Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service

Innovative Atrial Fibrillation Laser Ablation Trial

Contact Information

Please contact the Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service for questions and appointments:

(650) 723-7111

Principal Investigator:
Paul J. Wang, MD

Nurse Research Coordinator:
Linda Norton, RN, MSN

There are several types of treatment options for atrial fibrillation. These options include the use of medications to regulate heart rhythm and control the rate, the implantation of a device such as a pacemaker, surgical procedures and cardioversion (use of electrical energy (shock) to attempt to restore the regular rhythm).

Another treatment option is ablation which destroys the tissue that conducts the arrhythmia. Ablation energy sources include cryoablation, which uses refrigerant to freeze the tissue. They also include heat-based techniques such as radiofrequency, microwave and laser. There are currently one or more catheters approved by the FDA to specifically treat A-fib.

Stanford's Cardiac Arrhythmia Service is participating in a pivotal atrial fibrillation research study to determine the safety and efficacy of an investigational visually-guided catheter ablation system for the treatment of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

The purpose of developing new catheter ablation technologies is to find safe and more effective treatments for atrial fibrillation. The CardioFocus Endoscopic Ablation System with Adaptive Contact (EAS-AC), or HEARTLIGHT system, is unique in that it delivers an arc of light energy instead of the more commonly used radiofrequency energy to heat the heart tissue during an ablation. Another feature of the CardioFocus system is the presence of an endoscope on the catheter, allowing the electrophysiologist to see the tissue they wish to ablate. Stanford will be one of 25 sites nationwide and is expected to enroll 20-40 subjects.

The EAS-AC was clinically studied in both Europe and in a 100-participant feasibility clinical study in the U.S. A preliminary acute demonstration of safety and effectiveness of the EAS-AC was provided and the study is ongoing. These results support the initial of this proposed clinical study.

Additional Resources

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Stanford Clinical Trials

Patients enrolled in this clinical trial will be randomized to ablation with either the CardioFocus EAS-AC catheter or an FDA approved radiofrequency catheter. Study subjects will also receive extensive monitoring after treatment and will have extra opportunities to report their symptoms and monitor their heart rhythm.

Patients with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation – defined as self-terminating episodes lasting less than 7 days, and at least one unsuccessful anti-arrhythmic drug treatment, may participate in this trial.

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