Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel Imaging Technique Can Help Predict Second Heart Attack

Date:
November 17, 1999
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
A new imaging technique predicts the risk of a second heart attack or death among coronary patients better and sooner than the widely used exercise stress test, according to a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

DALLAS, Nov. 16 -- A new imaging technique predicts the risk of a second heart attack or death among coronary patients better and sooner than the widely used exercise stress test, according to a study in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The technique called vasodilator perfusion imaging -- can be used as early as two to four days after a heart attack with no complications, allowing treatment decisions to be made quickly and potentially preventing further heart attacks, shortening hospital stays and reducing costs, says lead author Kenneth A. Brown, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the nuclear cardiology and cardiac stress laboratories at the University of Vermont.

"I think this is something that should be much more widely applied," Brown says, adding that smaller hospitals are more likely to have the equipment necessary for this test than they are to have advanced cardiac care laboratories.

"Substantial cost savings can be realized in appropriate patient populations" if this technique is widely adopted, writes Frans J. Th. Wackers, M.D., director of the cardiovascular imaging and exercise laboratories at Yale University School of Medicine, in an accompanying editorial. It could be particularly useful for helping smaller hospitals quickly determine which patients should be transferred to larger medical centers.

The study compared patients who were given the new imaging test two to four days after their heart attacks and then also had an exercise stress test six to 12 days later, to a control group who had the exercise stress testing only in a total of 451 patients. The patients who underwent vasodilator perfusion imaging were first given a drug called dipyridamole, which increases blood flow through the heart by dilating blood vessels while the patient is lying down. After the drug is administered, a mildly radioactive drug is given to the patient to provide an image of blood flow using a technology called single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

The drug's effects cause less strain to the heart than exercise testing, which consists of walking briefly on a treadmill while an electrocardiogram provides readings, Brown says. During exercise the heart muscle works harder, causing increased heart rate and demand for oxygen and blood flow. This stress is the reason exercise testing is not generally performed until five to seven days after a heart attack, although further cardiac events may occur during that time.

Brown and his colleagues found that not only could the technique be used earlier than conventional exercise testing, but it was also better at identifying patients at greatest risk of future heart attacks.

For instance, patients whose images showed they had only small or intermediate areas of permanent heart damage and little or no additional heart muscle at risk had the lowest risk of death or another heart attack -- less than 1 percent over the year following their initial heart attack, Brown says. Those with more heart muscle at risk had second heart attack or death risks ranging from 6 to 17 percent.

By contrast, exercise stress testing, also known as ECG testing did not predict cardiac events in this study, Brown says. "This is another piece of evidence that stress ECG testing may not be adequate to predict future heart attacks or death," says Brown.

In his editorial, Wackers points out that this study confirms and surpasses a pilot study of 50 patients that Brown and his colleagues published in 1990, and it provides further evidence that patients who appear to recover well from a heart attack can be evaluated safely and effectively using this imaging technique.

Brown says that since this latest study focused only on heart patients who had no complications as a result of their heart attack, further study on different patient populations is needed.

Co-authors are Gary V. Heller, M.D., Ph.D.; Ronald S. Landin, M.D.; Leslee J. Shaw, Ph.D.; George A. Beller, M.D.; Michael J. Pasquale, M.D.; and Stephen B. Haber, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Novel Imaging Technique Can Help Predict Second Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991117051009.htm>.
American Heart Association. (1999, November 17). Novel Imaging Technique Can Help Predict Second Heart Attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991117051009.htm
American Heart Association. "Novel Imaging Technique Can Help Predict Second Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991117051009.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins