New imaging techniques to detect heart problems

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New imaging techniques that can pinpoint the severity of a patient’s heart disease are being researched by a team at King’s College London thanks to a Novel and Emerging Technologies grant from national heart charity Heart Research UK.

According to a press release, it is hoped that the research will lead to more accurate detection of areas of the heart with poor blood supply or has been damaged, allowing specialists to assess the severity of coronary artery disease so they can monitor it and patients can benefit more quickly from treatment.

 


The team based in the Cardiovascular and Imaging Sciences & Biomedical Engineering Divisions at King’s, led by Richard Siow, has been awarded £190,877 from Heart Research UK for a two-year project starting in March.

Siow says: “Doctors are keen to develop new ways of imaging the human heart without the need for invasive medical tests. Our project involves an advanced imaging technique which produces detailed three-dimensional pictures showing how tissues and organs are working. 

 


“The aim of our research is to come up with a more accurate way of detecting damage to the heart so that interventions can happen quicker – and give a better outcome for the patient.”

 


The project involves an advanced imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET) which produces detailed three-dimensional pictures showing how tissues and organs are working. The team will develop new ‘probes’ –  tracer molecules which they will use to image human heart and blood vessel cells grown in culture.  The multidisciplinary King’s team, which includes Giovanni Mann and Philip Blower, will study how the probes accumulate in the cells, and how this is affected by oxidative stresssuch as occurs in heart disease.

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