Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Columbia engineering technique diagnoses non-periodic arrhythmias in a single heartbeat

09.12.2011
Electromechanical wave imaging offers a noninvasive alternative -- at the point of care -- to more invasive and costly techniques

Thanks to a new study from Columbia Engineering School, doctors may now be able to diagnose in their offices non-periodic arrhythmias—noninvasively and at low cost—within a single heartbeat. Non-periodic arrhythmias include atrial and ventricular fibrillation, which are associated with severely abnormal heart rhythm that can in some cases be life-threatening.

Using Electromechanical Wave Imaging (EWI), a technique recently developed at Columbia Engineering, the researchers sent unfocused ultrasound waves through the closed chest and into the heart. They were able to capture fast-frame-rate images that enabled them—for the first time—to map transient events such as the electromechanical activation that occurs over a few tens of milliseconds while also imaging the entire heart within a single beat. The Columbia Engineering study was recently published in IOPscience ("Electromechanical wave imaging for arrhythmias," Phys Med Biol. 2011 Nov 21;56(22):L1-L11, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22024555.

"We are very excited about extending the capabilities of our new technique," says Elisa Konofagou, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. "With EWI, doctors now won't have to use electrodes to detect and localize those unpredictable and potentially deadly arrhythmias and they'll be able to do this at the point of care, not only in a dedicated, interventional procedure room."

She adds that, "For the first time, EWI can be implemented without relying on multiple periodic heartbeats for the high temporal resolution imaging required. A single heartbeat, whether periodic or not, will suffice by employing tailored beamforming sequences and signal processing techniques."

Konofagou explains that the heart is essentially an electromagnetic pump that must first be electrically activated in a specific sequence to contract and relax efficiently. Abnormalities in cardiac conduction are a major cause of death and disability around the world and their prevalence is expected to rise with the aging of the population. The number of people in the U.S. with atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, is expected to reach 12 million by 2050. AF causes 15 to 20 percent of strokes and costs $6.65 billion a year to treat.

EWI is a novel ultrasound-based technique that Konofagou and her team developed earlier this year to map electromechanical waves, the transient deformations occurring in immediate response to the electrical application. They were able to map these waves by reconstructing images over multiple cardiac cycles but this method did not allow them to image non-periodic arrhythmia such as fibrillation. In the new study, the researchers developed and applied new imaging sequences based on flash- and wide-beam emissions to image the entire heart at very high-frame rates (2000 fps) during free breathing in a single heartbeat.

"Potential applications of this technique include early, reliable, and electrode-free detection and diagnosis of arrhythmias and localization of arrhythmic origins to guide subsequent ablations," notes Konofagou. "For example, atrial flutter is a condition of arrhythmic activation of the atria. Physicians have to perform radio-frequency ablation to reinstate its function but often they don't know if it's the right or the left atrium. So, they start ablating the entire right atrium only to find out that the left atrium was causing the flutter, administering unnecessary treatment in the process. By pushing the current capabilities of our technology further, we can help doctors make more noninvasive diagnoses and treat the patient more efficiently."

Konofagou's study was funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health.

Columbia Engineering

Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, founded in 1864, offers programs in nine departments to both undergraduate and graduate students. With facilities specifically designed and equipped to meet the laboratory and research needs of faculty and students, Columbia Engineering is home to NSF-NIH funded centers in genomic science, molecular nanostructures, materials science, and energy, as well as one of the world's leading programs in financial engineering. These interdisciplinary centers are leading the way in their respective fields while individual groups of engineers and scientists collaborate to solve some of modern society's more difficult challenges. http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/

Holly Evarts | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.columbia.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>