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Top Story

Preventing blood clots with a new metric for heart function

The heart is a wonder of design: a pump that can function for over 80 years, and billions of heartbeats, without breaking down. But when it does malfunction, the results can be dire. National Science Foundation-funded scientists presented a new method for predicting those most at risk for thrombus, or blood clots, in the heart. The critical factor, the researchers found, is the degree to which the mitral jet--a stream of blood shot through the mitral valve--penetrates into the left ventricle of the heart. If the jet doesn't travel deep enough into the ventricle, it can prevent the heart from properly flushing blood from the chamber, potentially leading to clots, strokes and other dangerous consequences. The findings were based on simulations performed using the Stampede supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center and validated using data from patients who both did and did not experience post-heart attack blood clots.

Visit Website | Image credit: Rajat Mittal, Jung Hee Seo and Thura Harfi