In July this year consultant cardiologist Dan Jones received an international award from the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography for his research into heart scans for patients following bypass surgery. We caught up with Dan about his research and what it means for patients.
Pictured: Dan talking at the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography 2023 Annual Congress in Boston where he won his award.
Tell us more about your research
Often patients following a heart bypass operation need further tests (called a coronary angiogram) because of chest pains or shortness of breath. These angiograms tend to be longer and more complex than in someone who hasn’t had previous bypass surgery because no two operations are the same with a need to take pictures of the patient’s own arteries and the bypass vessels. We were hoping to use a computerised tomography (CT) scan to make these procedures shorter, safer and better for patients.
What have you found out so far?
We can get a lot of information from the CT scan done before the angiogram, which has a major effect on the angiogram itself. It tells us what bypass grafts the patient has had, where they are, how to find them and whether we even need to do an angiogram at all.
What are the benefits for patients?
For a patient with a history of bypass surgery, a CT scan of their heart arteries beforehand makes the angiogram quicker and safer. Patients are also happier and more likely to be free of major problems 12 months later.
What does the future hold for this work?
It should change the way we treat most bypass patients who need angiograms. Guidelines may be revised as a result of this study. We do around 600-750 angiograms in post-bypass patients per year here at St Bartholomew's and around 10% of all patients post-new heart attack have previous coronary artery bypass grafts nationwide. We are already planning a follow-up to test a few unexpected findings.
And finally, what does it mean to be recognised in this way?
It was an honour to receive an international award that acknowledges the study and all the hard work the interventional research team here at St Bartholomew’s have put in over the last few years. We’re very proud that academic led research run out of Barts is being recognised on the world stage.