Siemens and SurgiVision to develop MRI-guided cardiac electrophysiology system

10 September 2009

Siemens Healthcare and SurgiVision, Inc. have announced an agreement for the co-development and commercialization of a real-time magnetic resonance image (MRI)-guided cardiac electrophysiology (EP) system.

The two companies are collaborating with the University of Utah to bring to the clinical stage a fully integrated, ground-breaking EP MRI system that promises to improve conventional catheter-based cardiac procedures.

“Siemens’ scanner technologies, platform for interactive real-time guidance, and market leadership in MRI are second to none. By bringing together Siemens’ capabilities with SurgiVision’s technologies and expertise in real-time MRI-guided interventions, we are well-positioned to deliver a fully integrated hardware, software and catheter system that will provide real-time visualization within an intuitive physician interface and a procedure that eliminates radiation exposure,” said Kimble Jenkins, chief executive officer of SurgiVision.

He added, “Our close research collaboration with the University of Utah rounds out our team with deep clinical expertise and broad research capabilities.” “We are excited to work with SurgiVision in the development of these important technologies that have the potential to significantly improve therapies for patients suffering from cardiac arrhythmias, in particular atrial fibrillation,” said Walter Märzendorfer, chief executive officer, Magnetic Resonance, Siemens Healthcare.

“Both companies have long believed in the power of MR to play a significant role in EP procedures. Our collective vision is to provide the physician with the ability to monitor the EP therapy in real-time and to visualize the lesions,” said Dr. Christine Lorenz, director, Center for Applied Medical Imaging, Siemens Healthcare and Siemens Corporate Research, Inc.

"We are refining image-based cardiac ablation procedures using MRI, which our research indicates has the potential to improve the accuracy of the ablation, prevent complications, and decrease the number of repeat procedures," said Dr. Nassir F. Marrouche, electrophysiologist and director of the University of Utah’s Atrial Fibrillation Program.

In May, University Health Care took another step forward in this regard by opening an integrated EP-MRI clinical and research lab, which provides real-time delayed enhancement MRI for treating atrial fibrillation patients.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting more than 3 million people in the United States and more than 7 million people worldwide. Atrial fibrillation is a leading cause of stroke among people 65 years or older and is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality as well as a reduced quality of life. Treatment of Atrial fibrillation represents a significant health care burden with the annual costs estimated at $7 billion.

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