Leicester University carries out world's first robotic cardiac
4 May 2010
A pioneering world first robotically controlled cardiac
ablation operation is to be conducted at Glenfield Hospital Leicester.
Dr Andre Ng, Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences at the
University of Leicester and a Consultant Cardiologist at University
Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, has been chosen to conduct the
first clinical procedure using the new Remote Catheter Manipulation
System (RCMS) developed by Catheter Robotics Inc. of New Jersey,
procedure involves inserting thin wires, called catheters, into
blood vessels at the top of the groin and navigating into the heart
chambers. Electrodes on the catheters record and stimulate different
regions of the heart to help the doctor identify the cause of the
heart rhythm problem which usually involves an abnormality in the
electrical wiring system of the heart.
Once this area is identified, one of the catheters will be placed
at the location to ablate or “burn” the tissue to cure the problem.
Catheter ablation has been developed and used over the past 2
decades effectively in many patients suffering palpitations due to
heart rhythm disturbances.
Dr Ng said: “The new Robotic procedure is an important step
forward because, while some procedures are straightforward, others
can take several hours. Because X-rays are used to allow the doctor
to monitor what is going on inside the patient, it means that
doctors standing close to the patient wear radiation shields such as
lead aprons which are burdensome. Protracted procedures can lead to
clinician fatigue and high cumulative radiation exposure.
“The benefit of the Robotics system to the patient is that
movement of the catheter could be done with great precision. It is
anticipated that further developments of the system may allow
complex procedures to be made more streamlined. On the other hand,
benefits to the doctor are that heavy lead aprons would not be
necessary as he/ she will be controlling the movements of the
catheter using the Remote Controller at a distance from the patient
outside the radiation area and that he/ she can be sitting closer to
the monitors displaying electrical signals and x-ray images as
opposed to standing at some distance across the room from them which
is current practice.”
Two other remote navigation systems are commercially available
but one uses a huge magnetic field to control a magnetic tip
catheter whilst the other uses a large deflectable sheath to move
the catheter. The RCMS has the benefit of using standard EPS
catheters which can be dismounted and remounted onto the system with
ease. The technology has obtained CE mark through rigorous bench
safety testing and pre-clinical studies and has now arrived at a
stage where it can be applied to clinical procedures.
Further clinical trials into the use of the RCMS (which is
distributed in the UK by Dot Medical) will be conducted with the
support of the new Biomedical Research Unit, a collaboration between
the University and the Hospitals Trust.