3D virtual heart helps identify potential defibrillator implant patients

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Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have developed a non-invasive method to determine a patient’s risk of cardiac arrhythmia and the appropriateness of a defibrillator implant using a 3D virtual heart assessment tool, according to results of a study published online in the journal  Nature Communications.

The personalized virtual heart, which was created using pre-implant MRI scans, can predict the risk of sudden cardiac death using a new digital approach that yields more accurate assessments than current blood-pumping measurements, said study co-author and biomedical engineering professor Natalia Trayanova, PhD.

"Our virtual heart test significantly outperformed several existing clinical metrics in predicting future arrhythmic events," she said in a university press release. "This non-invasive and personalized virtual heart-risk assessment could help prevent sudden cardiac deaths and allow patients who are not at risk to avoid unnecessary defibrillator implantations."

Read the full announcement.