NEW YORK, NY —
Sixty-three-year-old Lewis Milbouer, of Brooklyn, NY, was one of the first patients in the country to have the source of his irregular heartbeat diagnosed quickly and painlessly using a unique wearable sensor-enabled vest.
Cardiologists at Lenox Hill Hospital used the first and only FDA-approved non-invasive system – Medtronic's CardioInsight – to help them locate the origin of Mr. Milbouer's arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. The vest features 252 electrode sensors, each one providing insight about a specific area of the heart. The garment combines body surface electric signals from the chest with data from a computerized scan (CT) of the heart to create detailed 3D electro-anatomic images. The cardiac map, which can be created by capturing a single heartbeat, aids doctors in promptly and accurately identifying the exact site of an electrical malfunction within the heart.
Using the innovative system, Mr. Milbouer's physician, Nicholas Skipitaris, MD, director of electrophysiology, was able to pinpoint the exact location of his arrhythmia in under 10 minutes and subsequently treated it successfully with catheter ablation, a therapy that uses radiofrequency energy to destroy the abnormal tissue causing the malfunction. Mr. Milbouer was able to return to his active lifestyle, which includes working out five times a week, just days after the treatment. Dr. Skipitaris noted that without the CardioInsight data, Mr. Milbouer's particular case would have required more complex, time-consuming treatment and potentially may not have resulted in such a successful outcome.
Traditionally, cardiac mapping requires an invasive procedure where the patient, under local anesthesia, has a catheter inserted through a vein or artery in the electrophysiology laboratory. The physician guides the electrodes to different areas of the heart to gather data about its electrical signals in order to create spatial and electrical maps. Since the catheter cannot reach every part of the heart, some areas of the map are left blank.
Now, this new mapping system has the ability to provide a more complete 3D map from both the upper and lower chambers of the heart without the need for an invasive procedure. It is done without anesthesia right at the patient's bedside. The system combines the data typically provided by an in-depth EKG with that of a digitized CT scan resulting in a detailed image which illustrates precisely where the irregular electrical impulses are coming from. The sensor-enabled vest is able to offer physicians more comprehensive insights, as it can be worn for a period extensive enough to catch transient arrhythmias or ones that occur only at particular times, such as during physical activity, as was the case with Mr. Milbouer.
"A significant benefit of the CardioInsight system is that we get a very good understanding of exactly where we will be working in the heart before we begin treatment," said Dr. Skipitaris. "From a pre-procedure planning perspective, that information is invaluable because it helps us determine the optimal way to approach a particular abnormality ahead of time ensuring the therapy is successful. It can also save a substantial amount of time during treatment and improve the overall experience for the patient."
Cardiac arrhythmia is a fairly common medical condition in which the heart's internal electrical system malfunctions causing problems in the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. More than 850,000 Americans are hospitalized annually due to the condition. While most arrhythmias are harmless, some may be serious enough to cause organ damage, heart attack, stroke or even death if left untreated.
The Lenox Hill Heart & Vascular Institute is equipped with the latest technology to manage and treat the various types of cardiac arrhythmias, providing an array of minimally-invasive treatments, including ablation, pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, laser procedures, and cardiac resynchronization. To make an appointment, please call (877) HEART-BEAT.
# # #
About Lenox Hill Hospital
Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of Northwell Health, is a 652-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital located on Manhattan's Upper East Side with a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. US News & World Report has ranked the hospital among the top 10 hospitals in the state of New York with a total of five "high performing" designations for its clinical performance in Cancer Care, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Orthopedics and Urology. For more information, go to www.lenoxhillhospital.org.