Catharina hospital in Eindhoven (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Rosemoon) - Credit: Catharina hospital in Eindhoven (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Rosemoon)
Monday, August 31, 2015 - 12:21
New angioplasty method could save 200 Dutch lives a year
A new angioplasty method developed by the Cahtarina Hospital in Eindhoven could save 200 lives a year in the Netherlands. This new method involves measuring blood pressure in the coronary arteries with a special sensor to detect constriction before angioplasty is done. This is according to a study done by the Catharina Hospital and the Eindhoven University of Technology. Researchers followed a thousand patients in six countries since 2009. A portion of the patients were treated in the traditional way - stents were put in based on the apparent severity of the constrictions in X-ray images. The rest were treated with the new method - the blood pressure was measured before and after a narrowing and stents were placed based on these measurements. With this new method cardiologists can much more accurately identify whether blood flow to the heart muscle is obstructed by a narrowing in the coronary artery, according to the researchers at the Catharina Hospital. With the conventional method there is an accuracy of only 70 percent, compared to 95 percent accuracy with this new method - the so-called Fractional Flow Reserve measurement, or FFR measurement. The first results of this study was published after one year in the New England Journal of Medicine. Those results showed that the use of the FFR method reduced the probability of death or necessary dangerous intervention was reduced between 25 and 30 percent. "The recent study shows that these positive effects are still there in these patients after five years", the researchers write. This new treatment is now being used worldwide.