Cardiac modeling by Trayanova lab featured in IEEE Spectrum


img 11OLHeartModelingMainIn a recent article featured in IEEE Spectrum, Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and ICM core faculty member, describes recent progress by her lab in the creation of custom virtual heart models for individual cardiac patients. These advances may fundamentally change the clinical approach to treating life-threatening heart conditions.

Dr. Trayanova and her colleagues are currently testing whether personalized heart models will serve as better predictors of a cardiac patient’s risk of developing a life-threatening arrhythmia. Such information will provide physicians with a noninvasive means to help determine whether implantation of a defibrillator is warranted. Implantation is the current standard treatment when a patient’s proportion of blood pumped out of the heart with each beat falls below 35 percent. However, follow-up studies indicate that only 5 percent of defibrillators implanted in such patients will provide a life-saving shock in the first year after the procedure. The virtual heart model is also expected to improve treatment of ventricular tachycardia by ablation, as the individualized simulations will provide cardiologists the ability to improve upon and narrow their target in such procedures. Dr. Trayanova and her lab expect that advances in computer-simulated heart models will “change the paradigm” of treatment and outcomes for heart patients of all ages.

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