Cedars-Sinai cardiologists develop AI to identify 2 overlooked heart conditions

Researchers at Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai's Smidt Heart Institute have created an artificial intelligence tool that can identify and distinguish between two overlooked heart conditions: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and cardiac amyloidosis, the institute said Feb. 23.

Cardiac amyloidosis is a disorder caused by deposits of amyloid in the heart tissue.   Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a disease that causes the heart muscle to thicken and stiffen. Although different, the two conditions often present similarly on echocardiograms. 

The algorithm was used on more than 34,000 cardiac ultrasound videos from Cedars-Sinai and Stanford Healthcare. The algorithm identified specific features to efficiently flag certain patients as "suspicious" for having the diseases. Findings were published Feb. 23 in JAMA Cardiology. 

"The algorithm identified high-risk patients with more accuracy than the well-trained eye of a clinical expert," stated David Ouyang, MD, a cardiologist at the Smidt Heart Institute and senior author of the study. "This is because the algorithm picks up subtle cues on ultrasound videos that distinguish between heart conditions that can often look very similar to more benign conditions, as well as to each other, on initial review."

Researchers plan to launch clinical trials for patients flagged by the algorithm for suspected cardiac amyloidosis soon, according to a news release from Cedars-Sinai.

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