Published: 22 March 2006 at 11:28
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University have developed a new medical imaging system which advances the accuracy of the diagnosis of coronary heart disease. News of this revolutionary new system is being released just a week after medical experts revealed that a cholesterol-reducing drug could be used to reverse heart disease.
The system, for the diagnosis of critically ill patients in Coronary Care Units, Intensive Care Units and A&E departments, has been developed by Professor Claudio Zizzo of the University’s Faculty of Science and Technology and Dr Aimen Hassani, Consultant Anaethetist at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. It uses real-time electrocardiogram (ECG) data for the automatic detection of ischaemia (a decrease in blood supply to the heart, caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels) and acute myocardial infarction (the death of a section of the tissues in the heart, also known as heart attack).
Professor Zizzo explained:
In 2002, cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused 39% of deaths, and killed just under 238,000 people in the UK. CVD accounts for nearly two million deaths in Europe each year.
The new detection system has been developed by the team with two objectives: to automate ischaemia’s diagnosis and to create 3-D images of the heart, showing real-time changes. During an initial evaluation of the new equipment, junior doctors increased significantly their ECG proficiency in the diagnosis of ischaemia or acute myocardial infarction as well as their certainty of diagnosis, while the time to conduct the diagnosis fell by one-third.
Dr Aimen Hassani adds:
This university’s research team project is contributing directly to the Department of Health’s national priorities of coronary heart disease. Clinical trials of the new medical imaging system are due to start in April at Broomfield Hospital with the support of Dr Delphine Turner (Consultant Cardiologist, Broomfield Hospital).
Chelmsford Medical Education and Research Trust (CMERT) and the Mid Essex Hospital Trust (MEHT) have awarded £50,000 to help fund this ongoing research project.