Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a progressive, chronic condition that causes the heart to beat rapidly and irregularly. Patients with AF often have symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and palpitations. AF affects approximately 350,000 Canadians.
Patients with AF are treated with medications and/or a minimally invasive procedure called catheter ablation. During an ablation procedure, a catheter is introduced into the heart from a vein in the groin or neck, and the physician selectively destroys tissue of the heart using heat, cold or radio energy. Unfortunately, ablation procedures are not always successful the first time, and 25-50% of patients require a second procedure.
We are designing imaging catheters that will help physicians perform safer and more effective ablation procedures. We will be using imaging methods, such as high-resolution ultrasound, to help physicians visualize the scar that is formed during ablation. This technology may help physicians to more effectively destroy the tissue that is causing the heart rhythm problem. The technologies we are proposing will be commercialized by Conavi Medical, a Canadian medical device company that develops imaging tools to guide cardiovascular procedures.
Dr. Brian Courtney PhD
Interventional Cardiologist / Scientist
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre / Sunnybrook Research Institute
Dr. Courtney develops new medical innovations, with a particular focus on imaging and therapeutic catheters for minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures. His current research projects include: