Ultrasound can foretell probability of heart attacks

May 24th, 2008 - 12:47 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 24 (IANS) An extensive study has thrown up compelling evidence that heart attack patients should undergo ultrasound imaging to assess both muscle damage and heart relaxation. The research shows that it can be used to foretell the probability of further cardiac problems and associated death in such patients, even in those without significant muscle damage or impaired pump function after an attack.

“After a heart attack, many patients undergo ultrasound imaging to determine how much muscle is damaged and the overall pump function of the heart,” said Gillian Whalley of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

“The visible damage to the cardiac muscle and the volume of blood pumped with each heart beat are normally used to determine the severity of the problem,” ScienceAlert reported.

“Our research shows that the relaxation and filling of the heart can also be reduced after a heart attack and predicts which patients are at higher risk.”

The Meta-analysis Research Group in Echocardiography (MeRGE) study, coordinated by the university’s Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, analysed ultrasound measurements of the more than 3,000 patients who had suffered heart attacks.

The group’s research interest will soon turn to a similar study where they hope to collate data on close to 70 000 patients with chronic heart failure.

Findings of the study results have been published in the latest issue of the journal Circulation.

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