New Concept on Progression of Atrial Fibrillation Points to Importance of Comprehensive Posterior Left Atrial Ablation -- Highlights Role of Convergent Procedure in the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation

MORRISVILLE, N.C., March 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new concept on the progression of atrial fibrillation (AF) and the importance for providing comprehensive posterior left atrial ablation was presented during the Seventh Annual Western Atrial Fibrillation Conference held last week in Park City, Utah. AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, estimated to affect 5.9 million people in the U.S., with many patients falling into the difficult-to-treat persistent AF population.

The podium talk titled "Hybrid Ablation of AF: Role of Posterior Wall Debulking" was presented by Suneet Mittal, MD, Director of Electrophysiology at The Valley Health System of New York and New Jersey. Dr. Mittal introduced a hypothesis behind the progression of AF that focuses on areas of the heart with the highest mechanical stress. These high stress areas are along the posterior left atrial wall, where the compliant left atrium is attached to the pericardium. Stress mediated remodeling may result in fibrosis throughout the posterior left atrium, which can alter conduction and lead to new AF substrates, furthering the progression of AF.

"The Convergent procedure provides comprehensive posterior silencing, ablating the areas susceptible to high stress, and addressing the significant fibrosis seen in these AF patients," stated Suneet Mittal, MD, Director of Electrophysiology at The Valley Health System of New York and New Jersey, in Ridgewood, NJ. "The combined epicardial-endocardial approach of the Convergent procedure provides posterior silencing using a standardized ablation protocol. Published physician studies on the Convergent procedure have demonstrated at least 80% of patients are in sinus rhythm at 1-year follow-up and our early experience confirms these published results."

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 ensure complete pulmonary vein isolation.

Dr. Mittal continued, "No matter which existing theory you support on the cause of AF – rotors, ganglionated plexi, ectopic foci – the common thread is that these substrates reside on the posterior left atrium. Now with enhanced MRI imaging, studies additionally demonstrate the progression of fibrosis along the posterior wall in AF patients. It is becoming clear that comprehensive posterior ablation can be an effective treatment in this difficult patient population. Utilizing an anatomic approach to silence the posterior may offer significant outcome improvement."

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 is conducting the CONVERGE IDE Clinical Trial, the first head-to-head superiority study to evaluate the Convergent Procedure to catheter ablation in persistent atrial fibrillation patients. 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.