The Valley Hospital Adopts Novel Diagnostic Tool for Heart Disease

July 16, 2019

New Non-Invasive Test Can Help Physicians Diagnose and Treat Heart Disease, and Reduce Costs

The Valley Hospital now offers first-of-its-kind non-invasive HeartFlowtechnology to aid physicians in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease. 

The technology, called HeartFlow Analysis, enables physicians to accurately differentiate patients in need of invasive angiogram and intervention from those who can be managed with medications alone. 

“Historically, we have been faced with either using tests that were frequently inaccurate, or putting a patient through an invasive procedure just to determine whether they would need another invasive procedure to restore blood flow,” said Dr. Himanshu Gupta, Director of Valley’s Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Program. “The HeartFlow Analysis provides essential information that can help us determine the right approach for a patient through a convenient, non-invasive platform,” Dr. Gupta said. “This is game-changing technology for our patients.”

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.  It develops when the arteries leading to the heart narrow or become blocked, which may lead to a reduction in blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks and death. Despite being the most common form of heart disease, studies have shown there is a need to improve how CAD is evaluated and diagnosed. The current noninvasive tests used for the evaluation of CAD either provide only the functional assessment without concordant anatomical information or just the anatomical information without providing functional significance of the stenotic lesion. 

The new technology overcomes this limitation by providing both anatomical information and functional significance of the coronary stenosis on a single platform.  HeartFlow Analysis takes data from a patient’s non-invasive coronary computed tomography angiography — a heart imaging test — and applies artificial intelligence to create a personalized, digital 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. It then uses powerful computer algorithms to simulate blood flow and assess the impact of blockages on blood flow to the heart. Within hours, the HeartFlow Analysis is provided to the patient’s physician via a secure web interface, and provides information on the extent of a patient’s arterial blockage and the impact the blockage has on blood flow to the heart. If flow is normal, the patient need not undergo additional invasive tests or procedures.

HeartFlow Analysis has been used for over 30,000 patients with suspected heart disease. Additionally, in clinical trials, using the HeartFlow Analysis helped identify which patients do and do not need invasive treatment. The use of the HeartFlow Analysis also reduced the cost of care by 26 percent compared to usual care.

“HeartFlow Analysis is a tool that helps us develop the most appropriate treatment plan for a patient with coronary artery disease without the need for unnecessary and stressful procedures,” Dr. Gupta said. “This is instrumental in being able to provide our patients with the very best care.”

For more information about Valley’s cardiac services click here.

Caption:  HeartFlow Analysis provides your doctor with a digital, color-coded, 3D model of your coronary arteries. This information helps you and your doctor determine the next step in your treatment plan.