Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRIs could become powerful tools for monitoring cholesterol therapy

Date:
October 14, 2011
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
MRI scanning could become a powerful new tool for assessing how well cholesterol drugs are working, according to a cardiologist studying patients taking cholesterol medications.

MRI scanning could become a powerful new tool for assessing how well cholesterol drugs are working, according to Loyola University Health System cardiologist Binh An P. Phan, MD.

Phan is co-author of an MRI study of patients who had recently begun taking cholesterol medications. The study found that intensive treatment with cholesterol drugs significantly reduced the amount of cholesterol in artery-clogging plaque. The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Cholesterol is the raw material in the buildup of plaque, which leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The process can cause blocked arteries that can trigger heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems.

Imaging technologies traditionally used to monitor cardiovascular disease, such as angiograms and ultrasounds, show the overall size of the plaque buildup. In the new study, MRI scans were more precise, showing the amount of cholesterol within the plaque.

The study was conducted at the University of Washington, where Phan completed a cardiovascular clinical and research fellowship. The study included 120 patients who were randomly assigned to receive one of three cholesterol treatments: Lipitor®; Lipitor plus Niaspan® (extended-release niacin); or Lipitor® plus Niaspan and colesevelam.

After three years, the 33 patients with identified carotid plaques had a significant reduction in the cholesterol within the plaque. The volume of cholesterol dropped from 60.4 cubic millimeters to 37.4 cubic millimeters, and the percentage of plaque volume consisting of cholesterol dropped from 14.2 percent to 7.4 percent.

(The scans were done on patients' carotid arteries in the neck, rather than on their coronary arteries. Carotid arteries are easier to capture images of because they are closer to the surface of the body and do not move as much as coronary arteries of a beating heart. Since atherosclerosis occurs in blood vessels throughout the body, plaque buildup in carotid arteries is a good representation of what is occurring in coronary arteries.)

The findings confirmed the researchers' hypothesis that the reason why cholesterol medications shrink the overall size of the plaque is because cholesterol is being removed from within the plaque. Thus, using MRI scans to monitor the amount of cholesterol in plaque may help doctors to better determine how well cholesterol medications are working. If an MRI showed cholesterol was not being reduced, more aggressive therapy might be needed, Phan said.

"In the future, MRI scans may become important and powerful tools to see how medication therapy is working inside arteries," Phan said. "However, our study is just the first step. Additional studies will be needed."

Phan's special interests include cholesterol therapy and preventive cardiology. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, division of Cardiology, of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Other authors of the study are Xue-Qiao Zhao, MD (first  author); Li Dong, MD; Tom Hatsukami, MD; Baocheng Chu, MD, PhD; Andrew Moore; Trevor Lane; Moni Neradilek; Nayak Polissar, PhD; Duane Monick, MD; Colin Lee, MD; Hunter Underhill, MD; and Chun Yuan, PhD.

The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Pfizer Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xue-Qiao Zhao, Li Dong, Tom Hatsukami, Binh An Phan, Baocheng Chu, Andrew Moore, Trevor Lane, Moni B. Neradilek, Nayak Polissar, Duane Monick, Colin Lee, Hunter Underhill, Chun Yuan. MR Imaging of Carotid Plaque Composition During Lipid-Lowering Therapy. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, 2011; 4 (9): 977 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2011.06.013

Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "MRIs could become powerful tools for monitoring cholesterol therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014132426.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2011, October 14). MRIs could become powerful tools for monitoring cholesterol therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014132426.htm
Loyola University Health System. "MRIs could become powerful tools for monitoring cholesterol therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111014132426.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) — The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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