A novel approach to diagnosing coronary artery disease: acoustic detection of coronary turbulence

Joseph L. Thomas, Simon Winther, Robert F. Wilson, Morten Bøttcher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Atherosclerotic disease within coronary arteries causes disruption of normal, laminar flow and generates flow turbulence. The characteristic acoustic waves generated by coronary turbulence serve as a novel diagnostic target. The frequency range and timing of microbruits associated with obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) have been characterized. Technological advancements in sensor, data filtering and analytic capabilities may allow use of intracoronary turbulence for diagnostic and risk stratification purposes. Acoustic detection (AD) systems are based on the premise that the faint auditory signature of obstructive CAD can be isolated and analyzed to provide a new approach to noninvasive testing. The cardiac sonospectrographic analyzer, CADence, and CADScore systems are early-stage, investigational and commercialized examples of AD systems, with the latter two currently undergoing clinical testing with validation of accuracy using computed tomography and invasive angiography. Noninvasive imaging accounts for a large percentage of healthcare expenditures for cardiovascular disease in the developed world, and the growing burden of CAD will disproportionately affect areas in the developing world. AD is a portable, radiation-free, cost-effective method with the potential to provide accurate diagnosis or exclusion of significant CAD. AD represents a model for digital, miniaturized, and internet-connected diagnostic technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
JLT has received research grant support from AUM Cardiovascular, Inc. MB has received an unrestricted research grant from Acarix A/S.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Acoustic cardiography
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stress testing


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