Baptist Health specialists 1st in Florida to use radiation therapy to treat heart disorder

Stereotactic body radiation therapy was successfully used to treat a man with ventricular tachycardia, a heart rhythm disorder, for the first time in Florida by specialists at Baptist Health's Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute and Miami Cancer Institute, the health system announced March 24. 

During the noninvasive procedure, clinicians used electrocardiograms and CT scans as a 3D guide to target the source of the patient's arrhythmia and then delivered a single, high dose treatment of radiation therapy. The procedure took a few minutes and the 77-year-old patient went home the same day. 

Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute's Mario Pascual, MD, and cardiac electrophysiologist, and Rupesh Kotecha, MD, chief of radiosurgery, led the procedure. 

"Despite heart disease and cancer being the two top causes of death in the United States and worldwide, cardiac and radiation teams typically don't interact," said Dr. Pascual. "If we look at who was involved, it was an electrophysiologist, our advanced heart failure team, our general cardiologist, our cardiac imaging specialist, and radiation oncology team." 

Based on the procedure's success, future patients with ventricular tachycardia who have exhausted other treatments will be evaluated and considered for treatment with SBRT, the physicians said. 

More articles on cardiology:
1st US patient implanted with leadless pacemaker at HonorHealth
Heart associations update guidance on heart failure treatment
Virginia hospital launches heart failure clinic to curb readmissions

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