After a novel MRI approach proved to be safe and successful, lowering problems and hospital stays, the days of heart transplant survivors having to undergo intrusive biopsies may soon be over.
Scientists from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney are hoping that the innovative virtual biopsy, which detects any signs of heart rejection, will be used by clinicians worldwide.
Every year, approximately 3500 people throughout the world receive a heart transplant. The majority of patients will undergo organ rejection, and while survival rates are good, a small number of patients will die within the first year of operation.
The new MRI technique, published in the journal Circulation, has been shown to be effective in detecting rejection and evaluating cardiac oedema levels, which the team found to be closely linked to heart inflammation.
“It’s critical that we can closely and accurately monitor thee patients; now we have a new technology that can accomplish so without requiring a more intrusive surgery,” said Andrew Jabbour, Associate Professor at the Institute.