In a new study, researchers for the first time use information from computer tomography images to simulate the heart function of an individual patient.
Some of the modeling methods they use were developed in the motor industry. Computer tomography systems, also known as CT scanners, are found in most Swedish hospitals.
They can be used to determine whether a patient has cardiovascular disease, including problems with calcification of the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen.
The investigation is quick, and the patient can go home immediately after.
In order to be certain that the computer-generated images agree with reality, the researchers asked the study’s 12 patients whether they were willing to remain for a short time after the CT investigation and undergo a further investigation using magnetic resonance imaging.
Most of the patients agreed to stay and finished the CT imaging.
The team could studied the motion of the heart muscle, its physiological condition and its function, while the patient was comfortable at home.
This is the first time they have shown that they can simulate the function of the heart in a particular patient.
The team is convinced that the technology will be useful. They suggest that magnetic resonance cameras are effective, but they are not available everywhere.
The examination is expensive, patients should not have any metal like pacemakers in their body, and the investigation takes quite some time.
Since CT scanning is quick and easy, we can reach completely new patient groups. The researchers can now simulate how the heart is functioning in individual patients
In the future, they won’t need to use supercomputers: the calculations can be done at the CT scanner.
The results of their study are published in Radiology.
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