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Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David's Medical Center Selected to Conduct Clinical Trial for Device to Treat Atrial Fibrillation
Date:10/7/2008

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute (TCAI) at St. David's Medical Center has been selected as one of only a few sites in the nation to participate in an FDA-approved clinical trial for a new device to treat persistent atrial fibrillation. TCAI, an international treatment, training and research center specializing in heart rhythm disorders, is a partnership between St. David's Medical Center and Texas Cardiovascular Consultants.

"This is just another example of how TCAI is leading the nation in pioneering new treatments for atrial fibrillation," Dr. Rodney Horton, electrophysiologist, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia, said. "We are proud to take part in this study that has the potential to greatly enhance the future treatment of A Fib."

Heart arrhythmias are very common, affecting more than two million people nationwide. Atrial fibrillation, or A Fib, is the most common heart arrhythmia. A Fib is a rhythm disorder that affects the electrical system, or "wiring," of the heart muscle. It is often treated with cardiac ablation -- a procedure that allows physicians to deliver energy directly to the heart muscle at precise points that trigger the arrhythmia, creating a lesion that blocks the pathway for the abnormal heart rhythm. The new study involves second generation software (Gen II) that uses a catheter believed to result in the formation of a more effective lesion.

"In the Gen II study, we are evaluating a revolutionary radiofrequency ablation catheter," Dr. Horton said. "This device is able to monitor the temperature at its tip, giving electrophysiologists the ability to better control the delivery of energy through the catheter and generate a more effective lesion." In traditional cardiac ablation, room temperature saline is injected through the catheter prior to the delivery of energy. Because standard catheters do not measure the temperature at the catheter's tip, overheating may occur, resulting in the generation of a less effective lesion.

"While many studies involve less complex cases, we were particularly interested in this one because participants must experience more severe atrial fibrillation," Horton said. "The study incorporates the technology that we already know is effective and advances it to an even higher level, helping us generate a consistently effective lesion in highly complicated cases."

The study is designed for patients who have persistent A Fib. Participants must also meet other specific criteria. To inquire about participation in the clinical trail, please call 512-544-2342.

Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia

Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia, a division of Texas Cardiovascular Consultants, was founded in 1996 by Rodney Horton, M.D. The practice has grown to include nine clinical electrophysiologists specializing in the area of heart rhythm disturbances. Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Research, a division of Texas Cardiovascular Consultants, is committed to providing opportunities for patients in Central Texas to participate in studies utilizing the latest technology in the area of cardiac electrophysiology.

St. David's Medical Center

Since 1924, St. David's Medical Center has provided quality medical care to the residents of Central Texas. Conveniently located in central Austin at 32nd Street and IH-35, St. David's Medical Center provides comprehensive care with special expertise in neurology and neurosurgery, cardiac services, bariatric surgery, orthopedics, maternity and newborn services and rehabilitation. The medical center includes St. David's Hospital (acute care) and St. David's Rehabilitation Center (physical medicine and rehabilitation). For more information, please visit http://www.stdavids.com/sdmc.aspx

Media Contacts:

Erin Ochoa and Kristin Marcum

Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations

512.472.9599


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SOURCE The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David?sMedical Center
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