New technology to benefit patients with coronary heart diseases

It's a safer, quicker and cheaper way to assess coronary heart diseases and decide whether the patients need stent implantation.

A team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University has developed a safer, quicker and cheaper way to assess coronary heart disease and decide whether patients need stent implantation, the university announced on Wednesday.

The technology is said to be able to diagnose the heart disease in 4.5 minutes without injury, while the current, most advanced technology used in hospitals takes 10 to 20 minutes and requires a catheter being inserted into the body.

The medicine used in the current process can also cause side effects.

There are about 11 million people in China suffering from coronary heart disease, 666,000 of whom received coronary artery intervention operations last year. 

But many people were unable to receive optimal therapeutic schedules due to the lack of accurate assessment tools.

“Studies found that about 28 percent of patients who were diagnosed with serious coronary artery stenosis via coronary arteriography were not in such a serious condition as to impede oxygen delivery to the heart,” said Tu Shengxian, a researcher at Jiao Tong. “On the other hand, it was found that about 13 percent of patients who were found to not have serious vessel narrowing were actually in such a serious condition that oxygen delivery had been impeded.”

This means that some patients received stent implants who actually didn't need to, while others who needed treatment didn't receive it.

In China, less than 1 percent of patients use the current technology due to the high cost and possible complications, compared to 30.8 percent in America.

The technology developed by Tu’s team, called Quantitative Flow Ratio (QFR), uses the data in regular coronary arteriography to simulate the FFR result via three-dimensional reconstruction and analysis of blood flow.

Clinical tests in China, Japan and Europe have agreed that its accuracy rate could reach 92.7 percent.

Tu said that since QFR used no medicine or consumable items, it was much safer and cheaper than current options.

He said it’s now going through the approval of the Food and Drug Administration via a green channel and would benefit patients soon in clinical use.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Tu Shengxian, a researcher at Shanghai Jia Tong University, shows the new technology to assess coronary heart diseases.

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