Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed an ultrasound device that could help identify arterial plaque that is at high risk of breaking off and causing heart attack or stroke.
At issue is the plaque that builds up in arteries as we age. Some types of plaque are deemed “vulnerable,” meaning that they are more likely to detach from the artery wall and cause heart attack or stroke.
“Existing state-of-the-art technologies are capable of determining if plaque is present in the arteries, but can’t tell whether it’s vulnerable. And that makes it difficult to assess a patient’s risk,” says Dr. Paul Dayton, co-author of a paper on the new device and professor in the joint biomedical engineering department at NC State and Chapel Hill. “Our goal was to develop something that could effectively identify which plaques are vulnerable.”
There are two ultrasound techniques that can help identify vulnerable plaques, but both depend on the use of contrast agents called “microbubbles.”
The first technique is to identify “vasa vasorum” in arteries. These are clusters of small blood vessels that often infiltrate arterial plaque, and which are considered indicators that a plaque is vulnerable. When microbubbles are injected into an artery, they follow the flow of the blood. If vasa vasorum are present, the microbubbles will flow through these blood vessels as well, effectively highlighting them on ultrasound images.
The second technique is called molecular imaging, and relies on the use of “targeted” microbubbles. These microbubbles attach themselves to specific molecules that are more likely to be found in vulnerable plaques, making the plaques stand out on ultrasound images.
“The problem is that existing intravascular ultrasound technology does not do a very good job in detecting contrast agents,” says Dr. Xiaoning Jiang, an NC State associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering and co-author of the paper.
“So we’ve developed a dual-frequency intravascular ultrasound transducer which transmits and receives acoustic signals,” Jiang says. “Operating on two frequencies allows us to do everything the existing intravascular ultrasound devices can do, but also makes it much easier for us to detect the contrast agents – or microbubbles – used for molecular imaging and vasa vasorum detection.”
The prototype device has performed well in laboratory testing, but the researchers say they are continuing to optimize the technology. They hope to launch pre-clinical studies in the near future.
The Latest on: Detecting Risk for Heart Attack Stroke
via Google News
The Latest on: Detecting Risk for Heart Attack Stroke
- Most recent advancement in medical technology works with the anticipation of strokeon May 15, 2022 at 4:54 am
According to the Indian Stroke Association, the incidence of stroke in India has increased by almost 100 percent in the past few decades. Around 1.8 million people in India suffer from a stroke every ...
- How Are Schizophrenia and Heart Disease Related?on May 13, 2022 at 1:19 pm
More people with schizophrenia die from heart disease than from any other cause. This mirrors the pattern in the general population, where heart disease is also the top killer of both men and women.
- Heart attack vs. stroke, what’s the difference?on May 12, 2022 at 10:50 am
Dr. Sarah Parker, a neurologist, broke down the common misconceptions of a hearth attack versus a stroke. Both are due to a lack of blood flow, however a heart attack is blood flow blockage to the ...
- Big data insights on heart disease help millions to live longer, healthier liveson May 10, 2022 at 12:14 pm
UCL’s Professor Harry Hemingway used large-scale health records data to gain important insights into the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, driving changes in the UK and worldwide.
- Dr. Mitra: Don't ignore high blood pressure; it's an avoidable form of deathon May 10, 2022 at 3:09 am
High blood pressure creates stress on the circulatory system, raising the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure ... so regular screening can help a person detect and treat the condition ...
- Dr. Mitra: Don't ignore high blood pressure; it's an avoidable form of deathon May 10, 2022 at 2:03 am
High blood pressure carries a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Almost half of the adult U.S. population live ...
- Study: stroke survivors more likely to suffer an increased risk of major heart issueson May 9, 2022 at 8:20 pm
New research show that people who survive a stroke are at an increased risk of developing major heart issues in the month following the stroke, which puts them at a greater risk of a second stroke or ...
- OMRON Healthcare Issues National Health Alert: Pandemic-Driven Trends Are Raising Heart Health Riskson May 5, 2022 at 11:41 am
Even those who had normal blood pressure before the pandemic could now be in the hypertensive range, which carries increased heart attack and stroke risk." "To reduce your risk, know your blood ...
- OMRON Healthcare Issues National Health Alert: Pandemic-Driven Trends Are Raising Heart Health Riskson May 5, 2022 at 5:39 am
6 CDC data shows that 37 million of them have uncontrolled Stage 2 hypertension with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke ... care and technology that can detect risk, influence behavior ...
- OMRON Healthcare Issues National Health Alert: Pandemic-Driven Trends Are Raising Heart Health Riskson May 5, 2022 at 5:17 am
6 CDC data shows that 37 million of them have uncontrolled Stage 2 hypertension with a higher risk of heart attack ... detect risk, influence behavior, and save lives." OMRON Healthcare is recognizing ...
via Bing News