Alterations of the Heart’s Shape Can Predict Future Sudden Cardiac Arrest

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A study recently published in E.P. Europace revealed a new method to find any early warnings associated with cardiac arrest. The study conducted by King’s College in London focuses on 156 patients who had a deadly illness that affected the heart muscle.

The study authors examined the MRI images of the Respondents and discovered that patients who later experienced unexpected cardiac arrest presented subtle changes to the shape of their hearts.

One of the leading study authors, and a professor at the college Dr. Pablo Lamata, stated that several cardiac arrest patients died because no one predicted the episode; however, the study proved that physicians could save lives by halting unnecessary treatments.

It is difficult to determine when patients require a defibrillator

Dr. Pablo further added that the research created implications for physicians to utilize the defibrillator implantation therapies. The study findings revealed that 50% of the listed cases presented initial symptoms that could be prevented by implanting defibrillators in the affected patients.

The study revealed that defibrillators automatically shock the heart back into a normal rhythm following the occurrence of an unpredicted cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, Dr. Pablo revealed that it is hard to determine which patients require the defibrillator.

However, previous studies reported that implanting defibrillators is unnecessary and can lead to various complications. The study authors calculated that approximately 85,000 defibrillators are used every year and that each implantation costs at least €46,000, which is the estimated lifetime cost.

The lifetime costs of implanting a defibrillator are expensive and make the patient experience unnecessary shocks.

Further studies to discover how to prevent sudden cardiac arrests 

Dr. Pablo also revealed that the researchers were investigating practical means to assist the cardiologists in identifying suitable candidates for the implantation. Recently, an online service was developed to issue access information and guidance before the implantation.

Physicians upload the borders of the patient’s hearts under an anonymous account. The platform issues the physician with a risk number that the patient is likely to get a cardiac arrest. The physicians can also utilize the platform to detect other illnesses that can alter the shape of the heart, such as hypertension.

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