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Recent Convergent Procedure Publications Confirm Consistent Outcomes in the Treatment of Persistent & Longstanding Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Patients

MORRISVILLE, N.C., Oct. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new publication in The Journal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management reports single-center experience on the Convergent Procedure, a multidisciplinary, closed-chest epicardial-endocardial approach to treat patients with persistent and longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, estimated to affect 5.9 million people in the U.S., with a majority of patients falling into the difficult-to-treat persistent AF population. In this publication from the Levinson Heart Hospital in Richmond, VA, 81% of patients had persistent or longstanding persistent AF, having suffered with AF for an average of 3.9 years. The physicians reported on 42 patients treated with the Convergent Procedure; at 12 months' follow-up, 95% of patients were in sinus rhythm.

"The Convergent Procedure provides a new standard of care for our persistent AF patients, offering a viable new treatment where traditional endocardial-only ablation has failed," stated David M. Gilligan, MD, of the Levinson Heart Hospital at CJW Medical Center in Richmond, VA. "Since we adopted the Convergent Procedure at our institution, we continue to see consistent results with patients in sinus rhythm, and minimal repeat procedures. Our experience builds on recent published outcomes from centers across the U.S. and in Europe, where a standardized, epicardial-endocardial approach has demonstrated excellent single-procedure success, allowing us to provide a long-term, comprehensive care solution for our persistent AF patients."

The multidisciplinary Convergent Procedure is performed as a single procedure in the electrophysiology lab. The epicardial lesions are created first under direct endoscopic visualization by a surgeon, through a 2 cm incision in the abdomen, with no chest incisions or ports. The endocardial lesions created by an electrophysiologist help confirm lesion set completeness through specialized EP diagnostics, which also predict outcomes.

"Since September, three publications on the Convergent Procedure experience from six sites have reported outcomes on more than 200 patients, 84% of whom had persistent and longstanding persistent AF," said David J. Callans, MD, Associate Director, Electrophysiology, University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, PA. "Collectively, the published data demonstrates 86% of patients are in sinus rhythm at 12 months' follow-up, with the repeat procedure rates at 5%, which is far lower than what we see in standalone endocardial ablation. This low rehospitalization rate is a critical component for hospitals to reduce system costs in the new managed care environment. This latest body of Convergent experience is very encouraging, and supports the importance of utilizing a standardized epicardial-endocardial protocol to achieve consistent results in this challenging patient population."

This publication can be found in the current issue of The Journal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management at http://www.innovationsincrm.com/

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 technology, EPi-Sense™ Coagulation System with VisiTrax®, has CE Mark approval in Europe for the coagulation of cardiac tissue in the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. The EPi-Sense Coagulation System with VisiTrax is 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.