New EP Lab Offers Curative Therapy with Reduced Risks

Electrophysiology services at the University of Rochester Medical Center have expanded with the introduction of a third electrophysiology (EP) laboratory featuring

ep-lab photo

cutting-edge technology for the treatment of patients with cardiac arrhythmia. The use of the new Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation System allows physicians to conduct more complex procedures to treat conditions such as atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardias, and ventricular tachycardias with greater precision and an added measure of safety.

URMC is the only institution in upstate New York to use the Stereotaxis Magnetic Navigation System, which is designed to allow physicians to more effectively navigate catheters through the blood vessels and chambers of the heart to treatment sites. This is achieved using computer-controlled, externally applied magnetic fields that precisely and directly govern the motion of the catheter.

One major benefit of using magnetic fields to steer a catheter is that physicians are able to use extremely soft, compliant catheters, significantly reducing risks of injury to the heart.

Center Aims to Manage
Atrial Fibrillation

URMC’s new atrial fibrillation center offers patients access to experts with the most extensive experience in upstate New York and clinical trials that are not available elsewhere in the region. With the increasing prevalence of atrial fibrillation, the new center comes at an ideal time to help meet the growing clinical need to manage this condition.

Under the direction of Burr Hall, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine and director of the Heart Station, the new center provides ablation therapy and drug therapy, including consultation and recommendations on the use of antiarrhythmic drugs, anticoagulants, and future uses for alternatives to warfarin to reduce the risk of stroke.

Hall and his colleagues at URMC are involved in numerous atrial fibrillation clinical trials, which are helping improve the way the condition is treated. URMC recently participated in several important trials, including a study comparing the effectiveness of antiarrythmic drugs and ablation therapy, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March 2010, as well as a trial evaluating warfarin and a new anticoagulant, dabigatran, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2009. Involvement in research efforts will expand at the new center.

Patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation that is interfering with their quality of life are good candidates for referral directly to the atrial fibrillation center.

For more information or to refer a patient, please call (585) 275-4775.

“Patient safety is always our number one priority,” said David T. Huang, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory. “You can’t beat technology that reduces risks and improves patient outcomes, which is what this system allows us to do.” 

With the addition of Stereotaxis, physicians in the EP lab have more tools to treat complex arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. Individuals suffering from these arrhythmias often have a reduced quality of life due to negative side effects from medications, fear of making plans, traveling or exercising, or health-related issues at work or in school. While control treatments such as medications may mask the problem for a time, potential curative therapies such as atrial fibrillation ablation and ventricular tachycardia ablation can greatly improve quality of life and ensure that patients require little, if any, further therapy. 

Huang heads the new lab and, along with Burr Hall, M.D., Spencer Rosero, M.D., and Mehmet Aktas, M.D., has completed specialized training on the Stereotaxis equipment. Conditions that Huang and his colleagues can treat using the new system include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, superventricular tachycardia and ventricular tachycardia. People with otherwise healthy hearts who have electrical problems may be referred directly to the Electrophysiology Lab at URMC for consultation and therapy.

For more information or to refer a patient, please call (585) 275-4775.

 

For more information

Referrals:

(585) 275-4775

Information/assistance: 

Arianna Joseph-Parris
Phone: (585) 507-5480

Strong Consult and Transfer Center

Toll-free (800) 499-9298
(585) 275-4999