September 8, 2009 – Siemens Healthcare and SurgiVision Inc. today announced an agreement for the codevelopment 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 clinic a fully integrated EP MRI system that promises to improve conventional catheter-based cardiac procedures.
Combining Siemens’ and SurgiVision’s technologies and expertise in real-time MRI-guided interventions, the companies plan on building a fully integrated hardware, software and catheter system to provide real-time visualization and to eliminate radiation exposure.
The companies are working in close research collaboration with the University of Utah to develop the system. Dr. Nassir F. Marrouche, electrophysiologist and director of the University of Utah’s Atrial Fibrillation Program, indicated, "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."
In May, University Health Care took another step forward 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 healthcare burden with the annual costs estimated at $7 billion.
“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 Christine Lorenz, M.D., director, Center for Applied Medical Imaging, Siemens Healthcare and Siemens Corporate Research Inc.