Though rare, sudden cardiac arrest can be due to a range of underlying cardiac conditions, a CHOC Children’s cardiologist tells “American Health Journal.”
This can occur at anytime, but more often during sports activities, Dr. Anjan Batra says. Early indicators may be rapid heart rates, palpitations or chest pain during exercise. Dr. Batra recommends every child undergo a physical exam that includes cardiac screening.
Learn more about sudden cardiac arrest and its prevention in “American Health Journal,” a television program that airs on PBS and other national network affiliates that reach more than 40 million households.
Each 30-minute episode features six segments with a diverse range of medical specialists discussing a full spectrum of health topics. For more information, visit www.discoverhealth.tv.
Anjan Batra, M.D., attended medical school at Ohio State University and completed his internship, residency and fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
A CHOC Children’s physician is curing patients of chronic irregular heart beats by using an electrophysiology outpatient procedure that requires no radiation, a landmark achievement that signals a new direction in the field.
Safer and more accurate for young heart patients, the successful radiation-free electrophysiology procedure is credited to the skill and expertise of Dr. Anjan Batra, medical director of electrophysiology at the CHOC Children’s Heart Institute, as well as the state-of-the-art cardio mapping equipment inside the hospital’s new Bill Holmes Tower.
“This has really changed our field,” Dr. Batra said. “We can do so much more, and do it better and safer. It’s great to be in a field where we cannot just treat, but also cure. It’s great to help a patient so that they don’t have to see a doctor for the condition again.”
Dr. Batra performed the procedure using the CARTO 3 system, a three-dimensional cardio mapping system manufactured by Biosense Webster. The device uses catheters with locator sensors that transmit signals from inside the heart. This allowed Dr. Batra to visualize the beating heart by using these magnetic sources as reference points, rather than relying on fluoroscopy — an imaging technique that uses X-rays to obtain images of internal organs while they’re in motion –to reveal the catheters’ positions.
The result is a three-dimensional map of the heart that depicts the anatomy of the heart chamber, as well as how the electrical current flows in the chamber. This picture allows Dr. Batra to localize the patient’s abnormal current flow, mark it, and ablate it without using radiation that could potentially harm the patient as well as staff.
In the above image, the flow of electricity within the heart is shown as a red wave. Catheters can be seen floating within the heart. Areas of normal conduction are marked with a yellow dot, and areas with abnormal conduction are marked with red dots. Ablation at the red dots usually leads to successful elimination of the abnormal electrical cells.
In the above image, the flow of electricity within the heart is depicted in color from early (red) to late (purple). Catheters can be seen floating within the heart. Areas of normal conduction are marked with a yellow dot, and areas with abnormal conduction are marked with red dots. Ablation at the red dots usually leads to successful elimination of the abnormal electrical cells.
A radiation-free electrophysiology procedure is the latest revolution in a field that has already dramatically changed cardiology. The ability to perform fluoroless ablations could broaden the candidate pool for this life-changing procedure. For example, patients who recently underwent chest radiation could become candidates.
Also, because the map indicates ablation points, a surgeon could easily return to the spot should another episode occur. Further, the technique could present cost savings as it requires fewer catheters.
About 25 years ago, the only cure for these conditions was open heart surgery, and many patients simply tolerated the condition or relied on medication.
Today, the CHOC Electrophysiology Program is one of the largest regional programs of its kind, with experts performing more than 100 pediatric electrophysiological procedures each year, and eliminating 95 percent of arrhythmias from the upper chambers of the heart.
More information about CHOC’s electrophysiology services is available here.
Over 200 participants from across the country attended the 2nd biennial Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Children & Adolescents: Current Controversies Conference on January 25-26, 2013, at Disney’s Grand California Hotel and Spa in Anaheim. The notable conference, on the diagnosis, therapy and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest in children and adolescents, was held jointly by CHOC Children’s and UC Irvine, and chaired by Anjan Batra, M.D. medical director of electrophysiology at the CHOC Children’s Heart Institute.
Open to pediatricians, pediatric cardiologists, electrophysiologists and affiliated professionals involved and interested in the care of young people, the conference included topics on clinical syndromes associated with the risk of sudden death, arrhythmias in the young, use of automated external and implantable defibrillators in children, and screening, with an emphasis on defining levels of evidence and areas of controversy in management decisions.
The opening remarks were given by Ralph Clayman, M.D., Dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Dan Cooper, M.D., Chair of the University of California, Irvine Department of Pediatrics and Nick Anas, M.D., Pediatrician-in-Chief at CHOC Children’s. The faculty included many internationally renowned speakers including, Frank Marcus, M.D. from the University of Arizona and Barry Maron, M.D. from the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.
Proceedings from the conference are in the process of being published in a renowned pediatric journal. Excitement is already building for the 3rd Biennial Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Children & Adolescents: Current Controversies Conference in 2015. To learn more, please contact Anjan Batra, M.D. at 714-509-3939.