First-in-human trial using new needle ablation technique shows promise for hard-to-treat ventricular tachycardia

Male doctor conducts heart exam in older woman.

Researchers are reporting that a first-in-human trial using a new needle ablation technique shows promise for treating ventricular tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heart rhythm that is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death worldwide. 

The trial tested an in-catheter, heated, saline-enhanced needle ablation device that significantly increased heat transfer compared to conventional needle ablation methods. The new process produces deeper, controllable lesion scars at sites inside the heart muscle, the researchers say. In a preliminary clinical trial involving 32 patients at six medical centers, the device helped eliminate ventricular tachycardia in nearly all the patients (31 of 32).  

"Patients need better treatments for ventricular tachycardia," says Emily Tinsley, Ph.D., a program officer in the NHLBI’s Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences. Tinsley was not a member of the study team. "While more research is needed to confirm the findings, this trial gives us preliminary information about a promising new technology for treating this condition."  
The study, funded in part by the NHLBI, appeared in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology