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“This is a science project right now,” Schwartz said of where the work is leading. “The commercial application may be, eventually, in diagnosis.”
Dr. Augusto Pichard is an interventional cardiologist at Washington Cardiology Center in Washington D.C. He has performed thousands of procedures to open clogged coronary arteries and repair the heart. What Schwartz and Shadden are learning could be critical information for improving patient safety, he said.
“It provides information that, to this point, I have never had,” he said. “Patterns of blood flow and the flow into important branches can be different within each patient under different conditions. To this point, we have had no knowledge of that.”
Greater understanding of blood flow and the particles that could contribute to stroke could prevent major problems, Pichard said.
“TAVR is the greatest new development in medicine. But one of the risks of TAVR is stroke. Of course, we would like there to be no stroke,” he said. “Now, we are doing it blindly. We don’t know how [stroke] happens or when it happens. With this model being developed, we could.”
James Walsh • 612-673-7428