First patient enrolled in international CEASE atrial fibrillation study


The first patient has been enrolled in the CEASE (combined endoscopic epicardial and percutaneous) atrial fibrillation (AF) clinical study, according to a press release from AtriCure.

The CEASE AF study will compare the results of a combined epicardial surgical plus endocardial catheter technique versus a standard endocardial catheter ablation technique for safety, efficacy and quality of life for patients with persistent or long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation. In addition, the effects on economic measures of the two treatment strategies will be evaluated. This will be the largest study of its kind to date, covering over 200 patients, comparing interventional ablation strategies in the setting of patients presenting with persistent AF with enlarged left atrium (> 4 cm patients) and longstanding persistent AF, which reflects a difficult to treat patient-subgroup.

The study is intended to increase the level of evidence for a combined surgical plus catheter ablation approach as a therapy for the stand-alone treatment Afib. Increasing levels of evidence could also serve to support market access efforts in certain geographies, according to a press release. The first procedure was performed at the Sana Heart Center Stuttgart, Germany by Kai-Nicolas Doll.

“This is the first international prospective randomised multicentre study of its kind in these types of patients,” said Kai-Nicolas Doll, also a professor at Sana Heart Center in Stuttgart, Germany. “Until the CEASE AF study, studies were mostly single site.”

This study hopes to prove that a hybrid approach that combines epicardial surgical ablation with percutaneous catheter ablation in a two-stage fashion, will provide superior clinical effectiveness through a period of 36 months, when compared with repeated endocardial catheter ablation in patients with the most severe forms of AF. This hypothesis is supported by recent studies, indicating that hybrid ablation has higher success rates without the need for further interventions.

“The team approach which involves electrophysiologists and surgeons should have the potential to evolve into an effective treatment strategy for difficult to treat AF patients.” According to Gerhard Hindricks, University of Leipzig Heart Center, Germany.

The coordinating investigators for the CEASE AF trial are Kai-Nicolas Doll, Sana Heart Center Stuttgart, Germany, and Gerhard Hindricks, University of Leipzig Heart Center, Germany.