Sep 27, 2018
By Jane Brown
In what’s being touted as a world first, Montreal researchers have been able to bust open coronary arteries completely blocked with calcium deposits using an innovative device that produces “jackhammer” effect.
Doctors at the McGill University Health Centre are testing the SoundBite Active Wire in a small group of patients who have “chronic total occlusion” of one of their coronary arteries, which severely restricts blood flow to the heart.
Principal researcher Doctor Stephane Rinfret, chief of interventional cardiology, says the condition affects about 20 per cent of people with hardening of the arteries.
The wire is connected to a shock wave generator, which causes it to vibrate like a jackhammer inside the artery, allowing it to create cracks in the calcium blockage while leaving the walls of the blood vessel unharmed.