Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmia
Destroying the heart tissue with abnormal electrical conduction helps restore the regular heart rhythm.
Cardiac arrhythmias is a disorder of electrical conduction in heart, including atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular arrhythmia which can lead to palpitation, chest tightness, heart failure, and even sudden death. AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia seen in clinical practice. AF affects approximately 3 million North Americans and 4.5 million Europeans, particularly the elderly. In the United States, about 75% of individuals with AF are 65 years of age or older. It can induce cardiac dysfunction, stroke and even mortality. Ventricular arrhythmia is a common and lethal complication after myocardial infarction and heart failure which often results in sudden cardiac death. Catheter ablation plays an important role in treatment of cardiac arrhythmia.
Catheter ablation is a procedure that uses radiofrequency energy (or cryo energy) under X-ray fluoroscopy to destroy a small area of heart tissue that is causing abnormal electrical conduction. Damaging this tissue helps restore the regular heart rhythm. Using 3D mapping system in catheter ablation of complex arrhythmia allows for nonfluoroscopic catheter mapping, voltage and activation mapping, and precise identification and tagging of ablation sites to facilitate creation of contiguous lesions around anatomic structures.
During this procedure, the tip of a catheter is guided under X-ray fluoroscopy to the area of heart tissue that is producing abnormal electrical signals. Then the catheter emits a pulse of painless radiofrequency energy that destroys the abnormal tissue and corrects the irregular heartbeat.
Risks & complications
The risks and complications are depended on the type of arrhythmia. In complex arrhythmia such as AF, the incidence of major complications for example, femoral pseudoaneurysm, cardiac tamponade, stroke, pulmonary vein stenosis was 4.5%. Rarer complications may result in permanent injury, requiring intervention and prolonged hospitalization.
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