University Hospital Erlangen opens Europe’s most modern cardiac catheter laboratory

Patients with heart disease benefit from the latest technology and decades of experience.

Complex narrowing of the coronary arteries or an acute heart attack – if the heart does not work properly, this can have life-threatening consequences. The Medical Clinic 2 – Cardiology and Angiology (Director: Prof. Dr. Stephan Achenbach) of the University Hospital Erlangen is therefore using innovative technology in the treatment of various heart diseases and has now equipped the heart catheter laboratory with the latest angiography system from Siemens. “This makes our cardiac catheter laboratory the most modern in Europe,” emphasizes Prof. Achenbach, adding: “Of course, technology alone does not make therapy a success. Used correctly, however, it complements our decades of experience and supports us decisively in order to be able to perform even complex heart operations optimally – and without any surgery at all”.

A sudden, severe pain in the chest area accompanied by a feeling of pressure and tightness, sometimes also shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting: If these symptoms persist for more than five minutes, the heart is very likely to suffer an acute infarction. Due to a narrowing or obstruction of the coronary arteries, the heart muscle cells are no longer sufficiently supplied with oxygen-rich blood and die within a few hours.

State-of-the-art technology – unique in Europe
In front of the new angiography system: Dr. Luise Gaede (Head: Erlangen Heart Catheter Laboratory) and Prof. Dr. Stephan Achenbach (Director: Medical Clinic 2 – Cardiology and Angiology). (Photo: Barbara Mestel/Uni-Klinikum Erlangen)

“A heart attack requires very fast medical care in order to preserve as many heart muscle cells as possible,” explains Dr. Luise Gaede, head of the Erlangen cardiac catheter laboratory and senior physician in Medicine 2. Otherwise, long-term complications such as cardiac arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac insufficiency, aneurysms or tears in the heart wall may occur. In the worst case, a heart attack leads to death. The new angiography system has lower radiation levels and offers even better image quality. This enables us to clearly identify vascular occlusions” says Luise Gaede. Even the most difficult cases such as very calcified stenoses or chronically occluded coronary vessels can be treated therapeutically. The latest methods are used, such as coronary lithotripsy, but also the most established ones, such as red ablation. In patients with a particularly high risk, the circulatory system is also supported, which is why emergency patients in Erlangen are particularly well looked after. In addition, the close cooperation with the Department of Cardiac Surgery (Director: Prof. Dr. Michael Weyand), the Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery (Head: Prof. Dr. Robert Cesnjevar) and the Department of Pediatric Cardiology (Head: Prof. Dr. Sven Dittrich) enables the optimal treatment of the most complex heart defects and heart diseases at any age.

To learn more please read here (German only)

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