The Golden Jubilee National Hospital has taken on its first set of patients to use for the trial of new imaging technology, which could be helpful in treating complex narrowed heart arteries.

As part of its October Trial, the hospital will closely monitor those with angina or stabilised heart attacks, and in particular patients with narrowed branch points within the artery during coronary angiograms.

The trial will test the use of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)-guided revascularisation, to see if stents could be inserted at branch points instead of the commonly-used angiographically-guided method.

Cardiologists have said that the OCT could lower the risk of stent narrowing and blocking post-surgery, and have said that the trial would be instrumental in determining its use.

Principle investigator and consultant cardiologist, Stuart Watkins, who is working on the NHS Golden Jubilee trial, said: “Stents come out of their packaging in the form of a straight tube, so if you have a narrowing involving a branch point with an artery, these are more complicated to treat and require more complex techniques.

“OCT provides the most detailed images of inside a patient’s artery that we can get, giving the cardiologist a lot of information, which can help guide the procedure and ensure we achieve an excellent result from our treatment.”

The first phase of the trial is will be on 20 patients in the NHS Golden Jubilee international multicentre, with the whole study expected to amass 1,200 patients across Europe.

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