New Device Puts the Freeze on Atrial Fibrillation


Norbert von der Groeben

Eugene Tsuji, a cycling enthusiast, underwent a novel treament for his abnormal heart rhythm at Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

Illustrations courtesy of Medtronic.

The balloon catheter is inserted through the femoral vein and moved into the left atrium of the heart. The guide-wire is inserted into the target vein.

The balloon is inflated in the atrium.

Contrast dye is injected through the guide-wire lumen so the vein can be assessed with X-rays. The freezing-cold balloon ablates where it is in contact with the atrial tissue.