ECHOcardiographic Strain characteristic predictors of sudden CARdiac death in mild to moderate Heart Failure (ECHO SCAR)
Some patients with heart failure are at risk from sudden cardiac death due to a life threatening heart rhythm. This occurs most often in those patients that have only a mild or moderate decrease in the function of the heart pump. For the most part these patients are currently excluded from receiving an internal cardiac defibrillator (an implantable device that can shock a patient out of a life threatening heart rhythm). Having an internal cardiac defibrillator would likely dramatically reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death in this patient population. Evidence would suggest that the patients most likely to suffer from a life threatening arrhythmia have a scar or fibrosis of their heart muscle. Scar or fibrosis is difficult to look at with standard cardiac ultrasound imaging (also known as echocardiography or echo), however a new technology known as strain imaging has the potential to highlight areas of scar or fibrosis in the heart muscle and therefore may be able to better predict those patients that may succumb to sudden cardiac death.
This study is a part of an international project known as CMR GUIDE HF (Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Guided management of mild-moderate left ventricular systolic Heart Failure) and is funded with assistance from the National Heart Foundation of Australia.