New innovative technology diagnoses heart failure in record time

Scientists have developed a novel device that can detect people with heart failure in half the time currently required. This technology may help with patient diagnosis and the delivery of more effective medicines.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), in the UK, have developed a system that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create intricate four-dimensional (4D) flow images of the heart. However, they claimed that the new scanning method only takes eight minutes, as opposed to the standard MRI, which can take up to or more than 20 minutes.

The results give clinicians a clear picture of the heart valves and blood flow inside the heart, which aids them in choosing the most effective treatment plan for patients.

The terrible condition of heart failure is brought on by the heart's internal pressures increasing. The lead researcher Pankaj Garg of the University of East Anglia said, "we have been studying 4D flow MRI, one of the most advanced techniques for assessing blood flow inside the heart.  "In 4D flow MRI, we can look at the flow in three directions over time - the fourth dimension.

According to research that was written up in the journal European Radiology Experimental, the risky invasive assessment is the best way to evaluate heart failure. The peak blood flow rate via the mitral valve of the heart is often measured by echocardiography, an ultrasound examination of the heart. They did warn that this procedure might not be accurate.
"The diagnosis of heart disease patients is being revolutionised by this new technology. However, a 4D flow MRI can take up to 20 minutes to complete, and we are aware that patients dislike lengthy MRI scans, according to UEA PhD student Hosamadin Assadi. The research team looked into the validity of Kat-ARC, a novel approach for scanning the flow in the heart using extremely quick procedures.

We found that doing this cuts scanning time in half and takes about eight minutes. We have also demonstrated how this non-invasive imaging approach can precisely and accurately quantify the peak blood flow velocity in the heart,  Assadi said.

At two hospitals in Sheffield, UK, the researchers used 50 patients to test the new technique. Utilizing the brand-new Kat-ARC 4D heart flow MRI, patients suspected of having heart failure were evaluated. The research team believes that their approach could drastically speed up the diagnosis of heart failure, which would be good for patients and hospitals all across the world.

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