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Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation is a technique employed to control heart rhythms that are caused by abnormal electrical signals from traveling from the pulmonary veins to the atria. During the procedure, catheters are used to terminate (ablate) these abnormal electrical signals and stop them from spreading and continuing to cause AF. The catheters have electrodes that are able to sense intracardiac electrical signals when connected to the electrophysiology lab system. The resulting electrograms are used to determine the optimal placement of the ablation catheter. The ablation catheter delivers energy to create a discrete lesion of myocardial scar tissue which terminates the abnormal electrical signals.
Medtronic offers ablation catheters that use cryothermal energy to create lesions via the rapid removal of heat from cardiac cells.