Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Atherosclerosis in abdominal aorta may signal future heart attack, stroke

18.06.2013
In a study of more than 2,000 adults, researchers found that two MRI measurements of the abdominal aorta — the amount of plaque in the vessel and the thickness of its wall — are associated with future cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke. Results of the study are published online in the journal Radiology.

"This is an important study, because it demonstrates that atherosclerosis in an artery outside the heart is an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular events," said the study's lead author, Christopher D. Maroules, M.D., a radiology resident at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and lead author. "MRI is a promising tool for quantifying atherosclerosis through plaque and arterial wall thickness measurements."

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fat, cholesterol and other substances collect within the arteries, forming plaque. As plaque accumulates, the artery narrows, limiting blood flow. The condition can occur in any artery, including the cerebral (brain) and coronary (heart) arteries and the aorta, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart through the abdomen to the rest of body. The aorta is the largest artery body.

In the study, researchers analyzed abdominal MR images of 2,122 participants (mean age 44) in the Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic population-based study of healthy adults from Dallas County, Texas. Two measurements were obtained from the MR images: mean abdominal aortic wall thickness, or the thickness of the vessel wall, and the amount of plaque buildup, referred to as the aortic plaque burden.

Following imaging, study participants were monitored for a period of 7.8 years. During that time, 143 participants experienced an adverse cardiovascular event in which arterial blood flow was obstructed, resulting in death or medical intervention. Researchers categorized the events as related to the heart (cardiac events) or to other arteries (called extra-cardiac vascular events) such as those in the brain or abdomen.

Of the 143 cardiovascular events, 34 were fatal. Seventy-three were non-fatal cardiac events, including heart attack or coronary revascularization, and 46 were non-fatal extra-cardiac vascular events, such as stroke or carotid revascularization.

Using the MRI measurements, the researchers found that increased abdominal aortic wall thickness correlated with a greater risk for all types of cardiovascular events. An increase in both wall thickness and aortic plaque burden was associated with an increased risk for non-fatal extra-cardiac vascular events.

"These MRI measurements may add additional prognostic value to traditional cardiac risk stratification models," Dr. Maroules said.

MR imaging of the abdominal aorta is less technically challenging than other vascular imaging exams because of the large size of the vessel and its lack of proximity to a moving organ, such as the heart or the lungs. In addition, images of the abdominal aorta are often captured when patients undergo other exams, such as MRI of the spine or abdomen.

"The abdominal aorta is incidentally imaged on a regular basis," Dr. Maroules said. "Radiologists can infer prognostic information from routine MRI exams that may benefit patients by identifying subclinical disease."

According to Dr. Maroules, further MRI research will contribute to a better understanding of the progression of atherosclerosis, which scientists believe begins with a remodeling or thickening of the vessel wall prior to the buildup of plaque.

"Abdominal Aortic Atherosclerosis at MR Imaging Is Associated with Cardiovascular Events: The Dallas Heart Study." Collaborating with Dr. Maroules were Eric Rosero, M.D., Colby Ayers, M.S., Ronald M. Peshock, M.D., and Amit Khera, M.D., M.Sc.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc.

RSNA is an association of more than 51,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

For patient-friendly information on MRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rsna.org
http://RadiologyInfo.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Shape matters when light meets atom

05.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”

05.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>