Nav: Home

Novel software offers possible reduction in arrhythmic heart disease

February 14, 2019

Potentially lethal heart conditions may become easier to spot and may lead to improvements in prevention and treatment thanks to innovative new software that measures electrical activity in the organ.

The heart's pumping ability is controlled by electrical activity that triggers the heart muscle cells to contract and relax. In certain heart diseases such as arrhythmia, the organ's electrical activity is affected.

Cardiac researchers can already record and analyse the heart's electrical behaviour using optical and electrode mapping, but widespread use of these technologies is limited by a lack of appropriate software.

Computer and cardiovascular experts at the University of Birmingham have worked with counterparts in the UK, Netherlands and Australia to develop ElectroMap - a new open-source software for processing, analysis and mapping complex cardiac data.

Led by researchers from the School of Computer Science and the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, at the University of Birmingham, the international team has published its findings in Scientific Reports.

Dr Kashif Rajpoot, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director for Computer Science at the University of Birmingham Dubai, commented: "We believe that ElectroMap will accelerate innovative cardiac research and lead to wider use of mapping technologies that help to prevent the incidence of arrhythmia.

"This is a robustly validated open-source flexible tool for processing and by using novel data analysis strategies we have developed, this software will provide a deeper understanding of heart diseases, particularly the mechanisms underpinning potentially lethal arrhythmia."

The incidence and prevalence of cardiac disease continues to increase every year, but improvements in prevention and treatment require better understanding of electrical behaviour across the heart.

Data on this behaviour can be gathered using electrocardiogram tests, but more recently, optical mapping has allowed wider measurement of cardiovascular activity in greater detail. Insights from optical mapping experiments have given researchers a better understanding of complex arrhythmias and electrical behaviour in heart disease.

"Increased availability of optical mapping hardware in the laboratory has led to expansion of this technology, but further uptake and wider application is hindered by limitations with respect to data processing and analysis," said Dr Davor Pavlovic - lead contributor from the University of Birmingham's Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. "The new software can detect, map and analyse arrhythmic phenomena for in silico, in cellulo, animal model and in vivo patient data."
-end-
For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312 or t.moran@bham.ac.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

Notes for editors

The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world's top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.

Scientists at the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester, Amsterdam and Melbourne published their research paper 'High-throughput open-source software for analysis and mapping of cardiac electrophysiology' in Nature Scientific Reports. The paper is accessible at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-38263-2 - please feel free to include a link to the paper in any online news article.

The paper was written by Christopher O'Shea, Andrew P.Holmes, Ting Y.Yu, James Winter, Simon P.Wells, Joao Correia, Bastiaan J. Boukens, Joris R.De Groot, Gavin S.Chu, Xin Li, G.Andre Ng, Paulus Kirchhof, Larissa Fabritz, Kashif Rajpoot and Davor Pavlovic.

University of Birmingham

Related Cardiovascular Articles:

Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.
Study identifies cardiovascular toxicities associated with ibrutinib
After a recent study showed that chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients who received ibrutinib as a frontline treatment had a 7% death rate, a new study offers a clearer picture on the reasons for the deaths.
Vitamin D supplementation not associated with reduced cardiovascular events
This study, called a meta-analysis, combined the results of 21 randomized clinical trials with about 83,000 patients to look at whether vitamin D supplementation was associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events such as heart attack or stroke.
Medicaid expansion associated with fewer cardiovascular deaths
Expanding Medicaid eligibility was associated with lower rates of death from cardiovascular causes in a study comparing data from counties in 29 states that expanded Medicaid with 19 states that didn't from 2010 to 2016.
Enzyme may indicate predisposition to cardiovascular disease
Study suggests that people with low levels of PDIA1 in blood plasma may be at high risk of thrombosis; this group also investigated PDIA1's specific interactions in cancer.
Emerging techniques for cardiovascular PET
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 1, pp.
Quality improvement in cardiovascular imaging
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 1, pp.
Cardiovascular disease in China
This study analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease Study to look at the rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in China along with death and disability from CVD from 1990 to 2016.
Analyzing aspirin use in patients without cardiovascular disease
This study analyzed combined results from 13 randomized clinical trials with more than 164,000 participants to assess aspirin use with the prevention of cardiovascular events and bleeding in people without cardiovascular disease.
Untargeted metabolomics for atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.
More Cardiovascular News and Cardiovascular Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.