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Multicenter European Experience Utilizing the Convergent Procedure -- Newly Published Data Highlights Standardized Heart Team Approach for Persistent and Longstanding Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Patients

MORRISVILLE, N.C., Sept. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery has published multicenter experience on the Convergent Procedure, a multidisciplinary approach to treat patients with persistent and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, estimated to affect 15 million people in the western world, with a majority of patients falling into the difficult-to-treat persistent AF population.

Physicians at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia led the Convergent study, a multidisciplinary epicardial-endocardial ablation approach, across four European centers: Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze, Poland, Herz-und Gefasszentrum in Bad Bevensen, Germany, and L'Institut Mutualiste Montsouris in Paris, France. They evaluated 73 patients, all of whom had persistent or longstanding persistent AF, with an average AF duration of 4.3 years. At 12 months' follow-up, 80% (53 of 66) patients were in sinus rhythm, with only 3 patients (4%) requiring a repeat ablation.

"The Convergent results across multiple sites continue to be impressive," said Borut Gersak, MD, PhD, of University Medical Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia. "To date, we have performed approximately 200 Convergent Procedures across our four institutions and we continue to see good efficacy and safety in treating this difficult AF patient population. In our experience, this multidisciplinary approach provides a solution for these long-suffering AF patients who have historically found themselves with limited treatment options. Our Convergent results mirror those reported from other sites in the U.S. primarily because the procedure has standardized protocols, which ensure consistent results."

The Convergent Procedure is a multidisciplinary approach to ensure a comprehensive and complete procedure. The epicardial lesions are created first under direct endoscopic visualization by a surgeon, through a 2 cm incision in the abdomen, in under 2 hours, with no chest incisions or ports. The endocardial lesions created by an electrophysiologist help complete the lesion set, and by utilizing specialized EP diagnostics, help to predict outcomes.

"The main clinical advantage of the Convergent procedure is the ability to isolate the heart's posterior epicardially, without chest incisions," stated Michael Zembala, MD, PhD, Director of Arrhythmia Surgery at Siliesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze, Poland. "From a surgical viewpoint, the roles of reduced invasiveness, direct endoscopic visibility, and EP diagnostics to ensure pattern completeness have positively impacted our results in treating this difficult patient population. By approaching this complex disease with a 'Heart Team' solution, the procedure utilizes the best technologies and techniques of two specialties to create a more comprehensive standard of care for AF patients."

This publication can be found online at The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at http://www.jtcvsonline.org/

About nContact, Inc.

nContact's mission is to transform the underserved arrhythmia market through the advancement of less invasive, more efficacious ablation alternatives for cardiac arrhythmias. The Company's lead technologies, EPi-Sense™ and Numeris® Coagulation Systems with VisiTrax®, have CE Mark approval in Europe for the coagulation of cardiac tissue in the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. The EPi-Sense and Numeris Coagulation Systems with VisiTrax are indicated for endoscopic coagulation of cardiac tissue in the U.S. nContact was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Morrisville, North Carolina, USA.

CONTACT: Kris McCulloch nContact, Inc. T (919) 655-1351 kmcculloch@ncontactinc.comSource: nContact, Inc.