New Imaging Technique can Diagnose Common Heart Condition

Northwestern Medicine
Cardiology February 18, 2014
Michael Markl, PhDA new imaging technique for measuring blood flow in the heart and vessels can diagnose a common congenital heart abnormality, bicuspid aortic valve, and may lead to better prediction of complications.

A  Northwestern Medicine® team reported the finding in the journal Circulation. In the study, the authors demonstrated for the first time a previously unknown relationship between heart valve abnormalities, blood flow changes in the heart and aortic disease. They showed that blood flow changes were driven by specific types of abnormal aortic valves, and they were able to directly associate blood flow patterns with aortic diseases.

“Blood flow in patients with bicuspid aortic valves was significantly different compared to that in patients with normal valves,” said senior author Michael Markl, PhD, associate professor of Radiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We now have direct evidence that bicuspid valves induce changes in blood flow and that the type of flow abnormality may contribute to the development of different expressions of heart disease in these patients.”

To read more about Markl's groundbreaking research, click here.

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