Hoag gets advanced heart imaging system

Categories: Heart & Vascular

Hoag Hospital has become one of 17 hospitals in the country — and just the second on the West Coast — to use a new 3D graphical display system to pinpoint the location of a patient's heart arrhythmia, the hospital has announced.

The Topera Rhythm View system, according to a news release, makes it more likely that certain types of treatment for heart disorders will be effective.

"Rhythm View is essentially a GPS of the heart's electrical activity, and its ability to target treatment for atrial fibrillation, the most common disorder of heart rhythm, has been phenomenal," Dr. Jay Lee, Hoag's electrophysiology program director, said in the release.

Success rates for a type of atrial fibrillation treatment called ablation typically range from 30% to 70%, and repeated treatments are often needed, in part because doctors may be unable to find the exact sources of problems within the heart. The Rhythm View system could help significantly boost success rates, the release said.

The equipment becomes part of Hoag's "leading edge" Allan and Sandy Fainbarg Electrophysiology Cath Lab Suite, the release said. Hoag cardiologist Michael Panutich called the technology a "game changer."

Newport Beach couple Pei-Yuan and Kitty Chia, supporters of the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart and Vascular Institute at Hoag, donated $700,000 to buy the system.

The couple made the donation in gratitude for Dr. Neala Hunter's work helping to find and treat the source of Pei-Yuan's three heart attacks.

"Dr. Hunter is wonderful," Pei-Yuan said in a statement. "She is very precise and very cautious.... She's also very pleasant, very kind and very upbeat. And she speaks with authority. I couldn't be in better hands."

Added Kitty of Hoag's staff: "We love them all."