Mount Sinai's Center for Electrophysiology is tirelessly working to expand treatment options by leading clinical trials to develop new technologies. These advances are intended to make therapies safer and more effective, ultimately decreasing the risk of blood clots and stroke. Our role as a research leader means that patients who come to Mount Sinai for care have the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials, granting them access to the most advanced technologies available.
New Catheter Ablation Treatments for Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation occurs when certain areas in the heart—usually located the left atrium—emit erratic signals that interfere with the heart's normal rhythm. Catheter ablation therapy involves threading a thin tube into the veins of the left atrium, then sending a surge of energy to scar the problematic area so its chaotic signals cannot travel to the rest of the heart. In order to make the procedure safer and more effective, there are constantly new types of catheters being developed. Mount Sinai is investigating technologies including the following:
- Visually-guided laser ablation. This technology uses a catheter tipped with a tiny camera (called an endoscope) that allows electrophysiologists to see the target tissue and deliver a surge of laser energy.
- Force-Sensing Catheters. This new generation of catheters helps the electrophysiologist know how much pressure to apply to the target tissue. Mount Sinai is currently investigating two types of force-sending catheter: The TactiCath and the SmartTouch.
- Deviate Study. Standard radiofrequency ablations generate heat that could in some cases damage the esophagus, which is next to the heart. This study attempts to avoid that damage by slightly moving the esophagus during the ablation procedure.
New Left Atrial Appendage Procedures
For patients who are unable to take blood-thinning medications, additional treatment options are being developed to isolate the area of the heart in which clots are most likely to originate: a small pouch off the left atrium called the left atrial appendage.
A new technology is now being studied that involves implanting a tiny filter, called the Watchman, in the left atrial appendage in order to prevent any clots from moving into the heart.