One method for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) - an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating - is pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) ablation.
It is the standard catheter ablation procedure and in this method, tissue around the connections between the left atrium and the pulmonary veins is ablated.
‘A company has developed has developed a catheter, which can help improve treatment outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation. The catheter is called CircumBlator and has demonstrated proof-of-concept on animal tissue.’
Usually, this tissue creates the irregular signals that disrupt normal heart rhythms in AF. During this method, a point ablation catheter uses radio-frequency energy to develop lesions in the tissue.
However, point ablation catheters are difficult to position against the tissue within a beating heart. Hence, 40% of cases will require a second ablation procedure to effectively treat AF.
Ablacor Medical Corp. (Needham, MA) is working on CircumBlator catheter that can overcome this drawback and provide greater treatment outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation. It includes an anchor that sits in the pulmonary vein and it gives the operator more stability, as well as a circumferential array of electrodes that produces a line of ablated tissue with no gaps.
The company has built a successful prototype and demonstrated proof-of-concept on animal tissue. Ablacor also plans to apply for a CE mark. They have started to collect clinical data for an FDA submission.