St. Elizabeth Healthcare is proud to announce a significant milestone in cardiovascular care with the use of technology known as CathWorks FFRangio (FFR). Officials with Medtronic, who currently promote the less invasive, diagnostic technology in the United States, have designated St. Elizabeth as the first healthcare system in Kentucky to implement this new approach.
CathWorks FFR is used for patients in need of a coronary angiogram to diagnose the extent of blockages in the coronary arteries. Using artificial intelligence, this technology allows physicians to upload a picture of the patient’s heart – taken in the cardiac catheter lab – into a computer program, which then produces an image-derived Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) value with 93% accuracy. This eliminates the need for medication and an invasive procedure for patients.
“We are really excited to offer this new technology and continue our commitment to advancing cardiovascular care while also improving patient well-being,” said Michael Harris, System Director at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI). “The idea of a cardiovascular procedure can be daunting for many patients, so having the ability to offer a less invasive FFR calculation is a benefit to our patients, allowing for improved outcomes and lower risk of complications.”
In addition to added benefits for the patients, the 3D image created by CathWorks FFR is easier for physicians to read when compared to traditional procedures, removing the subjective approach to diagnosing blockages. This is particularly important when dealing with blockage percentages in close proximity, as 2D interpretations could result in differing conclusions.
So far, more than 35 patients have been treated using the CathWorks FFR technology. For more information on cardiology services offered at St. Elizabeth, visit the Heart & Vascular Institute webpage.