nContact Surgical advances closed chest ablation techniques
14 May 2010
nContact Surgical Inc. has enrolled the first patient in its
IDE trials to evaluate a fully closed chest procedure combining the best
of electrophysiologist (EP) catheter and surgical techniques for the
treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) using the investigational Numeris
- AF Guided Coagulation system with VisiTrax.
The three hour procedure is performed in a single setting, generally
in the EP Lab, by both physicians.
"nContact has pioneered a truly minimally invasive approach to
epicardial ablation for the treatment of arrhythmias. Our enabling
technology and novel access to the posterior of the heart have
eliminated the need for chest incisions and ports, while providing
direct visualization to create epicardial lesions," said Jim Whayne,
Vice President of Clinicals. "We hope both of our closed chest IDE
clinical trials will demonstrate that combining surgical and EP
cardiology disciplines into one comprehensive procedure will improve
efficacy and provide treatment for all atrial fibrillation patients,
even the most difficult to treat longstanding persistent."
The Company also announced successful completion of a preclinical
animal research study to evaluate its fully closed chest procedure
for a subxyphoid (below the lower most part of the sternum)
approach. Epicardial linear lesions were created percutaneously
using this subxyphoid approach, as the device was advanced over a
guide wire and manipulated throughout the heart.
"While it is too early to draw any conclusions, the new technique
used in the research study allowed me to know where I was on the
heart and to create atrial and ventricular lesions accurately
without endoscopes," commented Dr. Miguel Valderrabano, Director of
the Division of Electrophysiology at Houston's Methodist Hospital,
DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center. "The development of this novel
closed chest epicardial approach is critical to expanding patient
access to treatment of arrhythmias."