Medtronic harnesses ablation technologies of new acquisitions
BOSTON—Medtronic featured new technologies to treat atrial fibrillation, recently added through its acquisition of CryoCath and the in-process purchase of Ablation Frontiers during the 14th annual Boston Atrial Fibrillation Symposium (BAFS) last week.

The Minneapolis-based Medtronic, which completed its $380 million acquisition of the Montreal-based CryoCath in November 2008, featured the company’s Artic Front catheter, designed to ablate the pulmonary veins and reduce procedural time in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. The Arctic Front Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter is designed for the treatment of patients suffering from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF).

Artic Front, which is not currently available for sale in the U.S., but has a CE Mark, has a balloon shape that allows for anatomical placement of the balloon in the antrum or at the ostium of the pulmonary vein. The balloon design ablates where the balloon is in contact with tissue. The Arctic Front catheter is delivered to the left atrium via the FlexCath Steerable Sheath, consisting of wiring the target vein with a 0.035-inch-compatible guide wire. The catheter is deployed in the left atrium and inflated before being advanced toward the wired vein.

The Artic Front can be accompanied by the CryoTherapy system, which is available in the U.S., and uses catheters that are controlled by a microprocessor-based electromechanical refrigeration console. The console processes the refrigerant, which when vaporized within the distal tip of the catheter, creates cryogenic temperatures.

Though Medtronic’s acquisition of the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Ablation Frontiers is not yet finalized, the company displayed its anatomically designed ablation catheter.

For example, Ablation Frontier said Multi-Array Ablation Catheter, which is designed for mapping and ablating complex fractional atrial electrograms (CFAE) in the left atrial body, can map, sense and ablate through any or all eight electrodes. The large footprint allows for wider coverage and safer manipulation has 3D anatomical design. Its Multi-Array Septal Catheter, which is designed for mapping and ablating CFAE on the left atrial septal wall, can map, pace and ablate through any or all12 electrodes.