First patient enrolled in AtriCure FROST cryoanalgesia study

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The first patient has been enrolled in the FROST study at William Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn, USA. This AtriCure-sponsored trial will evaluate intraoperative cryoanalgesia therapy using cryoablation in conjunction with standard of care (SOC) pain management compared to SOC alone.

The design of the trial is a prospective, 3:1 randomised trial including a total of up to 100 patients. The randomisation will include up to 75 patients in the treatment arm (intraoperative cryoablation plus SOC), and up to 25 patients in the control arm (SOC alone). The study will include patients undergoing unilateral thoracotomy cardiac procedures and will evaluate pain scores and lung function recovery during hospital stay.
“FROST is the first prospective study of the cryoICE system evaluating its ability to manage post-operative pain, enabling faster and more complete patient recovery,” says Michael Carrel, president and chief executive officer of AtriCure
The primary objective of the study is to test whether intraoperative intercostal cryoanalgesia in conjunction with SOC provides improved analgesic efficacy and faster, more complete recovery in patients undergoing unilateral thoracotomy cardiac procedures as compared to current SOC.

Additional endpoints, such as intensive care unit length of stay, total hospital length of stay, opioid consumption, and long-term neurologic recovery will be gathered.
“In my experience, cryoanalgesia appears to result in improved pain management,” says Steven F Bolling, professor of Cardiac Surgery at University of Michigan Medical Center (Ann Arbor, USA). “Perhaps more importantly, patients seem to extubate sooner and seem to be ready for an earlier discharge. FROST will seek to confirm this effect at multiple cardiac surgery institutions.”
“I have continued to see the benefits of cryoanalgesia therapies in conjunction with minimally invasive mitral valve surgery,” states Francis Shannon, cardiothoracic surgeon, Beaumont Health System (Troy, USA). “The benefit for patients is quite significant, and I look forward to developing further evidence through participation in the FROST study.”
Participating centres in the study are the William Beaumont Hospital, the University of Michigan Medical Center, as well as Cleveland Clinic Foundation (Cleveland, USA). The coordinating investigators for the FROST study are Wei Lau and Francis Shannon at William Beaumont Hospital. Andrea Trescot, past president of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians is serving as scientific advisor for this trial.
“Today’s pain management options offer relief while patients are hospitalized, but do little to address pain post-discharge,” says Wei Lau, professor of Anesthesiology at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. “We have seen cryoanalgesia control pain and improve recovery post-operatively.”

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