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New approach to heart rhythm disorders in critically ill patients

Dr. Mario Pascual with the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Baptist Health has teamed up with the hospital’s cancer specialists to perform a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery, which can correct potentially fatal heart rhythms without invasive surgery.
Dr. Mario Pascual with the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Baptist Health has teamed up with the hospital’s cancer specialists to perform a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery, which can correct potentially fatal heart rhythms without invasive surgery.

KENDALL, Fla. – Dr. Mario Pascual with the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Baptist Health has teamed up with the hospital’s cancer specialists to perform a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery, which can correct potentially fatal heart rhythms without invasive surgery.

“Within the heart, you can have areas that conduct electricity, but conduct electricity in a very abnormal fashion,” Pascual said. “So electricity, just like turning on a light, should work on a very efficient fashion, and when you start having areas in the heart where it doesn’t conduct very well, it can promote these arrhythmia’s. And so, what the radiation is doing is actually targeting those abnormal heart tissues to not allow it to conduct electricity and not allow it to start that arrhythmia.”

A 76-year-old man who was experiencing repeated episodes of ventricular tachycardia is among the latest to successfully undergo the procedure.

The procedure, done by a multi-disciplinary team, requires no anesthesia or hospitalization.

Also in today’s healthcast, research shows that the health of a woman’s heart during pregnancy can play a major role in whether her child will develop cardiovascular disease later in life.

The study done at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago showed that better maternal heart health at 24 to 32 weeks of gestation was associated with better heart health in their offspring at ages 10 and 14.

Data indicates that more than 90 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. have below optimal cardiovascular health.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.