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News

Magnetic navigation system helps treat pulmonary atresia patient

Stereotaxis : 17 July, 2008  (Company News)
The paediatric cardiology team at the Heart and Diabetes Center of North Reinland-Westphalia in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, has performed a first-of-its-kind-procedure using the Stereotaxis' Niobe Magnetic Navigation System to treat pulmonary atresia in a 10-year old boy.
Pulmonary atresia is a congenital malformation of the pulmonary valve which obstructs the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs. As a result, blood is forced to flow to the lungs through a hole in the inner wall of the heart, known as a ventricular septal defect, and around a circuitous route through small, winding vessels. The disease severely limits the efficient transport of oxygen throughout the body.

The patient had failed a previous surgical attempt to correct the atresia because there were no vessels of adequate size or quality to utilise. After two conventional catheterization attempts, the Bad Oeynhausen team, lead by Dr Nikolaus Haas, director of the Catheterization Laboratory in the Department of Congenital Heart Defects at the Heart and Diabetes Center, used Stereotaxis' software to create a 3D model of the tortuous vessels that had replaced this patient's absent pulmonary artery.

The Niobe Magnetic Navigation System then made it possible for the team to navigate a magnetic guidewire through the entire length of the difficult vessel and place a specialised Stent that now permits increased blood flow from the aorta to the left lung, increasing the amount of oxygen that can be pumped around the body.

Less than two days after the procedure, the young patient was discharged from the hospital. Before the procedure, the patient was cyanotic, appearing blue due to insufficient oxygen supply, and could not walk 100 metres without running out of breath. Today, his colour is good, and he is able to walk more than 1000 metres before needing to rest. Dr Hass believes that the patient will experience still greater improvement after a second, planned procedure to improve blood flow to his right lung, and that the patient is well on the road to being able to participate in day-to-day activities, like walking to school and playing with friends.

'With the Stereotaxis technology, we are now able to help patients whose quality of life is extremely limited by severe congenital heart defects that have few viable treatment options,' said Dr Haas. 'This patient nearly died during an earlier conventional procedure, and we thought we had exhausted our options to improve his quality of life. Based on this initial experience with the Stereotaxis System, we have already scheduled another patient with pulmonary atresia for this new procedure. In our current patient population alone there are at least 20 additional children with this disease who can benefit from the unique capabilities of the Stereotaxis technology.'

'We are extremely gratified to see this young boy's life change so dramatically, and we applaud the ingenuity of Dr Haas and his team,' said Bevil Hogg, chief executive officer of Stereotaxis. 'This case underscores the value of the Niobe Navigation System as a platform for a broad range of interventional procedures beyond our core electrophysiology applications, and it is very rewarding to be part of such a groundbreaking application of our technology.'
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