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Laser Balloon Succeeds at Pulmonary Vein Isolation

Research suggests visually-guided laser could successfully treat abnormal heartbeat

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Acute pulmonary vein isolation can be achieved in pulmonary veins by using a compliant, variable diameter, visually-guided laser balloon with point-by-point ablative capability, according to research published online May 26 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

Srinivas R. Dukkipati, M.D., of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted a two-phase trial of point-by-point peri-venous ablation in 25 pig models and in 27 patients to determine if visual guidance can predict reliable and persistent pulmonary vein isolation.

In the 15 acute and 10 four-week chronic animals, the researchers found that 97 percent of pulmonary veins were electrically isolated after placing the initial circumferential set. In the four-week chronic animals, 80 percent of pulmonary veins remained isolated; the lesions were histologically circumferential in 100 percent and transmural in 96.7 percent of pulmonary vein sections. In the patients, all of the pulmonary veins were isolated after 1.3 attempts, and 84 percent were isolated after the initial visually-guided lesion set.

"Using a visually-guided, compliant balloon ablation catheter with point-by-point ablative capability, pulmonary vein isolation can be achieved in a reliable, reproducible, and persistent manner," the authors write.

The study was supported by CardioFocus Inc., and three authors disclosed grant support from that company.

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