High Tech Mapping Helps Correct Irregular Heart Rhythms


John HayesPatients with irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia who don’t respond to medication or lifestyle changes may require cardiac ablation – a procedure used to scar small areas of the heart that may be causing heart rhythm problems.


Cardiologists at St Andrew’s now have access to the state-of-the-art Rhythmia Mapping System (RMS) which can obtain high resolution three dimensional maps of complex arrhythmias in the heart much more quickly and accurately than other mapping systems, saving time and potentially increasing the success rate of the cardiac ablation procedure.


St Andrew’s based cardiologist Dr John Hayes, who used the RMS in arrhythmia procedures recently, said the system was vastly superior to previously available mapping technology.


“As an example, a map with current systems might have 150 activation points and take 30 minutes to generate whereas the RMS will generate an activation map of 5000 points in 10 minutes – it’s like the early digital photos taken with a one megapixel camera versus a new 50 megapixel camera.


“This will help us locate difficult arrhythmias more precisely and allow us to ablate them and cure them,” Dr Hayes said.


General Manager of St Andrew’s Hospital, Andrew Barron, said the hospital has a long history of cardiac care and innovation.


“We were the first private hospital in Queensland to carry out open heart surgery in 1985 and our commitment to provide the most advanced cardiac care to our patients continues today.


“Thirty years later, we are now the first hospital in the southern hemisphere to utilise the Rhythmia Mapping System in a commercial setting which offers benefits to doctors and patients,” he said.