HUMC, Jersey Shore University providing novel irregular heart rhythm treatment

Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center cardiologists have treated their first patients this week with the Medtronic PulseSelect Pulsed Field Ablation system, a breakthrough technology that uses pulsed electric fields to treat atrial fibrillation — for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF.

Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the PulseSelect PFA system effectively, efficiently and safely treats both paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation. AF is a progressive condition that affects more than 59 million people worldwide. Without early intervention, AF can progress, becoming more sustained over time. Progression of AF is associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular admissions, heart failure and mortality, along with a reduced quality of life.

The PulseSelect PFA system delivers pulsed electric fields through an ablation catheter designed specifically to interrupt irregular electrical pathways in the heart that trigger AF. Current ablation technologies rely on heating or cooling the heart tissue to target cardiac tissue and risk damage to additional collateral structures in the heart.

Dr. Grant Simons, chief of heart rhythm services, and Dr. Robert Altman completed the first cases at Hackensack University Medical Center, while Director of Electrophysiology Services Dr. Riple Hansalia and Dr. Mark Mascarenhas treated the first patients at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

“AF is a growing cardiac concern worldwide, and we are seeing more patients coming in looking for treatment,” Simons said.

“I’m happy we are able to provide this next-generation PFA system for our patients.” Hansalia added. “Ultimately, it’s our patients who benefit most as PFA doesn’t cause unwanted injury to surrounding tissues like traditional ablation technologies and permits either same-day discharge or same one-day hospital stay as previous technologies.”

PFA is a breakthrough ablation technology that uses pulsed electric fields to efficiently isolate the pulmonary veins for the treatment of AF. Because the mechanism of cell death is nonthermal, the risk of collateral structure damage is potentially lower.

Early this year, Jersey Shore University Medical Center announced a $45 million construction project, to be completed by the end of 2024, to create a new, dedicated cardiovascular services suite, including 10 mixed use interventional, electrophysiologic and structural heart disease laboratories to meet the community’s growing needs.

Hackensack University Medical Center cardiologists provide services in the state-of-the-art “smart hospital,” surgical and intensive care tower Helena Theurer Pavilion, which opened in 2023.

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