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World's First Sensor-Enabled Ablation Catheter Designed to Treat Atrial Fibrillation

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 May 2023

Atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common irregular heart rhythm condition, impacts over 37 million people worldwide, a figure projected to more than double by 2050. With an additional five million cases diagnosed annually, this escalating health concern creates the need for innovative solutions for patients as well as their healthcare providers. Now, a first-of-its-kind ablation catheter designed with a unique flexible electrode tip and contact force sensing, promises shorter procedure times and improved safety for AFib treatment.

Abbott’s (Abbott Park, IL, USA) TactiFlex Ablation Catheter, Sensor Enabled, is the world's first ablation catheter with a flexible tip and contact force technology. The TactiFlex catheter is designed for use with Abbott's EnSite X EP heart mapping system, allowing physicians to view and precisely pinpoint the heart areas requiring ablation. The use of the TactiFlex catheter with the EnSite X EP System enhances visualization for physicians, thereby allowing for higher accuracy and precision, leading to safer and shorter procedures.

Image: The world’s first-and-only contact force catheter with a flexible tip could revolutionize the ablation game (Photo courtesy of Abbott)
Image: The world’s first-and-only contact force catheter with a flexible tip could revolutionize the ablation game (Photo courtesy of Abbott)

In contrast to other catheters available in the market, the TactiFlex catheter utilizes a laser-cut pattern tip design that flexes upon contact with the heart wall. This aids in directing fluid to the treated tissue and ensures more precise catheter positioning – providing stability that's up to twice as high in a beating heart – for consistent therapy delivery. The Abbott TactiFlex catheter demonstrated robust clinical outcomes in the TactiFlex AF IDE study, creating rapid, safe lesions to treat AFib with an acute procedural success rate surpassing 99%. The TactiFlex catheter has been granted approval for usage in Europe, Japan, Africa, and Australia, and has now also received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Abbott is leading the way in helping doctors manage common arrhythmias with the most holistic portfolio for this condition in the world," said Christopher Piorkowski, M.D., chief medical officer of Abbott's electrophysiology business. "The EnSite X EP System is unmatched in determining the exact location where ablation is required. Coupled with the TactiFlex catheter, patients can now feel even more confident that their procedure will deliver safe and effective results."

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