Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers use ultrasound to describe subtle heart muscle motions

29.07.2005


Possible ’early warning system’ for heart problems



By using sound waves Mayo Clinic researchers have described subtle changes in the motion of the heart that are measurable by ultrasound and may improve understanding of heart function, and possibly be a noninvasive aid in predicting impending heart damage including heart attacks. The study could also contribute to optimal adjustment of cardiac pacemakers or perhaps better design of artificial hearts. The findings, published in the current Journal of Applied Physiology [JApplPhysiol.000191.2005], are based on "snapshots" of the mechanical transitions that occur between the main relaxation and contraction phases of the heartbeat. During these split-second transitions, the heart muscle "shifts gears" or prepares for the upcoming phase.

"This is only a start and much work is needed, but we are optimistic that our research will ultimately lead to development of noninvasive, broadly clinically available methods in diagnostic ultrasonography," says Marek Belohlavek, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic ultrasound imaging specialist and senior researcher of the study. "These methods could improve our chances in predicting cardiac events, so that preventive measures could be taken. And in patients with an existing heart condition, a detailed analysis of cardiac function could contribute to therapeutic optimization of heart performance." A patent application has been filed based on this research.


Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Translational Ultrasound Research Unit study the mechanical, biochemical and electrical aspects of these transitions which occur between phases of relaxation -- when the heart ventricles fill with a volume of blood -- and contraction -- when the heart ejects most of the blood volume into body circulation. Recently advanced, high-resolution ultrasound tissue Doppler imaging allowed them to experimentally measure these transitional tissue deformations, which last only milliseconds and are unnoticeable to the human eye. The technology allows slow-motion comparisons of these events separately between the inner and outer layers of the cardiac left ventricle. The researchers’ published measurements demonstrate how a rapid succession of motions occurring within tissue of the ventricular wall can appear chaotic if not observed closely and with high temporal resolution. The data also show how these transitions "reorganize" the ventricle to best perform its cycles of filling and ejection.

Significance of the Findings

Alterations in the cardiac mechanical transitions detected by ultrasound imaging can be used as early indicators to predict heart problems, without the risk of an invasive procedure. Such an early warning system could allow physicians to intervene with appropriate therapies and thus prevent problems that could lead to heart attack or heart failure. The knowledge may also help researchers to develop new and targeted treatments in some heart diseases or further improve cardiac pacemakers or artificial hearts.

Animal Model of Heart Functioning

Until recently, it was thought to be sufficient to study the function of the heart muscle during the relaxation and ejection phases of the heartbeat. Now, technological improvements in imaging have allowed studies of the heart muscle condition during the transitional phases. These short-lived mechanical transitions are successfully accomplished and prepare the heart for the next beat optimally only if the mechanical, biochemical and electrical events in the cardiac muscle work in concert and delivery of nutrients and oxygen are uninterrupted. Understanding these rapid transitional events not only improves fundamental understanding of heart functioning, but their dependence on various conditions makes these events vulnerable. This vulnerability translates into early changes in the transitional events detected by the state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging methods.

Using pigs as a very close model to human heart function, researchers established benchmarks for measuring normal and abnormal transitions in heart muscle layers. Accurate analyses of motion, deformation (strain), electrical impulses and other parameters characterize the transitional events between the phases of cardiac filling and ejection.

Lee Aase | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>