Physicians at Bristol Regional Medical Center can better view and treat coronary artery blockages thanks to an all-digital cardiovascular imaging system recently installed at the hospital.

Bristol Regional is the first hospital in the region to acquire the GE Innova 2000 imaging system. The state-of-the-art technology allows cardiologists to view hard-to-see blood vessels with exceptional clarity under even the most difficult conditions.

Coronary artery blockages, if left untreated, can lead to heart attacks or other serious cardiovascular damage.

“We’re bringing the future of cardiac X-ray imaging to patients in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia,” said Ron Hall, Bristol Regional’s director of cardiology services. “The medical significance of this technology is similar to the transition from typewriters to computers.

“It’s a revolutionary change in the way we image the heart and related blood vessels that allows us to provide more excellent cardiac care for our patients.”

The digital imaging system is used in both diagnostic angiograms and angioplasty treatment studies. Bristol Regional performs more than 1,000 such studies annually.

The technology replaces conventional X-ray imaging components by reading X-rays passing through a patient’s body, creating an almost instantaneous image on a high-resolution monitor. Doctors also can “zoom in” to look at important areas in greater detail, and the system can adjust images for best clarity.

That means physicians are seeing more of what they need to see without the distortions associated with conventional X-ray systems. Images are viewed, networked and archived electronically in a totally filmless fashion.

“Better images produce better patient care,” Hall said. “This new technology enables faster procedures, requires less radiation exposure and gives us the ability to see details, especially balloons and stents, better than ever.”


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