18 June 2013
New health research from Dallas County, Texas has revealed the lifesaving benefits of MRI scans. According to researchers, plaque in the vessels and wall thickness of the abdominal aorta - both of which can be determined through MRI readings - could predict a patient’s risk of heart attack or stroke. In combination with a cardiac catheterisation, which examines the functionality of the heart and the extent of vessel blockage, this data could be used to predict risk of heart problems.
Lead author, Dr Christopher Maroules, said: “MRI is a promising tool for quantifying atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) through plaque and arterial wall thickness measurements.”
As atherosclerosis worsens, the artery narrows, limiting blood flow. In turn, this puts patients at an increased risk of critical incidents.
By catching atherosclerosis in its early stages, patients can take steps to reduce damage. Although complete reversal is not yet possible, a regimen of statins and cholesterol-reducing medications may reduce plaque buildup.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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