Trends in Cardiology

By Chris Murray, RCIS
Lead Tech, Methodist Dallas Medical Center

We’ve come a long way, baby. That’s not only true of most areas of medicine; it’s especially true for cardiology, my area of specialization. When I think about the leaps and bounds we’ve made in diagnosing and treating various heart problems since I began my career, it’s astounding and satisfying.

It’s amazing how much technology has improved patients’ lives and how much it has pushed cardiovascular clinicians to continually learn and expand our understanding of this all-too-common disease. I’m satisfied knowing that as caregivers,
we are fortunate to practice in an environment dedicated to pursuing excellence in all phases of cardiovascular care.

Here are just a few examples of the exciting developments in the field of
cardiovascular care.

  • The radial vs. femoral artery approach for diagnostic and interventional procedures has resulted in an 80 percent reduction* in complication rates and an accompanying increase in patient satisfaction, because patients’ recovery time is reduced as are the number of complications.
  • Structural repair trends include:
    • A minimally invasive percutaneous approach to repair structural defects and move away from open surgical procedures.
    • The percutaneous aortic valve, which is on the market for treatment of aortic stenosis and aortic insufficiency.
    • And, the mitral valve clip placement is being used for treatment of mitral regurgitation.
  • Vascular repair trends include:
    • Improved stents, which have evolved from polymer-coated, metal drug-eluting stents to drug-eluting bioabsorbable stents, potentially reducing restenosis.
    • Expansion of vascular services to improve not only heart health but also extremity health, which greatly benefits patients overall.
  • Perhaps some of the most exciting research is being studied in clinical trials on drug-eluting balloons, drug-eluting stents for the periphery, and using different forms of atherectomy in combination with other forms of therapy.

For patients, cardiovascular excellence means less-invasive diagnostics, improved CT angiograms, and much earlier identification and intervention with appropriate treatments. For clinicians whose passion is cardiology, it means the opportunity to practice in a center featuring the latest technology and the challenge of becoming more and more tech savvy so they can maximize the value of these new tools to enhance their practices and improve their patients’ outcomes.

For me, Methodist Health System has the right prescription for cardiovascular excellence. We have:

  • A growing integrated delivery system.
  • A cardiovascular program that is expanding in scope and expertise.
  • A commitment to recruit and retain top cardiac specialists and sub-specialists, as well as other members of the cardiovascular care team.
  • A long-range view that is grounded in investing in current and emerging technology.
  • A passion for continuous clinical improvement in care processes to produce enhanced patient outcomes.
  • A focus on patient- and family-centered care to improve the overall patient and family experience.
  • A laser-focus on differentiating based on quality, such as chest pain centers with percutaneous coronary intervention accreditation at Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Methodist Richardson Medical Center.

If Methodist Health System is your choice for a career partner, learn more by visiting

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*Source: by WebMD