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Published on November 04, 2013

Palos offers new technology for cardiac care patients

Optical Coherence Tomography provides a clearer picture of coronary vessels

Imagine watching your favorite movie on a 1970s television set. Then imagine watching it on a new high-definition plasma television.  Most likely, you would prefer the sharper picture, right? That is exactly what Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) can provide for heart patients at Palos Community Hospital.

Palos is the only hospital in the southwest suburbs to use the technology during cardiac catheterization to assist in diagnosing a coronary artery narrowing and to confirm ideal stent placement. Compared to previous imaging used in this setting and done with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), OCT uses light waves to obtain images, with 10 times higher resolution, in seconds.

dr ravi ramana

Dr. Ravi Ramana

“This is a valuable addition to the current state-of-the-art technologies that are available here in the cardiac catheterization lab.”

Dr. Ravi Ramana

“This is a valuable addition to the current state-of-the-art technologies that are available herein the cardiac catheterization lab,” says interventional cardiologist Dr. Ravi Ramana.  “The images of the blood vessel wall and any implanted stent are much clearer.”

Because it’s such a new technology, there is potential for a number of uses for OCT that are currently being studied around the world.

“It is ideally used in patients who have coronary artery blockages that are borderline in severity and you are trying to determine if they are best treated with medicines, with a stent or with heart surgery,” says Dr. Ramana. “And if you treat with a stent, to ensure optimal stent placement.” 

With the advancements in interventional cardiology and technology, many of the stent procedures performed at Palos are lower risk procedure, says Dr. Ramana.  “The risk of any stent procedure will never be zero. In theory, OCT helps reduce those risks – not to zero, but closer to zero,” he says. “The difference in lowering a known 2 percent risk to a 1 percent risk may feel minimal... unless it’s your family member.”

To find a cardiovascular specialist, schedule a heart screening or learn more about heart care at Palos Community Hospital, please call (708) 226-2300.