The AF Centre of Excellence utilises leading edge cardiac 3 dimensional mapping systems and advanced imaging techniques to offer patients specialised treatments for AF.
Latest technology multislice CT scans of the heart are performed to allow 3D reconstruction of a patient's heart as part of planning for specialised procedures for AF including catheter ablation and implant of left atrial appendage occlusion device.
Specialised cardiac navigation technology is utilised during catheter ablation procedures to provide an accurate 3D reconstruction of the heart's anatomy, the electrical signals as they travel through the heart and the position of equipment inside the heart during the procedure. "Integration" of other cardiac imaging techniques with 3D mapping is also used including pre-procedural CT scans, intracardiac echocardiography and new force/ tissue contact sensing technologies.
Echocardiography uses ultrasound waves to visualise moving images of the heart. Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) uses a miniaturised ultrasound transducer mounted on a wire, or catheter which is advanced inside the heart during a catheter ablation procedure. The use of ICE during catheter ablation may improve safety and procedure results and allows rapid identification of potential complications.
Dr Karen Phillips is a pioneer of ICE use in Australia.
Echocardiography uses ultrasound waves to visualise moving images of the heart. 3D transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) uses an ultrasound transducer mounted on an endoscope tube, which is guided down the throat and positioned in the oesophagus under anaesthetic. Live 3 dimensional reconstructions of moving images of the heart, in particular the left atrial appendage, are required for accurate positioning of left atrial appendage occlusion device implants.
Contact and Force Tissue Sensing Technologies
VeriSense™ Tissue Contact Technology
Electrical Coupling Index, integrated into EnSite Velocity, tells physicians when good electrode-tissue apposition is obtained.
ThermoCool Smart Touch™ Force Sensing Catheter Technology
Monitoring contact force may enable more effective, consistent application of RadioFrequency power. Force and direction data are integrated into the CARTO3 system display.
These technologies improve the ability to detect how much catheter force is applied during ablation treatments. Too much force can cause tissue injury and procedure complications, while too little force can lead to incomplete ablation, which essentially means that atrial fibrillation can recur down the road requiring a repeat ablation procedure.