Doctors dissolve clots that cause heart attacks

Dissolving clots that cause heart attack is now possible during primary angioplasty, reducing the risk of clots dispersing into the bloodstream and blocking smaller vessels.

Cardiologists at Apollo Hospitals here announced that they had performed a complex intervention procedure, using revolutionary ‘Clearway Catheter’ for the first time in Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday at a Press Conference.

Clearway Catheter technique, performed through an angioplasty by a team of doctors under Chief of Cardiology & senior Interventional Cardiologist at Apollo Dr J Shiv Kumar, ensures that the drug delivery is focussed at the clot, thereby improving the drug’s impact on the blockage of the vessel and completely dissolving the block.
The angioplasty using Clearway Catheter technique was performed on a 59-year-old man who had severe chest pain for 3 hours and moderate pain for a day.

The angiography showed complete blockage of LAD artery with several clots. A bypass surgery was not possible; therefore he was taken for angioplasty. The artery was found to be full of clots and an effort to extract the block didn’t help. Hence, Clearway Catheter was used, as it permits delivery of drug in the clot. The patient has since recovered fully and is in a position to lead a normal life,” Dr Shiv Kumar said.

According to Dr Shiv Kumar, the Catheter’s unique mechanism allows greater drug concentrations at the site of local delivery than traditional systemic drug administration.

The higher drug concentration works for a longer duration on the hardened block ensuring its complete dissolution. “The drug that melts the clot actually weeps through the balloon, while we maintain certain atmospheric pressure,” he added. Clearway Catheter - a new drug delivery balloon infuses medicines on the site of the clot and allows targeting of the occluding blood clot for a longer period of time, to maximize its therapeutic effect in the blocked artery.

The technique costs around Rs 35,000.

Dr Shiv Kumar and his team demonstrated the Clearway Catheter technique, live to over 3000 cardiologists attending the  C3 summit (Complex Cardiovascular Catheter Therapeutic) at Orlando, USA, on 18 June 2013.

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