Irreversible electroporation (IRE), an emerging alternative to thermal ablation, is a safe and effective treatment option for atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients, according to a new analysis published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.  

“In the past two decades, radiofrequency- and cryo-ablation became standard techniques for ablation of AFib,” wrote first author Peter Loh, MD, PhD, of the department of cardiology at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues. “However, thermal ablation through conductive heating or cooling of myocardial tissue also revealed important disadvantages.”

IRE, the authors noted, is one potential treatment researchers have been exploring that could help clinicians avoid the drawbacks of thermal ablation. This first-in-human study explored the feasibility of using single pulse IRE for pulmonary vein (PV) isolation in 10 patients with symptomatic AFib.

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