The burden of heart disease is increasing at a fast pace and the major reasons for this are unhealthy lifestyle, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking, alcohol consumption and inappropriate sleep routines. While there are some preventive measures, at times when the disease takes its hold, it must be managed with the right interventions.
Fortunately, there have been many advancements in the field of cardiology, which are helping cardiologists to make appropriate treatment decisions and one such tool which is very effective in determining the accurate treatment modality is fractional flow reserve (FFR).
Lots of complex heart disease patients are getting treated using advanced technologies like FFR. FFR is the guiding tool used world-over for assessing the flow of blood across the clogged artery and a decision can be taken whether the artery is to be stented or not. So, FFR gives a score which helps physicians decide the treatment strategy especially in complex cases. It is the first line of assessment in highly developed countries like the US and Japan. It has the highest level of evidence and is part of international guidelines.
The field of interventional cardiology is getting more advanced and is culminating towards perfection. Cardiologists are now dealing with challenging cases with precision, and this is possible with the latest imaging technology optical coherence tomography (OCT), which aids in better diagnosis along with excellent treatment of heart diseases.
OCT facilitates the visualising of minute details inside the vessel and enables an accurate assessment of the blockage, in terms of its extent, nature and exact location. Now doctors can get a three-dimensional view of the blocked artery with a resolution of 10 microns which is 20 times better than angiography. OCT also helps in choosing the right stent and how it should be placed. In fact, post stenting, OCT also helps in validating if it is well expanded and properly placed, thereby helping to avoid any complications post-procedure. Both FFR and OCT helps optimise the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and are now an inherent part of clinical practice for better clinical outcome.
Physicians are constantly striving to provide best-in-class treatment to their patients with the help of the latest technologies and PCIO is a first step towards making a healthier and better India.
Dr Ankur Phaterpekar, Director Cath Lab and Interventional Cardiologist, Symbiosis Hospital, Mumbai
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