Article: article from journal or magazin.
Telemedicine for cardiac surgery candidates
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Journal Article --- Old month value: Sep
BACKGROUND: Cardiac surgery is generally well or over-represented in many Western countries. Since the southern part of Switzerland relies on 300 km distance centers for cardiac surgery, we started a project of telemedicine for the distant evaluation of cardiac surgery candidates. We report our experience of the results of the diagnosis made by telemedicine and by direct scrutiny of coronary angiograms. METHODS: Coronary angiography was performed at the distant hospital by an invasive cardiology team. Teletransmission of images was performed using three Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) lines by direct transmission of recent recording. A total of 98 cases were reviewed (87 aorto-coronary bypass candidates, seven valvular and four congenital heart disease). We further performed a prospective blinded comparison of 47 consecutive cases with severe coronary artery disease (CAD) with respect to localization and number of significant coronary lesions, obtained by direct scrutiny of the original angiograms and the evaluation obtained with the teletransmitted images. RESULTS: In 89 cases of the 98 analyzed (91%) correct diagnosis and surgical approach could be established by distant transmission. In nine cases (9%, all aortocoronary bypass candidates) definitive diagnosis and treatment was feasible only by direct scrutiny of the original angiograms. Five critically ill patients were urgently referred to the surgical care center based on the correct distant diagnosis. The blinded comparison of distant diagnosis and direct scrutiny of angiograms in defining 1-2-3 vessel CAD was good: r=0.87, P<0.01. CONCLUSION: Initial experience using non-sophisticated telemedical transmission of angiograms of cardiac surgery candidates seems to be a promising facility for distantly located centers.
*Cardiac Surgical Procedures *Coronary Angiography Coronary Disease/radiography/surgery Heart Defects, Congenital/radiography/surgery Heart Valve Diseases/radiography/surgery Humans Prospective Studies *Remote Consultation Retrospective Studies *Teleradiology
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