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Golden Jubilee researchers show that simple test could predict what happens after a heart attack

Mon, Jun 08, 2015

Researchers from Scotland’s national heart and lung hospital have proven that a simple test can predict what happens after a patient has a heart attack.

Results of a study carried out in partnership with the University of Glasgow and the British Heart Foundation will be presented at the British Cardiovascular Society annual conference today (Monday 8 June).

The test – known as the Index of Microvascular Resistance (IMR) – uses a pressure and temperature sensitive wire inserted into the coronary artery. It can accurately work out the extent of vessel injury in the heart, and can predict if the patient is likely to go on to develop heart failure, or even die.

Early treatment following a heart attack can reduce the chance of heart failure and improve both wellbeing and chances of survival. For those who survive a heart attack there is a risk that the heart will have been damaged, which can lead to heart failure; this can have a huge impact on the patient’s life, leaving them tired, short of breath and unable to do simple tasks like walk or take a shower by themselves.

Lead researcher Professor Colin Berry, a Cardiologist at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, commented: “After a suspected heart attack, a patient is routinely given a coronary angiogram to identify any narrowed blood vessels.

“Currently, we make treatment decisions based on this standard assessment technique but it can only identify narrowed vessels and cannot tell the doctor if, or how much, heart blood vessel damage has occurred.

“This new technique can tell us the level of damage in a matter of minutes, allowing us to quickly and accurately identify patients who are at a high risk of heart failure after their heart attack.

“The results of this study will help us improve the outlook for this group of patients and help us develop new treatments to limit heart damage, reducing the burden of heart failure on the patient, their families and carers.”

Run by the University of Glasgow on behalf of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the study was part funded by the Golden Jubilee; the hospital provided funding for the pressure wires and enrolled all of the patient participants. All heart attack patients attending the Golden Jubilee were eligible; those who took part will have life-long follow up to see if the IMR result predicts survival in the long term.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, commented:  “More and more people are surviving heart attacks due to the huge advances we’ve made in cardiology, but that isn’t the end of the story. A heart attack causes damage which can leave a person facing a horrendous daily struggle.

“If we can identify the people at greatest risk of developing heart failure following a heart attack, and treat them more quickly, we could reduce the effects that these terrible events can have on individuals and communities. What we need now is for the public to help us fund more research to find possible new treatments for people with heart failure.”

ENDS

Date of release: Monday 8 June 2015

Notes to editors:

  • British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference

The British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Annual Conference, will take place at Manchester Central Conference Centre from 8-10 June 2015.

For any conference-related media queries please contact Ben Kolb (Kolbb@bhf.org.uk) or Cathy Beveridge (Beveridgec@bhf.org.uk)

  • British Heart Foundation

 Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years we’ve pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Our work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need our help, from babies born with life-threatening heart problems, to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure. Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people’s lives. Find out more at www.bhf.org.uk

For any BHF related media enquiries, please contact Rachel Sacks (sacksr@bhf.org.uk)

  • Golden Jubilee National Hospital (SCO45156)

A national resource for NHSScotland, the Golden Jubilee National Hospital is home to regional and national heart and lung services, a major centre for orthopaedics; and is the flagship hospital for reducing waiting times in key elective specialties.

For more information contact:

Communications Department

Golden Jubilee National Hospital

Tel: 0141 951 5073/5195/5175

Mobile/out of hours: Call switchboard on 0141 951 5000 and ask for ‘On Call Communications’

E-mail: comms@gjnh.scot.nhs.uk

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