Mapping and Navigation Tools for Ablation

The tools used to assist with catheter ablation are constantly evolving. Here are some of the tools that are commonly used for atrial fibrillation catheter ablations:

  • Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)—provide pre-ablation imaging of the atrium and pulmonary veins to help doctors locate anatomic features and identify variations in the anatomy of the individual heart.
  • Fluoroscopy X-Ray
    —helps doctors guide mapping and ablation catheters in the body by generating 2D (flat) black and white images. It can’t show contours in anatomy, such as the “curve” of a pulmonary vein, and exposes the patient and doctor to radiation.
  • Pulmonary Vein Venography—helps determine the location of the pulmonary vein ostia, the base of the pulmonary veins, and guides the manipulation of the catheter.
  • Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE)
    —provides real-time information about anatomy to facilitate the transseptal puncture (from the right atrium to the left atrium) and to guide catheter ablation.
  • Electroanatomic Mapping System—reduces fluoroscopy exposure to doctors and patients and allows doctors to visualize structures in 3D and create appropriate lesions, particularly with the incorporation of previously-acquired MR or CT images.
  • Robotic Catheter Navigation—improves navigation precision and may shorten procedures, and includes the Stereotaxis’ Niobe magnetic navigation system, Hansen Medical’s Sensei robot, and Catheter Robotics’ Amigo robot.
  • Multielectrode Circumferential Mapping Catheter—verifies that the pulmonary veins are electrically isolated

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To learn more about advanced imaging and guidance systems, see Electroanatomic Mapping Systems and Robotic Catheter Navigation.

To learn more about whether catheter ablation is appropriate for you, see Are You a Candidate for Catheter Ablation.

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