14 Intrinsic Cardiovascular Wave and Strain Imaging

Elisa Konofagou

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

14.1 Introduction

Cardiovascular diseases remain America's primary killer by a large margin, claiming the lives of more Americans than the next two main causes of death combined (cancer and pulmonary complications). In particular, coronary artery disease (CAD) is by far the most lethal, causing 17% of all deaths every year (whether cardiac related or not). One of the main reasons for this high death toll is the severe lack of effective and accessible imaging tools upon anomaly detected on the electrocardiogram (ECG), especially at the early stages when CAD can be stabilized with appropriate pharmacological regimen. Arrhythmias refer to the disruption of the natural heart rhythm. Cardiac arrhythmias lead to a significant amount of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. An irregular heart rhythm causes the heart to suddenly stop pumping blood. Atrial pathologies are the most common arrhythmias, with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter being the most prevalent. Similarly, arterial stiffening has been linked to a variety of diseases – spanning from cardiovascular disease and dementia to Parkinson's, diabetes, and end‐stage renal disease. Yet, in sharp contrast with the clear universality and significance of pulse waveform velocity (PWV) as a biomarker, is the lack of such measurements in the clinic. There is currently no ...

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