Medtronic's next-gen atrial fibrillation device nails FDA, CE mark nods

Medtronic ($MDT) ends the week on a high note, with the world's largest devicemaker winning both FDA approval and a CE mark for a next-generation atrial fibrillation treatment.

The company's Arctic Front Advance cardiac cyroballoon is indicated to treat paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (heart arrhythmia). Through using coolant inside the balloon, the catheter-delivered treatment is designed to be more efficient than radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat "point-by-point" in an effort to return the heart's rhythm back to normal.

Most atrial fibrillation procedures isolate the pulmonary veins, and Medtronic claims that the wider use of cold with Arctic Front Advance makes it easier for surgeons to do this. Also, the technology lets doctors use the procedure for a wider range of patients.

Atrial fibrillation products represent a bright spot for the Medtronic, which reported continued growth for the sector even as overall cardiac rhythm disease management revenue declined 5% in the fiscal 2013 first quarter to just under $1.2 billion. Medtronic reported a 5% increase in overall income in the quarter, which ended July 27. And Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak has expressed confidence that the cardiac rhythm management business will rebound, and he noted to CNBC that the long-suffering sector has begun to stabilize.

Medtronic shares priced at $40.62 in early trading on Friday, up about 25 cents.

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