Home » Cardiology » How new devices are helping cardiologists with difficult cases

Sofia De Dionigi

Europe & India Sales Manager, Acrostak International Distribution Sàrl

Devices to treat patients with serious blockages in the blood vessels of their heart are constantly advancing.

Most cases are dealt with by interventional cardiologists through keyhole surgery conducted in hospital cardiac catheterisation labs while the patient is awake. This is via PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) or PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty), where a balloon catheter is threaded through arteries with guidewires to the heart to clear the blockage.

However, in cases of CTO (chronic total occlusion), where the vessels within the heart have become totally blocked, the treatment options become more limited.

Tackling difficult cases

Biomedical engineer, Dr Sofia De Dionigi, outlines how patients with this level of blockage have a low quality of life and may need open-heart surgery, when the key hole options fail. In these difficult cases, cardiologists require high levels of experience to achieve success. An additional issue is a lack of high-quality devices that have the technical features to cope with a heavily calcified vessel.

Swiss firm Acrostak have developed advanced technology, the M-CATH and M-CATH Flexy, which are specialist microcatheters with features, such as ultra-resistant tips, for use in challenging cardiac lesions such as CTO.

Dr De Dionigi points out: “The benefit for patients is that they would not need to undergo surgery but instead be treated with a simple, faster and safer percutaneous coronary intervention procedure.”

Because of the material and the design, the procedure is faster, which means the dose of radiation for the patient is lower and the success rate increases.

Designed for elective procedures

Acrostak is focused on niche technology products to solve challenging cases faced by interventional cardiologists and radiologists. The products are designed for elective procedures, rather than emergency operations, to help remedy a patient’s blocked arteries before the situation becomes more serious.

Dr De Dionigi, who is Europe and India Sales Manager for Acrostak International Distribution, explains the new device has been developed using specific materials and design, with the production process checked in fully automated clean room environments.

Enabling a faster procedure

The M-CATH, which is already in clinical use, is a unique hybrid design microcatheter, with a low entry profile, an ultra-resistant tip and hydrophilic coating.

Dr De Dionigi explains: “Because of the material and the design, the procedure is faster, which means the dose of radiation for the patient is lower and the success rate increases.”

Acrostak has also developed the balloon technology used within cardiology, into innovative specialist balloons that can now be used below the knee (BTK).This device offers interventional radiologists an approach for treating blocked arteries where there are no dedicated devices such as, below the knee, or to open an occluded vessel in the foot where good outcomes have been achieved in the treatment of diabetic foot syndrome.

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