A team of physicians at the Dante Pazzanese Cardiology Institute in São Paulo, Brazil, is harnessing the capabilities of the Artis zee® cardiovascular imaging system to help them view an innovative class of stents. The devices, also called coronary scaffolds, are bioresorbable and have a number of potential advantages over conventional stents, but their polymeric composition means they are not opaque to X-rays, except for two millimeter-wide platinum points at their tips.
This means that the team at Dante Pazzanese, led by Alexandre Abizaid, MD, needs to be especially careful while implanting the stents and also during follow-up. “The take-home message for me as an interventionist physician is that you need high-quality equipment and outstanding image resolution in order to optimize the performance of your implant, and that goes not only for these innovative scaffolds, but for metallic stents as well,” says Abizaid.
While preparing a patient to receive the new scaffolds, one of the first steps is to use the Artis zee to pinpoint the exact location of the plaques inside the coronary vessel, through so-called online QCA (quantitative coronary angiography). That helps physicians determine the exact size of the device that is going to be used right away.
According to Abizaid, modern equipment like Artis zee allows physicians to reach a near-perfect definition of the vessel’s borders, its diameter and the size of the lesion. “I need to be sure that I’m neither overestimating nor underestimating the size of the implant I need,” he explains. “If I underestimate it, the stent keeps ‘dancing’ inside the vessel and I’m in danger of causing a clot. If I overestimate it, there’s the danger of a fracture. I could even rupture the vessel. The equipment we have allows us to cover the range we need to avoid both dangers.”
Siemens Artis zee systems, featuring CLEAR® image processing to support visibility of bioresorbable stents
CLEARcontrol to avoid over- or underexposed images
CLEARvessel to enhance vessel edges, CLEARview for dose-adaptive noise reduction in the images and CLEARmotion to reduce motion artifacts in fine structures
CLEARchoice for user-specific image display according to individual preference
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