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VITAL HEART SYSTEMS AND BETH ISRAEL HOSPITAL TO EVALUATE NEW INSTRUMENT FOR PATIENTS AT RISK FOR 'SUDDEN DEATH'

 BOSTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Vital Heart Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: VHRTC) and Beth Israel Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, today announced they have entered into a joint research program to evaluate the company's Variance Cardiograph(TM) instrument for non-invasively detecting acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks), acute myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart muscle) and for monitoring complications of thrombolytic therapy to dissolve blood clots.
 Previously cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for non- acute diagnostic applications, the company's Variance Cardiograph will also be evaluated to determine its predictive value for detecting subjects at risk for sudden cardiac death -- a single heart attack that annually succumbs more than 400,000 seemingly healthy Americans. Conducted at Beth Israel's Harvard-Thorndike Electrophysiology Institute, the research will be performed both in prospective human studies and in an animal model.
 "We are fortunate to receive Vital Heart Systems' support in evaluating new approaches in our sudden death study," said Mark E. Josephson, M.D., director of Harvard-Thorndike Electrophysiology Institute and Arrhythmia Service, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "The study could provide valuable predictive information to this critical area of cardiology diagnosis."
 G. Robert Tatum III, president and chief executive officer of Vital Heart Systems, said, "Given the outstanding contributions of Harvard Medical School in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, we are very pleased with the opportunity to participate in these studies."
 William Grossman, M.D., chief of cardiology at Beth Israel and Dana professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, said, "We are grateful to Vital Heart Systems for its donation of custom-designed variance cardiographic instruments and financial resources to support Dr. Shlomo Ben-Haim's studies on the detection of acute myocardial infarction." Vital Heart Systems also made an undesignated gift to the institute to be used in on-going research at Beth Israel Hospital.
 New instrument more sensitive than stress ECG for predicting CAD:
 The joint research program comes in the wake of a scientific study published in this month's issue of Clinical Cardiology showing that variance cardiography was more sensitive than traditional stress electrocardiography (ECG) at detecting coronary artery disease. The study compared the diagnostic performance of the exercise stress test with variance cardiography -- a new, higher resolution ECG that employs 22 surface electrodes on a patient at rest. Manufactured by Vital Heart Systems, the newly developed system measures the disorganized, variant electrical signal of the heart characteristic of patients who have reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, or myocardial ischemia.
 Vital Heart Systems, Inc., based in Beverly, Mass., develops and markets the Variance Cardiograph, a non-invasive, stress-free diagnostic instrument to aid physicians in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. The company's common stock is traded on the over-the-counter market under the NASDAQ symbol VHRTC.
 -0- 9/14/93
 /CONTACT: David Printy, chairman, or G. Robert Tatum III, president and CEO, of Vital Heart Systems, 508-922-0605/
 (VHRTC)


CO: Vital Heart Systems, Inc.; Beth Israel Hospital ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU: PDT

DS-KH -- MN008 -- 1694 09/14/93 10:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1993
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