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New technology for pacemaker patients

A hi-tech improvement to the surgical implantation of pacemakers into patients with heart failure is being pioneered by specialists at Guy’s and St Thomas’.GSTT pacemaker

Using software developed by clinicians and engineers at King’s College London in collaboration with experts from Siemens Healthcare, doctors are able to process precise information from cardiac magnetic resonance images (MRI) and combine these with live X-rays during the implant procedure.

The integrated information from these diagnostic images is displayed on a screen, providing doctors with real-time data as they implant the pacemaker. Clinicians can see a 3D model of the patient’s heart superimposed over the X-ray of their chest while they carry out the procedure. This highly detailed fusion of two images means the team implanting the pacemaker can place the leads into the best possible position – improving the pacemaker’s effectiveness.

Professor Aldo Rinaldi, consultant cardiologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and project lead, says:

This highly sophisticated technology gives us a much clearer image of the patient’s heart and so enables us to carry out the pacemaker implantation with greater precision. Integrating the MRI and X-ray images boosts the accuracy of the implantation procedure and we believe it increases the likelihood of a successful pacemaker fitting.