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Severe disorders of the heart rhythm can be treated by radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation. However, the precise localization of the arrhythmogenic sites and the positioning of the RF catheter are currently problematic. To shorten the duration of the RF ablation procedure and increase its efficacy, we have developed a catheter navigation system. Our prototype consists of a Pentium III computer, a frame grabber and an analog to digital converter. It can: 1) localize the catheter tips from fluoroscopic images of the heart; 2) automatically measure the local activation times on the electrograms recorded with the catheter at multiple sites, and 3) superimpose over the fluoroscopic images, animated and translucent color lines depicting the electrical activation sequence from which the cardiologist can precisely localize the arrhythmogenic site with respect to the RF catheter. In this paper we describe our first achievements and failures with the development of a fluoroscopic navigation system to guide RF catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias.
Date of Conference: 17-21 Sept. 2003