Faster, safer and better catheter ablation?
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Undoubtedly the pace at which we are living increases step by step on a daily basis. Since this is a gradual process in general, this may go unnoticed to some, but the implications on healthcare are not to be taken too lightly. Interventional electrophysiology as a distinct entity is a relatively young discipline. It has gone through several groundbreaking changes in a short time span. Although the first measurements of cellular currents date from the late 1800s, in general the birth of invasive clinical electrophysiology, associated with the use of programmed electrical cardiac stimulation combined with intracardiac activation mapping by the groups of Durrer and Coumel, is said to be no earlier than 1967. After having been used for several years as a diagnostic tool to evaluate the effect of anti-arrhythmic drugs, the therapeutic options of electrophysiology emerged in the early 1980s with the ‘shock’ ablation of the His bundle. At roughly the same time the pacing branch of electrophysiology experienced a comparable ‘shock’ with the introduction of the first implantable automatic defibrillator. In the last decade, there has been a relentless innovation in the field of electrophysiology. The invasive electrophysiological armamentarium now consists of numerous diagnostic tools, multiple implantable devices aiming to pace, defibrillate or resynchronize the heart and a continuously growing number of manually and remotely navigated ablation catheters in various shapes and sizes.
- catheter ablation