Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust is the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK and among the largest in Europe. It has recently installed a magnetic navigation catheter lab at Royal Brompton Hospital combining the advanced technologies of a Siemens AXIOM Artis dFC angiography system, a Niobe™ Magnetic Guidance System with Navigant™ and an Odyssey network system from Stereotaxis.
Prime Minister, Gordon Brown unveiled the new equipment at a ceremony where he also announced plans to create ten academic health science centres to bring together world-class research.
The new set-up will allow experts at the hospital to carry out interventional cardiology including radiofrequency ablation. Its innovative capabilities are designed to help the Trust’s leading cardiologists to carry out complex cases with enhanced precision.
The system also incorporates the first Siemens’ syngo DynaCT Cardiac Workstation in the UK. It will allow clinicians at the hospital to obtain 3D cross sectional reconstructions of the beating heart to aid electrophysiology. During an examination, the software gathers CT-like images of the heart in motion during one fast rotation of the C-arm and then displays them within 30 seconds on the work station.
This technique is invaluable for image-guided procedures, providing precise three-dimensional displays of the heart at the moment of intervention. This improves orientation and guidance of the catheter, enables confident planning of complex ablation procedures and has the potential to save time and costs by eliminating pre-procedural CT scans.
The full magnetic navigation cardiac catheterisation system operates with two magnets of the Niobe system that produce a navigational magnetic field of approximately 0.1 Tesla in any direction. Specially designed catheters and guide wires with a small magnetic tip can then be guided to a desired position within the heart using a combination of the imaging of the AXIOM Artis dFC and the Niobe magnets. This unique catheter steering procedure ensures accurate navigation to accelerate workflow in diagnostic and interventional procedures.
Dr Sabine Ernst, Consultant Electrophysiologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust and pioneer of the first magnetic navigation catheter ablation lab in Europe states, “The launch of our new state-of-the-art magnetic navigation catheter lab marks a step forward for cardiology and electrophysiology. Having overseen the development of the lab from day one, I am confident that its cutting-edge technology will not only benefit a large number of patients but will also allow Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust to share the very latest in research and best practice with other specialist centres across Europe and the USA.”
Susie Guthrie, AX Product Manager at Siemens, states, “The combined cutting edge technologies of Siemens, Stereotaxis and Biosense Webster have delivered a unique magnetic navigation cardiac solution that uses advanced techniques to enhance the accuracy of interventions. This bespoke installation project has been an exciting and unique initiative that we look forward to following and evaluating the full clinical benefits.”
Included in the delivery was the ‘CARTO RMT Electrophysiology Mapping System’ from Biosense Webster. When combined with the Stereotaxis and Siemens technology, the software enables, for the first time, closed-loop navigation of magnetically steered catheters. Tracking the location of the catheter in real time, the software shares this information with the Niobe system, allowing the physician to rapidly and precisely navigate the catheter from the control room.
The lab has also been equipped with Siemens’ ‘Sensis XP Haemo’ and ‘EP64’ applications that provide recording capabilities for both haemodynamics and electrophysiology to increase efficiency in the collection of patient data. Sensis has a one-stop registration process for both exams, enabling clinicians to switch seamlessly between applications. The solution communicates bi-directionally with the AXIOM Artis imaging system and the CARTO RMT system to eliminate duplicate entries and errors, ensuring that data is identical.
Photos: Magnetic Navigation, Royal Brompton Hospital