Gold-tip ablation catheters create lesions 33% faster than platinum-iridium-tip catheters

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Results from the GOLDEN TIME study have shown that gold-tip radiofrequency ablation catheters enable faster, more efficient ablation procedures than platinum-iridium-tip catheters. Lesions created by a standard catheter in 60 seconds only take 40 seconds to create with these novel devices-without compromising patient safety. Results of the study are published in the online edition of the Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology (JICE).

Conducted at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary in cooperation with Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands, by Tibor Balázs and others, the study investigated in vitro lesion formation in relation to ablation time and power delivered using 4-mm, non-irrigated, platinum-iridium catheters versus gold-tip catheters (the gold-tip catheter used in this study was the AlCath Gold from Biotronik).

Results showed that gold-tip catheters can create the same excellent lesions in 33.3% less ablation time “due to the higher values of delivered energy as compared to those observed with the use of platinum-iridium-tip catheters,” the authors wrote. “The gold-tip catheters had a lower tip temperature resulting in higher energy delivery due to the better thermo-conductivity of the gold alloy.”

“The results have a high relevance for clinical practice,” said Tamás SziliTörök, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and co-author of the study. “We usually program temperature limits of 40–55°C for 4-mm tip catheters without gold. As soon as the tip temperature reaches the programmed maximum, the generator automatically decreases the power delivery. Gold-tip catheters, however, result in an increased energy transfer into the tissue, so the tip temperature is lower even though energy delivery is higher. This ultimately leads to reduced procedure times, helping the physician conduct ablations more efficiently.”


This latest data confirms results previously published from the AURUM 8 trial and proves the superiority of gold catheters. With a total of 463 patients, AURUM 8 was the largest randomised atrial flutter ablation study in the world.


“Biotronik’s AlCath Gold ablation catheter, made using 99.9% pure gold, provides four times greater thermal conductivity compared with platinum; maintains a cooler tip temperature; facilitates fast, efficient lesion formation; and reduces coagulation-resulting in reduced catheter exchange rates during the procedure,” said Christoph Böhmer, president International, Biotronik.

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