Medical imaging software that predicts ventricular arrhythmia to aid in the selection of patients for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death in heart failure patients.
- Predicts ventricular arrhythmia with greater accuracy than current techniques.
- Improves patient selection for ICD primary prevention therapy.
- Increases survival rates in patients experiencing lethal cardiac arrhythmias.
Despite recent advances in treatment for heart failure (HF), the number of deaths from HF remains steady. Ventricular arrhythmia is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD), which in the HF patient population has an incidence in the U.S. estimated to be between 184,000 and 450,000 annually. The ICD is a non-pharmacologic therapy used to treat ventricular arrhythmia to prevent SCD. However, current medical assessments inadequately measure whether ICD implantation should be indicated for some individuals, which reduces the number of ICD candidates.
Anti-arrhythmic drugs, although commonly used as first-line therapy for ventricular arrhythmia, have not convincingly demonstrated effectiveness in reducing mortality for heart failure patients. In contrast, ICD has shown substantial reduction in mortality from ventricular arrhythmia. Unfortunately independently using nuclear imaging and magnetic resonance imaging insufficiently and inefficiently predicts ventricular arrhythmia. These limitations often under-qualify ICD, resulting in its use as a second-line mode of therapy when it should be used as a first-line therapy for ventricular arrhythmia. Researchers at Emory have developed a multi-step method to evaluate anatomical and physiological characteristics to predict ventricular arrhythmia more effectively. This method combines myocardial perfusion SPECT/PET imaging to assess myocardial scarring, innervation, and mechanical dyssynchrony in the peri-scar zone. The combined images improve the prediction accuracy and overall indication for ICD.
Preliminary study using electrophysiology test in patients predicted ventricular arrhythmia with 87% accuracy.