Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois has announced that the Prairie Heart Institutes at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur are the first facilities in Illinois outside of Chicago to adopt the HeartFlow FFRCT Analysis.

This is the only non-invasive technology to offer physicians insight into both the extent of a patient’s arterial blockage and the impact the blockage has on blood flow. HSHS St. John’s hospital has already completed over 100 HeartFlow Analysis studies, and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital is set to launch the new technology later this month.

Coronary artery disease, also called coronary heart disease, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Coronary artery disease develops when the arteries leading to the heart narrow, often because of the buildup of plaque in the vessel walls. The coronary narrowing can reduce blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks and death. Coronary artery disease is one of the most costly medical conditions to the U.S. healthcare system.

Studies have shown the need to improve the accuracy of non-invasive tests used to evaluate coronary artery disease. A recent study, which included data from more than 1,100 U.S. hospitals, found that over half of the more than 385,000 patients with suspected coronary artery disease who underwent an invasive coronary angiogram (ICA) in fact had no need for intervention since no blood flow-limiting blockage was found during the ICA.

“Using coronary CTA with the addition of the HeartFlow FFR technology provides us with a functional and less inferential assessment of the heart and coronary arteries” said Kristin Doster, Executive Vice President of Cardiovascular Services for HSHS St. John’s Hospital. “The HeartFlow Analysis provides essential information that can help us determine the right approach for a patient through a convenient, efficient and non-invasive platform.”

Using the images derived from a standard, non-invasive coronary CT angiogram (cCTA), the HeartFlow technology creates a personalized, digital 3D model of each patient’s arteries. Powerful computer algorithms then solve millions of complex equations to assess the impact of blockages on blood flow. This information aids physicians in determining the appropriate course of action for each patient.

The HeartFlow Analysis has been evaluated in four large, prospective clinical trials enrolling a total of more than 1,100 patients at major medical centers worldwide. The most recent trial, called PLATFORM (Prospective LongitudinAl Trial of FFRCT: Outcome and Resource IMpacts), demonstrated that a HeartFlow-guided patient evaluation strategy effectively identifies which patients do and do not need invasive treatment. When compared to usual care, a HeartFlow-guided strategy showed an 83% reduction in the number of patients who underwent a planned ICA only to find that they in fact had no obstructive disease, and therefore, no need for invasive intervention. Despite the difference in the number of patients who required ICA, the rate of revascularization procedures, such as coronary stenting or bypass surgery, were similar.

A HeartFlow-guided patient evaluation strategy also showed greater improvement in quality of life at 90-day follow-up, as compared to baseline, than evaluation with usual non-invasive testing.

“The HeartFlow Analysis will help us develop the most appropriate treatment plan for a patient with coronary artery disease without the need for additional procedures,” Doster said. “This is game-changing technology that will be incredibly beneficial for our patients .”

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