Archive for the ‘cardiology innovation’ Category

As we practice this Noble  (&  Delicate )  profession ,we often tend to Ignore the  warnings  even from our learnt colleagues , Why ?

Wisdom ego quotes brainy best dr s venkatesan top inspirational




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Many decades ago Potts  shunt  (Central Aortic -PA shunt)was used to increase pulmonary blood flow for severe RVOT obstruction mostly for TOF  and tricuspid atresia .With the advent of  ICR and  Fontan role for central aorti shunts waned.

Now, read this

Chronic ,refractory pulmonary hypertension of any cause has dismal  outcome.In  patients with severe PAH  many patients  reach supra-systemic pressures . RV   a volume handling chamber faces a uphill task of overcoming huge RV after load. As cardiac physicians , we  struggle  to  perfuse the lungs in such situations.

The only option  seems to be  lung transplantation !

How to perfuse the lungs if the RV is failing ?

Is there any other alternative ?

Why not,use LV contractility  to perfuse lungs .

Great Idea isn’t ? After all , how can we allow left ventricle known for it’s  robust bumping function  sit idle and relax  when it’s counterpart is struggling with heavy load ?

How to use LV for increasing pulmonary blood flow ?

Create a central Aortic -Pulmonary shunt.

That’s resurgence of Potts shunt.

Dr Julie Blanc from France suggested this approach in in NEJM as a letter  (Potts Shunt in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension N Engl J Med 2004; 350:623) .  It  was a great Idea.

Since then lots of patients  have a benefited from this vintage surgery.

potts shunt in severe pulmonary hypertension

Final message

A surgery blamed for early onset of pulmonary vascular damage due to potential Eisenmenger reaction is back .Indication for refractory Eisenmenger syndrome to perfuse lungs  at very high pressure Nothing is obsolete in medical science .Nothing is ironical as well !

Another Innovation : Now Transcatheter Potts Surgery

potts shunt for eisenmenger and severe pulmonary arterial  pht pah

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Few Innovations are real breakthroughs in cardiology . Here is an imminent technology waiting to explode in the  permanent pacing . Expected to hit market next year (2014 in Europe ) FDA approves clinical studies .


Click over for the animation video  of the procedure .

  • The wireless pacemaker has many advantages. (It’s devoid of all those pocket and wire related issues.)
  • The ability to change batteries is  a  going to be a  new paradigm shift in the filed of electro physiology. .
  • Down side would be,  right now it can be only VVI pacing . All that hype about    physiological pacing  will go to the background !

Future directions in Permanent pacing.

The only threat for this technology is the  concept of biological pacemaker Converting ordinary myocytes into  pacing cells by genetic engineering.This is expected to happen within few decades.

biological pacemaker

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I stumbled upon this  web   site . I think this  can be  glorified as the  standing  example  for     “Democracy  of science”

INTECH open science  open mind


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Heart disease was  once considered as   rich man’s disease  . . .  It’s no longer  true .  We in India ,  are witnessing an epidemic of CAD . The reasons are  varied  . Apart from  conventional factors ,   social   factors  like changing demographic pattern  ,  life style , ethnic  risk  like  south  Asian metabolic profile are responsible .

While  Rheumatic heart disease (RHD ) continues to be a huge burden , CAD  is  the number one  cause for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality .

CAD affect the poor and rich with equal vengeance . The later is better equipped financially to tackle it . Of course ,  it has resulted in maximum inappropriate interventions. The poor (or borderline poor ) have  no  other  option  but  to knock the doors of Government  hospitals. It is heartening to note, various state  Governments   are  gradually involving insurance schemes.

Still , many struggle to find the required  finance for  a major cardiac intervention. It roughly costs 100,000 rupees  for PTCA  .While  PCI is required in all symptomatic ,  critical coronary occlusions , still . . .  majority of the  CAD in general population  do not require it . There are 675 cath labs in India performing 180000 angioplasties every year  on an average of   15000  PCI per month ( 500 /day )  This is grossly inadequate . We  have huge potential

What is the hurdle ?

  • Expertise ?
  • Hard ware ?
  • Awareness ?

No  . . . it is all about  financial resources

Recently I stumbled upon an  advertisement on Times of India

cardiology ad ptca

Disclaimer: This article does not in any way defame any hospital that offers the scheme.It just want to debate the concept.

Hospitals  want  to  market the procedure . Convert angiograms  to angioplasties . That’s   corporate boardroom mantra  . And one fine day ,  bankers and medical doctor sat together and brought a brilliant idea.

Why not do the procedure  on credit and  push the patient  life long  into a financial debt !

Wonderful idea  . . . many thought .Thus came the financing scheme for  cardiac procedures.

Final message

Financing a poor patient  with good intention is welcome. But, there is big caveat .In a vast country   with high  illiteracy , inappropriate  procedures   may be thrusted upon  on   the  poor  souls.

After thought

Now ,  our patients   have  one more  risk parameter to  assess   ” Number of remaining EMI( Equal monthly instalment )  and incidence of stent thrombosis”   “Accumulated  interest  and angina”   What a wonderful way to provide cardiac care !

I can recall a  patient who sold his livestock  (his sole income source ) for undergoing a open heart surgery and lost his life as well in the process  leaving the family stranded !


The only solution is  to  provide  a strictly regulated Govt sponsored  insurance scheme.  High tech procedures should be  continuously and meticulously  audited for cost effectiveness .


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In this complex world , simple innovations fail  . . . just because  they are simple !

Here is a new* PTCA  catheter which has a  two balloons  ,  the distal one dilates the lesion and the proximal one has a stent over it  . The stent is just deployed after the dilatation by the proximal balloon . The proximal balloon  not only help us prepare the lesion before stenting it also helps  in crossing difficult lesions  . Further   , it can be even used to post dilate the lesion . It can be a non compliant balloon  as well . It appears a  good  concept .

*Not really  new  I  believe  ,  Accuramed  owns the patent for  this twin balloon catheter over a decade now .(First twin balloon Gemini PTCA was used in 1988 )

gemini balloon catheter twin two ptca pci

I do not know why we haven’t adopted it yet ,  while many  dubious  innovations are making merry around the world !



The only downside could be ,   combinations of stent and balloon sizes are limited . But ,  it is not a major issue .The ability to  fine tune the stent apposition  moments  after the procedure , by h a simple pull back  is just amazing !

This catheter is  made by

Medizintechnik GmbH
Max-Planck-Str. 33 61184 Karben Germany
Tel +49-6039-9201-0 Fax +49-6039-9201-22
E-Mail info@accura.info

Final message

Two  balloons  over a  single catheter  is a  new development  .I wonder it can be  the standard of care in all PCIs . Hope somebody takes  this concept to the next level  for the benefit of our patients.

Link to the manufacture


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An awkward  argument for routine EST following primary PCI

Please remember,  primary PCI is not the end of the management of STEMI. Primary PCI is an IRA focused intervention. We need to study other lesions and their the flow pattern as well. Logically we need to do a test for adequacy of  baseline vascularity and the current revascularisation . Simple deployment of  a stent in IRA (without documentation of good flow during exertion ) is not acceptable to believers of  scientific medicine  . Resting TIMI 3 flow conveys no meaning for a patient who is going to be ambulant and active. A stress test will come in handy .

The micro-vascular integrity and resistance following an extensive STEMI is best studied by the adequacy of exercise induced  coronary hyperemia (This is physiologically equivalent to the much fancied FFR in cath lab ) . One can consider EST following a primary PCI as an non invasive substitute for the collective FFR of all three vessels including the IRA that is stented .

Does any cardiologist have guts to do a pre- discharge EST after a successful primary PCI ?

Typical responses would be

  • Why the hell I should do it ?
  • Do you know how risky it is to do a EST early after a primary PCI ?
  • If at all I have any doubt , I would prefer a non invasive PET or Thallium to study the adequacy of revascularisation.

If you think , it is too risky to exert a successfully revascularised patient early after a STEMI . . .   at the same time   argue  to do it in non revascularised patient routinely .  Do we not see a huge irony here ?

Other inference could be . . . we are still suspecting the quality of our revascularisation during PCI !

If  EST is contraindicated after a primary PCI , are we going to advice  these patients against indulging in any activity requiring moderate exertion fearing a stent occlusion ?

. . . What a way to interpret the aftermath  of a   ‘state of the art ‘ procedure called primary PCI !

In science ,  correctness is more important than politeness !

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