New Technologies

Arrhythmia Center offers newest technique to treat atrial fibrillation

Consolidates care for problem heart rhythms

Patients seeking care for problematic heart rhythms can utilize a state-of-the-art Arrhythmia Center now housed within the Cardiovascular Center.

Opened in February, the Arrhythmia Center brings together all the services and treatments that patients require for irregular heart rhythms into a centralized setting.

"We want to provide our arrhythmia patients with one-stop, cutting-edge care," said Kevin Monahan, MD, director of the Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Service at Boston Medical Center (BMC), and assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). "With the Arrhythmia Center, admission, treatment, recovery, discharge and follow-up occur in one convenient location."

The Arrhythmia Center offers ablation to cure abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation, and supraventricular and ventricular tachycardias. Implantation of pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to treat slow heart rates, reverse heart failure and protect against sudden cardiac death are also performed. Consultation is provided in the evaluation of syncope and palpitations.

In keeping with BMC's history of promoting technological advancement, Dr. Monahan and his team performed the first magnetically guided (Stereotaxis) irrigated radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation in New England in February. Normal sinus rhythm was restored in a 40-year-old man with congestive heart failure who had been in atrial fibrillation for several years.

"The Stereotaxis system uses computer-controlled, externally applied magnetic fields that govern the motion of the internal working tip of the catheter," Dr. Monahan said. "The technology allows us to reach remote areas of the heart that were difficult, if not impossible, for us to access in the past."

According to Dr. Monahan, the Stereotaxis system offers patients the potential for a number of noteworthy benefits, including reduced X-ray exposure, more accurate delivery of ablation lesions, and an enhanced safety profile compared with conventional techniques.

"With the opening of the Arrhythmia Center and the introduction of the Stereotaxis system, we are maintaining BMC's role as a leader in cardiac care and fulfilling its mission to provide exceptional care without exception," said Dr. Monahan.

For more information or to schedule a tour of the Arrhythmia Center, or to refer a patient, call (617) 638-8776, email cardiovascularcenter@bmc.org, or visit the Arrhythmia Center.

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