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GE Medical Systems’ new Cardep™ software holds promise for increasing the practice of atrial fibrillation ablation procedures for the 2 million Americans with arrhythmia

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

GE Medical Systems, in concert with St. Luke’s Medical Centers and Aurora Sinai Medical Center, both of Milwaukee, have released early clinical research findings which hold promise for simplifying and increasing the use of atrial fibrillation ablation procedures for the treatment of patients with arrhythmia. The abstract to be presented at the 24th Annual Scientific Session of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (NASPE), in Washington, D.C., and will be published in the 2003 issue of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology Journal.

Atrial fibrillation ablation procedures are performed at fewer than 50 percent of the hospitals with EP labs in the United States. Simplifying this complex procedure may result in a more routine use of ablation with the estimated 2 million American’s diagnosed with this type of arrhythmia.

“Atrial fibrillation ablation is an extremely challenging procedure, which can take up to six hours to complete,” explained Jasbir Sra, M.D., clinical professor of medicine, St. Luke’s and Aurora Sinai Medical Centers, who co-conducted the study with David Krum, M.S., Aurora Sinai Medical Center. “Registering a CT 3D atrial model in an EP mapping system allows the electrophysiologist to see the left atrium and pulmonary veins in real time, facilitating the ability to perform the ablation procedure.”

In this preliminary study, 21 patients were scanned on a GE LightSpeed Ultra with cardiac gated reconstruction to isolate the left atrium. The left atrium, along with the pulmonary veins, was segmented using GE’s new CardEP software. The 3D models of each patient were reviewed and anatomical landmarks were determined prior to sending these models to the EnSite® advanced non-contact mapping system from Endocardial Solutions, Inc., where the patient’s 3D electrical activation map from the EnSite System was integrated and displayed on the 3D segmented anatomical image from the CardEP software.

The Results:

In all 21 patients, the pulmonary veins and left atrium- pulmonary vein junctions were successfully identified, all anatomical landmarks were visible, and the EnSite 3D electrical activation maps were successfully registered and displayed on the 3D CT model. Ablation procedures were successfully performed using currently accepted techniques.

According to Sra, “The results of this early clinical study are very promising. We will conduct further feasibility research using CT image registration with the goal of using this procedure in clinical practice in the near future. This technique may enable more electrophysiologists to perform ablation procedures, which, in turn, opens the doors to new and improved ways to care for patients with arrhythmia,” said Sra.

About GE Medical Systems:

GE Medical Systems is a $9 billion global leader in medical imaging, interventional procedures, healthcare services, and information technology. Its offerings include networking and productivity tools, clinical information systems, patient monitoring systems, surgery and vascular imaging, conventional and digital X-ray, computed tomography, electron beam tomography, magnetic resonance, ultrasound and bone mineral densitometry, positron emission tomography, nuclear medicine, and a comprehensive portfolio of clinical and business services. For more than 100 years, health care providers worldwide have relied on GE Medical Systems for high quality medical technology and productivity solutions. For more information about GE Medical Systems, visit our Web site at www.gemedical.com.

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