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Bradford Teaching Hospitals

Clinical Articles, Lead Article

New imaging vest for heart attack

A new cardiac device (Heartscape,™ Verathon) designed to alert doctors when a patient suffers myocardial infarction (MI) is now available at Bradford Teaching Hospitals. The vest provides a 360 degree view of the heart via 80 electrical sensors on the patient’s chest and back.

Professor W Frank Peacock (Cleveland Clinic, Ohio) recently spent two days at the Bradford Royal Infirmary training staff on how to use the new device, which is now available to high risk patients in the hospital’s A&E and medical admissions unit.

Consultant physician and Foundation Trust project lead, Dr James Dunbar, said: “Current conventional 2D electrocardiograph machines are insensitive for diagnosis of heart disease. Using blood tests it often takes us more than 12 hours to exclude a heart attack.

“This new Heartscape vest, on the other hand, will help us gain an instant in-depth 3D view of the heart, making it easier to interpret whether a patient is having a heart attack, enabling treatment to start earlier and hopefully lead to improved patient outcomes.”

Medical Director, Professor Clive Kay, said: “We are delighted that Bradford has been chosen to be the first hospital in Europe to trial this innovative new test. There is no doubt that it provides a more complete picture of the heart, helping to identify high-risk cardiac patients more quickly and ensuring faster treatments at a time when every minute counts.”

VestsmallThe study by Hoekstra1 is probably the largest clinical trial using multi-lead surface mapping undertaken so far. Known as OCCULT, this was a blinded study of 1,850 patients, and it is the intention of Bradford NHS Trust to complete a prospective trial with similar numbers of patients. This will analyse the effectiveness of the new device throughout the hospital. The vest will be officially launched by Verathon at the British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference in May.

Watch a demonstration of the system here….


1. Hoekstra JW, O’Neil B, Pride YB et al. Acute detection of ST-elevation myocardial infarction missed on standard 12-lead ECG with a novel 80-lead real-time digital body surface map: primary results from the multicenter OCCULT MI trial. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2009;54:779–88.

Published on: March 9, 2012

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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