Electrophysiology

Leiden University Medical Center’s arrhythmia section is active in all aspects of the care of children, adolescents, and adult patients with cardiac arrhythmias. Specialized out-patient clinics are organized for the care of patients with electrical devices and pediatric patients. Invasive procedures are performed in any of the three state-of-art LUMC catheterization laboratories. Neuro-humoral assessment equipment is available. All current 3-dimensional mapping and ablation systems are available and allow us to treat complex and life threatening arrhythmias.

The arrhythmia section has over 12 years experience with diagnosing and treating patients with cardiac arrhythmias. New pioneering techniques have been introduced to treat patients with atrial fibrillation or ventricular arrhythmias. Furthermore treating end-stage heart failure patients with resynchronization therapy is an important and challenging clinical task.

With more than 400 catheter ablation procedures, over 450 defibrillator implants, 180 resynchronization devices, and more than 60 surgical interventions (together with the department of thoracic surgery, Prof. R.A.E. Dion) in 2005 Leiden University Medical Center is one of the largest centres in Europe. 

Research

The focus of the clinical arrhythmia unit is shifting towards more basic topics. Together with Prof. A.C. Gittenberger-de Groot (department of Anatomy) and Prof. A. van der Laarse (laboratory of Experimental Cardiology) rsearch has started to reveal the clinical importance of the development of the conduction system. A new state of the art mapping system, installed in 2003, allows high density mapping studies of cell cultures and facilitates the stem-cell research program (together with D.E. Atsma, MD).
Image fusion is another essential line of research. Together with the department of Radiology (Prof. A. de Roos, MD) and J.J.Bax, MD (director of cardiac imaging) studies are performed to integrate CT/MRI and Intra-cardiac echo with 3-dimensional mapping systems to facilitate complex catheter ablation procedures. In the near future we expect to open an integrated MRI/cathlab facility.

Tissue Doppler imaging studies (together with J.J. Bax, MD) in patients with end-stage heart failure will result in improved selection criteria for resynchronization therapy candidates and in optimalization of the post implant status of the patients.

New 3-D mapping techniques are applied to facilitate treatment of patients with rapid ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation.

Patients with congenital heart disease and supra-ventricular arrhythmias represent an important clinical problem. Three dimensional mapping tools have been developed to improve the results of catheter ablation procedures in this group of patients.