News | Atrial Fibrillation | January 31, 2020

Medtronic FDA Trial Evaluates Pulsed Electric Fields to Treat Atrial Fibrillation

Investigative new energy source technology designed to interrupt irregular pathways in the heart

Medtronic's PulseSelect Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System

Medtronic's PulseSelect Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System.

January 31, 2020 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Medtronic approval to proceed with an investigational device exemption (IDE) trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the PulseSelect Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System. This new technology that uses pulsed electric fields to treat atrial fibrillation (Afib or AF). 

The first procedures in the trial were recently performed. In December 2019 by Bradley Wilsmore, M.D., at John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia, and in January by Atul Verma, M.D., the principal investigator (PI) for the study, at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Canada.

 

Pulsed Field Ablation Technology

PFA uses pulsed electric fields to ablate or create lesions and scar tissue to interrupt irregular electrical pathways in the heart and the triggers of atrial fibrillation. However, unlike traditional methods of ablation that heat the tissue (radio frequency) or cool the tissue (cryo) to ablate, PFA is non-thermal and selectively targets cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) while avoiding other types of tissue.

“This study will evaluate a new energy source that may treat atrial fibrillation and potentially address the risks that have been associated with other ablation technologies, such as unintended tissue damage,” Verma said. “The rigorous pre-clinical research to get us to these first procedures has been impressive and we are excited to support the development of more clinical evidence.”

In September 2018, Medtronic was granted breakthrough device designation from the FDA for the PFA technology for the treatment of drug refractory recurrent symptomatic atrial fibrillation. Worldwide, the PFA system is investigational and not approved for sale or distribution. 

The PULSED AF Trial 

PULSED AF study is a prospective, multi-center, non-randomized, unblinded and worldwide trial that will enroll patients who will be treated with the Medtronic PulseSelect PFA System.

“As a global leader in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, Medtronic is constantly evaluating new and existing therapies to better meet the needs of patients and the physicians who care for them,” said Rebecca Seidel, vice president and general manager in the AF solutions division, which is part of the Cardiac and Vascular Group at Medtronic. “The PULSED AF study is another example of our commitment to meaningful innovation and a major step forward in the development of a diverse set of therapy options for atrial fibrillation patients.”

For more information: www.medtronic.com
 

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