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Mayo Clinic Tests New Ablation Technique

August 29, 2022

Mayo Clinic Tests New Ablation Technique

A first-in-human multicenter trial involving Mayo Clinic used a new ablation technique for patients with ventricular tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heart rhythm that is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death worldwide.

The trial tested needle ablation using in-catheter, heated, saline-enhanced, radio frequency energy, also known as SERF, to substantially increase heat transfer. The new process produces deeper, controllable lesion scars inside the heart muscle. The catheter can accurately control the ablation size and treat tissue that is deeper in the heart wall, which is where life-threatening arrhythmias that cause ventricular tachycardia are often found. Therapies of medication and traditional ablation may not be enough to prevent ventricular tachycardia. Therefore, many patients also have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to address dangerous arrhythmias. While an ICD shock corrects the heart’s rhythm, it does not prevent arrhythmia. In the trial, researchers used several methods to directly eliminate abnormal heart tissue that causes life-threatening rhythm. In the trial, 32 participants from 6 centers underwent needle electrode ablation. Each had experienced multiple episodes of ventricular tachycardia that did not respond to drug therapy after an ICD was implanted and standard ablation was done. For 31 of these 32 patients, their clinical ventricular tachycardia was eliminated immediately at the end of the procedure. Device therapies, such as shock or pace regulation, were reduced by 89% during the 5-month followup period. Five patients in this high-risk group had complications, primarily in the earlier procedures. The next step in this research is a larger clinical trial with approximately 150 patients to prove the findings and demonstrate the safety of the new SERF technology.
   —Visit https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/first-in-human-trial-shows-promise-for-hard-to-treat-ventricular-tachycardia-heart-rhythms/ to read more.