Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New imaging technique reveals fatty hearts in pre-diabetics

05.09.2007
A simple imaging technique developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers has revealed fat buildup in the hearts of pre-diabetic people long before symptoms of heart disease or diabetes appear.

The technique detects fat accumulation in cells of the beating heart in a way no other clinical method can, the researchers said, and may provide a way to screen patients for early signs of heart disease in diabetes.

“Hearts beat; people breathe; and magnetic resonance imaging is very sensitive to motion, so we had to find a way to electronically ‘freeze’ the image of the heart,” said Dr. Lidia Szczepaniak, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author of a study appearing in the Sept. 4 issue of Circulation.

“We wanted a noninvasive method to study the beating human heart,” Dr. Szczepaniak said.

Dr. Szczepaniak and her colleagues developed a technique that captures the signal from a beating heart as a person lies in an ordinary magnet used for MRI scanning.

The researchers knew that fat builds up in the hearts of people with heart failure or non-insulin-dependent diabetes (type 2) from earlier studies involving patients undergoing heart transplants, but they didn’t know if this fatty buildup occurred before or after the diabetic conditions developed.

“There is currently no way to clinically evaluate the fatty heart,” Dr. Szczepaniak said. “Using this technique, which analyzes magnetic signals, we might be able to determine if people are prone to heart disease very early before the disease progresses. This method might also allow us to measure the effectiveness of medical treatments targeted toward lowering fat in the heart.”

In the new study, the UT Southwestern researchers used an ordinary MRI system, but added the newly developed computer software to convert the signals from a moving heart into a single image.

They looked at lean and obese people with normal blood sugar, obese people beginning to show abnormal sugar metabolism, and obese people with full-blown type 2 diabetes.

Their most important finding, Dr. Szczepaniak said, was that fat buildup in the heart develops before the onset of diabetes. They also found that the amount of fat in the heart of people with abnormal sugar metabolism was significantly higher than in those with normal blood sugar, whether obese or lean.

The amount of fat in the heart was unrelated to the amount of fat in the bloodstream or liver, indicating that measuring any of those factors could not predict accumulation of fat in the heart. Fat in the heart did correspond to the amount of fat in the stomach region, however.

The researchers recruited some participants from the Dallas Heart Study — a multi-ethnic, population-based study of more than 6,000 patients in Dallas County designed to examine cardiovascular disease.

Detecting fat in heart cells is especially important because once a heart cell dies, it is not replaced by a new one, as happens in many other tissues, said Dr. Roger Unger, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and a co-author of the paper. “When you lose a heart cell, that’s it — you can’t get it back.”

Some researchers, including those at UT Southwestern, believe that as a person becomes over-weight, fat accumulates in normal fat cells, but eventually fat cells can’t store fat any more. Eventually the excess of fat kills other cells — a hypothesis supported by a recent study by Dr. Unger in mice.

“Dr. Szczepaniak is translating our rodent studies into humans, and that is a huge technological breakthrough,” Dr. Unger said.

But Dr. Unger also cautioned that no sophisticated test can replace common sense in fighting obesity: “You don’t need a fancy test to tell a patient not to eat too much.”

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Dr. Jonathan McGavock, former postdoctoral fellow in internal medicine; Dr. Ildiko Lingvay, assistant professor of internal medicine; Dr. Ivana Zib, former medical fellow; Tommy Tillery, magnetic resonance imaging technician; Naomi Salas, former research assistant; Dr. Benjamin Levine, professor of internal medicine; Dr. Philip Raskin, professor of internal medicine; and Dr. Ronald Victor, professor of internal medicine.

The work was supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Canadian Diabetes Association, the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc.

Aline McKenzie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht 3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University

nachricht New PET radiotracer identifies inflammation in life-threatening atherosclerosis
02.03.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>