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Cardiology Society of India urges Patients with blockages of Coronary Arteries to try latest Interventional Heart Technologies

FFR and OCT are innovative tools that enable doctors for accurate diagnosis and deciding the right treatment strategy for the patient

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New Delhi, May 31, 2017: Aiming to replicate the latest interventional heart technologies, the Cardiology Society of India on Wednesday urged patients with blockages of coronary arteries to undergo Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as these help in better assessment for stent placement.

The new technique FFR measures the blood flow volume in the blocked artery and provides an assessment of the severity of a coronary artery lesion, while OCT provides a high quality image of the inside of coronary arteries to determine the anatomical characteristics of the vessel.

FFR and OCT are innovative tools that enable doctors for accurate diagnosis and deciding the right treatment strategy for the patient.

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“The integration of these technologies are also immensely beneficial for the patients as they primarily help in scientifically assessing and perfecting the treatment decision for the patient, resulting in long term clinical benefits,” said M.S. Hiremath, President, Cardiology Society of India, in a statement.

He said that the two techniques can contribute to more transparency in decision making and deciding whether stent placement is necessary and if stent is implanted optimally or not.

“FFR helps the cardiologist with a readily available technique for evaluating the seriousness of the blockage and take accurate decisions. This has a positive effect on patient outcomes and quality of life post treatment while OCT has high resolution and speed, giving clear views of the vessel blockage which can help in deciding upon the course of treatment,” he said.

According to national health statistics, of the 30 million heart patients in India, 14 million reside in urban areas and 16 million in rural areas. Cardiac hospitals in India perform over 2,00,000 open heart surgeries per year — one of the highest, worldwide.

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Doctors have sought a upgradation of quality of treatment in India, as globally, technology is changing. The next-generation technologies are helping physicians in making accurate treatment decisions.

“The advantages of the two techniques is that these guarantee correct blockages are identified and treated, which further helps in improved stent placement leading to better patient outcomes,” said Praveen Chandra, Chairman of Interventional Cardiology, Medanta – The Medicity, Gurugram. (IANS)

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To Treat Brain Cancer Scientists Taking Polio’s Help

The result is a longer life for patients whose brain cancer returned

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A radiologist examines the brain X-rays of a patient. In a small study, patients with brain tumors were given genetically modified poliovirus, which helped their bodies attack the cancer.
A radiologist examines the brain X-rays of a patient. In a small study, patients with brain tumors were given genetically modified poliovirus, which helped their bodies attack the cancer. VOA

There’s an exciting new breakthrough in treating some types of deadly brain tumors, that uses, of all things, a polio virus. Doctors at Duke Health in North Carolina genetically altered the virus because it produces such a strong immune response in our bodies. The result is a longer life for patients whose brain cancer returned. All had glioblastoma, an aggressive and lethal type of brain cancer. Of the 61 patients in the study, 21 percent who got this new treatment had were alive three years later.

While that number is low, the survival rate for glioblastoma is normally even lower, usually, a year and a half after diagnosis. The researchers compared the study group to a group of patients drawn from historical cases at Duke. Only four percent of these patients survived three years after treatment.

Dr. Annick Desjardins, one of the authors, said not all patients respond, but if they do, they often become long-term survivors. Desjardins said, “The big question is, how can we make sure that everybody responds?”

Stephanie Hopper was the first patient in the Duke study. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma eight years ago. She had the tumor removed, but two years later, it returned. The modified virus is directly injected into the brain during surgery. After treatment, Hopper’s tumor shrunk to the point where it’s barely noticeable in her brain scans, and the tumor is continuing to shrink.

Dr. Darell Bigner is the senior author of the study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. He explained that by modifying the virus, it destroyed its ability to infect nerve cells and cause polio, but the virus retained the ability to kill cancer cells. In fact, the modified virus targeted the tumor cells.

Prior to the study, the researchers decided they needed a different approach to treating glioblastomas which is why they looked at experimenting with the polio virus.

There's an exciting new breakthrough in treating some types of deadly brain tumors, that uses, of all things, a polio virus. Doctors at Duke Health in North Carolina genetically altered the virus because it produces such a strong immune response in our bodies
There’s an exciting new breakthrough in treating some types of deadly brain tumors, that uses, of all things, a polio virus. Doctors at Duke Health in North Carolina genetically altered the virus because it produces such a strong immune response in our bodies. Flickr

One of the goals of a phase one trial is to find a dose that is safe. In some patients, the therapy caused their brains to swell and they experienced seizures and other bad side effects so the dose was lowered. Study participants were selected according to the size of their recurring tumor, its location in the brain and other factors designed for patient protection.

For five of the 61 patients in the trial, the cancer returned. They were treated a second time and Bigner says, “Those that we’ve been able to follow long enough have responded to the treatment the second time. That’s extremely important.” Combining the polio virus with other approved therapies is one approach already being tested at Duke to improve survival.

Also read: A One-Shot Nanoparticle Vaccine for Polio is Developed by MIT scientists

The researchers are continuing their work on treating glioblastomas and planning other studies as well. They want to test the therapy on children’s brain tumors. The therapy may also expand beyond brain tumors to include breast cancer and melanoma patient as well. (VOA)