doctor speaking to patient about blood pressure

Transforming Patient Care with 4D ICE Ultrasound Imaging A Heartfelt Journey


February is American Heart Month, a time to celebrate heart health and advancements in cardiac care. As we commemorate this month, we are reminded of a remarkable patient story that exemplifies the transformative impact of 4D intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) ultrasound imaging, a groundbreaking technology developed by Siemens Healthineers. 

Our patient story begins with Eric*, a resilient individual who grapples with chronic illness. His health journey took a challenging turn after having a severe heart condition that threatened his quality of life. Despite his determination, he faced limited treatment options due to his inability to tolerate general anesthesia required for a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) cardiac procedure. 

However, Eric’s story took a positive turn when his cardiac team introduced him to AcuNav Volume 4D ICE ultrasound imaging, a technology that offers real-time visualization of cardiac structures without general anesthesia. This innovative technology empowers interventional cardiologists (ICs) and electrophysiologists (EPs) to push the boundaries of structural heart care by performing procedures with unparalleled precision and accuracy. Unlike conventional approaches, 4D ICE offered a lifeline to Eric, enabling a life-changing cardiac procedure without the associated risks of traditional sedation, instead allowing the use of conscious sedation. 

The impact of AcuNav Volume 4D ICE on Eric's journey was profound because, unlike traditional methods like TEE and 2D ICE, 4D ICE provided his cardiac team with:  

  • Dynamic 4D motion visualization for comprehensive heart imaging.  
  • Direct imaging of the tricuspid valve ensuring a clear line of sight while reducing uncertainty caused by shadowing and anatomical obstructions.  
  • Simultaneous tableside control of the ultrasound system and catheter for confident operation.  

Additionally, AcuNav Volume 4D ICE’s innovative features contributed to optimal outcomes in Eric's complex cardiac procedure, complemented by the seamless integration and expert guidance from Siemens Healthineers’ clinical support team, supporting the ICs and EPs involved in Eric’s case.  

As we reflect on Eric’s journey during American Heart Month, it is essential to recognize the critical role that innovative technologies play in enhancing patient care. AcuNav Volume 4D ICE ultrasound imaging represents a significant advancement in intracardiac care, offering new possibilities for treatment, and patient outcomes. In addition to celebrating a successful procedure, Eric’s journey serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining heart health.  

According to the latest statistics1, heart-related conditions continue to pose significant challenges for millions of individuals globally. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), listed as the underlying cause of death, accounted for a staggering 931,578 deaths in the United States in 2021 alone. Heart disease and stroke claimed more lives in 2021 in the United States than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined.  Additionally, atrial fibrillation (AFib)2, recognized as the most common cardiac arrhythmia, has a significant global impact, affecting approximately 40 million individuals worldwide, with around 6 million cases in the United States alone. Projections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention3 indicate a forecasted increase to 12.1 million cases of AFib in the U.S. by 2030. 

Coronary heart disease (CHD) emerged as the leading cause of death attributable to CVD in the United States in 2021, accounting for 40.3% of all CVD-related deaths. This was followed by stroke (17.5%), other CVD (17.1%), high blood pressure (13.4%), heart failure (9.1%), and diseases of the arteries (2.6%). These statistics underscore the urgent need for proactive measures to address cardiovascular risk factors and improve heart health outcomes. Through continued research, innovation, and collaboration, we can strive to mitigate the burden of cardiovascular disease and ensure that every patient receives the care and attention they deserve. 

As we navigate American Heart Month and beyond, it is essential to draw inspiration from stories like Eric’s and to prioritize heart health. With over 24 years of experience, 2 million catheter sales, and 1,000+ 4D ICE procedures, Siemens Healthineers aims to improve patient outcomes for structural heart procedures.  Our commitment to excellence in design, reliability, stability, and manufacturing capabilities ensures that every patient receives the best care. 

*The patient’s name has been changed to protect their privacy.