When treating irregular heart rhythms using cardiac ablation, doctors need to see inside the heart with the utmost clarity.
Cardiac mapping — a rapidly expanding field that helps depict the heart's electrical activity, anatomy and tissue characteristics in color-coded virtual reality models — can help.
That need for real-time, electro-anatomical modeling ties back to the nature of cardiac ablation. Used for arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, ablation involves the scarring of heart tissue to block electrical pathways that misfire and cause irregular heartbeats.
But in order to see which pathways to target, cardiologists require a real-time feed of the heart's anatomy and electrical activity displayed on-screen during the procedure. Many innovative medical technologies are involved in creating such workflows, but one in particular has caught the attention of medical professionals and the industry-at-large: the Advisor HD Grid Mapping Catheter, Sensor Enabled.
A Sight to Behold
As a highly accurate cardiac mapping tool, the FDA-cleared Advisor HD Grid mapping catheter captures the direction and speed of the tiniest heart's signals in the most difficult anatomical locations, which can be missed with traditional mapping technologies. Equipped with 16 small-spaced electrodes to provide a microscopic view into heart cells' electrical activity, the tool records a high-density look at the heart's electricity and combines it to the source localization within the heart's own anatomy.
On-screen, it's a sight to behold.
Dr. Christopher Piorkowski, Abbott's chief medical officer for electrophysiology, likens it to the experience of upgrading to an HDTV after years spent watching a regular set.
"The difference is impressive," Piorkowski said. "The tool provides insights into misfiring source locations within the heart, which are invisible while using other mapping technologies. In patients with life-threatening arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia, such detailed medical information can be critical."
A Beat-By-Beat Look Inside the Heart
Today's 3D mapping technologies have to combine anatomy and electrical information obtained within the heart. This is challenged by heart motion, patient breathing and, of course, directionality of the electrical activation.
The Advisor HD Grid mapping catheter combined with its EnSite localization technology offers unique solutions to overcome such challenges.
Motion compensation algorithms stabilize the catheter while measuring the electrical activity and the tissue characteristics in every corner of the heart. At the same time, model rendering algorithms reconstruct the virtual shell of the heart's surface where the electrical and tissue information can be displayed, similar to a GPS roadmap in a navigation system.
The Advisor HD Grid mapping catheter is the only mapping catheter in the world which can record and process all of this information simultaneously, beat by beat. That enables physicians to immediately and intuitively understand the path and spread of electricity over normal and diseased heart tissue zones which lead to normal or abnormal electrical activation pattern and subsequent heart rhythm disturbances.
Simply, the spot for successful treatment can be determined faster and more precisely.
Based on its unique design, the Advisor HD Grid mapping catheter is the only catheter which can measure all of its information independent of the direction in which the catheter is placed into the heart. Its multidirectional, multidimensional data processing help open the view for physicians to electrical abnormalities within the heart.
Like being in the eye of a tornado, other mapping catheter technologies could miss the electrical chaos in the surrounding.
An Ecosystem of Precise Mapping and Ablation Technology
Recent FDA clearance and CE Mark approval allows data from the best-in-class Advisor HD Grid mapping catheter to be visualized in real-time during cardiac ablation procedures. The use of Ensite LiveView Dynamic Display with Advisor HD Grid helps detect pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) gaps and other conduction abnormalities more easily and lessens the need for repetitive and potentially inconclusive comprehensive chamber surface maps.
The on-screen colors portray that information so that electrophysiologists quickly know exactly when and where to target ablation treatments. Magnetic sensor-enabled ablation catheter technology, such as the TactiCath Contact Force SE, can then be used to safely and precisely deliver curative radiofrequency ablation energy.
Combined within and surrounded by EnSite localization technology, these catheters form a powerful ecosystem to better understand abnormalities in heart muscle tissue and the subsequent abnormalities in heart electricity.
They help physicians to understand the mechanisms for heart rhythm disorders and to localize their origin, leading to safer and more effective treatment for the affected patients.