) announced that positive results from the CRYSTAL AF (CRYptogenic
STroke And underLying Atrial Fibrillation) Clinical Trial were
published in the June 26, 2014 issue of The New England Journal of
Medicine. The results validated the efficacy of the company's
Reveal XT Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) in identifying atrial
fibrillation (AF) in patients, who had cryptogenic stroke.
A Brief Note about the Trial
In simple terms, stroke refers to loss of brain function which
occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or is suddenly
blocked. Stroke without an obvious explanation is termed
Notably, patients with AF are five times more prone to suffer a
stroke. However, in most cases, AF goes undetected in cryptogenic
stroke patients due to lack of symptoms. In the study, 79% of the
first AF episodes detected did not have any symptoms.
CRYSTAL AF - the largest global randomized clinical trial -
compared continuous electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring with ICM
to standard care for the detection of AF in patients who have
suffered from recent cryptogenic strokes.
The purpose of this trial was to determine the effective
duration and the most suitable type of monitoring that will
increase the detection rate of AF in cryptogenic stroke
The trial comprised a randomized, controlled study of 441
patients conducted at 55 centers across Europe, Canada and the U.S.
from June 2009 to April 2012.
The continuous monitoring arm used the Reveal ICM to assess
whether this technique can detect AF more effectively in patients
with cryptogenic stroke, compared to conventional follow up.
The Reveal ICM possesses an algorithm to automatically detect AF as
well as other cardiac arrhythmias.
Effective detection of AF in patients who do not reveal any
symptoms will eventually help determine the number of patients who
suffer from incidences of cryptogenic stroke.
The study met its primary endpoint (the time to first detection
of AF within 6 months of follow-up) by demonstrating that
continuous monitoring with the Reveal ICM detected AF in 6.4 times
more patients than standard care within 6 months. By 6 months, AF
had been detected in 8.9% of patients in the ICM group against 1.4%
of patients in the control group who were given standard care.
The Trial also reached its secondary endpoint (the time to first
detection of AF within 12 months) by proving that within 12 months,
the Reveal ICM discovered AF in 7.3 times more patients, compared
to traditional care. By 12 months, AF had been detected in 12.4% of
patients in the ICM group compared with 2% of patients in the
Medtronic currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked medical product stocks that warrant a look are
OraSure Technologies, Inc.
ICU Medical, Inc.
). While OraSure sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Cardica and
ICU Medical hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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