First-in-human optical imaging technique predicts heart attacks better

newscapsule (16)A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) led by Brett Bouma, has developed a new optical technique that can determine the differences between potentially life-threatening coronary plaques and those posing a less immediate danger to patients with heart diseases. The researchers used intravascular polarimetry to investigate the polarization properties of coronary atherosclerotic plaques in 30 patients with coronary artery disease by searching for indications of plaque instability. The researchers believe their new method could change the game for cardiologists by helping them better identify patients at higher risks of future heart attacks and helping them improve medical therapy.

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