August 28, 2020
New Non-Invasive Test Can Help Physicians Diagnose and Treat Heart Disease
The Valley Hospital is the New Jersey leader in the use of HeartFlow Analysis, an innovative, non-invasive technology that aids physicians in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease.
HeartFlow Analysis enables physicians to accurately differentiate patients in need of coronary stenting or bypass surgery from those who can be managed with medications alone. In addition to being the New Jersey leader, Valley is in the top 15% for volume in the Northeast and in the top 30% nationally.
“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. This is game-changing technology for our patients, and I am proud of our program’s high-volume use of this tool.”
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.
Many of the non-invasive tests available today, such as a stress test, have low accuracy rates in detecting CAD. In fact, a recent study found more than half of patients with suspected CAD who underwent an invasive coronary angiogram had no need for the procedure, since no blood flow-limiting blockage was found during the procedure.
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, please visit www.ValleyHealth.com/heart.