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CRT Devices Implanted in HF Patients via Electromagnetic Technology

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electro magnetic technology for heart

Based on the results of a prospective observational feasibility study, an electromagnetic tracking device has effectively directed the implantation of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices in patients with heart failure (HF).

According to the study background, Sergio Richter, MD, and peers used the new sensor-based system (MediGuide, St. Jude Medical) as a substitute of a conventional fluoroscopy-based implantation procedure in order to cut radiation exposure to doctors and patients. Recent data was published, illustrating the average total fluoroscopy time in routine CRT implantation practices was 22 minutes.

Richter and peers, who are all part of the department of electrophysiology, Heart Centre, University of Leipzig, Germany, utilized the electromagnetic tracking system to implant CRT devices in 15 patients with HF (average age, 66 years; 53% men) from January to February 2012.

Average left ventricular ejection fraction was 27%, and 13 patients were being given a CRT device for the first time. The researchers followed-up with patients for 4 weeks following implantation.

The researchers then managed to place an LV lead in all 15 subjects, while avoiding any adverse events. However, 33% experienced slight intra-procedural complications, causing the operator to toggle back to a more conventional fluoroscopy; such was the instance in two cases. Total procedure time amounted to 116 minutes.

The total average fluoroscopy time was clocked at 5.2 minutes. The average fluoroscopy time for LV lead implantation was 2.6 minutes, while no fluoroscopy was required for coronary sinus cannulation in 12 of the 15 patients.And after a one month follow-up, no serious adverse events or issues with pacing constraints were reported.

Based on information from the study background, the system is comprised of sensors that are fixed in tools which produce electrical currents once implanted within an alternating electromagnetic field and are tracked in real time. A reference sensor is put on the patient’s chest and it gathers information regarding the spatial relationship between the patient and the electromagnetic field.

“The field generator is installed within the fluoroscopy detector of an X-ray system. This enables a 3-D image of the placement of the implantation tools to be projected onto pre-acquired X-ray images, and visualization inside a moving organ is possible. In conventional fluoroscopy, only 2-D intracardiac orientation can be achieved,” the researchers wrote.

“This new technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we image inside the body while we perform a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in the future,” said Richter.

However Richter and the rest of the research team conclude that future studies need to be performed in order to verify their findings.

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