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Catheter Ablation without Fluoroscopy: Current Techniques and Future Direction


Background: Catheter ablation is the treatment of choice for most forms of SVT. Traditionally, fluoroscopy has been the primary tool for visualizing catheter position. However, newer, 3-dimensional mapping technologies offer multiple options for minimizing fluoroscopy use. We review our 8 year experience of a zero-fluoroscopy approach using the Ensite system, and discuss our current techniques.

Methods: From January 2006 to October 2013, we performed 524 catheter ablation procedures with a zero-fluoroscopy approach. The Ensite system was used exclusively. Early in the study, NavX mode was employed. In the later time period, Velocity mode was used. The Ensite system allowed easy access to all right sided arrhythmias. For left sided arrhythmias, TEE was added to aid with transseptal puncture.

Results: Reviewing 524 consecutive procedures, mean age was 14 years (range 7 weeks to 65 years). Mean weight was 60.7 kg (range 3 to 174 kg). Mean procedure time was 142 minutes (range 42 – 402 minutes). There were no complications. Twenty -five patients required the use of fluoroscopy, mostly as part of simultaneous diagnostic or interventional cath procedures. There was only one instance in which fluoroscopy was used when not anticipated at the start of the procedure. With this data available, and seeing that fluoroscopy is rarely needed unexpectedly, we hypothesized that catheter ablation no longer requires a traditional cath lab. We present our early approach to ablation outside the catheterization lab.

Conclusion: Three dimensional mapping systems can eliminate fluoroscopy use in virtually all routine ablation procedures. As technology improves, ablation procedures will shift beyond the traditional cath lab.

Credits: Amee M. Bigelow, MD; Grace Smith, MD; John M. Clark, MD



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