Healthcare IT News: 100 percent rate when 3D imaging was used

Henry Ford Hospital finds 3D imaging best way to mend a broken heart

‘These results show just how impactful advanced 3D imaging is to medicine’

By Bernie Monegain

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New research at Henry Ford Hospital reveals that 3-D imaging is the way to go in fixing cardiac arrhythmia.

A recent study conducted by Henry Ford Hospital showed a 100 percent rate in a particular heart procedure when 3D imaging was used instead of traditional 2D imaging.

Moreover, the study also revealed that employing 3D imaging, the same procedure results in a zero percent complication rate compared with the national average of a 16.3 percent rate of serious complications as revealed in earlier clinical trials using 2D imaging.

The study, which was led by Henry Ford cardiologist Dee Dee Wang, MD, was published November 21 online in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, a publication of the American College of Cardiology Foundation.

It looked at the implantation of a left atrial appendage closure device, a procedure that lowers the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Wang and the team at the Henry Ford Center for Structural Heart Disease also found 3D imaging decreased the length of the procedure by 34 minutes, which allowed for quicker patient recovery and decreases complications.

“These results show just how impactful advanced 3D imaging is to medicine,” said Wang, who was recently took the post of Medical Director of 3D Printing at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute. “The pre-planning results in fewer last-minute decisions, less contrast usage, and less catheter movement inside the heart, thereby minimizing the risk of complications. This is the ultimate in personalizing care for our patients.”

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, currently affecting more than five million Americans. Researchers believe 20 percent of all strokes occur in patients with atrial fibrillation. Symptoms include irregular and rapid heartbeat; heart palpitations or rapid thumping inside the chest; dizziness, sweating and chest pain or pressure; shortness of breath or anxiety; tiring more easily when exercising, and fainting.

Cardiologists typically diagnose atrial fibrillation with an electrocardiogram (ECG) and use various drugs including blood thinners to treat the condition.

The most common treatment to reduce stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation is blood thinners.

Approved by the FDA in 2015, the Watchman device closes off the left atrial appendage, dramatically reducing the risk of stroke and alleviating the need for blood thinners. In about an hour, doctors insert a catheter through a leg vein and into the heart, then open the Watchman device to seal off the left atrial appendage sack.

In the study between May 2015 and February 2016, the Henry Ford Center for Structural Heart Disease team implanted the Watchman in 53 patients. All patients underwent pre-procedural CT imaging of the LAA, followed by intraprocedural echocardiographic characterization and guidance with 2D and 3D TEE imaging.

“Using 3D imaging allows the doctor to ‘see’ into the heart,” said Wang. “This is especially important when planning how to move through the left atrium, anticipating the complexity and size of a Left Atrial Appendage.”

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