ENABLE trial kicks off with use of laser catheter for heart rhythm disorders

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St. David's Medical Center has used an investigational, endoscopically guided laser catheter that allows for minimally invasive treatment of heart rhythm disorders that can result in a stroke for the first time.

The procedure, called endoscopic catheter ablation, was first performed in Austin, Texas, as part of the ENABLE trial, a multi-center clinical investigation to be taking place at up to 25 hospitals across the U.S.

“With endoscopic catheter ablation, for the first time, we can see directly into the heart to treat the areas that are allowing abnormal heart rhythm," Rodney Horton, MD electrophysiologist at Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia, a division of Texas Cardiovascular Consultants. “This technology could change the way we perform complex cardiac procedures,” he said.

During the endoscopic catheter ablation, physicians insert a slender catheter into a vein in the patient's right leg, and the catheter is threaded into the patient's chest and guided into a large vein in the heart using the real-time investigational endoscopic video camera, small amounts of traditional x-ray and ultrasound imaging, according to St. David’s. The physicians can then visualize the target heart tissue.