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Medical News & Perspectives
October 24/31, 2017

Could a New Method to Detect Coronary Inflammation Prevent Heart Attacks?

JAMA. 2017;318(16):1527-1528. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.13413

A team led by scientists at the University of Oxford has developed the first method to detect inflammation in the heart’s blood vessels using a standard clinical imaging procedure, computed tomographic (CT) angiography.

Inflammation contributes to both the formation of arterial plaques and their destabilization, which leaves them vulnerable to heart attack–causing ruptures, said principal investigator Charalambos Antoniades, MD, PhD, an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Oxford. If the new method is further validated, it could be used to predict the formation of plaques before it occurs for primary prevention of atherosclerosis and to identify vulnerable coronary plaques that are set to rupture, a long-sought goal in cardiac medicine.

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