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Invasive Imaging Tools Offer Benefit to Cardiac Procedures

Review focuses on intracardiac echocardiography in noncoronary interventional procedures

THURSDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians performing cardiac procedures in interventional laboratories can choose from a variety of invasive intracardiac imaging tools to guide the procedures, according to research published in the June 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Susan S. Kim, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues reviewed the uses of invasive imaging tools available in interventional laboratories, with particular focus on intracardiac echocardiography (ICE). This is the most commonly used ultrasound-based imaging tool in such settings.

The researchers found that ultrasound-based imaging provides benefits in transseptal puncture, including direct imaging of the fossa ovalis and posterior atrial wall. ICE is the most common nonfluoroscopic imaging type used during atrial fibrillation ablation, in which it is used to guide transseptal catheterization and identify catheter tip location and contact. Many cardiac centers also prefer ICE in guiding device closure of atrial septal defects and patent foramen ovale, the authors note.

"Another opportunity in this field is to couple imaging systems directly with the interventional devices themselves. One example of this coupling is a balloon-based pulmonary vein ablation tool that is under development for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. This system permits endoscopic visualization through a balloon that also functions to deliver therapeutic laser energy. Without a doubt, the field of imaging to guide cardiac interventions will continue to evolve rapidly for the benefit of patients and interventionalists," Kim and colleagues conclude.

Two co-authors reported relationships with Philips and Biosense Webster.

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