|MTWA in Clinical Practice|
Microvolt T-Wave Alternans (MTWA) enhances stress testing by incorporating a non-invasive, clinically-proven, reimbursable test that can help identify patients at risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The test is available on a variety of platforms offered by Cambridge Heart and Cardiac Science.
Clinicians can perform an MTWA test in conjunction with a stress test, giving them the ability to assess both ischemic and arrhythmic risk for their cardiac patients.
To learn more about how MTWA testing has been incorporated into a comprehensive Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Program at the Parkview Health System Clinical Research Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, you may need to register with EP Lab Digest.
Candidates for MTWA Testing
MTWA is suitable for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest including those with:
Managing SCA Risk
MTWA testing is a non‐invasive tool that may be used in conjunction with other clinical factors to help physicians more accurately assess a patient’s risk of SCA and to develop appropriate risk management strategies.
Such strategies may include ruling out ischemia, optimizing the patient’s pharmacologic regimen or more closely monitoring medical compliance. Treating and monitoring diseases and conditions that can contribute to heart problems, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes, are also important – along with educating cardiac patients on lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of SCA like quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.
In cases where other risk factors or symptoms are present, invasive testing like electrophysiologic study (EPS) may be warranted. Those patients at highest risk may benefit from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a device which is surgically implanted to immediately administer electrical shocks to restart an arrhythmic heart. While the ICD is an effective treatment, patients and physicians often question the need for such an intervention or have concerns about cost, surgical risks and device reliability.
MTWA testing provides an additional piece of information that may help allay such concerns by accurately stratifying a patient’s risk, thereby contributing to the objective clinical decision‐making process.