Multi-color CT For Imaging Plaques.

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In a recent study, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine were able, for the first time, to design a new way for imaging vulnerable coronary artery plaques which tend to rupture. The new way uses multi-color computed tomography (CT), which will significantly help in the earlier detection of cardiovascular disease. The study will be highlighted in

the September issue of Radiology. Statistics show that nearly 70% of heart attacks are caused by rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. Usually, high density lipoproteins (HDL) are attracted to plaques vulnerable to rupture as a protection mechanism to remove them from the walls of the arteries.

During their study, the researching team of Mount Sinai used small gold particles to mark HDL and injected them into mice. The researchers then used highly advanced multi-color CT scanner to detect the movement of the HDL particles, thus, identifying the location of plaques. Zahi A. Fayad, PhD, Professor of Radiology and Medicine and the Director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said "The use of multi-color CT and gold nanoparticles to visualize plaque will revolutionize cardiac imaging. The acquisition of this technology and development of this method will help us improve cardiovascular disease diagnosis in our patients, furthering our commitment to translational research. We look forward to continuing our study of this technology in the clinical setting."

More about the new multi-color CT technique.

David Cormode, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the lead author of the study, said "There is a significant unmet need for imaging technology that visualizes plaque vulnerable to rupture. The fact that the multi-color CT technique shows the gold particles, iodine and calcifications, provides us with a more complete picture of the nature of the atherosclerotic arteries." The new multi-color CT technique can also be used for imaging other biological process and diseases such as kidney and bowel diseases in addition to cancer. The Mount Sinai researchers are planning to conduct more studies on animals and humans using the new multi-color CT."Mount Sinai has a decades-long history of making advances in cardiac imaging that have had a significant impact on the field and in patient care. As the first center in the world to pioneer this imaging method, we are leading the charge once more in improving diagnostic tools that lessen the potentially devastating impact of heart disease." said Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart, the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and the Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health, The Mount Sinai Medical Center.

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