Everyday we see an ad on TV suggesting “bhaag daud bhari zindagi mein rukna mana hai”. But then we also come across a scenario where there is an emergency in the form of a heart attack. India is fast the becoming the capital of heart disease. The disease itself is becoming complex in nature and is challenging doctors.
Cardiology has improved with the advent of the latest techniques and the best of stents are now available. Invasive coronary angiography is the standard technique since the past four decades. Although it has stood the test of time, many shortcomings also have been uncovered. It is an eyeball evaluation of the artery by the examiner. A lesion which may be significant, requiring treatment in terms of stent implantation to one cardiologist, may be insignificant requiring only medical therapy to another. This becomes a source of immense confusion to the patient. Newer technologies
like FFR help evaluate the right lesions (point of disease) as functional assessment is more necessary than quantitative assessment by angiography only. Many lesions create confusion in the minds of doctors and this technique helps remove that dilemma. It is also not always necessary that all patients with coronary artery disease have to be treated by angioplasty or bypass surgery, sometime management through medicines alone is sufficient.
Once a physician decides to stent the diseased artery, then a successful outcome depends on the correct placement of stents with right size and length. Therapies like Optical Coherence Tomography(OCT) help in correct visual assessment, as one can see inside the artery in a 3D manner, for right assessment of the lesion for diameter and length and also helps in checking post stenting results.
These techniques ensure right short and long term safety of the patient with a better quality of life.