University Campus will be international demonstration site for new imaging system to diagnose and treat cardiac and vascular diseases

June 16, 2004

WORCESTER, Mass. — With the goal of providing optimal access to comprehensive care for cardiovascular patients in the region, UMass Memorial Medical Center has opened a new, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory. The $14 million project comprises expanded and renovated facilities at its University Campus, including a 21-bed short-stay unit, additional intensive care beds, and space to accommodate electrophysiology and pacing diagnoses and procedures, as well as diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures, in a single location.

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to evaluate the structure and function of the heart in order to detect heart disease at an early stage. A small plastic tube, or catheter, is inserted into an artery or vein in the leg and guided through blood vessels to the heart. X-ray pictures allow the doctor to watch the catheter as it is guided, with little or no discomfort to the patient, and take pictures of the heart.

“In many cases, a patient will have both coronary and peripheral vascular conditions, which we can now better diagnose and, in some cases treat, during asingle procedure in a single lab,” explained Mark Furman, MD, director ofinterventional cardiology in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at UMassMemorial and associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “Doing so provides significant benefits for the patient, not the least of which is peace of mind, in addition to overall cost savings by eliminating multiple procedures.”

Central to providing this level of care is UMass Memorial’s first-in-the-world installation of the Innova 3100™ large-format digital flat panel x-ray system from General Electric Medical Systems. This equipment represents a technological breakthrough for cardiovascular imaging, providing detailed, real-time fluoroscopic images of human anatomy for interventional radiological procedures that require exacting precision. In addition to catheterization, procedures that can be performed with the Innova 3100 include coronary angioplasty, atherectomy, and stent placement.

“The outstanding image quality allows us to more precisely measure the length of a lesion and select the stent best suited for the patient,” explained Dr. Furman, who led the clinical validation for Innova 3100. “The images are so clear that we can precisely place stents, minimizing risk to side branches and assuring proper overlap of multiple stents.”

UMass Memorial currently performs over 6000 diagnostic and interventional cardiology and vascular procedures a year, making it one of the leading centers for cardiovascular c are in New England. The new facilities will nearly double this capacity and enable procedures to be performed around the clock. Access to UMass Memorial via the LifeFlight air ambulance allows heart attack victims at referring hospitals to receive lifesaving angioplasty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

UMass Memorial physicians will also use the new facilities to conduct research that evaluates new devices and medications leading to increased patient comfort and improved outcomes, including use of smaller catheters and femoral artery closure devices that allow patients to return to normal activity sooner after their procedures.


UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc. is Central Massachusetts’ largest not-for-profit health care delivery system with 1,500 physicians and more than 12,000 employees. UMass Memorial’s comprehensive network of care includes a multi-campus tertiary hospital, owned and affiliated community hospitals, freestanding primary care practices, ambulatory outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospice programs, a rehabilitation group, mental health services and a 700-member faculty group practice. UMass Memorial is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

CONTACT: Sandra Gray, Public Affairs, 508-856-2000,