Healthcare Industry News:   Biosense Webster 

Devices Interventional

 News Release - January 10, 2007

New Bi-Directional Cardiac Catheter Now Available for Treatment of Irregular Heart Rhythms

EZ Steer(TM) Catheter from Biosense Webster Features Micro-tensioning System for Enhanced Control and Procedural Versatility

DIAMOND BAR, Calif., Jan. 10 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Patients across the United States with certain types of arrhythmias can now benefit from treatment with a new ablation catheter, designed to give physicians improved range of motion, ease of use and technical finesse during procedures to eliminate abnormal heart rhythms. The EZ Steer(TM) Bi-Directional Catheter will make it easier for physicians to restore atrial tachycardias into normal sinus rhythm thereby enabling the heart to efficiently pump blood to the body's vital organs.

The defining feature of this new bi-directional catheter is its patented micro-tensioning system. With the micro-tensioning system physicians can, through a series of very small, continuous micro-movements, progressively dial in the precise force desired for deflection of the catheter. Because the micro-tensioning system can hold the deflection in place, there is no need for repeated locking and unlocking of the curve position. Physicians experience smoother deflection and greater predictability.

To better diagnose and treat certain arrhythmias, the EZ Steer(TM) Catheter incorporates an ergonomically-inspired handle, a special design that aids comfort and provides the physician with a feeling of "direct connection" with the catheter tip and target ablation area. The EZ Steer Bi-Directional Catheter also acts as two curves in one catheter that provides physicians with greater continuity and procedural versatility.

"An essential feature of a bi-directional catheter is the ability to make micro-changes in the catheter tip and to avoid unintentional movement of the distal tip as the catheter is manipulated," said Emile Daoud, M.D., Section Director of Electrophysiology, Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio. "The steady hold and predictable response of the EZ Steer(TM) Catheter is an advancement for the bi-directional ablation catheters offered by Biosense Webster and simplifies the task of reaching more anatomy and helps ensure procedural success for patients." Dr. Daoud conducted the first worldwide case with the EZ Steer(TM) Catheter.

Common forms of arrhythmia, such as atrial flutter, occur when abnormal electrical circuits develop inside of the heart's upper chambers, causing the heart to beat very quickly (about 150 beats per minute) and out of sync with lower chambers, or ventricles. By identifying and ablating (deactivating) the sources of the abnormal conduction, physicians can help restore normal function and protect patients from complications such as organ failure, heart failure and stroke.

Physicians will be able to address a wider array of needs due to the catheter's variety of curve types and ability to use both symmetric and asymmetric curves. The EZ Steer(TM) Catheter is available in two tip sizes: an 8mm Dual Sensor tip, approved to treat atrial flutter and a 4 mm tip indicated for supra-ventricular tachychardias.

"At Biosense Webster, we take pride in transforming insightful ideas from the electrophysiology lab into enhanced technologies that improve procedures and make a difference for patients," said Roy Tanaka, President, Biosense Webster, Inc. "Each regulatory approval and product we create to respond to a physician or patient need inspires us to move to the next level in advanced medical care. The EZ Steer(TM) Catheter is a prime example of that inspiration at work."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the EZ Steer(TM) Catheter for marketing in September 2006. It is also available in Europe and Canada.

About Biosense Webster, Inc.

Biosense Webster, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, pioneered EP diagnostic catheters more than 30 years ago and continues to lead the industry as an innovative provider of advanced diagnostic, therapeutic and mapping tools. As the leader in navigation systems, Biosense Webster, Inc.'s, technology includes the largest installed base of navigation systems worldwide in leading hospitals and teaching institutions. With proprietary products such as the CartoMerge(TM) Image Integration Software Module, the ThermoCool® Irrigated Tip Catheter and the Lasso® Circular Variable Mapping Catheter, the company is changing the way electrophysiologists diagnose and treat arrhythmias.

Source: Biosense Webster

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