OCT Imaging Boosts Angioplasty Monitoring Procedures.

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A new optical imaging technique, optical coherence tomography (OCT), promises to enhance angioplasty procedures. The technique was developed recently in the United States; it is highlighted in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, which is published by the American Institute of Physics. Angioplasty is a commonly-used surgical intervention

carried out to manage patients with partial or complete block in their coronary arteries that affect cardiac blood flow.

OTC and Angioplasty Monitoring.

Angioplasty involves insertion of a slender, balloon-tipped tube through an artery in the groin. The tube moves till reaching the site of the plaque blocking the vessel, where the tube compresses the plaque and thus restores normal blood flow. Guy Lamouche, research officer at the National Research Council of Canada, led a researching team that aimed to develop more accurate ways for better monitoring of balloon inflation by using a combination of deployment tester and an optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging system. OCT provides imaging over a depth of a few millimeters in a tissue. Researchers applied a pullback (rotation and translation) of a catheter OCT probe in a balloon. They noted that it was possible to have an accurate measurement of the balloon’s diameter and thickness over the while balloon. Lamouche explained “Combining OCT with a balloon deployment system provides an improved platform for angioplasty balloon development and can also be used in the development of next-generation minimally invasive devices for percutaneous coronary interventions. It’s now possible to monitor balloon inflation within an artery phantom (model) or an excised artery to assess the efficiency of innovative balloon angioplasty or stent deployment procedures.”

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