MORRISVILLE, N.C., Nov. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A poster presentation at the annual American College of Chest Physicians meeting held in Chicago last week reports single-center experience on the Convergent Procedure, a multidisciplinary, closed-chest approach to treat patients with persistent and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, estimated to affect 5.9 million people in the U.S., with a majority of patients falling into the difficult-to-treat persistent AF population. In this presentation, the physicians reported on 46 patients, all of whom had persistent or longstanding persistent AF. Long-term results demonstrate that 93% of patients were in sinus rhythm at 15 months' follow-up.
"We have treated almost 60 patients with the Convergent Procedure to date and our results demonstrate that an epicardial-endocardial approach provides an effective treatment option for this challenging patient population, many of whom have failed endocardial-only ablation," said Murali Chiravuri, MD, PhD, of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT. "Our 93% long-term success rate is particularly impressive in these patients, most of whom had severely enlarged atria, up to 235 ml, and had suffered with AF on average for more than 5 years."
The multidisciplinary Convergent Procedure is performed as a single procedure in the electrophysiology lab. The epicardial lesions are created first under direct endoscopic visualization by a surgeon, through a 2 cm incision in the abdomen, with no chest incisions or ports. The endocardial lesions created by an electrophysiologist help confirm lesion set completeness through specialized EP diagnostics, which also predict outcomes.
"The Convergent Procedure has provided us with a new capability – sustained disease management – in these difficult patients," stated M. Clive Robinson, MD, FRACS, of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Bridgeport Hospital. "We have had clinical success in managing these patients into sinus rhythm and providing them with a long-term, comprehensive care program. In addition, even when we evaluate success by the most stringent guidelines from the Heart Rhythm Society, we are seeing 65% of patients in sinus rhythm and off AADs, without even a 30-second incident of AF after a single procedure. These results exceed our experience with endocardial-only approaches."
About nContact, Inc.
nContact's mission is to transform the underserved arrhythmia market through the advancement of less invasive, more efficacious ablation alternatives for cardiac arrhythmias. The Company's lead technology, EPi-Sense™ Coagulation System with VisiTrax®, has CE Mark approval in Europe for the coagulation of cardiac tissue in the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. The EPi-Sense Coagulation System with VisiTrax is indicated for endoscopic coagulation of cardiac tissue in the U.S. nContact was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Morrisville, North Carolina, USA.
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