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New Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair with Intravascular Ultrasound

22 May 2019

A new procedure has started being performed at HYGEIA Hospital, treating patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm using intravascular ultrasound.

Specifically, a patient with a descending thoracic aortic aneurysm recently underwent an aneurysm repair procedure with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). The patient had impaired kidney function, so it was important to avoid the use of contrast agent, which is toxic in kidneys.

Descending thoracic aortic aneurysms are chiefly treated with endovascular procedures, as it has been proven that they minimize the risk of death or other complications associated with open surgery. Until recently, imaging was possible with fluoroscopy, once the surgeon introduced contrast agent to the aorta with a catheter.

As Dr. Gregory Pattakos, Associate Director of the Transcatheter Heart Valve Department and cardiac surgeon at the HYGEIA Hospital 2nd Cardiac Surgery, noted “The new IVUS method eliminates the use of contrast agent and exposure to fluoroscopy radiation, while it can also accurately measure the aneurysm dimensions. Furthermore, the ultrasound helps us visualize the entire aortic perimeter and deeper layers of its wall, which is not possible through fluoroscopy, while it also assists in confirming whether the stent has been placed in the aortic wall correctly.”