News | May 06, 2009

University of Utah Health Care Opens First Integrated EP MRI Lab in North America

May 6, 2009 - University of Utah Health Care this week celebrated the opening of the first integrated electrophysiology (EP) MRI laboratory in North America.

Located on the fourth floor of University Hospital, the lab will accelerate the work of university physicians and researchers in diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart rhythm disorder affecting more than 3.5 million Americans and causing more than 66,000 deaths each year. University Health Care administrators, physicians, and staff joined with AF patients, donors, and Siemens executives for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the lab on Monday.

The new lab is a multi-disciplinary partnership between University Hospital, the university’s division of cardiology, department of radiology, Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, and the Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research (UCAIR). It features an 18,000-pound MAGNETOM 3T Verio from Siemens, which offers some of the most advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services clinically available, the hospital said. Officials said MRI’s 3D imaging provides greater resolution of the heart tissue than the 2D images typically used, giving physicians a more precise and powerful tool for diagnosis and treatment.

Nassir Marrouche, M.D., electrophysiologist and director of the university’s atrial fibrillation program, and his colleagues have conducted the most extensive studies to date on the use of novel MRI techniques for treating AF, an irregular heartbeat that interferes with the electrical signals of the heart. Left untreated, AF can lead to stroke or heart attack. A common and effective AF treatment method is radiofrequency ablation, which targets damaged heart cells and destroys them.

“We are refining image-based heart ablation procedures using MRI, which our research shows has the potential to improve the accuracy of the ablation, prevent complications, and decrease the number of repeat procedures,” said Marrouche. “These advances mean better outcomes for our patients.”

Initially, physicians will use the MRI equipment to diagnose appropriate candidates for cardiac ablation. They eventually will use the magnet for performing cardiac ablations using real-time MRI imaging.

The new lab also includes an Artis zeego angiography system, which is used for interventional imaging of the blood vessels and arteries and includes industrial robotic technology. According to E. A. “Steve” Stevens, M.D., professor and chair of the department of radiology, “We are combining two unique imaging technologies to increase the safety of ablative therapy and improve treatment outcomes. Our research shows that this technology integration will enable us to determine which patients with atrial fibrillation would be more likely to respond to ablative therapy and those for whom conservative therapy would be a better alternative.”

For more information: healthcare.utah.edu, medicine.utah.edu/internalmedicine/cardiology

Related Content

Carotid Artery MRI Improves Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | October 23, 2018
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of wall thickness in the carotid arteries improve cardiovascular disease...
FDA Clears Magnetom Sola 1.5T MRI From Siemens Healthineers
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | October 09, 2018
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Magnetom Sola, a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI...
Stress Cardiac MRI Shows High Prognostic Value for Suspected Ischemia Patients
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | September 17, 2018
Raymond Kwong, M.D., MPH, from the Harvard Medical School recently presented his findings on a study of how single-...
Rapid Cardiac MRI Technique May Cut Costs, Boost Care in Developing World
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 29, 2018
A newly developed rapid imaging protocol quickly and cheaply diagnosed heart ailments in patients in Peru, according to...
Videos | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 13, 2018
Haojie Wang, M.D., director of advanced cardiovascular MRI and a member of the heart valve clinic at Baylor Scott Whi
High Prevalence of Atherosclerosis Found in Lower Risk Patients
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | June 08, 2018
Whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) found a surprisingly high prevalence of atherosclerosis in people...
A cardiac MRI scanner at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center. There is growing concern that gadolinium contrast may cause chronic health problems in some patients.

A cardiac MRI scanner at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center. There is growing concern that gadolinium contrast may cause chronic health problems in some patients.

Feature | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 28, 2018 | Dave Fornell
One of the biggest concerns in radiology in recent years is the safety of gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) us
Contrast-Free Cardiac MRI May Better Assess Need for Mitral Valve Surgery
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 27, 2018
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirms non-invasive cardiac magnetic...
The FDA has cleared the Toshiba Vantage Galan 3.0T XGO Edition MRI from Canon Medical Systems.
Technology | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 12, 2018
February 12, 2018 — Physicians now have access to more neuro and cardiac ...
Overlay Init