Optical frequency-domain imaging provides 3-D view of human coronary arteries
It is possible to discover that one can be suffering from some ailment but do nothing about it. Make no mistake, people who do this are not insane but could just be that the desire to ignore issues is to high. In fact, this could just be an attitude problem. For example, people who behave
Full Post: How important is it to Seek Medical Attention at the Right Time?
For the first time researchers are getting a detailed look at the interior of human coronary arteries, using an optical imaging technique developed at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
In their report in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, the research team describes how optical frequency-domain imaging (OFDI) gives three-dimensional, microscopic views of significant segments of patients’ coronary arteries, visualizing areas of inflammation and plaque deposits.
“This is the first human demonstration of a technique that has the potential to change how cardiologists look at coronary arteries,” says Gary Tearney, MD, PhD, of the MGH Pathology Department and the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at MGH, the study’s lead author. “The wealth of information that we can now obtain will undoubtedly improve our ability to understand coronary artery disease and may allow cardiologists to diagnose and treat plaque before it leads to serious problems.”
OFDI is an advance over optical coherence tomography (OCT), another imaging technology developed by the MGH investigators. While OCT examines tissues one point at a time, OFDI can look at over 1,000 points simultaneously using a device developed at MGH-Wellman. Inside a fiberoptic probe, a constantly rotating laser tip emits a light beam with an ever-changing wavelength. As the probe moves through the structure to be imaged, measuring how each wavelength is reflected back allows rapid acquisition of the data required to create the detailed microscopic images. Besides providing three-dimensional images of an artery’s microstructure in seconds, the increased speed also reduces signal interference from blood, which had plagued the first-generation technology. In 2006 members of the MGH-Wellman team reported the successful use of OFDI to image the esophagus and coronary arteries of pigs.
The current study enrolled three patients scheduled to have stents placed in their coronary arteries at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. After the completion of stent placement, OFDI was used to image 3- to 7-centimeter-long segments of the patients’ coronary arteries including the stented areas. OFDI provided detailed images along the length of the arteries - visualizing lipid or calcium deposits, immune cells that could indicate inflammation, and the stents - and dramatic “fly-through” views looking down the artery’s interior. More detailed, cross-sectional images of narrowed vascular segments revealed features associated with the type of atherosclerotic plaques that are likely to rupture and cause a heart attack.
Tearney and his colleagues note that these findings need to be duplicated in a larger group of patients, and the time required to process the “fly-through” images - currently several hours - needs to be reduced to provide the real-time information most useful for clinical applications. Combining OFDI with intravascular ultrasound might help with another of the technique’s limitations, the inability to penetrate deep into tissues.
“While more work remains, the technology is advancing at a rapid pace. We expect to see commercial devices available in a one- to two-year time frame,” says Brett Bouma, PhD, of the Wellman Center, senior author of the report. “Our goal now is to help put the pieces in place to ensure that this technique will be widely available to interventional cardiologists.” Bouma is an associate professor of Dermatology, and Tearney an associate professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.
Cardiac CT can effectively assess coronary artery stenosis, according to a large study performed at Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. The study consisted of 1,331 patients who had suspected coronary artery disease with 50% or more stenosis. 10,561 coronary artery segments were analyzed during the study. “We found a 98% sensitivity rate
Full Post: Cardiac CT effectively assesses coronary artery stenosis
A novel angled gantry approach to coronary CT angiography reduced radiation exposure to the breast by more than 50%, according to Thomas Jefferson University researchers. Ethan Halpern, M.D., associate professor of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, presented the research at the 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the
Full Post: Novel angled gantry approach reduces breast radiation exposure
Coronary CTA offers a low cost, non-invasive alternative to conventional angiography for evaluating patients who are suspected of having coronary artery disease; true even if the patients have calcified coronary artery plaques, according to a study performed at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. The study included 31 patients who had one or more
Full Post: Coronary CTA is a low cost, non-invasive alternative for evaluating coronary artery disease
Nikon Instruments, Inc. has introduced the AZ100 C1si, a macro confocal microscope system combining the best of stereo and compound microscopes into a single hybrid imaging system for dynamic imaging of single cells or whole specimens. This new macro confocal microscope system offers the highest resolution macro confocal imaging with rapid, real-time and high-accuracy unmixing
Full Post: Nikon Instruments introduces new confocal spectral imaging system
A chance discovery by a team of scientists using optical probes means that changes in cells in the human body could now be seen in a completely different light. Prof David Parker from Durham University’s Chemistry Department was working with experts from Glasgow University, and a team of international researchers, when they discovered dramatic changes
Full Post: New development of optical probes in chemistry