New Review Article From Silesian Center for Heart Diseases Discusses Convergent Procedure as Important Minimally Invasive Treatment for Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Patients

MORRISVILLE, N.C., Dec. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Journal of Thoracic Disease has published an article that reviews the growing adoption of the minimally invasive, multidisciplinary Convergent Procedure to treat 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 challenging persistent AF population. The article discusses the importance of the combined epicardial-endocardial ablation approach and reviews the long-term results from the published literature.

"Not only does the Convergent Procedure offer key advantages over other hybrid treatment options for these long suffering AF patients, it allows us to electrically silence the heart's posterior, which is where we see the origins of AF substrates and, consequently, the advancement of AF over time," stated Michael O. Zembala, MD, PhD, Director of Arrhythmia Surgery at Silesian Center for Heart Diseases, Zabrze, Poland. "With the latest enhanced MRI technologies, we are now able to visualize how fibrosis of the heart increases over time, and we believe this fibrotic progression is related to the mechanical stresses and 'stretching' of the heart's atrium in these persistent AF patients. The Convergent Procedure provides direct endoscopic visibility to the heart's posterior, allowing us to electrically isolate this problem area using a standardized ablation lesion pattern and protocol."

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.

Dr. Zembala continued, "As we review the published outcomes for the Convergent Procedure in persistent AF patients, centers in Europe and the U.S. are seeing consistent results of ≥ 80% of patients in sinus rhythm at long-term follow-up; In our center, we have treated 80 patients with the Convergent Procedure, and have seen 80% of patients in normal sinus rhythm at 24 months' follow-up. These results speak for themselves – and we believe that the Convergent Procedure may reduce the mechanical stress leading to heart fibrosis and may facilitate heart remodeling as the ablation lesions contract post-procedure."

About nContact, Inc.

nContact's mission is to transform the underserved arrhythmia market through the advancement of less invasive 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: Media Contact: Kris McCulloch nContact, Inc. T (919) 655-1351 kmcculloch@ncontactinc.comSource: nContact, Inc.