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!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy