Seeing the Heart As Never Before

February 3, 2015


New Diagnostic Technology, Only Available at Saint Peter's



The 75-year-old female, who suffers from kidney disease, had experienced symptoms of heart disease – chest pains and fatigue. George Saviano, MD, a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Interventionalists of Central Jersey in East Brunswick, recommended an angiogram – an X-ray test that would show how blood flows in and out of the arteries of her heart. A new multi-million dollar piece of equipment, complete with the latest imaging technology, made it possible to do the test with a much lower dosage of dye than is usually injected into the patient. This was the ideal option for Dr. Saviano’s patient because patients with kidney disease have less tolerance for radiopaque, the contrast dye used. This dye is toxic to the kidneys.

“You can use as little as one third of the dye originally used,” says Dr. Saviano, associate director of the recently renovated Saint Peter’s University Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. “Less dye is beneficial and results in less radiation due to the need for a limited amount of pictures.”


It is the advanced, sharp camera of the Philips AlluraClarity machine, which rotate to capture 360-degree multidimensional views, and the computer software it uses, that make it possible to use less dye. Locally, the technology is only available at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

“This technology marks a further departure from the highly invasive surgical procedures of the past toward the minimally invasive – and far safer – image-guided therapies of the present,” says Dr. Saviano. “Using less dye would suggest you would see things less clearer, but it is the opposite. This sophisticated software and the rotating camera make it possible to get clear pictures of the arteries from every angle.”

The technology is part of Saint Peter’s continued improvement and expansion of services provided to patients with cardiovascular disease. The Saint Peter’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory can now accommodate patients in need of procedures such as the stenting of arteries of the peripheral arterial system – the arteries below the waist.

In addition to the new technology in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Saint Peter’s has expanded its services to include a new outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program. Dinesh Singal, MD, medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Saint Peter’s, heads the rehab program housed at the Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset.

Saint Peter’s was recently recognized with the Get With The Guidelines®– Heart Failure Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Saint Peter’s earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart failure. These measures include proper use of medications and aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol lowering drugs, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, aspirin, diuretics and anticoagulants while patients are hospitalized.

Saint Peter’s also was recognized for providing patients being discharged from the hospital with education on managing their heart failure and overall health, and for also assisting patients with follow-up medical appointments.

“Saint Peter’s is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients, and implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure program helps us to accomplish this goal by tracking and measuring our success in meeting internationally respected guidelines,” says David Jacob, MD, chief of Cardiology at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.


For more information about catheterization services, call 732-745- 8600, ext. 5458.



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