Stereotactic Arrhythmia Radioablation as a Novel Treatment Approach for Cardiac Arrhythmias: Facts and Limitations

Marina ChalkiaVassilis KoulouliasDimitris TousoulisSpyridon DeftereosDimitris TsiachrisDimitrios VrachatisKalliopi Platoni

Abstract

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is highly focused radiation therapy that targets well-demarcated, limited-volume malignant or benign tumors with high accuracy and precision using image guidance. Stereotactic arrhythmia radioablation (STAR) applies SABR to treat cardiac arrhythmias, including ventricular tachycardia (VT) and atrial fibrillation (AF), and has recently been a focus in research. Clinical studies have demonstrated electrophysiologic conduction blockade and histologic fibrosis after STAR, which provides a proof of principle for its potential for treating arrhythmias. This review will present the basic STAR principles, available clinical study outcomes, and how the technique has evolved since the first pre-clinical study. In addition to the clinical workflow, focus will be given on the process for stereotactic radiotherapy Quality Assurance (QA) tests, as well as the need for establishing a standardized QA protocol. Future implications and potential courses of research will also be discussed.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation; cardiac arrhythmias; dosimetry; quality assurance; radioablation; respiratory gating; stereotactic body radiation therapy; stereotactic radiotherapy; ventricular tachycardia.

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