For us physicians, it’s very valuable to map the metabolism of the heart. In the future, this could enable us to improve diagnoses and prognoses of heart disease – and thus to tailor treatment more closely to the individual
In collaboration with the Center for Surgical Research at the University of Zurich, Kozerke’s group was able to show that the method they developed does indeed do a good job of visualising the heart’s metabolism. Pigs were used as a model, as their hearts are most similar to the human heart. This made it possible to map the metabolic changes following a heart attack in detail. Among other things, the study revealed the parts of the heart muscle which recovered after the infarction. The group, with Dr Maximilian Fuetterer as lead author, has just published their study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.
In the meantime, the researchers have already gone a step further. In collaboration with Professor Robert Manka, Director of Cardiac MRI at the Heart Center of University Hospital Zurich, they have launched their first clinical trial. Patients with heart failure or risk factors for heart failure will be examined. “For us physicians, it’s very valuable to map the metabolism of the heart. In the future, this could enable us to improve diagnoses and prognoses of heart disease – and thus to tailor treatment more closely to the individual,” Manka says. As a result, the new MRI method could become an important step towards personalised medicine. Manka hopes the innovative procedure will also help physicians understand why certain people have much greater impairment after a heart attack than others: “Metabolism probably plays a role in this, but we don’t know it yet. In the future, we’ll be able to see what’s really going on in the heart muscle and its cells.” But before that can happen, there is still some work to be done. The method has to prove itself in larger clinical studies in the coming years. To this end, Kozerke and his researchers will further refine the technology of the prototype “fridge”.
Source: ETH Zurich
Source: Healthcare in Europe