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2009 News Archive

October 2009

Siemens, SurgiVision to develop MRI-guided cardiac EP system

Siemens Healthcare and SurgiVision  of Irvine, Calif., have formed an agreement for the co-development and commercialization of a real-time MRI-guided cardiac electrophysiology  (EP) system.  The companies said they are collaborating with University of Utah Health Care to bring to the clinic a fully integrated EP-MRI system to improve conventional catheter-based cardiac procedures. Read more: Health Imaging.

September 2009

"Nine of the world's top cardiologists gathered in Barcelona to take on the issues raised by data released at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2009 Congress.  Dr Valentin Fuster moderates this rigorous and frank discussion between Drs Keith Fox, Tony Gershlick, Nassir F. Marrouche, Franz Messerli, Christian Spaulding, Freek Vergheugt, Renu Virmani, and Clyde Yancy.  Fuster and his expert panel debate whether or not dabigatran is the new aspirin and what treatment they would choose following the results of the RE-LY trial and talk about the implications of the PLATO study, including the importance of reversibility and the reduction in MI."

Afib treatment: The five-year plan

The results of RE-LY and ATHENA have the potential to significantly change the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Dr Melissa Walton-Shirley sits down with Dr Nassir Marrouche to talk about what these treatment options mean for current atrial-fibrillation (AF) patients and what he thinks the world of AF treatment will look like in five years.

Siemens to build image-guided EP unit

"Siemens Healthcare and SurgiVision will co-develop and commercialize a real-time MR-guided cardiac electrophysiology system. The two companies are working with the University of Utah. Their objective is to improve conventional catheter-based cardiac procedures, according to Siemens, specifically for treating patients with atrial fibrillation. The German company will contribute MR scanner and interactive real-time guidance technologies. SurgiVision will provide technologies for visualizing interventional tools and patient anatomy. Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting more than 3 million people in the U.S. and more than 7 million people worldwide."

August 2009

Novel imaging technique may predict outcomes in AF patients

"Although DE-MRI i an established method for visualising tissue damage in cardiac disease processes, the study assessed its use in a protocol developed to detect fibrosis in atrial fibrillation patients before they underwent radiofrequency ablation.  This procedure involves the use of catheters that emit mild, painless radiofrequency energy to destroy carefully selected heart muscle cells to stop them from conducting extra electrical impulses."

DE MRI Predicts Atrial Fib Recurrence Risk

"BOSTON - Researchers recently devised a way to visualize fibrotic tissue within the left atrial wall noninasively with MRI.  Results from a new study thattook this analysis a step further showed that patients with atrial fibrillation whose left atrium had high levels of fibrosis also faced a significantly increased risk of failing treatment by pulmonary vein isolation and septal debulking and revert to fibrillation."

Case Study: Can you hear me now? Technology for better communication in the MRI suite.

"A complicated ablation.  A gingerly guided needle where a centimeter in the wrong direction can cause serious injury.  The incessant metallic rattling of the MRI machine drowning all nuanced communication.  Medical staff stumbles along with shouts, hand gestures, and written signs.  At a critical point, the operator inocorrectly hears the doctor tell him to turn off the scanner, and the image disappears.  The patient remains in limbo, partially sedated.  Procedure time si tripled.  The doctors have to gather their thoughts before continuing."

June 2009

3-D MRI for Hearts

SALT LAKE CITY (Ivanhoe Newswire) -"Your heart is racing and you feel faint. You may be one of the 3.5 million Americans suffering from atrial fibrillation, or heart arrhythmia. It's a serious condition that can lead to stroke and death. About 66,000 Americans die of it every year."

Heart Surgeons Adapting to Robots

"Robots that snake through a patient's arteries are gaining popularity among cardiologists.  Would you put your heart in the hands of a robot? What if you had a severely impaired heart, afflicted with an unpredictable rhythm, which could be treated only by lacing a catheter through the delicate avenues of your vasculature and up into the atria, where it would sear the tissue and leave a curative scar? Would you want a human hand behind this procedure, or motors, microprocessors, and magnets?" Read more: Spectrum

April 2009

holds promise for predicting treatment outcomes and measuring disease progression for patients with atrial fibrillation  (AF), according to study appearing in the April 7 issue of Circulation. For this study, the University of Utah colleagues developed a protocol using DE-CMRI to create 3D images of the left atrium before RF ablation, which were processed and analyzed with custom software tools and computer algorithms to calculate the extent of left atrium wall injury. Read more: Health Imaging

March 2009

New imaging approach may assist in predicting success of treatment for AF

"Until now, there has not been an accurate, non-invasive way to assess LA scar formation," said lead author Dr Nassir F Marrouche, assistant professor of internal medicine in the University of Utah School of Medicine and director of its Atrial-Fibrillation Program.  "We have developed a novel MRI-based method to detect and measure the extent of LA wall scarring and, potentially, predict the success of RF ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation."

January 2009

MR predicts cardiac ablation success

"Atrial fibrillation is a growing clinical problem. Of 5 million patients with atrial fibrillation, only around 38,000 are being treated with ablation, according to study co-author Nassir F. Marrouche, M.D., director of the cardiac electrophysiology laboratories and the atrial fibrillation program at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City."

Audio: Salt Lake Rotary Club - Dr. Nassir Marrouche

Curing Atrial Fibrillation, Dr. Nassir Marrouche is the director of the cardiac electrophysiology laboratories and the atrial fibrillation program at the U of U School of Medicine. He is recognized worldwide for his pioneering research on new imaging techniques for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder that affects more than 3.5 million Americans and is a contributing cause for more than 66,000 deaths a year. Dr. Marrouche has conducted groundbreaking studies on this disease. He and his team are the first researchers in the country to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to refine techniques for burning away damaged heart tissue. Dr. Marrouche has performed more than 300 procedures using MRI, and has a success rate higher than 90%, far above the overall 50% success rate for these types of procedures.