Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ultrasound Used To Predict Heart Attack Risk

Date:
August 19, 2008
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
Repeat exams using widely available and inexpensive ultrasound imaging could help identify patients at high risk for a heart attack or other adverse cardiovascular events, according to a new study.

Repeat exams using widely available and inexpensive ultrasound imaging could help identify patients at high risk for a heart attack or other adverse cardiovascular events, according to a study published in the September issue of the journal Radiology.

Researchers performed ultrasound imaging on the carotid arteries of 1,268 patients who were asymptomatic but at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Of those, ultrasound determined that 574 patients had carotid artery disease, as determined by the amount of plaque built up in the two vessels that supply blood to the head and neck. Each of those patients had a second ultrasound exam six to nine months later to measure changes in the plaque lining the arteries.

"Determining the degree of stenosis, or how much the artery has narrowed, is insufficient to predict patient risk," said lead researcher Markus Reiter, M.D., from the Department of Angiography and Interventional Radiology at Medical University Vienna in Austria. "We know that the majority of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events occur in patients whose blood vessels are less than 70 percent narrowed."

Reiter and his team used ultrasound images and computer-assisted gray scale median (GSM) measurements to determine the density of the plaque lining the carotid arteries. Plaques that appear dark on ultrasound images and have a low GSM level are suggested to be associated with an increased risk for clinical complications and seem to represent unstable plaques, which are more likely to rupture or burst.

The study's follow-up ultrasounds revealed that GSM levels had decreased in 230 (40 percent) of the patients. Of those, 85 (37 percent) experienced a major adverse cardiovascular event within three years of the second ultrasound. Examples of these events include heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass, surgery or other intervention.

In 344 (60 percent) of the patients, ultrasound GSM levels had increased between the baseline and follow-up ultrasound examinations. Of those patients, 92 (28 percent) experienced a major adverse cardiovascular event.

"Patients with a reduction in GSM levels from their baseline ultrasound to the follow-up ultrasound exhibited a significantly increased risk for near-future adverse event compared to patients with increasing GSM levels," said Dr. Reiter.

It is important to note that the results showed that vulnerable plaque in the carotid artery was not only an indicator of increased risk of stroke downstream from the carotid artery, but also was associated with disease progression elsewhere in the cardiovascular system.

Although additional studies are needed, Dr. Reiter said measuring GSM levels on serial ultrasound examinations may be a noninvasive way to identify the presence of vulnerable plaques and improve the effectiveness of therapeutic strategies.

"This technique will give us additional information to use in selecting patients that need aggressive treatment," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Markus Reiter, Isabella Effenberger, Schila Sabeti, Wolfgang Mlekusch, Oliver Schlager, Petra Dick, Stefan Puchner, Jasmin Amighi, Robert A. Bucek, Erich Minar, and Martin Schillinger. Increasing Carotid Plaque Echolucency is Predictive of Cardiovascular Events in High-Risk Patients. Radiology, 2008; 248 (3): 1050 DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2483071817

Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "Ultrasound Used To Predict Heart Attack Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819082556.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2008, August 19). Ultrasound Used To Predict Heart Attack Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819082556.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "Ultrasound Used To Predict Heart Attack Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819082556.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins