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New Columbia engineering technique diagnoses non-periodic arrhythmias in a single heartbeat
Date:12/8/2011

st first be electrically activated in a specific sequence to contract and relax efficiently. Abnormalities in cardiac conduction are a major cause of death and disability around the world and their prevalence is expected to rise with the aging of the population. The number of people in the U.S. with atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, is expected to reach 12 million by 2050. AF causes 15 to 20 percent of strokes and costs $6.65 billion a year to treat.

EWI is a novel ultrasound-based technique that Konofagou and her team developed earlier this year to map electromechanical waves, the transient deformations occurring in immediate response to the electrical application. They were able to map these waves by reconstructing images over multiple cardiac cycles but this method did not allow them to image non-periodic arrhythmia such as fibrillation. In the new study, the researchers developed and applied new imaging sequences based on flash- and wide-beam emissions to image the entire heart at very high-frame rates (2000 fps) during free breathing in a single heartbeat.

"Potential applications of this technique include early, reliable, and electrode-free detection and diagnosis of arrhythmias and localization of arrhythmic origins to guide subsequent ablations," notes Konofagou. "For example, atrial flutter is a condition of arrhythmic activation of the atria. Physicians have to perform radio-frequency ablation to reinstate its function but often they don't know if it's the right or the left atrium. So, they start ablating the entire right atrium only to find out that the left atrium was causing the flutter, administering unnecessary treatment in the process. By pushing the current capabilities of our technology further, we can help doctors make more noninvasive diagnoses and treat the patient more efficiently."


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Contact: Holly Evarts
holly@engineering.columbia.edu
212-854-3206
Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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