In many cases, patients with twisted arteries are not good candidates for angioplasty, which is used to re-open clogged arteries. Now, a new tool may change that.
It's a magnetic navigation system developed by doctors at the Methodist Debakey Heart Center in Houston. So far, a pilot study of 26 patients with hard to reach clogs had an 80% success rate.
The system uses two large magnets to generate a magnetic field over the patient's heart. Then, a computer-driven program moves the magnets to help navigate a guide wire with a tiny magnet at the tip to break up clogged arteries in or even beyond curves in the arteries that would normally be very difficult to reach.