Medindia

X

Scan correlates susceptible heart plaque

by Medindia Content Team on  June 29, 2002 at 12:56 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Scan correlates susceptible heart plaque
According to a recent study, a combined scan identifies unstable areas of plaque in coronary arteries that may signify danger of heart attack in the future. Fatty deposits, known as plaque, set the scene for heart disease. The build up of plaque - atherosclerosis - begins many years before any symptoms occur. The plaque narrows the arteries, and may eventually crack, instigating formation of a clot which will then cause a heart attack.
Advertisement

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School now report that positron emission tomography (PET), in association with computed tomography (CT), makes a powerful imaging technique for monitoring the state of atherosclerotic plaque. Functioning with a group of 40 patients, they saw several 'hot spots' - areas of plaque which took up more of a radiochemical called FDG. This is normally used to locate active areas of tumour tissue - but its use in imaging plaque is quite new.

Advertisement
Researchers, felt that these 'hot spots' were distinct from areas of calcification - where the plaque is hardened. It may be that these 'hot spots' represent unstable areas which may, in future, crack and trigger a heart attack. It is too early to know for sure, but FDG imaging could help doctors proactively intervene with patients who have atherosclerotic 'hot spots' in their coronary arteries.

It was interesting, say the researchers, that these 'hot spots' were distinct from areas of calcification - where the plaque is hardened. It may be that these 'hot spots' represent unstable areas which may, in future, crack and trigger a heart attack. It is too early to know for sure, but FDG imaging could help physicians proactively intervene with patients who have atherosclerotic 'hot spots' in their coronary arteries.

Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All