Ray Helms

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States

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Publications (7)33.21 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: LA Mechanical Function After Linear Lesions. Introduction: The extent of left atrial (LA) mechanical function recovery after creation of linear lesions using the loop catheter has not been determined.Methods and Results: LA mechanical function was assessed before and after linear lesions using transthoracic two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography in two groups: (I) normal, which consisted of eight healthy dogs in normal sinus rhythm (NSR); and (2) atrial fibrillation (AF), which consisted of nine dogs in spontaneous AF for 6 months following rapid pacing-induced AF. NSR was restored with linear lesions in all AF dogs. All animals were in NSR 5 months after linear lesions. In the normal dogs, the maximal velocity of the transmitral flow “A” wave was reduced by 42% during the first week postablation and by 24% at 5 months versus preablation. At 5 months, no differences in LA function were noted between the normal and the AF group for all measured Doppler parameters. At 5 months, the LA systolic area in AF dogs was reduced by 40% (preablation 12.9 ± 2.9 cm2, postablation 7.6 ± 1.2 cm2; P < 0.01) and in the normal dogs by 21% (preablation 10.0 ± 0.9 cm2, postablation 7.8 ± 1.2 cm2; P < 0.02), being the same in both groups within 3 months of recovery.Conclusion: The creation of linear lesions with the loop catheter does not result in LA expansion. In normal dogs, LA mechanical activity is reduced for 3 weeks postablation. The time course of LA mechanical function recovery is the same for the AF and the NSR dogs, and it is complete at 3 months postablation. At 5 months, LA systolic function parameters in both groups are reduced by 24% versus the preablation values of the normal dogs. Linear lesions result in a significant reduction in LA size.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 06/2008; 11(12):1397 - 1406. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complex fractionated atrial electrograms (CFAE) may identify critical sites for perpetuation of atrial fibrillation (AF) and provide useful targets for ablation. Current assessment of CFAE is subjective; automated detection algorithms may improve reproducibility, but their utility in guiding ablation has not been tested. In 67 patients presenting for initial AF ablation (42 paroxysmal, 25 persistent), LA and CS mapping were performed during induced or spontaneous AF. CFAE were identified by an online automated computer algorithm and displayed on electroanatomical maps. A mean of 28 +/- 18 sites/patient were identified (20 +/- 13% of mapped sites), and were more frequent during persistent AF. CFAE occurred most commonly within the CS, on the atrial septum, and around the pulmonary veins. Ablation initially targeting CFAE terminated AF in 88% of paroxysmal AF, but only 20% of persistent AF (P < 0.001). Subsequently, additional ablation was performed in all patients (PV isolation for paroxysmal AF, PV isolation + mitral and roof lines for persistent AF). Minimum follow-up was 1 year. One-year freedom from recurrent atrial arrhythmias without antiarrhythmic drug therapy after a single procedure was 90% for paroxysmal AF, and 68% for persistent AF. Ablation guided by automated detection of CFAE proved feasible, and was associated with a high AF termination rate in paroxysmal, but not persistent AF. As an adjunct to conventional techniques, it was associated with excellent long-term single procedure outcomes in both groups. Criteria for identifying optimal CFAE sites for ablation, and selection of patients most likely to benefit, require additional study.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 06/2008; 19(6):613-20. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Creation of radiofrequency lesions to isolate the pulmonary veins (PV) and ablate atrial fibrillation (AF) has been complicated by stenosis of the PVs. We tested a cryoballoon technology that can create electrical isolation of the PVs, with the hypothesis that cryoenergy will not result in PV stenosis. Lesions were created in 9 dogs (weight 31-37 kg). Cryoenergy was applied to the PV-left atrial (LA) interface. Data collected before and after ablation included PV orifice size, arrhythmia inducibility, electrogram activity, and pacing threshold in the PVs. Tissue examination was performed immediately after ablation in 3 dogs and after 3 months (4.8 +/- 1.0) in 6 dogs. After ablation there was no localized P wave activity in the ablation zone and no LA-PV conduction. Before ablation, the pacing threshold was 1.9 +/- 1.1 mA in each PV. After ablation, the pacing threshold increased significantly to 7.2 +/- 1.8 mA, or capture was not possible. Burst pacing did not induce any sustained arrhythmias. Most dogs had hemoptysis during the first 24 to 48 hours. Acute tissue examination revealed hemorrhagic injury of the atrial-PV junction that extended into the lung parenchyma. After recovery, the lesions were circumferential and soft with no PV stenosis. Histologic examination revealed fibrous tissue with no PV-LA interface thickening. This new cryoballoon technology effectively isolates the PVs from LA tissue. No PV stenosis was noted. Acute tissue hemorrhage and hemoptysis are short-term complications of this procedure. After 3 months of recovery, cryoablated tissue exhibits no collagen or cartilage formation.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 04/2003; 14(3):281-6. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the animal model, segmentation of the atria with radiofrequency-generated linear lesions (LL) using the loop catheter has been shown to be highly effective in terminating chronic atrial fibrillation (AF). This study addresses the question whether the same lesion set also would prevent reinduction and sustainability of AF. We studied two groups of dogs. The AF group included eight dogs in which the atria were paced until chronic AF was present. After 6 months of sustained AF, the dogs were converted to normal sinus rhythm (NSR) by the creation of LL in both atria. Rapid atrial pacing was restarted 6 months later and continued for 4 weeks. In the NSR group, there were nine dogs in NSR without inducible AF at baseline. LL were created, and after 6 months rapid atrial pacing was applied for 4 weeks. Rhythm status was monitored weekly. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed at baseline, before linear lesion placement, and before pacing/repacing. At the conclusion of the study, the hearts were excised and examined. The lesions were stained, and their quality was assessed. AF was induced in a much shorter interval in the dogs in which AF had previously been present than in NSR dogs (8 +/- 5 days vs 25 +/- 13 days; P < 0.05). LL prevented sustainability of AF induced via rapid pacing once the pacing stimulus was stopped. Incomplete lesions were associated with increased inducibility of atrial tachycardia and AF. In this animal model of AF, LL are not only capable of terminating chronic AF, but also lead to self-termination of AF once the rapid pacing is stopped. Self-termination of AF after induction with rapid pacing was not observed in this AF model in the absence of LL. In the dogs with 6 months of AF, the presence of AF led to increased atrial susceptibility to AF induction by rapid pacing, even with LL and after 6 months of recovery. Incomplete LL allows induction of atrial tachycardia and AF.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 05/2002; 13(5):455-62. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This investigation details our experience using a loop catheter to ablate atrial fibrillation (AF) in dogs. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia and has significant morbidity. Maintenance of normal sinus rhythm (NSR) after conversion in many patients is still a challenge. A multi-electrode loop catheter was used to create linear atrial lesions to ablate AF in a rapid atrial pacing model in 29 dogs. Rhythm status was assessed over a six-month recovery period, after which tissue analysis was performed. Acute conversion to NSR or atrial tachycardia (AT) was achieved in 90% of cases. Six of 26 conversions occurred after only left atrial (LA) lesions, and two after just right atrial lesions. Sixteen (62%) of 26 lesions that resulted in AF conversion were in the LA, and 11 of these 16 conversions occurred during a lesion connecting the mitral ring to the pulmonary veins. Acute conversion rate was similar with ring and coil electrodes, but AT was more frequent with coil electrodes (63% vs. 31%). At six months 80% of dogs were in NSR, 14% were in AT, and 7% remained in AF. There was an average reduction in P-wave amplitude of 64 +/- 26% after power application. Tissue analysis revealed transmural contiguous lesions when final outcome was NSR, and nontransmural/noncontiguous lesions where AF persisted. Multi-electrode loop catheters can create contiguous transmural lesions in either atrium to safely and effectively ablate AF and provide a stable long-term rhythm outcome in this dog model. The left atrium appears to be the dominant chamber that sustains AF. Atrial tachycardia is a frequent acute outcome with coil electrodes.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 06/2001; 37(6):1733-40. · 14.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extent of left atrial (LA) mechanical function recovery after creation of linear lesions using the loop catheter has not been determined. LA mechanical function was assessed before and after linear lesions using transthoracic two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography in two groups: (1) normal, which consisted of eight healthy dogs in normal sinus rhythm (NSR); and (2) atrial fibrillation (AF), which consisted of nine dogs in spontaneous AF for 6 months following rapid pacing-induced AF. NSR was restored with linear lesions in all AF dogs. All animals were in NSR 5 months after linear lesions. In the normal dogs, the maximal velocity of the transmitral flow "A" wave was reduced by 42% during the first week postablation and by 24% at 5 months versus preablation. At 5 months, no differences in LA function were noted between the normal and the AF group for all measured Doppler parameters. At 5 months, the LA systolic area in AF dogs was reduced by 40% (preablation 12.9 +/- 2.9 cm2, postablation 7.6 +/- 1.2 cm2; P < 0.01) and in the normal dogs by 21% (preablation 10.0 +/- 0.9 cm2, postablation 7.8 +/- 1.2 cm2; P < 0.02), being the same in both groups within 3 months of recovery. The creation of linear lesions with the loop catheter does not result in LA expansion. In normal dogs, LA mechanical activity is reduced for 3 weeks postablation. The time course of LA mechanical function recovery is the same for the AF and the NSR dogs, and it is complete at 3 months postablation. At 5 months, LA systolic function parameters in both groups are reduced by 24% versus the preablation values of the normal dogs. Linear lesions result in a significant reduction in LA size.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 12/2000; 11(12):1397-406. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the generation of radiofrequency (RF) lesions in the ventricular myocardium, the maintenance of adequate electrode-tissue contact is critically important. In this study, lesion dimensions and temperature and impedance changes were evaluated while controlling electrode-tissue contact levels (-5, 0, +1, and +3 mm) and power levels (10, 20, and 30 W). This data was used to assess the ability of impedance and temperature monitoring to provide useful information about the quality of electrode-tissue contact. The results show that as the electrode-tissue contact increases, so does the amount of temperature rise. With the electrode floating in blood (-5 contact), the average maximum temperature increase with 20 and 30 W was only 7 +/- 1 and 11 +/- 2 degrees C, respectively. At 20 and 30 W the temperature plateaued shortly after the initiation of power application. With good electrode-tissue contact (+1 mm or +3 mm), the temperature increase within the first 10 seconds was significantly greater than the temperature increase from baseline with poor contact (0 mm or -5 mm) and reached a maximum of 60 +/- 1 degrees C after 60 seconds of power application. As the electrode-tissue contact increased, so did the rate and level of impedance decrease. However, the rate of impedance decrease was slower compared to the rate of temperature rise. With the electrode floating in blood, the maximum impedance decreases with 20 and 30 W were 6 +/- 6 omega and 9 +/- 5 omega, respectively. The impedances plateaued after a few seconds of power application. With the electrode in good contact, the maximum impedance decreases with 20 and 30 W were 25 +/- 2 omega and 20 +/- 6 omega, respectively. In these cases the rate of the impedance decrease plateaued after 40 seconds of power application. The increase in lesion diameter and depth correlate well with decreasing impedance and increasing temperature. However, lesion depth appears to correlate better with impedance than temperature. We conclude that, since the electrode-tissue contact is not known prior to the application of power to the endocardium, in the absence of a temperature control system, the power should initially be set at a low level. The power should be increased slowly over 20-30 seconds, and then maintained at its final level for at least 90 seconds to allow for maximal lesion depth maturation. The power level should be lowered if the impedance drop exceeds 15 omega.
    Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology 01/1998; 20(12 Pt 1):2899-910. · 1.75 Impact Factor