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Heart's sounds can help diagnose heart failure
Date:8/10/2010

to those patients with indeterminate BNP levels improved diagnostic accuracy 22 percent.

"Our findings suggest we diagnose heart failure only about half the time in these patients without acoustic cardiography," says Collins. "With it, we improve the accuracy to about 70 percent. It's pretty helpful in this subset of patients."

Diagnosing them in the emergency department can put patients on the right pathway to treatment more quickly, says Collins, enabling the physician to streamline further testing and treatment. That's a particular concern with heart failure patients, he says, because many of these patients have associated conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, that make pinpointing the cause of their emergency department visit more difficult.

While Collins says that the HEARD-IT trial didn't make the argument for acoustic cardiography to be used in every patient suspected of having heart failure, this secondary analysis suggests it could be helpful in treating these subgroups.

"It shows that we need to get better at listening for the S3," says Collins, "and this study would suggest that if we don't hear it with our ears, that technology like this might be useful."


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Contact: Katy Cosse
kathryn.cosse@uc.edu
513-558-0207
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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