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Special vest helps doctors diagnose heart problems

Special vest helps doctors diagnose heart problems

A vest that can be worn to map the heart’s electrical activity is being trialled in the UK.

The simple to use vest provides a safe and fast way of diagnosing abnormal heart rhythms and helps doctors decide on treatments.

Cardiologists from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in west London say they hope the technology will eventually help more people suffering from arrhythmias.

The disposable multi-electrode vest gathers electrical signals, analyses data and generates real-time 3D images of the heart’s electrical activity.

This gives doctors a non-invasive way to find the location and the depth of the area causing the arrhythmia.

Doctors have used the technology – called the EcVue system - on 40 patients so far and say the are impressed with the precision that each vest can give. The results have been sent to a medical journal.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Prapa Kanagaratnam, who is leading the work, said: "It was very appealing right from the start to be able to get measurements of the heart's electrical activity with that degree of precision, without having to initially put wires into the heart.

"Many patients suffer palpitations at night or when they are resting and this can be impossible to treat by current techniques, as it is difficult to recreate a relaxing environment in the operating theatre.”

Each vest costs about £1,000.  Doctors say this compares well with conventional invasive diagnosis techniques.

by CMA Manager on 02-Apr-13 11:36

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The Cardiomyopathy Association's Registered Charity Number is 803262.
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