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Summer 2012 Breakthroughs




at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine



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.





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.





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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