We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App




Events

ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

MRI Virtual Biopsy to Transform Heart Transplant Care

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 30 May 2022
Print article
Image: New virtual biopsy detects any signs of the heart being rejected (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)
Image: New virtual biopsy detects any signs of the heart being rejected (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Most patients who receive heart transplants experience some form of organ rejection and whilst survival rates are high, a small percentage will die in the first year after surgery. Most clinicians around the world currently test for rejection by performing a biopsy which helps determine the level and suitability of immunosuppressive treatments needed to treat and prevent further rejection. This invasive procedure involves a tube being placed in the jugular vein to allow surgeons to insert a biopsy tool into the heart to remove multiple samples of heart tissue. As well as being uncomfortable, it can also lead to rare but serious complications if the heart is perforated, or a valve is damaged. Patients usually undergo a biopsy around 12 times in the first year after transplantation. But the days of heart transplant survivors undergoing invasive biopsies could soon be over after a new MRI technique has proven to be safe and effective; reducing complications and hospital admissions.

Scientists at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (Sydney, Australia) have developed the new virtual biopsy designed to detect any signs of the heart being rejected will be adopted by clinicians the world over. The new MRI technique has been proven to be accurate in detecting rejection and works by analyzing heart oedema levels which the team demonstrated are closely associated with inflammation of the heart. The new development will lead to major improvements in care for many thousands of heart transplant patients worldwide.

In a study, 40 heart transplant patients were randomized into receiving either a traditional biopsy or the new MRI technique. Results revealed the new test was just as effective as detecting rejection. Secondary findings of the study revealed that despite similarities in immunosuppression requirements, kidney function and mortality rates, there was a reduction in hospitalization and infection rates for those who underwent the MRI procedure vs. a biopsy. Also, just 6% of the patients having the new MRI technique needed a biopsy for clarification reasons. These secondary findings are earmarked to be reconfirmed in planned larger multi-centre studies.

The team is now planning a larger multi-centre trial to broaden the applicability of the findings and incorporate pediatric transplant recipients. They are also developing new genetic testing to be used alongside the MRI which it is hoped will detect signs of rejection through identifying genetic signals of donor-specific inflammation in the bloodstream. The new technique will also be adapted to detect heart inflammation in the wider population, not just transplant recipients.

“It’s essential that we can monitor these patients closely and with a high degree of accuracy; now we have a new tool that can do that without the need for a highly invasive procedure,” said Associate Professor Andrew Jabbour, of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. “This new virtual biopsy takes less time, is non-invasive, more cost-effective, uses no radiation or contrast agents, and most importantly patients much prefer it.”

Related Links:
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute 


Print article
CIRS -  MIRION
Radcal

Channels

Radiography

view channel
Image: Spinal fractures in the elderly are preventable with simple X-rays (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Simple X-Ray Method Can Diagnose Vertebral Compression and Prevent Spinal Fractures

Vertebral compression means that the spine is compressed, causing a fracture in one of the vertebrae. Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) occur easily in people with osteoporosis and are very common... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel
Illustration

Global AI in Medical Diagnostics Market to Be Driven by Demand for Image Recognition in Radiology

The global artificial intelligence (AI) in medical diagnostics market is expanding with early disease detection being one of its key applications and image recognition becoming a compelling consumer proposition... Read more

Industry News

view channel
Image: RSNA`s annual meeting is the world`s largest medical imaging conference (Photo courtesy of RSNA)

RSNA 2022 Sees Rise in Abstract Submissions Ahead of Annual Meeting

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA, Oak Brook, IL, USA) has announced that nearly 10,400 scientific and educational abstracts have been submitted for the Society's 108th Scientific Assembly... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.