KHSC first in Canada to treat arrhythmia with new heart mapping technology

Heart mapping is used for cardiac ablation surgery. Photo via Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

Cardiologists at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) are now able to find and treat faulty heart tissue quickly and more accurately using new and improved heart mapping technology.

According to a release from KHSC, by acquiring this new technology from Abbott, KHSC has “once again vaulted itself to the front of the pack as a Canadian leader for cardiac care.”

“We are happy to be the first site in Canada to incorporate Abbott’s new EnSite™ X EP System that allows us to more clearly understand what is going on in the heart and determine the best location to deploy therapy safely and effectively,” said Dr. Damian Redfearn, cardiologist and the arrhythmia clinical lead at KHSC.  

KHSC said that they have been at the forefront of heart mapping since 2017, when it was the first site in North America to use an advanced mapping suite of technologies for cardiac ablation surgery, a procedure that uses heat or freezing to destroy the tissue that is initiating the electrical signal causing the heart rhythm problem, also known as arrhythmia.  

When the electrical signals that coordinate the heart’s beats don’t work properly, causing heart arrhythmias, some irregular rhythms can be associated with serious, life-threatening complications such as strokes and heart failure, according to the release.  

“Now, with an instant, high-detailed view of every single heartbeat, we are, in a matter of seconds instead of several minutes, able to more accurately find the source of the arrhythmia and treat it with ablation,” said Dr. Redfearn. “This is especially good news for patients with complex heart arrhythmias that are difficult to locate.” 

The healthcare agency said that traditional mapping systems are time-consuming, involving cumulative images and measurements of electrical signal speed and direction taken over a period of time and from multiple locations that then need to be pieced together, deciphered and verified.   

The new system, which includes Abbott’s EnSite Omnipolar Technology, generates three-dimensional maps in real-time and can map one million points in the heart, according to the release. It enhances Abbott’s Advisor™ HD Grid Catheter to provide electrical recordings in 360 degrees regardless of how the catheter, a long flexible tool, is oriented within the heart, KHSC explained, noting that the innovative system provides timelier, more precise location of treatment areas.  

“It’s exciting to be able to better plan treatment strategies because now, very quickly, we will have a better understanding of how an individual patient’s arrhythmia is structured,” Dr. Redfearn said. 

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