Coronary artery disease (CAD) diagnoses: 16,300,000 people (AHA 2012 Statistical Update)
Contribution to hospital stay: 1.2 million
Cost: $44 billion in expenses (The most expensive condition treated)
More than half of the hospital stays for CAD were among patients who also received coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) during their stay.
The primary 2D image interpretation challenges faced by the interventional cardiologist:
In the angiographic example below, two images of the same artery, focusing on the same arterial segment, can potentially give misleading information of blockage length and severity.
Interventionalists must match pre-existing stent sizes to an estimate of the lesion length and diameter as interpreted from the images acquired, as illustrated in the following cartoon of a balloon expandable stent.
These imaging based mistakes may lead to repeat procedures and serious clinical complications.
Traditional techniques to minimize complications arising from vessel overlap and foreshortening involves taking additional X-ray pictures to ensure a complete understanding of the anatomy, which leads to: