Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New device for treating atrial fibrillation

Date:
February 27, 2014
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
A new high-tech catheter device can improve outcomes of patients treated for atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heartbeat. The treatment, called catheter ablation, involves burning selected spots of tissue inside the heart with the tip of a catheter. This eliminates the sources of errant electrical signals that are triggering the atrial fibrillation. More than 2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, also known as a-fib. There are about 160,000 new cases each year. The number is increasing due in part to the aging population and the obesity epidemic.

Loyola University Medical Center is the first hospital in Illinois to offer a new high-tech catheter device that can improve outcomes of patients treated for atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heartbeat.

Related Articles


The treatment, called catheter ablation, involves burning selected spots of tissue inside the heart with the tip of a catheter. This eliminates the sources of errant electrical signals that are triggering the atrial fibrillation.

The new device, the ThermoCool® SmartTouch® catheter, has just been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The device tells the physician the precise direction of the catheter and how hard it is pushing against the heart wall. This information is graphically displayed on a 3-D mapping and navigation system.

Loyola participated in a pivotal, multicenter clinical trial of the pressure-sensing catheter. Principal investigator at the Loyola site was David Wilber, MD, one of the nation's leading researchers in treating atrial fibrillation. Wilber is director of Loyola's Division of Cardiology and Section of Clinical Electrophysiology.

In a-fib, electrical signals that regulate the heartbeat become erratic. Instead of beating regularly, the upper chambers of the heart quiver. Not all the blood gets pumped out, so clots can form. A-fib can lead to strokes and heart failure.

More than 2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, also known as a-fib. There are about 160,000 new cases each year. The number is increasing due in part to the aging population and the obesity epidemic.

A-fib symptoms include heart palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, fainting and lightheadedness. "A lot of people are disabled," Wilber said. "They have no energy. They can't work. They have a very poor quality of life."

Medications can maintain a normal heart rhythm. But when drugs don't work or cause unacceptable side effects, alternative treatments include surgery or catheter ablation. While drugs have been available for more than 30 years, ablation is a relatively new treatment.

In catheter ablation, an electrophysiologist inserts a catheter (thin flexible tube) in a groin artery and guides it through blood vessels to the heart. The tip of the catheter delivers radiofrequency energy that heats and destroys tissue that is sending out erratic electrical signals.

The challenge is to press the catheter firmly enough against the wall of the heart so that sufficient tissue is destroyed, without pushing so hard that the catheter punches a hole in the heart. This requires a very fine balance that is difficult to achieve, even for an experienced physician.

In the new device, a sensor in the tip of the catheter enables direct measurement of both the amount of contact force and the angle in which the force is being applied to the heart wall.

"The pressure-sensing catheter can improve patient outcomes and the durability of ablation treatments," Wilber said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "New device for treating atrial fibrillation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227163837.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2014, February 27). New device for treating atrial fibrillation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227163837.htm
Loyola University Health System. "New device for treating atrial fibrillation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227163837.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins