Service Cardiology of Quirónsalud Marbella Hospital, led by doctors Javier Alzueta and Said Barakat, has incorporated the intracoronary lithotripsy to the portfolio of services of the Hemodynamics and Interventional Cardiology Unit, by the hand of doctor Luis Íñigo. The Marbella center has released the details of the first intervention in which this novel technology has been applied, which took place on June 11 to a 67-year-old man whose diagnosis reflected a calcification in the anterior descending artery. “Intracoronary lithotripsy is a recently developed technique that allows, through a balloon, to administer ultrasound pulses (shock waves) that promote calcium fracture of the plaque of calcified coronary stenoses. This procedure is ideal to guarantee an adequate disposition of the stent ”, explains cardiologist Luis Íñigo.
The team of Cardiology specialists who participated in this intervention determined that this approach was the most appropriate due to the severity of the patient’s arterial calcification, whose conditions substantially lowered the chances of success of a standard angioplasty treatment. In addition, the expert points out the existence of other associated advantages such as “the ease of mounting the device or the circumferential fracture capacity of calcium”.
The operation carried out successfully a few days ago means the implementation in the Hospital Quirónsalud Marbella of “a very new technology that, for the moment, is available in a very small number of Spanish health centers”, Íñigo emphasizes. Regarding the recovery of the patient, the specialist maintains that this treatment is carried out by a simple puncture in the radial artery and allows “a recovery just like in any other case of coronary angioplasty in which the patient is discharged at home in just 24 hours”.
According to data from the Interventional Cardiology Association of the Spanish Society of Cardiology (ACI-SEC), approximately 30 percent of patients who have a drug-eluting stent have calcification of the arteries.
In these cases, Intracoronary Litroticia is a technique that complements the existing ones, since the treatment of severely calcified coronary stenoses is complex and is associated with an increased risk of complications and failed angioplasties. Balloon dilation may be insufficient to modify plaques with a high calcium load and may also present difficulties when their appearance is concentric because it can lead to complications such as coronary perforation. On the other hand, rotational atherectomy, another of the techniques that is currently available, is a useful and effective technique in this type of injury, but it carries certain limitations linked to anatomical conditions.