The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for St. Jude Medical's new technology TactiCath Quartz irrigated ablation catheter.
This new technology provides physicians a real-time and objective measure of the force, which the catheter applies to a patient's heart wall during an ablation procedure.
The catheter's contact-force technology was designed to offer physicians with more control to modify the force during ablation procedures, helping to create more effective lesions for patients being treated for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF).
It is also associated with a reduction in the rate of AF recurrence when optimal treatment measures are used.
Mount Sinai Hospital electrophysiology director Dr Vivek Reddy said: "The number of patients with atrial fibrillation is growing rapidly in the US.
"As the number of patients impacted by this disease continues to grow, it is important to develop treatment solutions that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of ablation therapies.
"TactiCath Quartz is an important advancement that provides critical information during ablation procedures."
The ablation catheter helps electrophysiologists to monitor the amount of pressure that a catheter tip exerts on the endocardium.
St. Jude Medical group president Eric Fain said: "This approval speaks for our commitment to investing in and developing world class, cost-effective solutions that are backed by clinical evidence in order to improve the quality of care for millions of patients impacted by atrial fibrillation."
The company said that ablation catheters such as the TactiCath Quartz irrigated ablation catheter, are thin and flexible wires used in treating irregular heartbeats, which impair the heart's ability to effectively pump blood throughout the body.
Services are offered by the firm in four clinical areas including cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular and neuromodulation.
Image: TactiCath Quartz irrigated ablation catheter with EnSite Contact Force Module. Photo: courtesy of St. Jude Medical, Inc.