Research

3-D view of arteries possible through technology

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A new technology has been tested for the first time on people which can give a 3-D image of the patient’s arteries and better treat heart diseases. The technology is in the early stages of testing according to a feasibility study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, an American Heart Association journal. According to the cardiologists this is a very exciting technology that holds great promise.

The study allows doctors to assess more accurately and rapidly the length, branching pattern and angles of heart arteries, as well as any blockages. Cardiologists currently use two-dimensional X-ray images shot from different angles to visualize arteries inside the body. They also inject contrast dye into a thin tube — a catheter — inserted into a patient’s leg artery and threaded up to the heart to produce shadow images during a cardiac catheterization procedure.

 Although it uses existing X-ray systems, the new software reduces the need for several of the images, thus reducing patients’ exposure to radiation and contrast dye while also decreasing the time doctors need to analyze the images.  The comparison of 2-D and 3-D computer images of the coronary artery systems will be tested in multiple centres around the world. It will be formally tested to see the impact on clinical care.  Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States. According to the World Health Organisation, it is responsible for 17 million deaths worldwide.

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