New Technology Clears Clogged Arteries

Might reduce number of bypass surgeries, study says

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THURSDAY, Oct. 14, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A new technique that uses infrared light and radiofrequency energy to clear blocked arteries may reduce the number of patients who need bypass surgery, says a Dutch study in the October issue of the journal Cardiovascular Interventions.

The study found this guidewire system can navigate blocked coronary arteries, burn through dense scar tissue and reestablish blood flow through severely obstructed arteries.

The technique was used on 27 people complex blockages that had blocked standard guidewires. The blockages averaged 22 millimeters in length and were an average of two years old.

"These were long lesions, they were difficult lesions, and all of them had already been unsuccessfully attempted by conventional means," researcher Dr. Angela Hoye, a clinical fellow in interventional cardiology at Thoraxcenter in Rotterdam, said in a prepared statement.

This new guidewire, part of the Safe-Cross system, successfully crossed these obstructions in 52 percent of the patients, with no major complications.

More information

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation has more about coronary artery disease.

SOURCE: Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, news release, October 2004

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