Cardiac amyloidosis, a serious condition characterized by the abnormal accumulation of proteins (amyloid) in the heart muscle, has seen a major breakthrough in its detection thanks to an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tool. Developed by an international team of researchers led by the Medical University of Vienna, this AI system offers automated and reliable detection of cardiac amyloidosis during scintigraphy, a fundamental procedure in nuclear medicine.

The development of this tool was based on a thorough analysis of data collected from over 16,000 patients undergoing scintigraphy in Europe and Asia between 2010 and 2020. Scintigraphy is an essential technique for detecting a variety of diseases, including cancer, thyroid disorders, kidney diseases, and cardiac conditions. However, early detection of cardiac amyloidosis has historically been a challenge, leading to the need for more precise and efficient solutions.

The developed AI tool overcomes this obstacle by automatically identifying signs of cardiac amyloidosis during the process of acquiring scintigraphy images. Its accuracy was demonstrated through rigorous comparative testing with diagnoses made by medical professionals, revealing that the AI tool can match or even surpass the reliability of human experts in detecting this devastating heart disease.

But the true significance of this innovation lies in its impact on patient health. A detailed analysis conducted by the research team revealed that those diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis through the AI system faced a significantly higher risk of mortality and development of heart failure compared to those whose disease was not detected by this tool.

«In the future, our findings and the technology we have developed could enable the detection of cardiac amyloidosis among all patients undergoing scintigraphy, with the AI system evaluating image data in parallel with physician assessment,» explained Clemens Spielvogel from the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy at MedUni Vienna.

This breakthrough marks a milestone in the fight against cardiac amyloidosis by offering a faster, more accurate, and scalable way to detect this potentially life-threatening condition. With the potential to save lives and improve patient quality of life, this AI tool promises to revolutionize cardiovascular healthcare worldwide.

Article written by MedImaging



Med Imaging