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Intermountain Medical Center reseachers develop new 3-D technology to treat atrial fibrillation
Date:5/10/2013

SALT LAKE CITY Researchers at the Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center have developed a new 3-D technology that for the first time allows cardiologists the ability to see the precise source of atrial fibrillation in the heart a breakthrough for a condition that affects nearly three million Americans.

This new technology that maps the electronic signals of the heart three dimensionally significantly improves the chances of successfully eliminating the heart rhythm disorder with a catheter ablation procedure, according to a new study presented at the Heart Rhythm Society's National Scientific Sessions in Denver on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Atrial fibrillation occurs when electronic signals misfire in the heart, causing an irregular, and often chaotic, heartbeat in the upper left atrium of the heart.

Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include irregular or rapid heartbeat, palpitations, lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or chest pain. However, not all people with atrial fibrillation experience symptoms.

"Historically, more advanced forms of atrial fibrillation were treated by arbitrarily creating scar tissue in the upper chambers of the heart in hopes of channeling these chaotic electrical signals that were causing atrial fibrillation," said researcher John Day, MD, director of the heart rhythm specialists at the Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center. "The beauty of this new technology is that it allows us for the first time to actually see three dimensionally the source of these chaotic electrical signals in the heart causing atrial fibrillation."

Previously, cardiologists were able to map the heart in 3-D to enhance navigation of catheters, but this is the first time that they've utilized 3-D imaging technology to map the heart's specific electronic signals. Armed with this information, cardiologists can now pinpoint exactly where the misfiring signal
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Contact: Jason Carlton
jason.carlton@imail.org
801-507-7454
Intermountain Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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