The esophagus is important to the safe and effective performance of many procedures in adult and pediatric electrophysiology. CardioCommand, Inc. is the only US company whose products are designed exclusively for monitoring temperature and cardiac activity within the esophagus.
The esophagus has long been recognized as a useful "non-invasive window to the heart" ever since Cremer first measured ECG in the esophagus of a sword swallower in 1906. Since that time, the esophagus has been used for many monitoring and therapeutic procedures, including diagnosis of arrhythmias, diagnostic and therapeutic cardiac pacing, cardioversion and defribillation and esophageal temperature monitoring.
The close proximity of the esophagus and the left atrium (LA) allows electrodes in the esophagus a close-up electrical and thermal view of the posterior wall of the LA. Consequently, esophageal catheters have been used as a substitute for cadiac catheters in many ways, including Holter monitoring of the LA and as an adjunct to intro-arterial catheters for localization of AL trigger locations in the EP Lab.
Ablation for AF has become a procedure that's often curative, but the heat generated in the LA can heat the esophagus, sometimes to dangerous levels. Thus, both the anatomic position and the temperature of the esophagus are important parameters which can be assessed using CardioCommand's catheters during such procedures. The electrodes on our esophageal catheters allow recording of electrical activity and permit fluoroscopic and/or electro-anatomical mapping of the esophagus position with respect to the LA. Similarly, the thermistor catheters allow continuous assessment of esophageal lumen temperatures. Customers have told us this is very useful, providing important information that would not be available without an esophageal catheter. Due to the comfort of our catheters, these benefits are available both in sedated and anesthesized patients.