AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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'Corkscrew' Shape of Blood Flow in Heart's Upper Chamber May Signal Lower Stroke Risk

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Proof-of-concept study conducted in two patients

Using specialized CT scans of a healthy heart and one with heart disease, a team of Johns Hopkins cardiologists and biomedical engineers say they have created computer models of the “shape” of blood flow through the heart’s upper left chamber that someday may help predict stroke. Specifically, their computer visualizations found that blood in the diseased heart failed to flow in corkscrelike “eddies” that most effectively moved blood out of the left atrium in the healthy heart and “showed us exactly how this motion would increase the risk of developing a blood clot,” says Hiroshi Ashikaga, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and member of the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The researchers say the same fluid motion analysis used in their two-heart proof-of-concept study may one day offer an accurate way to predict stroke risk in people with heart disease marked by enlargement and weakness of the cardiac muscle. Click here to read more.

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