Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


UCLA uses new hybrid, precision heart procedures to help stop deadly arrhythmias

New study reports on UCLA medical team's experience with new techniques

New techniques now being used at UCLA allow doctors to more precisely target certain areas of the heart to stop ventricular arrhythmias — serious abnormal rhythms in the heart's lower chambers — in high-risk patients.

Generally, arrhythmias can be controlled by medications, and sometimes defibrillators. But a potentially life-threatening, recurrent arrhythmia known as a ventricular tachycardia, which originates in one of the heart's two ventricles, can produce a fast heart beat that requires other interventions, such as catheter ablation, in which the precise focus area of the arrhythmia must be controlled.

Cardiologists will often use catheter ablation once medications and other therapies have failed. The procedure involves the insertion of a tiny, metal-tipped catheter through a vein in the groin or neck to reach the inside of the heart. Prior to the procedure, electrical tests are conducted on the heart to identify and map the exact site of the arrhythmia's origin.

While ablation is usually performed inside the heart, in about 15 to 30 percent of patients with dangerous ventricular tachycardias, the site responsible for the abnormal rhythm is on the heart's outer surface. Normally, this can be addressed by an ablation procedure, performed in a cardiac catheterization lab, in which doctors thread a wire with a metal-tipped catheter inside the body, under the ribcage, to apply heat or cold to the area of the heart's ventricle that is producing the arrhythmia, stopping it.

However, in high-risk patients who have scarring from previous heart surgeries, it is difficult to reach the outside of the heart. To tackle this problem, a team at UCLA has devised a hybrid approach combining catheter ablation with minimally invasive surgical techniques.

"UCLA is at the forefront of developing and using new techniques and approaches to better access a high-risk patient's heart to stop difficult-to-reach, life-threatening arrhythmias," said Dr.. Kalyanam Shivkumar, professor of medicine and radiological sciences and director of the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and Electrophysiology Programs.

A study in the November issue of the journal Heart Rhythm reports on UCLA's experience with the two newer surgical methods, used together with catheter ablation, in 14 high-risk patients who had ventricular arrhythmias treated between September 2004 and March 2010.

In order to perform more accurate electrical mapping of the heart and apply precise ablation therapy in hard-to-reach areas in high-risk patients, surgeons used one of two minimally-invasive cardiac surgical techniques to open a small window in the chest to view the heart. Depending on the area of the heart the team needed to access, they used either a procedure called a subxiphoid window or one known as a limited anterior thoracotomy.

The ability to directly visualize the heart and navigate around scar tissue and blood vessels to get closer to the heart's surface, significantly improved accuracy in applying the ablation techniques to stop the arrhythmias.

"These newer, more minimally-invasive procedures offer more treatments for high-risk patients who don't have a lot of options to address a life-threatening arrhythmia, allowing them to avoid potential open heart surgery," Shivkumar said.

The hybrid procedures were performed in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center adult cardiac catheterization laboratories and involved a collaboration among several UCLA departments, including cardiology, cardiac surgery, anesthesiology, radiology and operating-room administration. Pre-procedure imaging was needed, as well as critical care teams for post-surgical care.

"UCLA is a leader in utilizing these hybrid procedures to meet individual patient care needs. We hope our experiences can help move the field forward," Shivkumar said.

Shivkumar added that his team created new procedural protocols for using technologies such as electrical heart mapping systems and ablation catheters with these new hybrid procedures.

Additional authors from the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and UCLA Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery included Dr. Yoav Michowitz, Dr. Nilesh Mathuria, Dr. Roderick Tung, Dr. Fardad Esmailian, Dr. Murray Kwon, Dr. Shiro Nakahara, Dr. Tara Bourke, Dr. Noel G. Boyle and Dr. Aman Mahajan.

For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.

Rachel Champeau | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>