New method cuts radiation during pacemaker procedure - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

New method cuts radiation during pacemaker procedure

Updated: Sep 4, 2013 10:07 AM
  • HealthMore>>

  • Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
  • Too few teens receive HPV shot

    Too few teens receive HPV shot

    An "unacceptably low" number of girls and boys are getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against cervical, anal and other cancers, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
    An "unacceptably low" number of girls and boys are getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against cervical, anal and other cancers, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
  • Teenage boys want intimacy, not just sex

    Teenage boys want intimacy, not just sex

    The stereotype of the sex-crazed teenage boy may be dead wrong, according to a small study that asked boys what they really want from romantic relationships.
    The stereotype of the sex-crazed teenage boy may be dead wrong, according to a small study that asked boys what they really want from romantic relationships.
By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A new way of implanting pacemakers cuts radiation exposure for doctors and patients, German researchers report.

Using electromagnetic tracking -- which works something like GPS navigation -- rather than traditional radiation-based imaging may be a safer, faster way to implant cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) pacemakers, the scientists explained.

"This is a novel technology that has been shown to enable navigation of devices on pre-recorded X-ray images, which allows the physician to reduce the duration of live X-ray during a procedure," said lead researcher Dr. Sergio Richter, a consulting electrophysiologist and senior physician at the Heart Center of the University of Leipzig.

The ability to use pre-recorded X-ray images -- instead of live X-ray -- during a cardiac implant procedure reduces exposure to potentially harmful radiation, he explained.

"This new technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we image inside the body while we perform a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in the future," Richter added.

The report was published Sept. 3 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, and funded by St. Jude Medical Inc., the maker of the new MediGuide system.

CRT implantation, which paces both the left and right ventricles, is becoming more common for patients with severe congestive heart failure and other heart problems, the researchers noted.

"Currently, to view and manipulate the different tools that enable implantation of the left-sided lead in the patient's heart veins, physicians are forced to continuously use live X-ray imaging, exposing patients and themselves to potentially harmful amounts of X-ray," Richter said. "CRTs are implanted near the chest, and help the heart chambers beat more synchronously together and to pump blood more efficiently."

Electrical lead wires extend from the device to the patient's heart chambers, and these leads provide electrical stimulation to the right and left sides of the heart so that the two sides beat together, pumping blood to the rest of the body more easily, he explained.

The MediGuide system uses 3-D imaging to precisely navigate the catheter. "MediGuide, with the use of pre-recorded X-ray images, creates a real-time clinical environment that adjusts automatically for heart rate, respiratory motion and patient motion, and accurately tracks catheter position," Richter noted.

The average amount of time of X-ray exposure needed to implant a CRT is often more than 20 minutes. With the new tracking system, X-ray exposure averages just five minutes, the researchers found.

"It is well known that increased radiation exposure can be very harmful to the patient, the physician and the staff, increasing the risk of developing various types of cancer," Richter said.

For the study, Richter's team used the new tracking system in 15 heart failure patients. In the procedure, X-ray imaging was used for the two device leads on the right side of the heart and the new tracking system was used to place the third lead, on the heart's left ventricle.

One expert said he saw great potential for other uses for the technology.

"The study provides a glimpse into the future of biventricular device implantation," said Dr. Neil Sanghvi, a clinical electrophysiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "However, larger studies are needed to confirm the findings," he added.

"I envision this technology being extended to additional cardiac procedures in the future, including coronary stent implantation as well as valve implantation," Sanghvi said. "Both patients and surgeons alike will welcome technology to reduce radiation exposure as we continue to learn the ill effects of repetitive radiation exposure."

More information

For more on pacemakers, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.