First study of heart 'maps' for kids could help correct rapid rhythms

The first study of a procedure to make three-dimensional "maps" of electrical signals in children's hearts could help cardiologists correct rapid heart rhythms in young patients, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Children with the condition atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia, or AVNRT, suffer from disruptions in the heart's electrical system that cause sudden rapid . Patients have been successfully treated with cardiac ablation , in which the that causes the condition is destroyed by freezing (cryoablation).

It can be a difficult procedure because every patient may have a different area of abnormal tissue causing the arrhythmia, so low-voltage mapping is used to create a profile of high- and low-voltage areas of tissue to guide ablation. However, no research has been done on children until now.

"This is the first study to look at this technique in ," said Lindsey Malloy, D.O., lead researcher and a cardiology fellow and researcher at University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City. "It has the potential to improve ablation success rates."

Malloy and her colleagues created three-dimensional voltage maps of the right atrium (upper chamber of the heart), using electrical recordings from inside the heart. They also identified a bridge of low voltage signals surrounded by even lower voltage tissue, a "saddle", or voltage bridge indicating where there was reduced .

Twenty-nine patients between the ages of 7 and 20 were included in the study.

Physicians performed guided cryoablation of the abnormal electrical pathway using the bridge identified by voltage mapping. In 25 of 29 patients, there was an adequate voltage bridge to allow guided ablation, while the successful ablation site was within the first three lesions in 15 out of 25 patients.

"This use of voltage-guided mapping of this voltage bridge in AVNRT appears to be both safe and very effective in children while providing for more precise electrically guided ablation," Malloy said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study: Removing clot helps limit stroke disability

6 hours ago

For the first time in several decades, a new treatment has been shown to limit the damage from a common type of stroke. Researchers in the Netherlands found that mechanically removing a clot in addition to using a clot-busting ...

Growing shortage of stroke specialists seen

12 hours ago

Although stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States, there's an increasing shortage of neurologists who specialize in stroke care.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.