New cardiac mapping catheter cuts surgery time

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Technology helps reduce surgical wait-times, helps patients heal more quickly

By John Pereira

Patients undergoing a cardiac procedure at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) will now benefit from a new technology that will cut their surgery time in half and help them recover more quickly. Known as the Abbott Advisor™ HD Grid Mapping Catheter, Sensor Enabled™, this catheter is a first-of-its-kind technology that provides the latest in cardiac mapping for patients with cardiac arrhythmias. KHSC is the first in Canada to use this technology.

“The use of this catheter means that we will be able to see a lot more data much more quickly, which will significantly help us map the heart,” says Dr. Benedict Glover a cardiologist at KHSC and assistant professor of cardiology at Queen’s University. “In a cardiac procedure mapping of the heart takes about sixty per cent of the surgery time, but with this catheter we can cut that time in half, which means shorter procedures and less waiting time for our patients.”

For some patients with a cardiac arrhythmia, physicians may use cardiac ablation therapy to create scars or lesions on the tissue of the heart where the abnormal heartbeats originate. As a result, this tissue is no longer capable sustaining the arrhythmia.

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Mapping catheters are critical to helping physicians visualize and navigate the heart during an ablation procedure. The new mapping catheter is designed to record electrical information from the heart to create a highly detailed cardiac map that helps doctors find and diagnose cardiac arrhythmias in their patients.

“There is huge potential for this catheter,” says Dr. Glover, who performed the first procedure using the technology at KHSC’s KGH site. “Its novel design means it can capture both the direction and speed of signals in much greater detail than current technology. It gives us a better understanding of the electrical properties of certain arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. We’re very lucky to be the first to use it.”

This is the second time KHSC’s electrophysiology group has taken the lead in implementing new technology for arrhythmia surgery. In 2017 Dr. Glover was the first in North America to use an advanced mapping suite of technologies for cardiac ablation surgery. This latest tool enhances the capabilities of that sophisticated platform.

John Pereira is the Strategic Communications Advisor  at Kingston Health Sciences Centre.