CardioFocus HeartLight Ablation Study Demonstrates Durable Pulmonary Vein Isolation In Treatment Of Atrial Fibrillation

In short

It’s Cardiostim 2012 time, and there’s the usual flurry of press activity among companies keen to create awareness of their offerings.

One such company is CardioFocus, Inc., developer of the HeartLight® Endoscopic Ablation System (EAS) for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). The company is drawing our attention to what it calls a unique study in the journal Heart Rhythm, demonstrating high acute success (98%) and durable pulmonary vein (PV) isolation rates achievable with a single, visually-guided HeartLight EAS ablation procedure.

To determine durability, the study involved a subsequent diagnostic remapping procedure that found 86% of PVs remained electrically isolated after three months. The multicenter study, authored by Srinivas R. Dukkipati, MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, is published in the June 2012 issue.


HeartLight EAS incorporates an endoscope for direct visualisation of a beating heart and a compliant, dynamically adjustable balloon catheter designed for improved contact with the PV ostium, irrespective of individual patient anatomy. The system also utilises laser energy for more efficient, durable and precise ablation treatment.

The study

The study, “The Durability of Pulmonary Vein Isolation Using the Visually-Guided Laser Balloon Catheter: Multicenter Results of Pulmonary Vein Remapping Studies,” looked at the first 56 patients treated with HeartLight EAS by 10 primary operators at three European sites, resulting in an acute PV isolation rate of 98% (202/206). At approximately three months follow-up (105 +/= 44 days), 52 patients returned for a remapping procedure to reconfirm electrical isolation, in which researchers found 86% (162/189) of PVs remained isolated. During the remapping, if a PV had reconnected physicians performed repeat ablation. At an average follow-up of one year (12.0 +/= 1.8 months post remapping), 71% of patients remained free from AF and off anti-arrhythmic drugs.

Notably, after performing only 10 cases, physicians began to see improved outcomes. Data from the remapping shows physicians who performed fewer than 10 cases achieved a durable PV isolation rate of 73% (38/52), while physicians who had performed 10 or more cases achieved a rate of 89% (127/142).

Clinician comments 

“The goal of catheter ablation for paroxysmal AF is durable PV isolation, and this study demonstrates that the unique compliant, variable-diameter balloon catheter and laser energy source of the HeartLight EAS enables the placement of circumferential and continguous lesions for high rates of acute and persistent PV isolation,” said Dr. Dukkipati. “Through the insights gleaned in the remapping procedures we have been able to hone our techniques for energy application, catheter positioning and other procedural elements and are continuing to obtain impressive clinical outcomes with the system.”

Company comments

“This data continues to contribute to the growing body of research supporting HeartLight EAS as an effective treatment option for AF with a remarkably quick learning curve,” said Stephen Sagon, President and CEO of CardioFocus. “As adoption continues throughout Europe and momentum builds in our U.S. pivotal trial, we are excited that such positive clinical experiences are being documented by leading electrophysiologists and shared in prominent forums such as the journal Heart Rhythm.”

Source: Cardiofocus Inc., PR Newswire