K. L. Venkatachalam, M.D., studies interventional approaches to managing rhythm disorders of the heart. He combines his background in electronics engineering design and clinical cardiac electrophysiology to develop catheters, electronic hardware and software to enhance safety and efficacy in the electrophysiology lab during the evaluation and ablation of arrhythmias, specifically atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. He also investigates novel drug treatments for supraventricular tachycardia.
- Design of ablation catheter systems to minimize coagulum formation during mapping and ablation of tachyarrhythmias
- Investigation of inhaled drugs to terminate supraventricular tachycardia
- Development of hardware and software to map and ablate cardiac tissue more effectively (lower noise, finer mapping electrodes with more effective energy delivery)
Significance to patient care
One of the feared complications during atrial fibrillation ablation is the development of clots in the left atrium, which could then cause a stroke. This continues to occur despite aggressive anticoagulation during procedures. By developing catheter systems that reduce or eliminate coagulum formation, Dr. Venkatachalam hopes to improve the safety of this procedure. This may also allow improved delivery of energy to the heart during ablation, enhancing the efficacy of the procedure.
The requirements for detailed mapping of cardiac arrhythmias are different from that of efficient energy delivery. Dr. Venkatachalam is also working on approaches to optimize fine mapping and effective ablation simultaneously.