Imricor, Mirtle Medical join forces on MRI-guided heart ablation

human heart
In cardiac ablation, electrophysiologists typically use x-ray fluoroscopy to guide catheters to the heart.

Imricor Medical Systems, which specializes in MRI-compatible devices, and Mirtle Medical, which makes MRI-compatible ECG equipment, are integrating their offerings to allow physicians treating cardiac arrhythmias to do so with real-time MRI guidance.

Specifically, they will combine Mirtle’s MRI-compatible, 12-lead ECG system with Imricor’s Advantage-MR EP Recorder/Stimulator System for use with Imricor’s MRI-compatible ablation catheters, according to a statement.

“Ablations to treat complex cardiac arrhythmias could benefit from the use of real-time MR imaging and these arrhythmias require 12-lead ECG monitoring during the procedure,” said Philipp Sommer, M.D., an electrophysiologist at the Helios Heart Center in Leipzig, Germany, in the statement.”This integration is a critical step towards realizing the full potential of MR-guided electrophysiology.”

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Atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias are typically treated using ablation, which creates small scars in heart tissue so it can no longer conduct the arrhythmia. But these procedures tend not to be guided in real time.

Electrophysiologists currently use live x-ray images to guide catheters to the heart from their entry point in the neck, arm or groin. Once they reach the heart, they use voltage-based mapping to determine where to ablate.

“Ablations guided by real-time MRI address the fundamental limitations of conventional x-ray guided procedures,” the companies said in the statement. “During MRI-guided ablations, physicians can see the heart and visualize and assess lesion formation to identify inadequate or incomplete ablation lines.”