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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M012492/1
Title: Personalised Model Based Optimal Lead Guidance in Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy
Principal Investigator: Niederer, Dr SA
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust Medical University of Graz
Department: Imaging & Biomedical Engineering
Organisation: Kings College London
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 July 2015 Ends: 31 December 2019 Value (£): 800,694
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Feb 2015 Eng Fellowship Interviews Feb 2015 Announced
03 Dec 2014 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 3rd December 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
With each heart beat a wave of electrical activation sweeps across the heart stimulating the muscles to contract. In the healthy heart the wave is initiated from many locations across the wall and rapidly activates the whole heart leading to a synchronous, efficient and effective pumping of blood around the body.

In patients suffering dyssynchronous heart failure the activation wave starts on the right hand side of the heart and slowly progresses to the left hand side of the heart. This asynchronous activation pattern causes an asynchronous, inefficient and ineffective pumping of blood. To treat these patients a pacing device is implanted with leads attached to the left and right hand side of the heart. By activating the left and right side of the heart from these two leads the patient's activation pattern can be resynchronised leading to a synchronous and effective contraction. This treatment is referred to as cardiac resynchronisation therapy or CRT.

CRT is an effective treatment in most patients but 30-50% of patients fail to improve or respond to treatment. Due to the invasive nature and cost of the procedure it is undesirable to treat patients who will not respond. Identifying the patients who cannot respond is currently obfuscated by the inability to guarantee optimal treatment in all cases. Hence it is not possible to differentiate from patients that did not respond as they did not receive the optimal treatment from those that were unable to benefit from CRT under any conditions. At present guidelines suggest a "one size fits all" approach to the location of the leads on the patient's heart despite significant evidence that the location of the leads plays a critical role in determining outcome. This indicates that some patients may respond to CRT but only if they receive optimal lead placement.

The aim of this project is to determine the best location to place the pacing lead on the left side of the heart in each individual patient receiving CRT, based on the physiology and pathology of the specific patient's heart. To achieve this aim we propose to use advanced high fidelity and resolution imaging techniques to characterise the shape of the patient's heart, the potential pacing locations, and the location of any dead non-conducting tissue in the heart. We will combine this anatomical information with measurements of electrical activation time to create a biophysical model of the electrical properties of the individual patient's heart.

Using the model we will be able to simulate the activation patterns in the patient's heart for each potential pacing location. In a training data set we will compare the activation patterns at each pacing location with measured pump function, in response to pacing, to identify the activation pattern that best predicts the optimal pacing location.

A prospective clinical study will then be performed where patient specific models will be created for each patient prior to procedure and the optimal pacing site identified. The predictive capacity of the model will then be evaluated when the device is implanted by testing if the model has correctly predicted the optimal pacing location.

The project represents a significant advance for patient specific models - moving from a technique for analysing patient data to a tool for guiding patient treatment. Improving outcomes for CRT patients will reduce morbidity and hospitalisation rates, decrease the financial burden of non-responding patients on the NHS and improve our ability to identify what characteristics determine if a patient will respond to treatment.

Key Findings
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