One of the newest tools in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke combines a 40-year-old imaging technique and liposomes, little globules of soluble fats and water that circulate naturally throughout the bloodstream.
The technique, developed by Northwestern University researcher David D. McPherson, M.D., and colleagues with a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, uses ultrasound energy to create microbubbles inside specially treated liposomes and then direct the liposomes to specific targets, such as atherosclerotic plaques or blood clots, in the coronary arteries and other arteries in the body, including those to the brain.
Once they reach their target in the arteries, the echogenic liposomes, or ELIPs, produce an acoustic shadow that improves ultrasounds ability to visualize and diagnose the extent of plaques or clots within the arteries.
Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
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