Researchers have shown that a novel near-infrared spectroscopy-based mapping method can differentiate between fat and muscle tissue in the heart. This distinction is crucial when using radiofrequency ablation to address the serious heart rhythm issue known as ventricular tachycardia.
The only therapy for ventricular tachycardia is radiofrequency ablation, which involves locating the parts of the heart that produce abnormal signals and heating them to the point where abnormal signals can no longer be transmitted. Finding the exact location to transfer energy during the procedure while avoiding healthy tissue is crucial but difficult.
For the first time, the study team demonstrates that different tissue types in hearts donated by patients with cardiovascular disease can be effectively identified by an ablation catheter incorporating near-infrared spectroscopy mapping. To improve the effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation therapy and lessen associated complications for ventricular tachycardia patients, the experts hope to implement the technology in the clinic.
The scientists used near-infrared spectroscopy, which involves shining light onto the tissue at various frequencies and then observing the reflected light. Based on the tissue’s absorption and scattering characteristics, this reflectance spectrum reveals information about the makeup of the tissue.
The method also provides data that could be used to create new computational models that would help advance our understanding of the mechanisms involved in arrhythmia, in addition to being used to guide ablation operations and assess how well they worked.
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