Preventing SCA Using Early Detection by Microvolt T-Wave Alternans


May 11, 2009

May 11, 2009 - With 12 million Americans at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), Cambridge Heart’s Microvolt T-Wave Alternans (MTWA) diagnostic test reportedly offers a cost-effective treadmill test to identify those at high or low risk.

Clinical evidence recently published in the Heart Rhythm Journal (1) indicates a need for more widespread use of MTWA, which is said to be 1,000 times more sensitive than an ECG in detecting tiny heartbeat irregularities closely associated with SCA risk. MTWA is also a consistently accurate predictor of SCA, according to a 6,000 patient meta-analysis and four supporting studies recently published by Heart Rhythm Journal (2).

Cambridge Heart said with recently published conclusive evidence putting to rest any past controversies, and with the Obama administration’s focus on prevention and cost-cutting, MTWA is likely to become more widely adopted.

MTWA is among the tests used routinely by the nations’s top heart programs to determine how likely an individual patient is to have a sudden cardiac arrest and whether the patient needs, or does not need, treatment to prevent SCA, the company said. Despite American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and European Society of Cardiology guidelines to use the test to improve risk stratification, the MTWA test is underutilized given its proven clinical benefit and demonstrated cost-effectiveness, the company said. MTWA test results also help physicians convince often-reluctant high-risk patients that they really do require medical treatment or an ICD, Cambridge Heart said.

Cambridge Heart’s MTWA is the only T-wave alternans test reimbursed by Medicare.

Cambridge Heart will showcase its MTWA at Heart Rhythm 2009 this week at:

• Hands-on-session: live MTWA testing, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, Learning Lab, Room 210

• SCD Prevention: Risk Stratification Beyond EF
Expert panel: MTWA experts Otto Costantini, M.D. and David Rosenbaum, M.D., 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, Room 160



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