Electrophysiology CARTOMERGE™ Technology
The electrophysiology (EP) laboratory at California Pacific Medical Center employs the latest technology for improving the outcomes and the safety of ablation therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF). In fact, our electrophysiologists performed the first EP procedures on the West Coast using Biosense Webster, Inc.’s CARTOMERGE™ Image Integration Module.
CARTOMERGE for Performing AF Ablation
CARTOMERGE is one of the newest technologies used in performing AF ablation, one of the most difficult yet most successful treatment options available. With this technology, electrophysiologists create real-time 3-D electroanatomical cardiac map using “GPS” like technology, CARTO™, that is then merged with CT or MRI images providing precise, detailed structures of the chambers of the heart. Real-time intracardiac echocardiography along with fluoroscopy is also used to enhance the safety and efficacy of this procedure.
Precision Ablation Point Delivery
EP physicians can literally visualize each individual’s specific anatomy from the inside, enabling accurate catheter navigation and precision ablation point delivery for treating a variety of cardiac arrhythmias.
In May of 2005, our electrophysiology team performed their first AF ablation using this new technology, the same month CARTOMERGE was launched by Biosense Webster, Inc., a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.
Steven Hao, M.D., FACC on Using New Technology
After training with Andrea Natale, M.D., a leader in ablation therapy for treatment of AF and a principal participant in the CARTOMERGE clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Steven Hao, M.D., FACC, Medical Director of Electrophysiology, performs these EP procedures at our facilities. After using this new technology, Dr. Hao said, "This software is a major technological breakthrough. We were previously able to perform AF ablations well with x-ray and intracardiac guidance, but it was akin to flying with only instruments to guide us. CARTOMERGE has allowed us to get a peak out of the window and further customize our approach to each patient’s specific anatomy."
Approximately 2.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and more than 90,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. AF is the leading cause of stroke in the US. Currently only a few facilities nationwide offer ablation treatment for AF, leaving drug treatment as the only alternative for patients without access to ablation therapy. Many medications have a low success rate and are associated with multiple side-effects.
Our EP physicians have performed over thirty procedures utilizing this real-time mapping system and will have comparative data in six months. "Our hope is for improving outcomes. Our current success rate is 83% with the first procedure. We hope to improve this rate as well as patient safety rates," continued Dr. Hao. Now, with CARTOMERGE, each patient’s heart anatomy is individually mapped, allowing physicians to examine complex 3-D images of the left atrium and pulmonary veins, translating to improved success and patient safety. Better understanding the left atrium anatomy is important, as this is where 98% of atrial fibrillation is initiated.