Trial shows costs savings associated with use of Medtronic’s cryoballoon

A new study assessing Medtronic’s cryoballoon catheter ablation device found significant cost savings as opposed to radiofrequency ablation, commonly used by cardiologists.

The FIRE AND ICE study was published Aug. 1 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The data was originally presented at the 2016 Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society’s Scientific Sessions in Seoul, South Korea, according to a press release.

Patients in the study were randomly assigned to be treated with the cryoballoon or radio frequency. Results showed that when patients were treated with the cryoballoon, there were fewer repeats ablations and cardiovascular rehospitalizations.

"These findings show that patients treated with the cryoballoon have positive clinical outcomes such as fewer rehospitalizations and ablations, leading to decreased burden on health systems and lower costs," said Karl-Heinz Kuck, MD, the lead author on the study and the director of cardiology at Asklepios Klinik St. Georg in Hamburg, Germany, in a statement. "The latest analysis further validates cryoablation as an effective treatment option for atrial fibrillation patients with real economic value across health systems."

The cost savings were consistent across Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States—the three countries where the study was conducted.

"This analysis illustrates the Medtronic cryoballoon's sustained economic impact across multiple healthcare systems—improving patient outcomes with reduced healthcare utilization and lowering healthcare system costs," said Colleen Fowler, vice president and general manager of the AF Solutions business, part of the Cardiac and Vascular Group at Medtronic.