Connect with us
  • Elysium


3D mapping technique speeds up AF treatment



Researchers in the US have developed a new way of treating atrial fibrillation (AF) – a leading cause of stroke.

vMap is a non-invasive, computational mapping system that generates a three-dimensional, interactive map of arrythmia hotspots on the heart.

The system maps all four chambers of the organ, the septal wall and the outflow tracts in just minutes, only requiring data from a standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG).

vMap uses data leveraged from millions of arrhythmia simulations from technological sources, including UC San Diego’s San Diego Supercomputer Center.

David Krummen, MD, cardiac electrophysiologist at UC San Diego Health and professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, who co-invented vMap, said:

“My team and I experienced first-hand the limitations of the current standard of care for understanding and treating arrhythmias.

“We designed vMap to improve ablation outcomes by rapidly providing arrhythmia source information to the physician.”

AF causes the heart to beat irregularly and abnormally fast.

People with AF are five times more likely than the rest of the population to have a stroke.

The condition contributes to around a fifth of strokes in the UK, according to the Stroke Association.

AF is usually treated with ablation, where small catheters are inserted into the heart to burn or freeze areas responsible for the electrical signals causing the irregular heartbeat.

However, traditional arrythmia-mapping techniques are labour intensive and only successful in a small number of cases due to the lack of information about the sources of the arrythmias.

AF recurs following catheter ablation in 20 to 40 per cent of cases, according to the Journal of Atrial Fibrillation.

Krummen added:

“We want this technology to increase first-pass ablation success, decrease procedural risk, and improve the care of patients with heart rhythm abnormalities.”

vMap is now available to assist physicians and electrophysiologists at UC San Diego Health with arrhythmia analysis and mapping.

Header image by Vektor Medical