OCT 25, 2022 12:00 PM PDT

Robotic Procedure for AFib Patients Done During MRI

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart arrhythmias that people experience, affecting up to six million people in the U.S. each year. It happens when the heart beats irregularly, meaning it could beat too fast, to slow, or at an irregular rhythm. Left untreated, atrial fibrillation can lead to a range of complications, such as heart disease. One of the more serious complications includes stroke, which can be life threatening.

Finding ways to prevent or lower the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation is of the utmost importance. Various medications exist to help manage the risk of stroke and clots, and ablation is often used as a way to correct irregular heartbeats.

A research team at Case Western Reserve University have developed a new approach to reducing the risk of stroke and blood clots in atrial fibrillation patients, one that they consider to be a “first”: heart catheterization of patients undergoing MRI scans, with robotic assistance. Their new approach is funded by a $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with a goal of making the procedure more accessible to atrial fibrillation patients.

The new approach takes a pseudo-virtual reality approach to performing catheterization. Termed “mixed-reality,” the approach allows for a blending of real-world and digital objects and spaces, allowing physicians to leverage the benefits of technology into real-world situations. This mixed-reality approach would be used to perform a left atrial appendage occlusion procession, which is often used for stroke prevention and management in people with atrial fibrillation. Mixed-reality offers a hyper-precise way of performing the procedure, and has becoming increasingly common and central in the healthcare industry.

Use the combination of mixed-reality and MRI technology, researchers overcome a significant hurdle to the effective execution of the left atrial appendage occlusion procedure, which is normally done “manually” with often unclear X-ray images. This makes it more challenging to safely and effectively position an implant in the heart to prevent strokes during an occlusion procedure. A physician can now locate exactly where the implant should go and, with robotic assistance, actually perform the procedure.

Researchers hope their new approach can offer safer, more effective options for atrial fibrillation treatment.

Sources: Eurekalert!; Softweb Solutions

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Science writer and editor, with a focus on simplifying complex information about health, medicine, technology, and clinical drug development for a general audience.
You May Also Like
DEC 15, 2022
Technology
Researchers Develop Self-Healing Robots
Researchers Develop Self-Healing Robots
In a recent study published in Science Advances, a team of researchers at Cornell University have developed what’s ...
DEC 16, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
We May Have Generated Nuclear Energy, But We Likely Won't See It Commercialized in Our Lifetime
We May Have Generated Nuclear Energy, But We Likely Won't See It Commercialized in Our Lifetime
The US Department of Energy Announced the first net gain of fusion energy on record. The results come from the National ...
DEC 19, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Future Moon and Mars Astronauts Could Use Microbes for Settlement Construction
Future Moon and Mars Astronauts Could Use Microbes for Settlement Construction
In a recent study published in Materials Today Bio, an international team of researchers led by the University of Califo ...
DEC 23, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Solar System Wonders: Enceladus' Geysers
Solar System Wonders: Enceladus' Geysers
When we think of geysers, some might immediately think of the geysers at Yellowstone National Park that shoot water hund ...
DEC 24, 2022
Technology
Using Smartphones to Calm Children Might Have Long-Term Consequences
Using Smartphones to Calm Children Might Have Long-Term Consequences
In a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, a team of researchers at the University of Michigan examined the potenti ...
DEC 30, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
What's Next For Fusion Energy?
What's Next For Fusion Energy?
On December 5, the first net gain of fusion energy was recorded at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Now that we&r ...
Loading Comments...