Tampa General Hospital/USF Health Interventional Cardiology Team Adopts New Intravascular Imaging Technology and Performs First Case in the World | Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital/USF Health Interventional Cardiology Team Adopts New Intravascular Imaging Technology and Performs First Case in the World

Published: May 12, 2021

By Tampa General Hospital


The new intravascular technology, called High Frequency Optical Coherence Tomography (HF-OCT), was successfully performed on a patient with critical coronary artery disease.


Tampa, FL (May 12, 2021) – Tampa General Hospital and USF Health’s Interventional Cardiology team has adopted new intravascular technology and successfully treated the first patient in the world. Tampa General has built a legacy as an early adopter of intravascular imaging for coronary intervention and continues to seek the newest and best technology. The team has incorporated intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and intravascular optical coherence tomography through the years to look inside the blood vessels.

Tampa General is now using the FDA-cleared Gentuity® HF-OCT Imaging System with the Vis-Rx® Micro-Imaging Catheter to treat patients who are candidates for certain interventional procedures. The system utilizes fiber-optic technology to deliver near-infrared light and receive light reflected from coronary tissue to produce images.

The image resolution of the Gentuity® HF-OCT system provides the operator with a microscopic level of detail showing the vessel from the inside (see Figure 1). In this case, the catheter is 60% smaller than the current generation of intravascular imaging devices, which enables imaging of very narrowed blood vessels that were not previously possible.

“Recently we had the opportunity to treat the first patient in the world with HF-OCT,” said Dr. Hiram Bezerra, professor and section chief of interventional cardiology in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and director of the Interventional Cardiology Center within the USF Health/TGH Heart and Vascular Institute.  “The case was performed on a patient with critical coronary artery disease who received three stents and the HF-OCT helped guided stent selection and optimization with excellent results. This breakthrough technology consists of a next generation high-speed laser technology that allows image acquisition of the entire vessel in one second. I am so proud of our team.”

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary stenting, is the placement of a small metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery to prevent the artery from closing again. It is widely available across the community to treat coronary artery disease (coronary blockage). The adoption of special catheters for intravascular imaging typically allows optimum results on coronary stenting. By applying intravascular imaging, physicians can more precisely identify the underlying plaque composition, plan the intervention, and check the result.

TGH is the first site in the country to begin using the technology as one of three sites participating in a clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Gentuity® system.

“USF Health/Tampa General is the first site in the country with access to this new technology,” Bezerra said. “We will continue to participate and lead the efforts in identifying new applications for this technology in future clinical trials and incorporate HF-OCT as a routine adjunctive image for our coronary interventional arsenal.”


Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in
U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top 4 hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal 2020 provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.  As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.  For more information, go to www.tgh.org.

USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and USF Health’s multispecialty physicians group. The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News & World Report’s national university rankings than USF. For more information, visit health.usf.edu.