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New GI technologies improve internal organ visualization

As visualization technologies like ultrasound continue to improve in quality and safety, researchers are making the most of the opportunity to access new areas of internal organs that have not previously been examined without open surgery. In a group of studies presented today during Digestive Disease Week® 2006 (DDW), endoscopic procedures are demonstrating significant improvements in the quality and delivery of evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of the GI tract and surrounding areas. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

The Heart ?An Easily Accessible and Safe Target for Endoscopic Ultrasound and Fine Needle Intervention? [Abstract W1277]

Procedures involving the heart can be complicated and dangerous for the patient, but the use of technologies that can improve visualization of the area can increase the accuracy of the interventions. The heart's close proximity to the wall of the esophagus has led researchers to study the possible benefit of endoscopic ultrasound to visualize the heart and help guide interventions.

This study by researchers at Homerton University Hospital in London focused on the feasibility and safety of trans-esophageal punctures and interventions into the heart and coronary arteries in six pigs and two human patients. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is frequently performed with a scope to visualize and detect abnormalities in the GI tract.

Using EUS to guide them, researchers punctured the myocardium and aortic valve or coronary artery in the six pigs; three received angiography and three received thermal ablation, or clearing of the aortic valve. The repeat puncture of the cardiac walls and injection of contrast to help visualize the tissues showed no complications, nor did the angiography or thermal ablation procedures. EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration, or removal of heart tis
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Source:American Gastroenterological Association


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