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New Technique To Check Heart Blockage Recurrence

ABOUT 15-20 per cent of the patients suffering from angina and heart attacks, who get the blockage removed from within the coronary arteries, have to undergo a repeat process because of the recurrence at the previous site.

The re-growth of cells encroaching the lumen can now be prevented using the technique of intracoronary radiation therapy. The new technique is expected to bring down the recurrence rate after angioplasty to less than 10 per cent.

According to Dr. D. S. Gambhir, Professor of Cardiology in G. B. Pant Hospital, the recurrence of the blockage occurs as a result of the normal healing response of the artery to ballooning and stenting, procedures used for removal of blockage. This re-growth can be prevented by delivering radiation inside the artery after dilation, said Dr. Gambhir.

"The blockage is first removed with the help of a balloon or a drilling device (rotablation). After the artery is fully open, it is treated with beta or gamma radiation, delivered inside the artery with the help of a small catheter, which is positioned over the dilated segment under fluoroscopy. The dose and duration of radiation is precalculated by the Radiation Oncologist depending upon the source and vessel size," explained Dr. Gambhir.

The technique of intracoronary therapy which has recently been started in G. B. Pant Hospital and the procedure was performed on four patients. The technique was demonstrated live using stellite transmission to 400 cardiologists who participated in an international conference on Transcatheter Cardiovascular Interventions organised by G. B. Pant Hospital in collaboration with Washington Hospital centre.

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