Centre for Aortic Diseases opens at AIMS
Aortic diseases need radiological and interventional facilities for early diagnosis and treatment planning.
KOCHI: A dedicated Centre for Aortic Diseases started functioning at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) here. The Centre, said to be the first of its kind in the country, has an in-house clinic exclusively for the treatment of Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the connective tissue, in which patients tend to lose weight significantly.
According to doctors, aortic diseases need radiological and interventional facilities for early diagnosis and treatment planning.
The Amrita Centre for Aortic Diseases has the latest 256-slice high-definition CT scanners and 3T MRI machines for aortic imaging, diagnosis and planning complex aortic interventions.
“The Centre gives patients immediate access to state-of-the-art facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of complex aortic diseases,” said AIMS Department of Cardiology clinical professor Dr Vijayakumar.
“Aorta, the largest blood vessel in the human body, supplies blood to all the major organs. Aortic diseases can be life threatening and complex. They need timely management by multi-disciplinary teams, including cardiac-surgeon, cardiologist, radiologist, anaesthetist, critical-care specialist, genetic specialist and pathologist. It should also be supported by blood bank service, dedicated cardiology cath-lab and cardiac surgery theatre,” doctors said. The condition is characterised by elongated arms, legs, fingers and toes. These patients not only need management of their aortic condition, but also comprehensive treatment by genetic specialists and ophthalmologists.
Dr Praveen Varma, clinical professor and Head of Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at AIMS, pointed out that Marfan syndrome affected one in 5,000 people. “It impacts the aorta, which becomes dilated and weak, leading to internal splitting. The condition can also occur due to high blood pressure in normal individuals.
“The severe chest pain that arises is mistaken as a heart attack. This is a surgical emergency as the death rate is one - two per cent per hour. Such patients need to be shifted immediately to centres with expertise in aortic dissection surgery,” he said.
According to Dr K Mahesh, clinical professor, Department of Paediatric Cardiology, AIMS, ‘’ Birth defects of aorta account for six-eight per cent of all birth defects of the heart and many genetic syndromes in children may be associated with aorta’’.