New technology to identify blockages in heart patients. A new technology has been found that can identify blockages in the heart, a study has revealed. Doctors evaluating patients for blockages in the heart are aided by having a good roadmap of the vascular terrain before they can insert stents to clear the impasse. Presented by Duke cardiologists, the study shows that the newer method carries a much lower cost, potentially saving each patient at least U$800.
In a study of nearly 2,500 heart patients, researchers found that a new technology, non-invasive instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR), was less expensive than an older technology known as fractional flow reserve (FFR) According to senior researcher Manesh Patel, “There are clear clinical advantages to using these technologies to map coronary physiology prior to coronary revascularization procedures, because they provide an accurate evaluation of the blockage, as well how best to treat it.”
Patel said that iFR has emerged as an alternative in recent years. Unlike FFR, which requires administration of the drug adenosine to maximally vasodilate the heart muscle and then measure the differences in a pressure along a blocked or narrowed artery, iFR relies on measuring the pressure during a specific point in the cardiac cycle.
Using data from DEFINE-FLAIR, a study that compared iFR to FFR and reported that the different technologies performed similarly for clinical outcomes, with iFR actually resulting in fewer symptoms for patients before, during and after the procedure for their cost analysis, Patel and colleagues found that the average cost of the catheterization procedure was lower in the iFR group than in the FFR group.
The iFR procedure was less costly because it took less time, didn’t require the vasodilation drug, and resulted in lower percutaneous coronary intervention rates. Patients in the iFR group also had significantly fewer coronary artery bypass graft procedures and fewer subsequent revascularisations than those in the FFR group. They found that either of the two technologies improve outcomes for patients suffering from coronary diseases with iFR having addition money-saving benefits.
“This should help remove barriers to the more widespread clinical adoption of a technology that can provide physicians with a better conception of patients’ unique coronary physiology,” said Patel. The findings from the study were presented at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting.(ANI)
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