The shape of a person’s heart can be an indicator of future heart disease. New study from Stanford University in California.
Specifically, a heart that has a spherical (round) shape could have a 47 percent higher chance of developing cardiomyopathy, which is “a disease of the heart muscle that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze more than 38,897 MRI images healthy hearts From the UK Biobank, the researchers examined a large biomedical database that includes information from 500,000 British participants.
In the study, which was published in the journal Med on Wednesday, researchers measured the roundness of the left ventricle, a cone-shaped chamber in the heart that pumps oxygen-rich blood to the body.
Next, the researchers analyzed the participants’ health records to determine which ones had specific genetic markers for heart disease.
They found an overlap between round hearts and a predisposition to heart disease.
“Most people who practice cardiology are well aware that after someone has heart disease, the heart will appear more spherical,” said Dr. Shoa Clark, a preventive cardiologist and instructor in the departments of medicine and pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. Press release announcing the results.
Round hearts have been shown to predispose to heart disease.
Clark was a senior investigator on the study, along with Dr. David Ouyang of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai. In Los Angeles.
The lead author was Milos Vukadinovic, a bioengineering student at UCLA.
The research team was surprised by the strong link between a round heart and future risk of cardiomyopathy, Clark told Fox News Digital.
“It was possible that the shape of the heart might not have told us anything other than measurements of heart size or strength,” he said.
But it turns out that the shape of the heart provides additional information About risks and genetics It was not captured by other measurements.”
The round shape can indicate pressure on the heart
Mark Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Michigan NYU Langone Medical Center When used properly, AI can be a “doctor-friendly” when assessing heart health, said a medical contributor to Fox News.
“In this case, Artificial intelligence appears There is an association between a roundness of the heart and the development of cardiomyopathy, in which the heart swells and the pump is less effective,” Dr. Siegel told Fox News Digital.
“This makes sense, because the heart is usually more oblong,” he explained.
“The round shape can create more pressure or pressure on the valves and walls, which can lead to this outcome.” He was not involved in the new study.
Dr. Siegel said that if the new study is confirmed, it will add another element to how cardiologists examine patients’ echocardiograms (ultrasounds of the heart).
Researchers say medical imaging could hold more insights
The researchers believe this is just a tipping point for more data-rich information from MRI images.
“One of the main findings of our work is that existing strategies for cardiac assessment are good, but they were developed decades ago, before the era of big data,” Clark told Fox News Digital.
“When used properly, AI can be a doctor’s friend.”
“We now have an opportunity to think more broadly and ask what other features of the heart can tell us about risk and disease biology.”
Co-author Ouyang told Med magazine that there is a great deal of untapped information that doctors are not currently using.
The study authors noted that more research is needed on how heart shape can or should be considered when making medical decisions.
This particular study was restricted to one group within the United Kingdom
While I considered the large number of participants, Clark said the group lacked diversity.
“We expect our findings to be widely generalizable, but it will be important to show that these findings are replicated in other populations,” he said.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States — someone dies from the condition every 34 seconds, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).