St. David's HealthCare
February 08, 2017

Next-Generation Cardiac Mapping System Enables Tailored Treatment for Patients with Cardiac Arrhythmias

AUSTIN, TEXAS—On December 20, 2016, the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute (TCAI) at St. David’s Medical Center became the first facility in the nation to use the EnSite Precision™ cardiac mapping system to treat Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) and Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT), conditions marked by an abnormally fast heart rhythm caused from improper electrical activity in the upper part of the heart—as well as Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC), a condition involving extra heart beats that disrupt a normal heart rhythm. The EnSite cardiac mapping system is a next-generation platform designed to provide automation, flexibility and accuracy for diagnostic mapping used in ablation procedures to treat patients with abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.

Amin Al-Ahmad, M.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist at TCAI, performed the first VT and SVT cases. Jason Zagrodzky, M.D., who is also an electophysiologist at TCAI, performed the first PVC case.

When physicians use catheter ablation to treat cardiac arrhythmias, several long, flexible tubes with wires, called catheters, are inserted into the heart. Diagnostic catheters record and “map” electrical information from the heart, and the EnSite Precision cardiac mapping system provides highly detailed anatomical models and maps to enable diagnosis of a wide range of arrhythmias, guide therapy and expand procedural options. Ablation catheters then deliver radiofrequency energy, and the heat from the catheter creates a lesion or scar on the tissue where the abnormal heartbeats originate. As a result, this tissue is no longer capable of conducting or sustaining the arrhythmia.

“Advanced cardiac mapping is a complex task, and this technology allows us to further improve accuracy and speed, ultimately resulting in better outcomes and improved quality of life for our patients,” Andrea Natale, M.D., F.H.R.S., F.A.C.C., F.E.S.C., cardiac electrophysiologist and executive medical director of TCAI, said.

The most common arrhythmia is Atrial Fibrillation, or A Fib, which affects more than 3 million Americans—and millions more worldwide. A Fib is a very fast, irregular heartbeat that occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat so fast that they only can quiver. Left untreated, A Fib can cause a stroke.

EnSite Precision™ cardiac mapping system was approved by the FDA on Dec. 15, 2016, and it received CE (European Conformity) Marking in January 2016.

Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute

Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute (TCAI) at St. David’s Medical Center is one of the world’s preeminent centers dedicated to the latest treatment advances for correcting abnormal heart rhythms such as Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib). The center is led by Executive Medical Director Andrea Natale, M.D., a world-renowned expert in the field. Natale is at the forefront of advancing treatment for A Fib, leading numerous clinical trials and participating in the development of new technologies and procedures. TCAI is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2014.

St. David’s Medical Center

St. David’s Medical Center is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized in 2014 with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Founded in 1924, St. David’s Medical Center is a full-service medical center offering comprehensive medical care at three locations—St. David’s Medical Center, Heart Hospital of Austin and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital.

Located in central Austin, St. David’s Medical Center includes a 350-bed acute care hospital and a 64-bed rehabilitation hospital providing comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care. It is home to the internationally renowned Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute and St. David’s Neuroscience & Spine Institute. The hospital provides a complete range of women’s services, including its acclaimed maternity unit, maternal-fetal medicine, a high-risk maternal and neonatal transport team, the region’s largest and most sophisticated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and The Breast Center; complex surgical services; a comprehensive Bariatric Surgery Center; and a 24-hour emergency department.

St. David’s Medical Center was recently ranked among the top hospitals in the nation by earning a five-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) new Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating system, and it was named among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics from 2010 to 2016. Truven also named St. David’s Medical Center to the list of 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in 2013, 2015 and 2016. The hospital earned a national distinction for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group from 2012 to 2016, and it received the 2016 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades for the fifth consecutive year, as well as Healthgrades’ 2016 America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award for the second consecutive year.