Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO
Ola Gjesdal, MD, PhD, Consultant Cardiologist, Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital
Doctor and researcher Ola Gjesdal defended his thesis «Myocardial Infarct of Non-Doppler Echocardiographic Deformation Indices» in December 2009. He compared new and older methods of ultrasound examination of cardiac function after a heart attack. Today's methods of examining cardiac performance are not sufficiently sensitive to minor changes in cardiac function. Therefore, in case of minor injuries, patients may sometimes notice that cardiac function is reduced before it is possible to detect with today's established ultrasound techniques. There is a strong correlation between the size of the heart attack and morbidity and death after undergoing heart attack. Better detection of injury after a heart attack could thus help improve the follow-up of this patient group.
Ola Gjesdal and colleagues have shown that with new ultrasound technology, we can accurately measure the contraction of the various sections of the heart and that the degree of contraction is closely linked to the spread and extent of the heart attack. The new techniques were compared to already established ones, and showed a better ability to detect impaired cardiac function. Contrast MRI of the heart was used as a standard for the extent of the myocardial infarction. This is the most sensitive method of detecting a heart attack, but it is too expensive and less accessible to be used routinely. The techniques used are accessible on the majority of modern ultrasound devices, and the method can therefore be used immediately by the country's heart specialists.