Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MRI detects early heart damage in patients with sarcoidosis

14.11.2006
To detect heart damage early in patients with the immune system disorder sarcoidosis, who are at elevated risk of dieing from heart problems, magnetic resonance imaging is twice as sensitive as conventional methods, according to a study by Duke University Medical Center cardiologists.

By using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to discover minute areas of heart damage before they grow larger, physicians may be able to take action to prevent sudden cardiac death, which is a leading cause of death in patients with sarcoidosis, the researchers said.

Sarcoidosis is characterized by the formation of tiny inflammatory growths called granulomas. Although granulomas tend to cluster in the lungs, in lymph nodes and under the skin, they also can form in the heart. When they do, it currently is difficult to determine which patients will develop heart damage, the researchers said.

"We found that MRI was sensitive in detecting small areas of damage in the hearts of patients with sarcoidosis, and we were further able to correlate these areas of damage with future adverse outcomes," said Duke cardiologist Manesh Patel, M.D., who presented the results of the study on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association, in Chicago. "The MRI technology is very good at obtaining high-resolution images of heart muscle and distinguishing normally functioning heart cells from those that are damaged or destroyed."

The study was supported by the Duke Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Center.

According to Patel, conventional methods identify cardiac damage in only 5 percent to 7 percent of sarcoidosis patients. The standard evaluation includes an electrocardiogram, which is an electrical test of the heart, coupled with one of a number of different cardiac imaging techniques.

But previous studies in which autopsies were performed on sarcoidosis patients indicate that up to 30 percent of such patients exhibit evidence of heart damage, he said.

"For this reason, we hypothesized that cardiac damage in sarcoidosis patients is more common and is often unrecognized, explaining why it could be a major cause of death in these patients," Patel said.

For their analysis, the Duke researchers identified 81 sarcoidosis patients consecutively referred for evaluation at Duke. All of the patients received a standard clinical evaluation including an electrocardiogram and on average 1.6 non-cardiac MRI imaging tests, and a cardiac MRI scan. The conventional method identified 10 patients (12.3 percent) with heart damage, while the cardiac MRI identified 21 patients (26 percent) with areas of heart damage, Patel said.

The damage observed often did not fit the pattern of damage caused by coronary artery disease, Patel said, a finding which suggested that the sarcoidosis was the cause of the damage.

The patients in the study were followed by their treating physicians for an average of 13 months, and Patel's team examined their records to see if they had died or had experienced medical problems related to the heart's electrical system.

According to Patel, it is commonly thought that when sarcoidosis damages a portion of heart muscle, the damaged areas can block or reroute the electrical impulses that keep the heart beating. Sudden cardiac death can occur when the heart's internal electrical system is disrupted, causing the heart to beat erratically and, in some cases, to stop.

By the end of the follow-up period, five patients had died from cardiac causes, two had experienced heart-beat abnormalities requiring treatment to bring the heart back into normal rhythm and one needed a pacemaker implanted to maintain normal heart rhythm, Patel said.

The imaging technique that the team used is called delayed enhancement cardiac MRI. In this approach, the researchers inject trace amounts of the element gandolinium into patients before administering the MRI scan.

"Gandolinium is an inert metal, and it cannot enter normally functioning heart muscle cells," Patel said. "However, if small areas of heart muscle are damaged, there are areas that absorb the gandolinium like a sponge. The MRI then detects where the gandolinium accumulates and shows us where the damage is located."

Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mc.duke.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>