Cedars nets NIH grant to study sudden cardiac arrest

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The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in New York City has been awarded a $1.66 million, four-year grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to develop a measurement system that could help doctors predict which patients could be struck by sudden cardiac arrest.

Principal Investigator Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, an associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and chair of cardiac electrophysiology research, said the work is based on a finding from a patient’s ECG.

The new grant will enable Chugh and his team to dissect specific relationships between the prolonged QRS duration, other heart and non-heart related conditions, as well as specific abnormalities in the human genome, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the ability of cardiologists to identify the individual at highest risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

“You can have a normally pumping heart muscle and still have variations in certain measurements,” Chugh said. “We need to find out if these variations could signify a predisposition to sudden cardiac arrest.”