Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

PET/CT offers ’superior’ view of atherosclerosis plaque, may identify those at risk for heart attack

06.06.2006


Positron emission tomography (PET) in combination with computed tomography (CT) offers a “superior” view of atherosclerosis plaque inflammation—so much so that it may eventually be used to identify individuals who are at high risk for heart attack or stroke, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Their findings were released during SNM’s 53rd Annual Meeting June 3–7 in San Diego.



“The future is using PET/CT—and other developing technologies—to assess plaques that are biologically active with deadly consequences when they misbehave,” said Ahmed Tawakol, cardiologist and co-director of the Cardiac MR/PET/CT Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. “PET/CT in combination is more powerful than either PET or CT alone, providing us with an enriched data set,” added the co-author of “Combined PET/CT Assessment of Carotid Plaques: A Human Histopathological Study.” He explained, “In investigating the use of today’s imaging technologies to predict those individuals with high risk for stroke or heart attack, we determined we can possibly improve on current risk stratification strategies by identifying patients as being at low, moderate, high or very high risk for developing a heart attack or stroke.” PET/CT “may allow us to identify patients at highest risk for heart attacks or strokes, so physicians can focus the appropriate medical attention on them more quickly and more aggressively,” said Tawakol. In addition, it “might allow us to reclassify individuals previously thought to be at high risk. Biologically inactive plaques suggest a moderate or even low risk, thereby sparing patients more aggressive interventions,” he added.

Atherosclerosis is the process in which deposits of fats, cholesterol, cellular waste products and other substances—called plaque—build up in the inner lining of an artery. This may limit blood flow through the carotid arteries, which supply blood to the head and neck. More than 71 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, which claims more lives than cancer, accidents and HIV (AIDS) combined.


This study benefits those individuals with carotid disease and opens the exploration of the biological questions of atherosclerosis and related heart diseases, said Tawakol. “This molecular imaging research opens the door for the testing of new and future therapies and the identification of promising new drugs,” he added.

PET/CT imaging enables the collection of both biological and anatomical information during a single exam, with PET picking up metabolic signals of body cells and tissues and CT offering a detailed picture of internal anatomy. “We establish that PET in combination with CT is superior to PET alone for characterization of plaque inflammation,” said Tawakol, explaining that the current study builds on prior observations that PET is useful in characterizing plaque formation. “There is a lot of interest in learning how to stabilize or pacify plaques, and we may be able to test this,” he noted, saying additional research might determine if a cardiac event can be predicted by identifying plaque inflammation.

“This is very exciting work,” said Josef Machac, SNM’s Scientific Program Committee cardiovascular vice chair. “The idea is that atherosclerosis comes in different ‘flavors,’ and the challenge is to predict whether patients are at high risk for having a stroke or heart attack,” added the director of the Clinical PET Center and nuclear medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He continued, “This research points the way by examining carotid plaque function from PET and its structure from CT.”

Abstract: A. Tawakol, D. Vermylen, J. Swanson and J. Moloo, medicine/cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; R. Curry, A. Morss, U. Hoffmann, T.J. Brady and A.J. Fischman, radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; and S. Bedri, pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, “Combined PET/CT Assessment of Carotid Plaques: A Human Histopathological Study,” SNM’s 53rd Annual Meeting, June 3–7, 2006, Scientific Paper 9.

About SNM

SNM is holding its 53rd Annual Meeting June 3–7 at the San Diego Convention Center. Research topics for the 2006 meeting include molecular imaging in clinical practice in the fight against cancer; the role of diagnostic imaging in the management of metastatic bone disease; metabolic imaging for heart disease; neuroendocrine and brain imaging; new agents for imaging infection and inflammation; and an examination of dementia, neurodegeneration, movement disorders and thyroid cancer.

SNM is an international scientific and professional organization of more than 16,000 members dedicated to promoting the science, technology and practical applications of molecular and nuclear imaging to diagnose, manage and treat diseases in women, men and children. Founded more than 50 years ago, SNM continues to provide essential resources for health care practitioners and patients; publish the most prominent peer-reviewed resource in the field; sponsor research grants, fellowships and awards; host the premier annual meeting for medical imaging; and train physicians, technologists, scientists, physicists, chemists and radiopharmacists in state-of-the-art imaging procedures and advances. SNM members have introduced—and continue to explore—biological and technological innovations in medicine that noninvasively investigate the molecular basis of diseases, benefiting countless generations of patients. SNM is based in Reston, Va.; additional information can be found online at www.snm.org.

Maryann Verrillo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.snm.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>