News | March 11, 2007

Live A-Fib Broadcast This Thursday

March 12, 2007 — Nebraska Heart Institute, Lincoln, NE, will broadcast a minimally invasive, endoscopic ablation procedure for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) on www.OR-Live.com this Thursday, March 15.

This investigational procedure includes bipolar ablation to isolate irregular electrical impulses, identification and ablation of potential AF triggers known as the ganglionic plexi (nerves on the surface of the heart) and exclusion of the left atrial appendage — a potential source of thrombus.

James H. Wudel, M.D., a well-recognized cardiovascular surgeon from the Nebraska Heart Institute, will present the case with Benjamin J. Scherlag, Ph.D, from the Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute in Oklahoma City. Dr. Scherlag is known internationally for his pioneering contributions to the field of electrophysiology and will discuss his seminal research on the role of ganglionic plexi in the initiation and maintenance of AF.

"We have successfully performed more than 70 sole-therapy procedures using AtriCure minimally invasive bipolar ablation products,” said Dr. Wudel. “The minimally invasive procedure is a potentially attractive option for some patients with paroxysmal (intermittent) AF in whom drugs are ineffective, not well tolerated or contraindicated. Based on the development of new bipolar products and planned and ongoing controlled FDA clinical trials, we plan to begin offering the minimally invasive procedure to a broader range of patients in the near future."

The American Heart Association reports that 2.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with AF; however, recent data suggests that the prevalence of AF is growing and may double these reports. In terms of the impact to patients, AF can lead to irreversible heart damage and stroke. Patients diagnosed with AF are five times more likely to have a stroke. While blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) are often prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke, many patients are contraindicated for these blood thinners.

Questions from healthcare professionals and the general public can be sent in during this live event via email. These will be addressed during the broadcast, time permitting.

This event is being sponsored through grants provided by AtriCure, Inc.

Dr. Wudel and the Nebraska Heart Institute have no current financial relationship with AtriCure and Dr. Scherlag is a paid consultant to AtriCure. This activity does not offer CME credit.

Visit http://www.or-live.com/AtriCure/1821 now to learn more and view a program preview. VNR http://www.or-live.com/rams/atr-1821-mkw-q.ram

Video-Link Available: http://www.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=437800

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