nContact instigates a-fib trial to test combo ablation technique

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nContact Surgical, a cardiac solution company, will embark on a clinical trial to probe whether a convergent ablation procedure -- combining endoscopic with catherter ablation -- can effectively treat patients with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF).

The Morrisville, N.C.-based company said that the clinical trial will utilize the nContact Numeris AF Guided Coagulation System with VisiTrax combined with the Biosense Webster NaviStar Thermo Cool ablation catheter.

The nContact system involves an endoscopic approach that integrates suction, perfusion and RF energy to ensure the creation of visible, non-conductive, bi-atrial epicardial lesions on a beating heart.

John P. Funkhouser, president and CEO of nContact said, "We designed this study to include paroxysmal patients with enlarged hearts, who historically have been more difficult to treat with catheter ablation in a single procedure."

According to nContact, electrophysiologists involved in the trial will use the catheter ablation device to block the electrical signals in the heart that cause AF by forming a bi-atrial lesion pattern.

"The uniqueness of the convergent procedure is that lesions can be created on all areas of the heart through a closed chest endoscopic approach, without lung deflation, and while the heart is beating. It is hoped that the combination of surgical and electrophysiological techniques will enhance physicians' capability to ultimately treat all AF patients in a single procedure," said Funkhouser.