Pioneering Cooperation between Interventional Cardiologists and Radiologists

Transcatheter closure of abnormal arteriovenous connection by embolization of aneurysm in left coronary artery to right atrium in 16-month-old child.

The transcather embolization of an aneurysm in the abnormal left coronary artery was successfully completed recently at IASO Children's Hospital. This cutting-edge method combines techniques from interventional pediatric cardiology and interventional radiology to treat abnormalities in the coronary vessels, which are those vessels that supply blood to the heart itself.

The specialized and highly experienced team of the Pediatric Cardiology Department and the Hemodynamic Laboratory at IASO Children's Hospital, headed by Dr. Georgios S. Tsaousis in cooperation with interventional radiologist Christos Gogas, was able to successfully employ the coronary aneurysm embolization method on a child aged 16 months and weighing 10 kg. Using cutting-edge medical equipment, platinum microcoils were placed subcutaneously through very fine catheters into the aneurysm, completely blocking it and eliminating the abnormal coronary communication.

This communication was also causing dangerous distention of the aneurysm of the left coronary artery as well as hypoplasia in the rest of the normal coronary vasculature. This method made it possible for the young child to avoid the risks and stress that accompany open-heart surgery. The entire procedures took place in the Hemodynamic Laboratory at IASO Children's Hospital with the help of the Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia Department (Director: C. Alexopoulos) and the cardiosurgery services of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Department (Director: Dr. Georgios Sarris. The child was in excellent condition and was discharged from the hospital one day after the procedure.

Fortunately, such coronary vessel abnormalities are rare, but failure to treat them in time may cause permanent damage to the entire blood supply system of the heart, which is later extremely difficult to restore to normal, and in the past would have caused varying degrees of permanent disability in young patients. As this new method can be used in very young patients, it is expected to make a significant contribution to reducing permanent defects in the coronary vasculature that delayed treatment would have caused, as well as to minimizing the risk of treating the condition with open-heart surgery.

The Center for Congenital Heart Defects at IASO Children's Hospital includes: 1) A fully equipped Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Department; 2) Pediatric Cardiology Department; 3) Hemodynamic Laboratory; 4) Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia Department; and 5) an Intensive Care Unit. In fact, with the cooperation of the Neonatal ICU, the Pediatric and Surgical departments and special associates from all of the pediatric sub-specialties, the Center is able to provide high-level specialized tertiary services to pediatric cardiac patients of all ages, most of whom can be treated optimally and completely cured.

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