New technique to determine the extent of scarring after a myocardial infarction

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Researchers in the Instrumentation and e-Health area of the Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering (CREB UPC), together with researchers from the Biomedical Research Networking Center on Cardiovascular Diseases (CIBERCV) of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, have created a new technique for identifying scar areas in patients who have had a myocardial infarction.

The study was carried out by the Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering (CREB UPC), led by Xavier Rosell, and researchers from the Hospital de Sant Pau. In a porcine model of chronic myocardial infarction, it was found that the new technique detected areas of postinfarction fibrosis and was an improvement on the current technique of measuring the voltage of local electrograms.

Currently, scar areas are identified from a voltage map, that is, the voltage of local electrograms is analysed. Researchers who participated in the project consider that have opened up a new diagnostic method.


A pioneering study

This study is the first of its kind to analyse the capacity to identify myocardial scar areas by means of an innovative approach based on measuring electrical impedance with a catheter. Electrical impedance is a property of the heart that is affected by the intrinsic structural characteristics of the tissue. Previous research has revealed that impedance is lower in the myocardial scar than in normal myocardium, which enables identification of the necrotic area.



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