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Breakthroughs - Summer 2010

Photoacoustic Imaging

Body

Photoacoustic imaging combines light and sound to create detailed pictures of tiny structures in the body without the use of high-energy X-ray beams, which can be damaging. It also provides functional information about such things as blood flow and oxygen saturation. Washington University biomedical engineer Lihong Wang, PhD, is studying the technology's promise to revolutionize the way doctors detect and monitor cancer and to reduce exposure to harmful radiation.

Mini VAD

Heart

A new pencil-sized device is improving blood flow in patients with severe heart failure or cardiogenic shock. The minimally invasive catheter pump is implanted in the heart through an incision in the groin. It sits across the aortic valve, drawing blood from the left ventricle and pumping it into the aorta and the rest of the body. The device is designed to help a patient's weakened heart gain strength so that a more invasive surgery can be performed.

Deep-Vein Thrombosis

Leg 

Washington University physicians are conducting a study comparing the latest treatments for blood clots in the legs known as deep-vein thrombosis (DVTs). The ATTRACT Trial will test the use of catheter-mounted technology designed to chew up DVTs and directly administer clot-busting drugs. The study will determine whether using this new clot-dissolving technology as a first-line treatment for DVTs provides better outcomes than blood-thinning drugs alone. For more information, call 1-866-974-CLOT (2568).

Ventricular Assist Devices

For many heart failure patients, assist devices have long kept a failing heart beating until a donor heart is available. However, new technology might make a heart transplant unnecessary in the future. Find out more on this edition of Barnes-Jewish Health Connection from Dr. Nader Moazami, surgical director of the Barnes-Jewish and Washington University artificial heart program.

 

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