22 November 2019: UK medical device company Creavo Medical Technologies (Creavo) has begun a pioneering 510-patient study with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, to evaluate the role of magnetocardiography (MCG) in the prediction of ventricular arrhythmias in patients who have been identified at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD).

Led by Dr Tom Lachlan, Research Fellow in Cardiology at UHCW, under the supervision of Professor Faizel Osman, Consultant Cardiologist / Electrophysiologist at UHCW, the study will involve performing MCG scans – which generate a magnetic field map of the heart – on patients who fulfil National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for receiving an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

Each patient will then be assessed using the standard ICD follow-up procedure. This is anticipated to take place over a 21-month period, to record which patients ultimately received therapies from their ICD. Corresponding MCG data will then be analysed to determine whether there are MCG characteristics that can predict the need for future therapy from the ICD.

It is hoped that correlations can be identified to further risk-stratify patients within a pool determined to be at risk of SCD under current guidelines, to enable physicians to prescribe defibrillators more accurately.

Dr Lachlan said: “Currently, the majority of ICDs are implanted in patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction and are known to have a weakened heart, but research suggests only around 10-15% of ICD recipients subsequently suffer a ventricular arrythmia and receive a treatment from their ICD.

“This means that a significant number of patients deemed ‘at risk’ are implanted with ICDs which are never needed, and this can be severely detrimental to their overall health as well as being a costly undertaking for health services.

“We are excited by the potential of this study to more accurately predict which patients will develop a ventricular arrhythmia that requires therapy from the ICD, and therefore improve health outcomes for those at risk of SCD and enable health services to more efficiently allocate their resources.”

Steve Parker, Chief Executive Officer at Creavo said: “We’re very proud of the fact that this study is the first ever to attempt to correlate patterns in the heart’s magnetic field with future ventricular arrhythmias.

“The study, which uses Creavo’s technology, will help assess the potential for MCG to be used as a vital screening tool outside of emergency care. This is an important step in our journey, and we thank the team at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire for their involvement and support.”