News | June 17, 2010

Europe Approves New Ablation Catheter with Electrical Contact Analysis

June 17, 2010 – The EnSite Contact Technology platform has received European CE Mark approval, St. Jude Medical Inc. announced today at the 17th World Congress in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiac Techniques (CardioStim). The new proprietary EnSite Contact Technology is a diagnostic system of ablation catheters, a hardware module, and specially designed software that measures, analyzes and displays electrical coupling (also known as electrical contact) to determine the level of contact the ablation catheter’s tip has with endocardial tissue during cardiac ablation therapy procedures.

Cardiac ablation procedures are used to help treat cardiac arrhythmias, which are irregular heartbeats that impair the heart’s ability to effectively pump blood to the body. The quality of ablation catheter tip-to-tissue electrical contact is an important factor in the delivery of radiofrequency (RF) energy during catheter ablation. Measuring how well the RF energy needed for cardiac ablation is electrically coupled between the catheter tip and the tissue can help improve physicians’ control over catheter position during ablation procedures. It also has the potential to make the procedure more efficient by reducing the need for touching up lesions.

The EnSite Contact Technology works with both the EnSite System and the EnSite Velocity System, and displays information regarding the amount of contact the ablation catheter has with the endocardial surface on the system screen. It was designed to be used with the Contact Therapy Cool Path Duo Ablation Catheter as well as other irrigated ablation catheters currently in development. Using an irrigated catheter to cool the tip helps to reduce some of the risk factors associated with the heat of the RF energy, such as blood coagulation, charring and steam popping.

To understand the contact between the ablation catheter tip and endocardial tissue, electrophysiologists have previously been limited to qualitative techniques such as tactile feedback, fluoroscopic imaging and ablation generator impedance. The EnSite Contact Technology addresses the limitations in these techniques by establishing a quantitative, real-time and reproducible measurement of tip-to-tissue electrical contact.

The EnSite Contact Technology platform is not currently available in the United States.

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