LuxCath optical tissue characterization catheter enables real-time monitoring during cardiac ablation

LuxCath (Boston, MA) used its optical tissue characterization technology for the first time in procedures to treat arrhythmia patients, with highly promising results. The ablation procedures were performed in 11 arrhythmia patients, including atrial fibrillation (AF) patients at Homolka Hospital (Prague, Czech Republic), led by electrophysiologist Vivek Reddy, MD, director of arrhythmia services at The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Mount Sinai Health System (New York, NY), and Petr Neuzil, MD, director of cardiology at Homolka Hospital.

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The company’s catheter-based technology can assess tissue contact, visualize lesions, and detect lesion gaps in real time. The technology has market applications in all arrhythmia ablation procedures and is being optimized for the treatment of AF. Worldwide estimates of AF prevalence far exceed 10 million patients, and AF has been implicated as a significant cause of strokes, thromboembolic events, and heart failure. The minimally invasive procedure used to restore the heartbeat to a normal pace, known as catheter ablation (CA), is now commonly employed to treat arrhythmia patients. Treatment outcomes could be improved by a real-time, lesion-identifying, direct visualization tool offered by the company’s system. It would help the procedure to be performed consistently, effectively, quickly, and safely, as it can also be used to assess tissue contact.

The optical technology was used in 11 patients suffering from arrhythmias such as atrial flutter, AV nodal re-entrant tachycardia (AVNRT), and AF. The cases demonstrated the utility of the optical tissue interrogation during ablation to reliably assess tissue contact as well as to monitor lesion formation. The technology can be incorporated into standard ablation catheters at very low costs with excellent yields and represents a transformational change to the feedback physicians receive during an ablation procedure. Currently, no other technology embedded into an ablation catheter provides data or information about the tissue under the surface of the heart being ablated in real time. Other sensors such as temperature or pressure provide an indication of what is happening at the electrode or the electrode-tissue interface while the technology “sees” underneath the surface of the heart into the tissue and provides information that is not currently available. This system aims to provide better tissue contact and lesion formation assessment during ablation to reduce procedure times, fluoroscopy times, arrhythmia recurrences, and costs.

Reddy says that in all 11 patients, the technology identified tissue contact in a wide variety of settings, allowing them to assess and monitor ablation lesions as they were being created. There were no complications, he adds.

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