Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prevention of sudden cardiac death: Scientists predict risk for life-threatening arrhythmias

Date:
August 29, 2011
Source:
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Summary:
Researchers in Germany have developed a method to identify a subgroup of patients with myocardial infarction who are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death. Using cardiac magnetic resonance tomography (CMR), the scientists are able to detect the extent of infarction-related damage to the heart muscle and assess the risk for life-threatening arrhythmias.

Researchers at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Universität Leiden have developed a method to identify a subgroup of patients with myocardial infarction who are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death. Using cardiac magnetic resonance tomography (CMR), the scientists are able to detect the extent of infarction-related damage to the heart muscle and assess the risk for life-threatening arrhythmias.

The results are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Myocardial infarction often leads to permanent complications such as arrhythmias, heart insufficiency or heart failure. Physicians refer to this as chronic myocardial infarction. A chronically ill heart muscle often works with a severely decreased function and is at higher risk to develop dangerous arrhythmias that can lead to sudden cardiac death. To prevent this, patients usually receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). This device which is implanted like a pacemaker detects dangerous arrhythmias and delivers an electric shock to the heart muscle. In consequence normal sinus rhythm is reestablished.

As it is difficult to predict who is really going to develop life-threatening arrhythmias after a myocardial infarction, physicians implant more preventive ICDs than needed. This results in a higher quantity of complications for patients and an enormous burden on national health systems. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to identify a method to improve the assessment of individual risk for developing dangerous arrhythmias.

Prof. Jeannette Schulz-Menger and her team from the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) of Charité and HELIOS-Krankenhaus Berlin Buch examined 52 patients with chronic myocardial infarction in CMR. With the use of contrast agents they were able to assess how much of the heart muscle was affected by the infarction. After ICD-implantation it proved that there was a significant association between relative infarct mass and development of arrhythmias. The depth of the scarred tissue in the heart muscle, the transmurality, previded the best prediction.

"We found a parameter that offers the chance to predict the individual risk for sudden cardiac death," explains Prof. Schulz-Menger. "We hope to be able to supply every patient with the adequate therapy and avoid unnecessary costs and complications," says Dr. Philipp Boyé, first author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Philipp Boyé, Hassan Abdel-Aty, Udo Zacharzowsky, Steffen Bohl, Carsten Schwenke, Rob J. van der Geest, Rainer Dietz, Alexander Schirdewan, Jeanette Schulz-Menger. Prediction of Life-Threatening Arrhythmic Events in Patients With Chronic Myocardial Infarction by Contrast-Enhanced CMR. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, 2011; 4 (8): 871 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2011.04.014

Cite This Page:

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Prevention of sudden cardiac death: Scientists predict risk for life-threatening arrhythmias." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829084327.htm>.
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. (2011, August 29). Prevention of sudden cardiac death: Scientists predict risk for life-threatening arrhythmias. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829084327.htm
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Prevention of sudden cardiac death: Scientists predict risk for life-threatening arrhythmias." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110829084327.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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