Robotic navigation for catheter ablation: Benefits and challenges

Philip Aagaard, Andrea Natale, Luigi Di Biase

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Manual radio frequency (RF) ablation to restore a normal cardiac rhythm requires significant skill, manual dexterity and experience. In response to this, ablation methods and technologies have evolved rapidly in the past decade, including the development of remote navigation technologies. Today, two principal methods of remote navigation are available. One utilizes magnetic field vectors to navigate proprietary catheters, the other maneuvers standard catheters robotically. The main advantages of remote navigation include improved catheter stability, reduced fluoroscopy times and decreased total radiation exposure to both the patient and the operator. The main limitations include cost and longer procedure times. Remote magnetic navigation appears to have the best safety profile; however, its efficacy in creating lesions may be lower, which has been attributed to the soft-tip catheter used. Remote robotic navigation on the other hand, which uses regular catheter tips, is associated with a slightly higher overall complication rate, but higher efficacy. This article reviews the pros and cons of remote navigation for ablation of both atrial and ventricular substrates. Finally, it attempts to predict the direction of this field in the coming years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-469
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • atrial fibrillation
  • atrial flutter
  • remote robotic ablation remote magnetic navigation catheter ablation
  • supraventricular tachycardia
  • ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering


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