John C. Lincoln Medical Center is the first in Arizona, and only one of eight hospitals in the U.S., to reduce radiation utilizing MediGuideª Technology.
MediGuide is a 3-D visualization system that facilitates live navigation of special MediGuide Enabledª catheters. Similar to GPS technology that drivers use to determine the location of their vehicle on a map, the MediGuide Technology uses low power electromagnetic signals to locate a miniature sensor, which is placed in the tip of the catheter.
MediGuide Technology can reduce or eliminate the need for live fluoroscopy by using pre-recorded fluoroscopic images. Recorded fluoroscopic images reduce the duration of exposure to radiation for patients, physicians, and support staff in the procedure room because fluoroscopy is only needed at short intervals and the short duration of the fluoroscopic images can be constantly "looped" or replayed.
The following are procedures that can be used with MediGuide:
- Patients with atrial fibrillation.
- Defibrillator implantation.
- Pacemaker implantation.
Impact on Radiation Exposure
Medical imaging through an X-ray only provides a snapshot of the body. To accurately project images of the heart, a continued series of X-rays, also called fluoroscopy, is necessary. Fluoroscopy can result in prolonged exposure to harmful radiation for physicians, support staff and patients.
Physicians can continually track and update the real-time location and orientation of the MediGuide-enabled tools inside the heart through the information gathered from the electromagnetic detection process.
Worldwide, physicians perform several billion radiation-based imaging studies annually; approximately one-third are in cardiovascular patients. According to the American Heart Association, the collective dose of ionizing radiation that patients annually received during medical tests increased among the general population an estimated 600 percent between 1980 and 2006 — a dramatic increase in human exposure to ionizing radiation.