April 8, 2008 - Atrial fibrillation demonstrated that a port access, paracardioscopic Ex-Maze procedure produced favorable outcomes and allowed patients to discontinue antiarrhythmic drugs, according to interim results from a study presented by Andy C. Kiser, M.D., at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago, IL.
Epicardial lesions to complete the bi-atrial pattern were created in all patients by coagulating cardiac tissue using the nContact Surgical VisiTrax device.
The 37 patients reported in the study had an average age of 61 years, a mean duration of atrial fibrillation of 7.4 years, and a mean left atrial size of 5.7 cm. Seventy-eight percent of the patients had long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation. Analysis of three-month interim outcomes demonstrated normal sinus rhythm in 17/20 (85 percent) patients. For those patients who had reached six months, 7/7 (100 percent) patients experienced normal sinus rhythm without antiarrhythmic drugs.
"This is a truly minimally invasive approach that treats both the left and right atrium without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass,"? stated Dr. Kiser. "These interim closed-chest results are very promising, particularly, when intra-operative metrics, including spontaneous conversion to normal sinus rhythm and confirmed exit block, are met."
For more information: www.Ex-Maze.com and www.ncontactsurgical.com