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Innovative imaging system may boost speed and accuracy in treatment of heart rhythm disorder
Date:8/18/2010

e study. "We found that the 3-D scar reconstruction from CT imaging predicted areas of abnormal electrical activity in 81.7 percent of heart segments analyzed. The imaging also correctly displayed the location and extent of cardiac scar tissue, determined by voltage mapping the gold standard for scar definition in current clinical practice," says Dr. Tian, a research associate at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Curative ablations were located within tissue that CT had identified as abnormal in 82 percent of the cases."

In order to clarify the utility of the 3-D imaging technology, Dr. Tian says there would have to be a randomized, controlled trial to quantify how much time can be saved, how much less radiation it requires, and the impact on patient care. "Such a trial would be the next step," she adds.

Ventricular tachycardia

A healthy heart beats about 60 to 100 beats per minute, and may beat faster with exercise or during stress or fever. In ventricular tachycardia, the heart routinely beats more than 100 times a minute. This rapid heartbeat can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting and shortness of breath, and may set the stage for sudden cardiac arrest.

Some patients respond well to medications that restore normal heartbeat, while others require a shock from an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to restore normal rhythm. The medications have side effects and the electrical disturbances in some people are so frequent that the ICD must fire multiple corrective shocks each day to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. The shocks are painful, causing many patients to fear their next shock. The goal of ablation is to burn a barrier around the scars to end the electrical disturbance and restore normal heart rhythm. For some patients, the procedure reduces the number of corrective shocks and eliminates the need for medication.

"Advances in cardiac care and the availability of defibrillat
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Contact: Bill Seiler
bseiler@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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