A Hattiesburg, Miss.-based doctor says Optos‘ (LON:OPTS) Optomap retinal imaging camera helped him identify a particularly deadly blood vessel blockage before it could trigger a heart attack, according to the Hattiesburg American.
During a demonstration of the system, Dr. David Richardson of Hattiesburg Eye Clinic was scanned by the mapping system which captures a panorama of the retina on the back wall of his eye. The image showed an abnormality, according to the paper, that indicated a possible vessel blockage.
“Viewing a patient’s retina primarily helps us diagnose vision problems, but it can also indicate problems elsewhere in the body. And that’s what I saw when I looked at the image of my eye — a possible blood vessel blockage somewhere else in my body,” Dr. Richardson told the Hattiesburg American.
After undergoing a follow-up cardiac CT scan, cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Robbie Robbins identified an occlusion of the left anterior descending artery, which is associated with dangerous, life-threatening heart attacks.
“He asked me what I was doing.He then said, ‘Don’t do anything strenuous the rest of the weekend — I have a heart catheterization set up for you early next week,'” Richardson told the paper.
Unable to wait for further imaging, Richardson was admitted to the hospital for chest discomfort and underwent cardiac bypass surgery shortly afterwards.
Dr. Richardson credits the image from the demonstration with miraculously saving his life, and has added a device to the eye clinic he operates out of, according to the paper.
“The Optos rep said he hardly ever takes the device to initial meetings with physicians, but his company sent a camera to his home 2 days before he left for Hattiesburg. And, the rep did not order the machine nor could he find anyone at the company who sent it. I don’t believe I’d be here today without that image,” Dr. Richardson said.