Increased risk of stroke is one of the main complications associated with atrial fibrillation.2 Atrial fibrillation is responsible for 15% of all strokes. And with age that percentage increases, so that for those 70 years of age and older, AFib accounts for 20-25% of strokes.3 During Afib, rapid, uncoordinated beating of the atria results in ineffective atrial contractions, and is a major cause of stroke.4 When this happens, the blood can become stagnant within the atria, which activates the clotting process. Once a regular heart rhythm is restored the flow of blood can carry these clots through the atria, into the ventricles and then out to the lungs or to the rest of the body. Some blood clots may eventually reach the brain and cause a blockage in a small vessel or capillary and cause a stroke.5
To reduce your risk of stroke from an AFib-related blood clot, your doctor may prescribe a blood thinner. However, blood thinners can cause excessive bleeding and not all AFib patients are able to successfully manage their condition with blood thinners on a long-term basis. For these patients, there is a surgical option whereby a portion of the left atrium is either closed off, removed, or occluded.3
1Vlachos K, Letsas KP, Korantzopoulos P, et al. Prediction of atrial fibrillation development and progression: current perspectives. World J Cardiol 2016; 8(3): 267-276; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4330/wjc.v8.i3.267 2Brubaker M, Maier S, UCSD Health, Atrial Fibrillation Patients at Highest Stroke Risk. http://dx.doi.org/10.4330/wjc.v8.i3.267 3UCSF Cardiology, Preventing Stroke in AFib. https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2016-03-16-afib-patients-at-highest-risk-not-given-blood-thinners.aspx 4Arrhythmia, Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute, 2018 http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/arrhythmia 5Harvard Heart Letter, Stroke risk when you have Afib, Harvard Medical School, 2015. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/stroke-risk-when-you-have-atrial-fibrillation
Caution: US law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician. Important information: Prior to use, refer to the instructions for use supplied with this device for indications, contraindications, side effects, warnings and precautions.
The NAVISTAR® THERMOCOOL®, EZ STEER® THERMOCOOL® NAV, THERMOCOOL® SF NAV, and THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® Catheters are FDA approved for the treatment of drug refractory recurrent symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, when used with compatible three-dimensional electroanatomic mapping systems. Catheter ablation for AF may not be an option for you if you have any of the following conditions: certain recent heart surgery; prosthetic valves; active systemic infection; certain cancers; intracardiac thrombus, or an interatrial baffle or patch. Consult your physician to find out if catheter ablation is right for you.
As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. Only a cardiologist or electrophysiologist can determine whether ablation is an appropriate course of treatment. There are potential risks including bleeding, swelling or bruising at the catheter insertion site, and infection. More serious complications are rare, which can include damage to the heart or blood vessels; blood clots (which may lead to stroke); heart attack, or death. These risks need to be discussed with your doctor and recovery takes time.
THERMOCOOL® Navigation Catheters are indicated for the treatment of recurrent drug/device refractory sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (VT) due to prior myocardial infarction (MI) in adults.