Montreal technology uses cold to treat heart condition

September 25, 2012

A team of cardiologists from the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) specializing in cardiac arrhythmias has used for the very first time in Canada, a technology developed in Montreal to treat a patient with atrial fibrillation. Recently licenced by Health Canada, this sophisticated device is a balloon inserted by catheter that uses extreme cold to burn malfunctioning heart tissue. This medical milestone is excellent news for hundreds of Canadians as one in 20 people will suffer from atrial fibrillation at some point in their lives.

On September 4 2012, Doctor Marc Dubuc and Doctor Peter Guerra, both at MHI, performed the procedure in a 67-year-old female patient. The patient had been suffering from arrhythmia for a number of years and drug-based treatments had proved ineffective. The patient tolerated the procedure well and she was able to return to the comfort of her home barely 24 hours after the procedure.

Technology developed in Montreal This innovative technology was developed by Medtronic CryoCath, based in Montreal. The success of this procedure is particularly significant for Dr. Dubuc the principal investigator for the research carried out at Montreal Heart Insititute that resulted in the development of this technology. "This cryoballoon is a major milestone in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, as the duration of the procedure is reduced and it is both effective and safe for patients", Dr Dubuc stated proudly. Furthermore, a North American study has demonstrated that 69.9% of patients treated with this type of device no longer suffered from atrial fibrillation after one year, compared with 7.3% of those taking medication alone.

A type of heart disease that affects one in 20 people In Canada, almost 250,000 people suffer from this form of arrhythmia. Closely associated with an , this type of is becoming more and more common. The main symptoms are palpitations, blackouts and shortness of breath. The heart beats very quickly in an irregular and unpredictable manner. This weakens the heart and encourages blood clots to form, which can cause strokes and peripheral embolisms.

Explore further: Cryoablation used to successfully treat atrial fibrillation at the Montreal Heart Institute

Related Stories

Recommended for you

No new heart muscle cells in mice after the newborn period

November 5, 2015

A new study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet shows that new heart muscle cells in mice are mainly formed directly after birth. After the neonatal period the number of heart muscle cells does not change, and A new study ...

Nanotechnology could spur new heart treatment

October 29, 2015

A new nanoparticle developed by University of Michigan researchers could be the key to a targeted therapy for cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that causes the heart to beat erratically and can lead to heart attack and stroke.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.