Biosense Webster, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies and a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias, has successfully treated atrial fibrillation (AF) in the first patient to participate in a study of its new QDOT MICRO catheter.

The study aims to evaluate the delivery of high-power, short-duration ablation with the QDOT MICRO novel radiofrequency (RF) ablation catheter, which has been designed to treat paroxysmal AF.

The catheter is a steerable multi-electrode device which has a deflectable tip designed to facilitate electrophysiological mapping of the heart and can transmit RF currents to the catheter tip electrode for ablation purposes. It also incorporates six thermocouple temperature sensors and three micro electrodes embedded in its tip.

The first patient participant was treated at OLV Hospital in Belgium, which is one of the eight centres in Europe to take part in the study that will be enrolling up to 50 patients. QDOT MICRO is only available for investigational use in Europe.

The company claims that QDOT MICRO is a next generation catheter and, in a world-first, it can deliver 90 watts of RF power in a four-second temperature-controlled catheter ablation session.

The catheter’s optimised temperature control and micro-electrode technology is designed to provide more efficient and consistent lesion creation with advanced diagnostics, while also simplifying the technique and reducing total ablation time.

OLV Hospital associate director in the Cardiovascular Center, Department of Cardiology, Electrophysiology Section, Dr Tom De Potter, said: “The concept of high–power, short-duration ablation is novel and a potentially ground-breaking advancement for the industry. The new modality could result in improvements in clinical outcomes and procedural efficiencies and I look forward to further investigation.”

De Potter is one of the study’s clinical investigators and performed the first QDOT MICRO procedure.

Vice president for Johnson & Johnson Cardiovascular Specialty Solutions in EMEA, Gabriele Fischetto, said: “For over 20 years Biosense Webster has pioneered the development of atrial fibrillation treatment. QDOT MICRO continues our commitment to deliver solutions that help clinicians heal more hearts and has the potential to increase the standard of treatment for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.”

AF affects 14 million people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The condition places a burden on healthcare systems with up to 2.5% of total healthcare expenditure associated with the disease.