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Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital Announces First Patient Procedure in the United States to Treat Atrial Fibrillation Using New Catheter for Cryoablation Technology

DALLAS, May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital today announced the first patient procedure in the U.S. using the Achieve™ Mapping Catheter, an intra-cardiac electrophysiology diagnostic catheter that can be used to assess pulmonary vein isolation when treating paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). Atrial fibrillation is the most common and one of the most undertreated heart rhythm disorders. The procedure was performed last week by an electrophysiologist on the medical staff at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas.

The new catheter technology is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use with Medtronic's Arctic Front® Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter System to provide a more straightforward treatment approach. When used in conjunction with Arctic Front, the Achieve Mapping Catheter combines pulmonary vein diagnostic and ablation capabilities in a single system. The Achieve Mapping Catheter is deployed through the Arctic Front guide wire lumen enabling the Arctic Front procedure to be performed using a single transseptal puncture with minimal catheter exchanges, enabling physicians to map electrical conduction between the left atrium and pulmonary veins in order to assess pulmonary vein potentials before, during and after cryoablation.

"In many cases, this new mapping catheter will allow real-time assessment for PV isolation and provide valuable information regarding time-to-effect during the cryoablation procedure," said Dr. Robert Kowal, M.D., Ph. D., an electrophysiologist on the medical staff at BHVH. "The procedure can be completed more efficiently by incorporating this new technology."

The Arctic Front Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter, approved by the FDA in December 2010, is the first and only cryoballoon in the United States indicated for the treatment of PAF. Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital was the first in North Texas to offer the Arctic Front CryoAblation Catheter and was a major participant in the STOP-AF trial which demonstrated its effectiveness.  The cryoablation treatment involves a minimally-invasive procedure that creates circumferential lesions around the pulmonary vein (the source of erratic electrical signals that cause atrial fibrillation) and blocks the conduction of atrial fibrillation in cardiac tissue through the use of a coolant.


Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital (Baylor Hamilton) was the first hospital in North Texas dedicated solely to the care and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. The 64-bed Baylor Hamilton was recognized in 2009 and again in 2010 for having the nation's lowest readmission rate for heart failure patients for the second consecutive year and continues to receive a five star rating by HealthGrades, a leading independent health care rating organization. At BHVH, more than 600 procedures to treat atrial fibrillation are performed annually.  For more information about Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, visit

Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas or Baylor Health Care System.

SOURCE Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital
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