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.

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 October 1, 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 October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. 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