Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) performed its first procedure with the Medtronic PulseSelect™ Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System on Thursday, February 15, 2024. The Medtronic PulseSelect™ Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System uses PFA – a breakthrough technology that uses pulsed electric fields to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib) – for the treatment of qualifying patients with paroxysmal or persistent AFib. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Medtronic claims the PulseSelect PFA system effectively, efficiently and safely treats both paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation. Dr. Joseph Souza, an electrophysiologist at PMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute of Eastern Kentucky, was one of the first physicians in the nation to utilize this technology.

AFib is a progressive condition that affects nearly 60 million people worldwide. Without early intervention, AFib can progress, becoming more sustained over time. Progression of AFib is associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular admissions, heart failure, stroke and mortality, along with a reduced quality of life.


The PulseSelect PFA system delivers pulsed electric fields through an ablation catheter designed specifically to interrupt irregular electrical pathways in the heart that trigger AFib. Current ablation technologies rely on thermal effects to target cardiac tissue and risk damage to additional collateral structures in the heart. PFA is a breakthrough ablation technology that uses pulsed electric fields to isolate the pulmonary veins for the treatment of AFib efficiently. Because the mechanism of cell death is non-thermal, the risk of collateral structure damage is believed to be lower.

“AFib is an ever-growing cardiac concern worldwide, and we see especially high rates in our region. Because of this, we have more patients than ever coming in looking for treatment,” said Dr. Souza. “The PulseSelect PFA system can provide patients with a treatment option that may have less risk of causing unwanted injury to surrounding tissues like traditional ablation technologies – helping physicians put patient safety first. We are pleased to have treated our first patient with this new technology, and we look forward to helping advance the future of AFib treatment by offering innovative solutions to the people of Central Appalachia.”

PMC is a leader in heart care, and as such, continuously searches for new and advanced treatment options.

“As we look to improve cardiovascular care in the region, PMC strives to utilize the latest technological innovations that meet the needs of our patients and our physicians,” said PMC Chairman, President and CEO Donovan Blackburn. “This is a growing patient population, and we must keep looking for ways to provide them with the best care possible. This is a monumental step forward in the right direction.”




To learn more or to schedule an appointment at the Heart and Vascular Institute of Eastern Kentucky at Pikeville Medical Center, call (606) 430-2201.