To determine the risk of stroke through a new cardiac ECG
The so-called stroke is one of the leading causes of death in Germany, and researchers have developed a method with which the risk of stroke can be determined much earlier than previously.
One of the most common causes of death
According to health experts, about 270,000 Germans suffer a stroke each year. This is one of the leading causes of death in Germany and in addition, the so-called stroke is the most common cause of permanent disability in adult life. Researchers at the Heart Center of the University of Freiburg, Bad Krozingen, have developed a method with which the risk of stroke can be determined much more accurately than before.
Risk of stroke significantly earlier than previously determined
As the heart of the University of Freiburg · Bad Krozingen (UHZ) said in a statement, the sudden closure of a cerebral artery by blood clots, whether narrowing the arteries that supply the brain or atrial fibrillation, one of the most common causes of accident cerebral vascular disease.
Clot formation can be greatly reduced by medication. Because these coagulation inhibitors have a greater risk of bleeding as a side effect, they are used only in people at high risk of stroke.
Researchers at UHZ have already developed a method with which the risk of stroke can be determined much earlier than previously.
Scientists have shown that an increased risk of stroke is often associated with a delayed electrical conduction of the heart, which can be determined by means of electrocardiogram (ECG).
Anticoagulant drugs promote the risk of bleeding
"We hope to be able to identify an increased risk of stroke in patients who are generally not noteworthy without proven atrial fibrillation," says study leader Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Arentz, Head of the Department of Rhythmology, Department of Cardiology and Angiology II, UHZ.
"As a result, people more vulnerable than before could receive preventive therapy," the specialist hopes.
Because clot formation can be greatly reduced by regular intake of drugs that inhibit blood clotting.
However, at the same time they promote the risk of bleeding, so far only patients treated in this way, because due to atrial fibrillation and other risk factors such as age, diabetes and hypertension (hypertension), the risk of stroke is particularly high.
New ECG Analysis Can Identify Affected Patients with High Accuracy
The study is based on the recognition of numerous previous research that patients with pathologically healed atria are particularly affected by the formation of blood clots and resulting stroke.
The new ECG analysis measures the delay in electrical conduction associated with atrial healing and can thus identify affected patients with high accuracy.
"In four of the five patients, pathological atrial scarring on the ECG was already two years before the stroke," explains study author Dr. med. Amir Jadidi, Senior Physician, Department of Rhythmology, Department of Cardiology and Angiology II, UHZ.
"In contrast, patients with a normal ECG were spared from a stroke in the next five years," Jadidi said.
For the study, the research team evaluated data from more than 150 patients.
"Crucial now remains to show whether this new method of using blood-thinning drugs can actually be better tailored for the individual patient," says Arentz.
"Under the leadership of the University Heart Center in Bad Krozingen, preparations are being made for a study across Europe."