16 April 2024

A catheter laboratory team at Royal Papworth Hospital have performed the first ablation procedures in the UK using a novel cardiac 3D mapping and navigation platform, designed to improve patient outcomes and efficiency.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around 1.4 million people in the UK.

It causes debilitating and life limiting symptoms such as palpitations, breathlessness and fatigue.

Three patients were treated using the Affera mapping and ablation system, from Medtronic, during procedures carried out by a team led by consultant cardiologists Dr Claire Martin and Dr Greg Mellor.


Affera first cases.jpg

Dr Claire Martin (centre, light blue scrubs) and Dr Greg Mellor (adjacent) with the catheter laboratory team for these first cases and representatives from Medtronic


The system uses the first-of-its-kind pulsed field ablation, radiofrequency and high-density single catheter, the Sphere-9, which maps and ablates fast, abnormal heart rhythms and provides real-time feedback through its mapping and navigation software.

Dr Claire Martin comments, “We are proud to be the first UK centre to perform cases using the Affera mapping and ablation system from Medtronic.

“Using this system means the ablation process is simplified by having just one catheter that can provide both high density mapping and ablation, instead of having to switch between two different catheters.

“It also has a high degree of flexibility in being designed for both treatment of the pulmonary veins and flutter rhythms, which often accompany atrial fibrillation, meaning patients can be treated for both.

“Affera adds to our existing portfolio of innovative technology at Royal Papworth which means we can really tailor each patient’s care respectively.”

Thank you to everyone involved in making Royal Papworth Hospital the first in the UK to offer this technology to treat our AF patients from across the East of England.