Can AI better predict a successful heart transplant? Emory researchers believe so with a new study – WSB-TV Channel 2.

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DeKalb County, Ga. – Can AI better predict successful heart transplants? Emory researchers believe this and have a study to back it up.

For nearly 22 years, Tina Marsden has had a constant companion who keeps her alive.

“It's connected to me 24/7. Showers, saunas, you name it,” Marsden said.

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The object is an LVAD.

A heart pump has kept him alive since his heart failed nearly 22 years ago.

“I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure due to the pregnancy,” Marsden said.

The problem is not to just go away. He had to deal with this problem for most of his adult life. He has managed it well, going about his daily life with minimal disruptions.

He has also faced more health challenges, from a cancer diagnosis to a heart attack in 2016. She says she could not have survived without a heart pump.

One thing he never attempted was a heart transplant.

And in those 22 years, he had the option of getting a transplant but put it off.

“There's a lot that comes with getting a transplant. It's not like you get a transplant, and everything's fine. You have to worry about rejection. You have to worry about infection,” Marsden said. said. “Once you take my heart out, there's no going back.”

According to Emory University, up to 32 percent of younger patients experience heart rejection within the first year (as a general rule, the chance of rejection decreases as a person ages).

“We want to try to avoid it, reduce it, reduce it,” said Anant Madhabhushi at Emory University.

Madabhushi says AI can help reduce that number.

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Currently, doctors look at images of biopsies to determine the likelihood of heart rejection, he says. It is based on guidelines that have been set over the years. However, Madabhushi says the interpretation may differ from doctor to doctor.

An AI system developed with Emory's help can take the same images and compare them to a database of past transplants.

AI is independent of the eye of the beholder, said Madhabhushi.

The study found that the AI ​​was at least 10 percent better at predicting future transplant success and better at providing early warning signs of rejection.

“Just the smallest percentage of that means a lot because it means peace of mind,” Mardsen said.

Madsen says she doesn't plan to try a transplant. However, with each improvement it increases the difficulties of future procedures.

She hopes that one day, the prognosis will be good enough (or a heart pump like this can be internalized) to allow her to lead a normal life.

“In a perfect world, I'd recover, and I'd be able to walk around freely, be able to jump in the pool, jump in the tub, and slide on it without having to change clothes,” Mardsen said. said

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