Safety and Effectiveness of a Catheter with Contact Force and 6-Hole Irrigation for Ablation of Persistent Atrial Fibrillation in Routine Clinical Practice

Sanket S. Dhruva, Shumin Zhang, Jiajing Chen, Peter A. Noseworthy, Amit A. Doshi, Kolade M. Agboola, Jeph Herrin, Guoqian Jiang, Yue Yu, Guy Cafri, Kimberly Collison Farr, Keondae R. Ervin, Joseph S. Ross, Paul M. Coplan, Joseph P. Drozda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: The ThermoCool SmartTouch catheter (ablation catheter with contact force and 6-hole irrigation [CF-I6]) is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation and used in routine clinical practice for persistent AF ablation, although clinical outcomes for this indication are unknown. There is a need to understand whether data from routine clinical practice can be used to conduct regulatory-grade evaluations and support label expansions. Objective: To use health system data to compare the safety and effectiveness of the CF-I6 catheter for persistent AF ablation with the ThermoCool SmartTouch SurroundFlow catheter (ablation catheter with contact force and 56-hole irrigation [CF-I56]), which is approved by the FDA for this indication. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective, comparative-effectiveness cohort study included patients undergoing catheter ablation for persistent AF at Mercy Health or Mayo Clinic from January 1, 2014, to April 30, 2021, with up to a 1-year follow-up using electronic health record data. Exposures: Use of the CF-I6 or CF-I56 catheter. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary safety outcome was a composite of death, thromboembolic events, and procedural complications within 7 to 90 days. The exploratory effectiveness outcome was a composite of AF-related hospitalization events after a 90-day blanking period. Propensity score weighting was used to balance baseline covariates. Risk differences were estimated between catheter groups and averaged across the 2 health care systems, testing for noninferiority of the CF-I6 vs the CF-I56 catheter with respect to the safety outcome using 2-sided 90% CIs. Results: Overall, 1450 patients (1034 [71.3%] male; 1397 [96.3%] White) underwent catheter ablation for persistent AF, including 949 at Mercy Health (186 CF-I6 and 763 CF-I56; mean [SD] age, 64.9 [9.2] years) and 501 at Mayo Clinic (337 CF-I6 and 164 CF-I56; mean [SD] age, 63.7 [9.5] years). A total of 798 (55.0%) had been treated with class I or III antiarrhythmic drugs before ablation. The safety outcome (CF-I6 - CF-I56) was similar at both Mercy Health (1.3%; 90% CI, -2.1% to 4.6%) and Mayo Clinic (-3.8%; 90% CI, -11.4% to 3.7%); the mean difference was noninferior, with a mean of 0.5% (90% CI, -2.6% to 3.5%; P <.001). The effectiveness was similar at 12 months between the 2 catheter groups (mean risk difference, -1.8%; 90% CI, -7.3% to 3.7%). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, the CF-I6 catheter met the prespecified noninferiority safety criterion for persistent AF ablation compared with the CF-I56 catheter, and effectiveness was similar. This study demonstrates the ability of electronic health care system data to enable safety and effectiveness evaluations of medical devices..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2227134
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 17 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Safety and Effectiveness of a Catheter with Contact Force and 6-Hole Irrigation for Ablation of Persistent Atrial Fibrillation in Routine Clinical Practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this