Washington University in St Louis researchers study electromechanics of healthy, living human hearts

Researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis have completed a study to combine electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI), a noninvasive method developed at the university, with tagged MRI to study the electromechanics of healthy hearts in living humans.

The data could be helpful in designing and validating mathematical models of the heart's electromechanics for the study of human cardiac electrophysiology and mechanics, according to a university article.


Yoram Rudy, the Fred Saigh Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering, and Christopher Andrews, a postdoctoral research scholar in the Department of Biomedical Engineering led the study. Rudy is a BMES member. 


ECGI is a noninvasive imaging method that maps the heart's electrical activity using electrocardiographic measurements from about 250 body surfaces together with the heart-torso geometry from anatomical MRI or computed tomography (CT) scans, according to the article. The electrocardiographic measurements and geometrical information are combined mathematically to create maps of the cardiac electrical excitation. Tagged MRI measures displacement of heart-muscle regions, providing a 3D image of cardiac strain during contraction.  


The study conducted ECGI and tagged MRI on 20 healthy adult volunteers at Washington University in St. Louis, making it the largest ECGI study of healthy adults to date and the first study of electromechanics coupling in living normal human hearts, according to the article.


Read more HERE.


View a video about the research HERE.