Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

Lesser known achievements in cardiology : PTMC Guided by echocardiography

Posted Sep 15 2010 10:08am

Interventional cardiology has grown leaps and bounds. We are in the era of percutaneous replacement of cardiac valves.  Mitral valvotomy for mitral stenosis is one the stupendous success  stories of interventional cardiology.

In PTMC,  we have a major cardiac valve disease ,  treated without anesthesia  in a  procedure   lasting about 30 minutes and patients  can walk  home within hours of the procedure.

The maximum such procedures are done in developing countries like India, Brazil, and many south Asian , African countries.

It is a procedure requiring continuous  fluroscopy in cath lab. This has been our traditional way of thinking. But now we learn , what we  require is an imaging    modality  for the entry of balloon into IAS and the stenotic  mitral valve .This can be Echo, MRI , CT scan etc not necessarily fluroscopy.

Why not echocardiography to guide the balloon in PTMC ?

This question was  answered successfully . Both TTE and TEE are used .Surprisingly   transthoracic  echo , by itself was   sufficient in many patients to complete  a  PTMC.

The following article in JASE (American society of Echocardiography )  opens new avenues for  echocardiography .The work was done in New Delhi India

The most surprising conclusion  from this  study is  , it is suggested complications like cardiac tamponade is less likely in echo guided PTMC !  as we are sure  where we re puncturing  and entering .

Advantages

  • Huge cost advantage.
  • Can be practiced in a wider clinical set up
  • Radiation free (Very important advantage  )
  • Live 3D /Echo and MRI are  expected to improve the  feasibility of this modality .

Caution about TTE/TEE guided PTMC.

  • Not every one can do this procedure.
  • Cardiologists who have mastered catheter based PTMC  can only understand the intricacies of  PTMC
  • While catheters can be easily imaged , when the procedure requires finer guidewire manipulations fluro is a must .
  • Currently this procedure should be done with a cath lab  standby
  • Tackling complications may be an issue , but the most dreaded complication cardiac tamponade is more easily recognised by echocardigraphy
  • Special training on this modality is to be strongly encouraged.Such thing is possible only in country like ours where RHD continues to be rampant.

Final message

Cath guided PTMC is considered  the gold standard .But ,  often  we create gold standards with impure gold ! The IAS puncture and mitral valve crossing is the most blinded  procedure in cath lab.

The same job can be done   better , with good   ”ocular orientation”  by simple echocardiography

Often  in medicine , a  simple alternate technique   rarely can  compete with a proven  technique .Thus ,  these  techniques are denied wider  application and hence  fail to  prove  it’s worthiness.

Echo guided pericardial aspiration , MRI guided deep thoracic biopsy  are already established non invasive  assisted intervention , soon we can expect many cardiac intervention will be done in radiation free environment.

Unpopular treatment modalities  need not be synonymous with ineffective  and dangerous  forms of treatment.


Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches