A GPS for navigating inside patient hearts

2013, March 7, 2013

For immediate distribution

A North American first at the Montreal Heart Institute

A GPS for navigating inside patient hearts

Montréal, March 7, 2013 – The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) has become the first hospital in North America where patients can benefit from a GPS system that lets cardiologists accurately navigate the heart during procedures to treat cardiac rhythm disorders. Developed by St. Jude Medical, MediGuide Technology considerably reduces radiation exposure by producing a full three-dimensional (3D) image of the heart from pre-recorded X-rays.

“We are very proud to have this innovative technology at the MHI, as it represents great news for our patients. For the moment, this GPS is only available in a few hospitals in the world, including the MHI. Our institution is the only one in North America to use MediGuide to treat cardiac rhythm disorders, as other hospitals only use it for diagnostic purposes,” explained Dr. Peter Guerra, Chief of the Department of Electrophysiology at the MHI, and Dr. Marc Dubuc, cardiologist at the MHI.

The first Canadian patient to benefit from this technology is Mr. Daniel Bussière, 61, who was suffering from atrial flutter, or a form of arrhythmia. During a successful operation conducted on February 11 by Dr. Dubuc, with the assistance of Dr. Guerra, Mr. Bussières was only exposed to 2.7 minutes of fluoroscopy instead of the 20 to 30 minutes required with traditional technology.

Innovative and safe

Similar to a GPS that lets drivers determine the location of their cars on a map, MediGuide Technology allows cardiologists to accurately pinpoint the location of instruments and to safely and carefully track their orientation in the different parts of the heart during complex procedures and in less time than before.

Up until now, cardiologists used fluoroscopy (an X-ray imaging technique) throughout their procedures to get live images of the heart. Although effective, this method exposes patients to radiation. The advanced MediGuide Technology is therefore a considerable advantage for any patient who wants to avoid radiation and particularly for cancer patients, as they are more vulnerable to radiation than the general population.

Device-based sensors

Thanks to built-in electromagnetic sensors, each MediGuide device can be located in 3D space based on pre-recorded images of the heart taken with just one dose of radiation. These images are then used to create a real-time, 3D view of the patient's heart anatomy without the need to constantly retake heart X-rays. To prevent instrument positioning errors, the different devices and sensors automatically adjust the pre-recorded images for changes in heart rate, respiratory motion and patient movement.

About the Montreal Heart Institute:

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Marie-Josée Nantel
Communications Officer
Montreal Heart Institute
Phone: 514-376-3330, extension 2641
Cell: 514-772-0478 |

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