Answers to Common Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about atrial fibrillation.

What heart arrhythmias may be treated with Stereotaxis technology?

Premier Health’s Dr. Mark Krebs discusses abnormal heart rhythms that may be treated with Stereotaxis technology. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

   

Stereotaxis is a magnetically driven robotic system used to perform cardiac ablation. Hence, this technology can effectively treat any abnormal heart rhythm for which cardiac ablation is indicated. Currently, cardiac ablation is very successful in curing arrhythmias that result from a “short circuit” in the heart that sends impulses to contract more frequently, resulting in a faster (and sometimes irregular) heart rate. These arrhythmias include:

  • Supraventricular tachycardia
    In this type of arrhythmia, the short circuit occurs above the ventricles—i.e. in the atria (upper chambers of the heart). Johns Hopkins Medicine classifies three types of supraventricular tachycardia:
    • Atrial flutter results from a single short circuit in the atria. While the atria contract more frequently, the rate of the ventricles remains normal.
    • Atrial fibrillation results from multiple short circuits in the atria. The number of electrical impulses overwhelm the atrioventricular node, resulting in the loss of coordination between atria and ventricles.
    • Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is usually caused by an additional connection (accessory pathway) between the atria and ventricles, allowing electrical signals to travel in a circular pattern, multiplying the number of signals the heart muscle receives to contract.
  • Ventricular tachycardia
    In this type of arrhythmia, the short circuit occurs in the ventricles, disrupting the electrical signals originating from the sinoatrial (SA) node, the heart’s natural pacemaker.

Atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation may be treated with Stereotaxis (cardiac ablation) alone. However, abnormal heart rhythms that require destroying the atrioventricular node to isolate errant electrical signals usually necessitate the implantation of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillation (ICD) to maintain a normal heart rhythm.

Speak with your health care provider to find out if your heart arrhythmia can be treated with Stereotaxis.

Learn more:

Source: Kevin Kravitz, MD, Dayton Heart Center; Mark E. Krebs, MD, Miami Valley Cardiologists; Abdul Wase, MD, The Premier Heart Associates; Sameh Khouzam, MD, Dayton Heart Center

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