LIMA — A new technology that recently received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is bringing a high-definition approach to cardiac electrical impulse mapping at St. Rita’s Medical Center.
St. Rita’s is the first facility in Ohio to have the Abbott EnSite Precision cardiac mapping system, a piece of technology that helps create a more precise map of the electrical impulses in the heart that cause the muscle to contract, creating the heart rhythm. By being able to better locate abnormal electrical signals in the heart, irregular heartbeat conditions such as atrial and ventricular tachycardia can be more effectively treated through such procedures as ablation, which destroys the heart tissue that causes these conditions.
“The big challenge when we are trying to identify the source of abnormal heart rhythm is accuracy,” according to St. Rita’s electrophysiologist Dr. B. John Hynes, one of the first physicians in the state to use this system. “What companies have been doing is developing the ability to fine tune the fidelity. The best example would be [comparing] the Pac-Man arcade game, which was very pixelated, to Madden NFL 16 on PlayStation 3, where it’s almost like you’re watching real life.”
This mapping system, installed in February at St. Rita’s at an estimated cost of close to $500,000, uses catheters inserted into the heart to map the electrical impulse pathways more precisely and more rapidly, giving the physician a more tailored treatment plan. Because the technology’s higher expense and recent development, Hynes has only been using this system on more complex arrhythmia cases.
“I’ve had about half a dozen patients on it so far,” he said.
As it will see more use, Hynes is optimistic that it will continue to help area patients develop more consistent heart rhythms.
“When you start to narrow the [location] more and more, it makes it easier to find, which translates into higher degrees of success, and, more importantly, shorter procedure times,” he said. “The patient’s not on the table as long, as the less a catheter has to be moved around and the less time you’re on the table, the less chance there is for complications.”