistent and long-standing persistent AF in a report published in the Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology.
The authors of the study, James R. Edgerton, M.D., and Michael B. Mack,M.D., from the Cardiopulmonary Research Science and Technology Institute of Dallas, Texas in collaboration with Warren M. Jackman, M.D., an electrophysiologist from the University of Oklahoma, reported on results from 83 patients who underwent a video-assisted, minimally invasive ablation procedure for the treatment of AF using AtriCure's Isolator endoscopic bipolar ablation system. The procedure included electrical isolation of the pulmonary veins, confirmed by electrophysiology mapping techniques, targeted autonomic denervation of the left atrium and the removal of the left atrial appendage in selected patients. The study population consisted of patients with left atrial enlargement as the authors reported a mean left atrial size of 5.2cm. Left atrial enlargement is known to be one of the primary predictors of ablation failures. Additionally, 25 percent of the patients had at least one previous catheter ablation failure.
Of the 83 patients, 57 completed long-term monitoring at 6 months. Treatment success was defined as no episodes of AF greater than 15 seconds in duration. The minimally invasive procedure was successful in 32 of 39 (82 percent) of patients that presented with paroxysmal AF and 10 of 18 (56 percent) of patients that presented with persistent and long-standing persistent AF.
Dr. Edgerton commented, "The results from this study are very encouraging and support the safety and effectiveness of this procedure and products in a selected group of AF patients. We remain enthusiastic concerning the continued development and investigation of these minimally invasive products and techniques. In particular, we have developed an expanded ablation procedure and we are encouraged by the potential for the expanded ablation procedure to improve clinical outcomes in the more difficult to treat persistent and permanent AF patients."
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