November 18, 2017 |
Significantly Reducing Radiation Exposure During Heart Procedures
October 9, 2014  | 

Houston, TXIn an ongoing effort to reduce radiation exposure for cardiac patients, Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest offers an alternative surgical treatment option for arrhythmia, or an irregular heart rhythm.

Last year, the hospital became the first in Texas, and remains the only one in Houston, to employ St. Jude Medical's MediGuide™ Technology - a device that uses global positioning system-like technology to guide heart catheters inside the body.

“Similar to how drivers determine the location of their car on a map, this technology enables us to see and track the precise location and orientation of our tools within a patient,” said Electrophysiology Medical Director Sohail Jalal, M.D. at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest. “The real advantage is that it helps us perform safer procedures by reducing radiation exposure for all involved.”

MediGuide™ technology is a 3-D visualization system that uses electromagnetic signals to see inside a patient’s body and track medical devices in real-time on pre-recorded fluoroscopy, which is a rapid series of X-ray images. Automatic adjustments are made to the previously recorded images to compensate for cardiac motion, respiratory changes, and patient movement. 

The current standard practice for viewing devices in the heart uses live fluoroscopy, with an average exposure time of more than 10 minutes. Using prerecorded images, instead of live x-ray during a procedure, reduces a patient’s radiation exposure by 60 to 90 percent. Recently, a patient at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest received only 30 seconds of exposure time. Continue>

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