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Summer 2012 Breakthroughs

BREAKTHROUGHS

at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine

NEW VAD

Cardiology

Washington University surgeons are implanting an investigational left ventricular assist device (VAD) called the Jarvik 2000 FlowMaker. The size of a C battery, it takes up very little space inside the chest and can be implanted through a small incision. The device reduces the risk of clots and allows patients to adjust the flow depending on their activities. Robert Jarvik, MD, a pioneer in artificial hearts and assist devices, was present in the operating room at Barnes-Jewish Hospital for the placement of the first Jarvik 2000 VAD.

For information about VADs, including clinical trials, call 314-454-7687.




TRANSLAMINAR FIXATION

Orthopedics

Washington University neurosurgeon Neill Wright, MD, has developed a technique that is now a standard treatment worldwide for patients with instability of the upper cervical spine. Beginning in the 1990s, surgeons used techniques called transarticular fixation to stabilize the spine; these were demanding for the surgeon to perform and carried a significant risk of injury to vertebral arteries and stroke. Wright’s procedure, called translaminar fixation, stabilizes the spine and avoids those risks.

 

View a video at bjhne.ws.bz.



PHOTOACOUSTIC TOMOGRAPHY

Cancer

A new imaging technique could speed the detection of cancer. Called photoacoustic tomography, the technique uses light and sound to make the invisible become visible, replacing X-ray’s gray images with color images. Washington University researcher Lihong Wang, PhD, and other scientists at the Siteman Cancer Center are moving four applications into clinical trials: visualizing lymph nodes important in breast cancer staging, monitoring early response to chemotherapy and imaging melanomas and the gastrointestinal tract.

View a video at siteman.wustl.edui.

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