Stress cardiac MRI can predict fatal heart disease : Study

Health News

New York,
Feb 11. A novel method called stress cardiac MRI can not only diagnose
heart disease, but can also predict which cases are potentially fatal, suggests
a new research. The study showed that predicting mortality is a key requirement
for the technology to be more widely used.

In addition,
results suggest cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) has the potential to be
a non-invasive, non-toxic alternative to stress echocardiograms,
catheterisations and stress nuclear exams in identifying the severity of the
coronary artery disease.

“We’ve
known for some time that CMR is effective at diagnosing coronary artery
disease, but it’s still not commonly used and represents less than one per cent
of stress tests used in this country,” said senior author Robert Judd,
co-director of the Duke Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Center in the US.

For the
study, researchers analysed data from more than 9,000 patients who underwent
CMR.

The
findings, published in JAMA Cardiology, showed that for patients without any
history of heart disease and at low-risk based on traditional clinical
criteria, those with an abnormal CMR scan were 3.4 times more likely to die
compared to patients with a normal CMR scan.

For the
entire patient population, there was a strong association between an abnormal
stress CMR and mortality, even after adjusting for patient age, sex and cardiac
risk factors, the team found.

While
non-invasive cardiac stress testing is a cornerstone in the clinical management
of patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease, CMR works as well
or better than other exams at identifying heart wall motion, cell death and the
presence of low blood flow, said the study.

Furthermore,
the technology does not require any radiation exposure, which is essential in
nuclear stress tests.

“With
the findings from this study suggesting that stress CMR is effective in
predicting mortality, we provide a strong basis for a head-to-head study
between stress CMR and other modalities,” Judd noted.

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