Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Noninvasive Coronary Imaging

02.09.2003


ESC Congress 2003: Picture Perfect – Progress in non-invasive imaging



There has been increasing awareness of the importance of composition of athero-thrombotic plaque as a major risk factor for acute coronary syndromes. Several invasive and noninvasive imaging techniques are available to assess athero-thrombotic vessels.

Most of the standard techniques identify luminal diameter or stenosis, wall thickness, or plaque volume (such as multi-slice CT, angiography, IVUS, etc.); however, none are effective in determining the plaques that are unstable and vulnerable to thrombosis and proliferation. In vivo, high-resolution, multi-contrast, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) holds the best promise of non-invasively imaging vulnerable plaques and determination of the different plaque components such as lipid core, fibrosis, calcifications and thrombosis deposits in all arteries including the coronary arteries.


The MR findings have been extensively validated against pathology in ex vivo studies of carotid, aortic, and coronary artery specimens obtained at autopsy. Subsequent work on imaging carotid arteries in vivo in patients referred for endarterectomy showed a high correlation with pathology and with previous ex vivo results.

A recent study in patients with plaques in the thoracic aorta showed that when compared to transesophageal echocardiography, plaque composition and size are accurately characterized and measured using in vivo MRI. Carotid and aortic athero-thrombotic plaque assessment by MRI may lend itself to use as a screening tool for prediction of future cardiovascular events and for the evaluation of therapeutic intervention benefits.

These MR techniques have been also adapted for the study of plaques in different animal models. Therefore, MRI can be used as an investigative to follow in vivo progression, regression and plaque stabilization in different transgenic and non-transgenic animal models.

The ultimate goal is imaging of plaque in vivo in human coronary arteries. Preliminary studies in a porcine model of athero-thrombosis showed that the major difficulties of MR coronary wall imaging are due to the combination of cardiac and respiratory motion artifacts, the non-linear course of the coronary arteries, as well as their relatively small size and location.

Studies in an in-vivo pig model and in humans suggest that MRI may soon be applicable to study and characterize athero-thrombotic plaques in human coronaries in vivo. We have shown recently the utility of MRI in the study of treatment in humans. MR was used to measure the effect of lipid-lowering therapy (statins) in asymptomatic untreated hypercholesterolemic patients with carotid and aortic atherosclerosis.

In conclusion, the assessment of athero-thrombotic plaques by imaging techniques is essential for the identification of vulnerable plaques. In vivo, high-resolution, multi-contrast, MRI holds the best promise of non-invasively imaging vulnerable plaques and characterizing the different components in all arteries including the coronary arteries. MR allows serial evaluation assessment of the progression and regression of atherosclerosis over time. The use of specific MR contrast agents targeted for athero-thrombotic plaque imaging may enhance the plaque characterization. Application of MRI opens new areas for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment (e.g., lipid-lowering drug regimens) of athero-thrombosis in all arterial locations.

Roberto Corti, MD
Cardiology, University Hospital Zurich
Switzerland

Important: This press release accompanies both a presentation and an ESC press conference given at the ESC Congress 2003. Written by the investigator himself/herself, this press release does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology


Camilla Dormer | alfa
Further information:
http://www.escardio.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Icebreaker' protein opens genome for t cell development, Penn researchers find
21.02.2018 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Similarities found in cancer initiation in kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas
21.02.2018 | Washington University School of Medicine

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>