Doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital used a Medical GPS technology to navigate the catheter through a blood vessel in the leg in to the heart to repair Atrial Fibrillation (AF or A-fib) by reducing radiation exposure to the patient by 90 per cent. This was reported to CBS operated WBZ-TV station located in Boston.
Irregular heart beat or arrhythmia occurs in AF due to the disorganised electrical impulses send to the atria causing accumulation of blood in the auricles. This in turn, leads to irregular conduction of impulses to ventricles which generates the heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation is often associated with chest pain, fatigue, decreased stamina, shortness of breath and palpitations. Its occurrence increases with age and nearly 8 per cent of people above 80 years have AF. AF can be treated with medications, surgery and catheter-based therapies. If left untreated, it may lead to stroke or even may cause congestive heart failure.
Boston doctors used a Mediguide technology to locate the defective part with its medical position system (gMPS) which is similar to GPS navigation system. It can trace the exact position and configuration of the sensors inside the heart passing through the difficult paths of the body. This 3D navigation technology assesses the heart and blood vessels on a recorded X-ray image. Usually, surgery or catheter-based therapies to treat AF involves a series of X-rays, this according to the doctors can be avoided with this revolutionary system. Constant radiation exposure increases the risk of cancers in the later years.
Experts believe that cardiac surgical procedures can be completed quickly and safely with minimum radiation exposure with the help of this new mediguide navigation technology.