Patients with atrial fibrillation had less recurrence of their symptoms after treatment with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Biosense Webster’s contact force-sensing (CF) ablation catheters, researchers reported.
The study was the 1st to demonstrate AF benefit from CF catheters, comparing the technology to standard open-irrigated-tip radiofrequency devices in patients with paroxysmal AF, according to the authors.
In a controlled 30-patient study, those treated with Biosense’s SmartTouch Thermocool CF catheter had a 10.5% rate of recurring AF symptoms at 1 year following treatment. That compared with 35.9% recurrence in the control group, which was treated with Biosense’s EZ Steer Thermocool catheter.
The SmartTouch catheter also resulted in less fluoroscopy exposure and radiofrequency time, according to the results published in the February print edition of the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.
CF catheters provide clinicians with more data to help them determine whether the tip of the catheter is optimally placed and to detect catheter dislodgement or sliding during a procedure, the authors wrote.
"We observed a significant benefit of the CF catheter in terms of procedural endpoints," according to the study. "While the endpoint considered in our study (proportion of PVI following an exclusive anatomical approach) differs in some degree from other studies, we feel it represents a proof-of-concept in that optimal CF achieves better lesions at 1st attempt, with implications for procedure time and radiation exposure, as demonstrated in this study."
The SmartTouch device won FDA approval just last month, making it the 1st CF device to hit the U.S. market. St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) is chasing Biosense Webster in the force-sensing ablation game, hoping the TactiCath technology it acquired along with Endosense last August will win an FDA nod.