Seeing the heart of cardiac surgery

Siemens Medical Solutions has developed software that can provide 3D displays of the heart ventricle during ablation therapy, a surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia.

In ablation therapy, a permanent alternative to medication, myocardial cells in the left atrium are obliterated to interrupt the problematic pathway. As every patient is different, electro physiologists have to be able to discern the size and shape of the left ventricle in precise detail during the intervention.

The Siemens software, ‘syngo DynaCT Cardiac’, provides 3D displays of the ventricle from all sides, even during the intervention surgery.

During the examination, syngo DynaCT Cardiac delivers CT-like slice images of an organ in motion using an angiographic C-arm system. During the intervention, the surgeon moves the C-arm in a semicircle around the patient and acquires a defined number of projections, which are optionally ECG-triggered. As with a CT scanner, these projections are then reconstructed into slice images and a 3D representation, which are sent to the monitor at the angiography system.

Using the new software, the electrophysiologist can create images at the precise moment they are needed during the intervention. The physician previously had to rely on images taken the day before or during the patient’s last visit, usually with a CT or MRI system, but the state of organs can change continually. Images may be already obsolete the following day, but the physician has to use them as the basis for planning the intervention.

Since its market introduction in 2004, the researchers at Siemens Medical Solutions have continued development of the syngo DynaCT software and expanded its areas of application. In addition to neuroradiological acquisitions, physicians can use syngo DynaCT to generate soft tissue images of the entire body and detect tumors. Syngo DynaCT Cardiac also displays the heart for the first time.