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Outside the box: UCLA uses brain aneurysm treatment to stop irregular heart rhythms
Date:3/14/2013

d few options."

As is common with other arrhythmia procedures, the team first took colorful images of the electrical system of each patient's heart using wires within the arteries of the heart muscle, which helped pinpoint the exact origin of the arrhythmia and served as a roadmap for the medical team.

During the coil embolization procedure, the team inserted a tiny catheter through a small incision in the groin, then guided it up to the heart and into the small arteries known as septal perforators, which supply blood to the area of the septum wall in which the arrhythmia originated.

Once positioned, the team carefully guided tiny, soft-metal coils just slightly larger than the width of a human hair through the catheter and into the arteries. The doctors filled each targeted artery with coils, thereby cutting off the blood supply to the region where the arrhythmia originated and stopping it.

Similarly, during coil embolization for a brain aneurysm an abnormal bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakening in the vessel wall coils are guided into the aneurysm to fill it. In this way, the aneurysm is sealed off, eliminating the danger that the ballooning area of the vessel will burst in the brain. This procedure also employs a catheter inserted in the groin.

"We are seeing more cross-over into different medical specialties of these cutting-edge techniques that are able to target and navigate delicate areas in the body, such as the brain and heart," said Dr. Gary Duckwiler, a professor of radiological sciences at the Geffen School of Medicine. "We look forward to future collaborations with cardiology."

Shivkumar lauded the partnership between the two medical specialties.

"Cardiac electrophysiologists are like fighter pilots in chasing and zeroing in on arrhythmias that can be tricky to track down," he said. "Once we have the arrhythmia's origin pinpointed and if it's in a place that is h
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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