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Biplane Angiography Further Enhances Stroke Care at RGH

With a well-known history of excellence in stroke care, Rochester General Hospital has long been the highest-volume stroke services provider in not only this region, but all of upstate New York. Now, the installation of a key piece of advanced imaging technology has allowed RGH to improve even further on that exceptional reputation – by delivering truly comprehensive emergency stroke services that can help more patients achieve optimal outcomes.

Gargano A new biplane angiography unit, installed this summer at RGH, can produce simultaneous images of the same area from contrasting angles, for diagnostic scans of very high quality and accuracy. Used with a cone-beam CT, it can generate real-time, three-dimensional views that enable RGH teams to perform complex catheter-based vascular procedures, especially in the brain and other areas of the body with small, delicate blood vessels.

The biplane unit also allows the RGH interventional radiology team to perform advanced procedures – including uterine fibroid embolization, kyphoplasty and cerebral angiography – with exceptional speed, precision and safety. And in terms of stroke treatment, this capability provides patients with an enhanced range of treatment options that can significantly increase their chances of a full recovery from even the most serious instances of stroke.

“Stroke care is all about time – how rapidly the symptoms are recognized, and how rapidly the patient gets his or her care,” says Bryan Gargano, MD, Associate Chief of Emergency Medicine at RGH.

According to the National Stroke Foundation, a stroke event causes brain cells
to die at a rate of two million cells per minute. “When patients are here already, there’s no reason to delay their care with a transfer to another hospital when these advanced on-site procedures can make a difference.”

The clot-busting stroke drug tPA remains the “gold standard” for ED patients who present with stroke symptoms within a specific window of time – currently, no more than four and a half hours. “But if you don’t get better with the tPA within 30 minutes, depending on your case we can now make new decisions about interventional treatment,” Dr. Gargano says. “And if a patient comes in and we think right away they’re a candidate for an endovascular procedure, we can get them to the biplane unit quickly, and quickly provide an accurate assessment.”

“We see a lot of stroke patients here. We take great care of them. We have the systems and the people to support this new technology. It’s a natural addition to our stroke-care toolbox.”