Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Heart's sounds can help diagnose heart failure

For emergency department patients with shortness of breath and a risk of heart failure, physicians usually grab one thing first: a stethoscope.

It allows them to hear the S3, an abnormal third sound in the heart's rhythm strongly associated with cardiac disease and heart failure. However, the low-frequency, low-pitch sound is notoriously very difficult to hear with a stethoscope alone.

In a study available online in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, a UC emergency medicine physician concludes that acoustic cardiography, a new technology combining a 12-leed ECG with cardiac acoustic data, can aid physicians in detecting the S3—ultimately increasing the accurate diagnosis of acute heart failure in certain subsets of patients.

The study involved analyzing data from one of the largest emergency department-based trials in acute heart failure, the HEart failure and Audicor technology for Rapid Diagnosis and Initial Treatment (HEARD-IT) multinational trial. The trial, conducted at nine sites from March to October 2006, measured the diagnostic accuracy provided by adding acoustic cardiography to an emergency medicine physician's tools.

"The S3 is highly associated with heart failure," says Sean Collins, MD, UC emergency medicine associate professor and lead author of the study. "So we studied how measuring the presence of the S3 changed physicians' impressions of what was going on, how it potentially changed their workup and treatment for patients."

In this publication, Collins and his colleagues conducted a secondary analysis on the HEARD-IT results, focusing on specific subgroups of patients presenting a harder diagnostic puzzle. Those include obese patients, patients with kidney failure and patients with an intermediate level of b-type natriuretic peptide, a biomarker which has been associated with acute heart failure and cardiovascular risk.

They found that adding acoustic cardiography 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."

Inovise Medical, Inc. provided equipment and financial support to participating institutions in the HEARD-IT trial for patient enrollment and data analysis.

Katy Cosse | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>