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St. Joseph's Hospital is the First in Florida to Offer Non-invasive Test to Predict Stroke Risk
Date:6/20/2013

TAMPA, Fla., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa is the only hospital in the southeast United States using Non-invasive Optimal Vessel Analysis (NOVA) to quantify the volume of blood flow through tiny blood vessels in the brain using three dimensional imaging.

The first of its kind, NOVA provides doctors with precise identification of each vessel for blood flow calculation in order to pinpoint specific areas of concerns, giving physicians a quantifiable idea of a patient's risk for stroke.

"It's very difficult to image vessels that small," said St. Joseph's Hospital Interventional Neuroradiologist Matthew Berlet. "This software provides a numerical evaluation of blood flow in the brain without an invasive test." 

For patients like Sam Hachem, who had a 99 percent stenosis in critical artery of the brain, NOVA is truly a lifesaver.  He sought treatment at St. Joseph's for his intracranial narrowing when medical therapies were not working. A stent was placed to open his artery but it was difficult to make sure there was no reoccurrence of his vessel narrowing without doing dangerous, invasive cerebral angiography.

"Mr. Hachem's antiplatelet medication was not working to keep his stent open. After inserting the stent, I knew I needed a clear, accurate view of the blockages in his brain," says Berlet.  "I knew about the NOVA technology and knew there were few places in the country with it. So I sent him to see Fady T. Charbel, MD, FACS, head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It helped make sure the stent was staying open and that his antiplatelet therapy was working."

Mr. Hachem returned the favor by donating the technology to St. Joseph's.  "Mr. Hachem specifically wa
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SOURCE BayCare Health System
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