The US FDA has approved Zoll Medical’s second-generation TherOx System, which provides SuperSaturated Oxygen (SSO2) Therapy to reduce heart muscle damage in “widowmaker” heart attack patients.

According to, widowmaker heart attacks are caused by complete (100%) blockage of the left anterior descending artery and are also known as chronic total obstructions (CTO).

Zoll’s SSO2 Therapy delivers hyperbaric levels of oxygen directly to the damaged heart muscle immediately after successful revascularization via angioplasty and stenting of the blocked coronary artery. It is the first and only FDA-approved treatment beyond percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to reduce muscle damage in heart attack patients, according to Zoll.

The therapy is indicated for patients who suffer the most serious kind of heart attack — LAD ST-elevation myocardial infarction (LAD STEMI) — and who are treated within six hours of symptom onset, Zoll says.

“SSO2 Therapy is the only point-of-care treatment for LAD STEMI patients which results in a predictable reduction in infarct size and improved left ventricular function,” said Richard A. Schatz, MD, Research Director, Cardiovascular Interventions, at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, CA. “This can translate to heart failure prevention and patient survival.”

More information is available on the company’s website.