The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute (TCAI) at St David’s Medical Center has implemented a new pulsed field ablation (PFA) system for treating patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation.

With this development, TCAI became the first in the US to use the PFA system for atrial fibrillation, a heart arrhythmia.

The first procedure was conducted by electrophysiologists Dr Andrea Natale and Dr Amin Al-Ahmad using the system after it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

TCAI cardiac electrophysiologist and executive medical director Andrea Natale said: “This historic milestone represents the biggest advancement in the electrophysiology field in decades, as it will allow patients to be treated more safely and effectively, ultimately restoring their quality of life.

“Our team is honoured to have played a part in piloting this new era of global innovation for cardiac arrhythmia.”

The PFA system operates by delivering short, high-energy electrical pulses to the cardiac tissue, effectively destroying cells that cause irregular heart rhythms.

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Dr Natale and Dr Al-Ahmad were among the 67 worldwide operators who participated in the trial, which led to the system’s FDA approval.

Additionally, TCAI has conducted the first case using a second commercially approved PFA system.

This system features an adaptable ablation catheter to fit various patient anatomies.

Joseph Gallinghouse, a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, performed this procedure.

In 2022, electrophysiologists at the TCAI marked a milestone by performing 3,000 robotic cardiac ablation procedures and the majority of them treated ventricular tachycardia.

TCAI has a 72,000ft² robotic electrophysiology centre, which includes six electrophysiology labs that feature advanced technology to treat complex arrhythmias.