Can we spot arterial damage before it causes a heart attack?

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Offline thedoc

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A way to pinpoint damage in blood vessels that could cause a future heart attack has been developed by UK scientists...

Read the whole story on our website by clicking here

« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 09:12:27 by _system »


Offline alancalverd

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Cannulating an asymptomatic artery is hardly risk-free, and IMHO it needs a lot of skill to do it without complications, without x-ray guidance.

Prof Donald Longmore (Brompton Hospital) had a perfectly good system way back in the 1980s, using a dedicated MRI system to image coronary arteries at high resolution. But if I were the patient, I'd vote for an electron beam CT scan - cheap ($99), very fast, unequivocal, and a tolerable risk in comparison with any invasive procedure. 
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Offline chris

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Hi Alan - you are right, there are risks associated with angiography. But the point that is being made in this piece is that merely an image of an artery is not adequate to define where the heart attack hotspots are. Some narrowings will be stable and not in need of intervention. Others may be apparently less severe but their biochemical nature means that they are at much greater risk of potentially fatal rupture. This is the reason why the BHF team were looking for some way to identify these risky plaques using a marker. Ultimately, the angiography component will not even be necessary and the visualisation will be done extra-corporeally (outside the body).
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