In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of interventional cardiac procedures. As a result, protection from X-ray radiation – not just for patients, who may need to undergo repeated procedures, but also for medical staff – is becoming ever more important. There are even initial reports from doctors that warn of an increased risk of developing cancer from working in cardiology.1
“During procedures, we stand next to the source of radiation practically all day long. That’s why I was immediately ready and willing to try out Artis Q.zen,” says Professor Stefan Osswald, MD, Head of Cardiology at Basel University Hospital. In 2012, Basel was the first hospital in the world to install the system after it was introduced onto the market.
Lower Dose in Electrophysiological Procedures
With this new system, dose levels far below what is usual in angiography are still sufficient for imaging. This improvement is delivered by innovative detector technology that allows comparable image quality at a lower dose. A recent study involving 180 patients at the Cardiology Department at Basel University Hospital in Switzerland showed a significant dose reduction. In electrophysiological interventions, Artis Q.zen achieves sufficient image quality at a comparably low radiation dose of 15 nanogray per pulse.
Benefits for Patients and Medical Staff
In contrast, standard modern angiography systems require about 40 nanogray per pulse to produce an acceptable X-ray image. This is a significant benefit for patients and staff, especially during lengthy electrophysiological procedures. Thanks to the new detector technology, even in the ultra-low-dose area where gray on gray normally predominates, you can identify differences in the vessels, according to Osswald.
Better Images and New Software Facilitate the Work of Interventional Cardiologists
The system has also proved itself at the Interventional Cardiology Department in Basel. Detailed images can be taken of moving objects and extremely small vessels, thanks to the system’s new kind of X-ray tube.
“We benefit from Artis Q.zen in all procedures, ranging from replacement of aortic valves via a catheter (TAVI) to coronary stent implantations,” says Professor Christoph Kaiser, Head of Interventional Cardiology in Basel. New software applications also simplify the work. During treatment, the software program CLEARstent Live compensates for motion when displaying the stents. Thus, doctors can verify stent positioning in real time and place the stent more easily.
A particular angiography system provides high quality clinical images at a comparably low radiation dose.
Stefan Osswald, MD, Head of Cardiology, Basel University Hospital.
Rounding Off the Service
“In my opinion, Artis Q.zen is the best angiography X-ray system in the world today,” says Head of Cardiology Stefan Osswald, based on his experience. From his perspective as an experienced interventional cardiologist, another argument speaks in favor of the system: “An angiography X-ray system has to run for years. For that reason, a company’s service performance is at least as important as the product itself.” In this regard, he says, he has already had very good experience with the preceding model, not only in terms of long-lasting quality, but also in regard to service.