Modern Angiography Equipment for the Precise Diagnosis and Better Treatment
Two new state-of-the-art angiography systems went into operation at the University Hospital Leipzig at the beginning of the year. The Department Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology already use them. Angiography is the radiographic representation of vessels using diagnostic imaging techniques such as X-rays or MRI. For this purpose, a contrast agent is often injected into the blood vessel. For patients, these new devices mean less exposure to radiation. Treatments become more targeted and therefore shorter.
The Departments of Neuroradiology and Interventional Radiology has had a two-level angiography system and a one-level system of the latest generation available since the beginning of the year. These state-of-the-art devices are used to diagnose and treat diseases of the blood vessels of all organs in the human body. In the Department of Neuroradiology, complex procedures on the brain and spinal cord can thus be successfully performed.
A two-level system is both time and contrast agent saving. It allows an imaging of blood vessels from two different projections at the same time. In the brain, this is both fascinating and advantageous due to the very complexity of blood vessels. The vessels can now be displayed in a more precise three-dimensional manner. This helps to plan surgeries more effectively and to continuously optimize the selection of devices to implant. "Thanks to this innovative technology, the dose of X-rays is reduced to the minimum necessary. For the patients, this reduces the number of possible complications and the duration of the examination, "explains Prof. Karl-Titus Hoffmann, the Head of the Neuroradiology Department.
The angiography device offers further useful functions for the physician. "We can carry out additional computed tomography (CT) examination. This provides us an important additional information without a need to transport the patient to another place. In addition, we can now create an accurate cerebral blood flow analysis just in a couple of seconds. We use another new technique for accurate millisecond flow analyzes of aneurysms for therapy control, which makes it much more valuable, "says Prof. Hoffmann. "And all this without prolonging the time of examination," emphasizes the neuroradiologist. “This will allow us now to successfully treat diseases of the blood vessels that could not be treated just a few years ago, says the expert. This is a great development."
Dr. Hoffmann and his team members are using this technology for a number of different cases. In addition to emergencies, this device is helpful for more and more people who deliberately opt for treatment with a minimally invasive procedure on the vascular system of the brain and spinal cord at the University Hospital Leipzig, he says. In 2017, more than 300 interventions were performed. This year, 50 patients have been registered in January already. The rising number of patients is based both on the professionalism of specialists at University Hospital Leipzig and modern angiography systems.
Interventional Oncology as a Focus
Since January of this year, doctors of the Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology have been working on a state-of-the-art one-level system. As already mentioned, this means less radiation and better image quality, which in turn allows for more precise control of the procedures. The device is equipped with additional programs that may facilitate the treatments for the patients. "Many procedures now take shorter and can be made more accurate," explains the senior physician Tim-Ole Petersen, the Head of Interventional Radiology Department, "we can now also perform such procedures that were previously not technically possible." It is especially helpful for the minimally invasive treatments for cancers. Particularly, more and more patients are being recently admitted for the liver metastases and liver cancer therapy. Therefore, Interventional Oncology is the main focus.
According to Dr. Petersen, the increasing number of patients can be explained by the desire of the patients to avoid surgery or conventional chemotherapy. Another reason is the variety of methods, such as chemosaturation, used at the University Hospital Leipzig. "In the last quarter of 2017, the Leipzig University Hospital was the center in Germany with the most treatments using this method," says the expert. Chemosaturation describes a special type of isolated chemotherapy of the liver, which only a few centers in Germany can offer. Further treatment for oncology focuses on procedures called transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT). In the latter procedure, radiating microspheres are precisely injected into the liver vessels to treat liver metastases or liver cancer.
Music and Light: Individual Approach for a Better Care
With all the improvements that these state-of-the-art therapies brought, doctors at University Hospital Leipzig always concentrate on the general well-being of their patients. Thus, in just three months of construction, the rooms were completely rebuilt, enlarged and made friendlier. The number of monitoring areas was increased from three to five. In order to make a treatment more pleasant for patients, it is even possible to change the color of the light and to play music in the wards and rooms.
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