Navigation Links
A 'LEAP' in controlling cardiac fibrillation
Date:7/14/2011

This release is available in German.

An international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (Gttingen, Germany), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) the Ecole Normale Suprieure de Lyon (France), the University Medicine Gttingen (Germany), the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA), and the Institut Non-Linaire de Nice (France) have developed a new low-energy method for terminating life-threatening cardiac fibrillation of the heart. They have shown that their new technique called LEAP (Low-Energy Anti-fibrillation Pacing) reduces the energy required for defibrillation by more than 80% as compared to the current conventional method. Their discovery opens the path for the painless therapy of life threatening cardiac fibrillation. The scientists describe their results in the current issue of Nature.

In a healthy heart, electrical pulses that propagate across the heart muscle in an orderly fashion control the organ's movements: at regular intervals the heart's ventricles and atria contract and relax again. In the case of cardiac arrhythmia, however, this does not work reliably. Here, electrical pulses may propagate throughout the heart chaotically, disabling the regular heartbeat and thus preventing the body from being properly supplied with blood. The most common cardiac arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which affects more than 10 million people in Europe and US.

For patients suffering from chronic atrial fibrillation there is one reliable solution: a defibrillation. A strong electric pulse, which patients perceive as painful and which can damage the surrounding tissue forces the heart back into its regular beating. The international team of scientists led by Stefan Luther from the Max Planck Institute and Flavio Fenton from Cornell University has proposed a new method. Using a cardiac catheter the researchers create a sequence of five weak electrical signals in the heart. "Only a few seconds later, the heart beats regularly again", says Luther describing the team's newest results.

Even though LEAP and standard defibrillation seem to work similarly at first sight, they initiate completely different processes within the heart. "The classic defibrillator works by using a very strong electric field that excites all cells of the organ. In contrast, LEAP uses low-energy pulses to synchronize the tissue", says Fenton. For a short moment they can no longer transmit any electrical signals; the chaotic activity is terminated. "Afterwards, the heart resumes its normal, regular beating. The situation can be compared to turning a malfunctioning computer off and on again," says Robert Gilmour from Cornell University.

The new method terminates the turbulent electric activity within the heart step by step. "Our most important allies are natural heterogeneities within the heart such as blood vessels, fatty tissue or fibrotic tissue", says Eberhard Bodenschatz from the Max Planck Institute. In experiments and computer simulations the researchers were able to show that these heterogeneities can act as the origins for synchronizing waves. "Quite weak electrical pulses suffice to stimulate the cells in these regions", says Alain Pumir from Lyon. With every additional pulse more heterogeneities are activated thus gradually suppressing chaotic activity. "The heterogeneities act as small control sites that once activated can "reprogram" the entire organ", adds Valentin Krinsky from Nice.

In principle, the results also apply for defibrillation of ventricular fibrillation, a life-threatening arrhythmia, which is terminated only by external and implantable defibrillators. For a large number of patients wearing implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) the new technique may eliminate pain, improve the success rate of treatment, prolong battery life and therefore reduce the need for surgical device exchanges.

"The development of LEAP is a groundbreaking result and an outstanding example of successful interdisciplinary collaboration between physicists and physician-scientists, with immediate impact on the development of novel therapies for life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias", says Markus Zabel from the University Center Gttingen. The ideas leading to LEAP were first developed by asking elementary physical questions about the interaction between electric field and cardiac tissue; the results of earlier theoretical work in physics, in particular in the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), may be finding their way to clinics. Indeed, "we are working to get this to the patient as fast as possible", adds Gerd Hasenfuss, the head of the Heart Center Gttingen.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Birgit Krummheuer
birgit.krummheuer@ds.mpg.de
49-551-517-6668
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers make the leap to whole-cell simulations
2. Lupus Treatment May Soon Take Leap Forward
3. Scientists make leap forward in early detection for Alzheimers and cancer
4. Leap forward in efforts to develop treatments for Huntingtons disease
5. Founder of the LEAP Foundation to be Honored for Haiti Aid Efforts at The Aesthetic Meeting 2010
6. New Lucian Leape Institute Report Finds That U.S. Medical Schools Are Falling Short in Teaching Physicians How to Provide Safe Patient Care
7. A step toward controlling Huntingtons disease?
8. Controlling partners suffer more conflict with sexual desire
9. Controlling brain circuits with light
10. Melatonin might help in controlling weight gain and preventing heart diseases associated with obesity
11. Studies Highlight Challenge of Controlling Resistant Bacteria in Hospitals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A 'LEAP' in controlling cardiac fibrillation
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills ... specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise ... offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a ... has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ... accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and operators ... location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of 2018. ... in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both Covington ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side ... severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Women-owned ... Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and Brightest. OnSite Wellness ... on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , an ... solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & ... NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract ... to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... -- AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its CE-Marked AVACEN ... with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia in the ... Essex, England commented, "I had difficulty ... sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every movement sending ... AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and is helping ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ... bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced a ... A (H7N9) vaccine. ... seasonal influenza and presents a challenge for ... exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: