New method and diagnostic system for cardiovascular disease risk assessment in screening tests of populations at risk

The project includes developing the equipment to verify a new diagnostic method based on non-invasive cardio-stimulation. This will enable risk assessment of coronary diseases during screening tests of populations at risk.

The European population in general, and some countries in particular, are characterised by a high mortality rate caused by Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD). The mortality rate is strictly connected with widespread risk factors. For instance, about one million Poles suffer from IHD and circa 100 thousand of them annually have a myocardial infarction (MI) - this is terminal in 40% of the cases. A sudden cardiac death at the age above 35 is due to the underlying IHD undiagnosed earlier in as many as 80% of the patients. MI is often the first symptom of this disorder. Coronary atherosclerosis, accounting for over 80% of the cases of IHD, often begins as early as the first decade of human life and leads to acute (MI, a sudden death) or chronic (angina pectoris) clinical symptoms after latency. Diagnostic procedures in the symptomatic period of atherosclerosis called Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), entails the application of several methods including a medical examination, non-invasive tests, and expensive but precise state-of-the-art invasive examinations (coronary angiography). As IHD frequently remains asymptomatic or undetected, the percentage of people with advanced IHD in the population is unknown. According to epidemiological research, a large percentage of people with unrecognized MI or impaired left ventricular function, has not been identified either. People with unknown IHD are not eligible by definition for preventive programmes addressed to subjects with a symptomatic disease. People with unrecognised IHD may be identified only if regular or random screening tests for the presence of IHD factors are carried out. The aim of the project is to develop a new method and diagnostic equipment for the detection of potential cardiovascular disease risks in screening tests of endangered populations. The method of discriminating subjects in danger of MI or sudden cardiac death from the population without complaints must enable the detection of high ischemia proven by lower tolerance of physical strain. The method ought to be non-invasive. Transcutaneous cardiac pacing proposed by the authors of the project has the above-mentioned properties. It is as efficient and unambiguous as a walk test or transesophageal pacing; but additionally, it guarantees the achievement of 100% of the calculated pulse limit. Moreover, the test is shorter and much cheaper, especially in comparison with the fully non-invasive, but extremely costly spiral tomography. The transcutaneous cardiac pacing used to identify the subjects in danger of sudden cardiac death, as a simple and quick screening test of endangered populations without clinical symptoms, will take no longer than 10 minutes. The presented diagnostic method is a valuable tool in the identification of people in productive years, at risk of a sudden death or MI, and is likely to pay back in the longer term because it prevents the loss of an educated and qualified workforce and expenses incurred by the state budget due to extremely costly treatment of sudden heart incidents. Obtaining legible ECG (Electro-Cardio-Gram) records during non-invasive transcutaneous pacing is a technical problem related to the transcutaneous cardiac test that has not been solved so far, but may be solved through the experience of ITAM's research team. An optimal arrangement of electrodes must be worked out to adjust them to the chest of every subject and to ensure sufficient comfort during the test. The development of a modern diagnostic system for quick and cheap preventive screening tests will enable the detection of Ischemic Heart Disease prior to the occurrence of acute symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease. As a result, many sudden deaths and expensive management of subjects with heart failure after MI will be avoided and efficient preventive measures will be taken. Keywords: diagnostic system, screening tests, disease risk.
Project ID: 
3 494
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 780 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Medical devices technology (instrumentation, medical imaging, radiology)
Market Area: 
Diagnostic services

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.