Robotics to treat arrhythmia

Robotics and the ablation of atrial fibrillation using magnetic navigation dominated the work of the symposium “Robotics, the new frontier to treat arrhythmia”.

For Professor Pedro Adragão, cardiologist and coordinator of the Cardiac Rhythm Centre of Hospital da Luz, and director of the symposium “Robotics, the new frontier to treat arrhythmia”, the robotic ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) brings many advantages, such as less exposure to x-rays, shorter execution times, fewer complications and a higher success rate, plus the obvious automatisation of the procedure.

In fact, AF ablation by magnetic navigation represents fewer risks, as the clinical results of the Cardiac Rhythm Centre of the Hospital show, which cover about 1300 cases of robotic ablation by magnetic navigation, about 800 of which were AF robotic ablation.

Eduardo Saad, director of the Atrial Fibrillation Centre of Hospital Pró-Cardíaco, of Rio de Janeiro, spoke on the importance of imaging techniques in AF ablation, stating that the image is fundamental. But other resources are needed, given the risks that exposure to x-rays represents to patients and health care professionals.

Sabine Ernst, chief researcher in electrophysiology and cardiology consultant at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital in London, spoke on the subject of robotic ablation in patients with congenital cardiopathy, including the arrhythmias that can result from surgery to treat congenital heart disease.

The new techniques that integrate imaging into the ablative tools have made AF ablation possible and safe for these patients. The 3D electroanatomical mapping in combination with 3D images before the procedure and remote magnetic navigation have come on the scene as a key technology for these difficult cases, said the researcher.

In closing the work of the symposium, which also included AF ablative procedures done in the operating theatre of the Cardiac Rhythm Centre of Hospital da Luz, Luigi Di Biase, professor of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Montefiore Hospital, in New York, spoke on atrial ablation by magnetic navigation for diseases such as ischemia, saying that this type of technology offers a more intuitive and automatized mode of navigation, safer than the ‘standard’ navigation, although more studies still have to be done to reach firmer conclusions on its advantages.