With more than 35 percent, cardiovascular diseases make up the largest share of the causes of death in both men and women, reports the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The problem of prediction is a decisive factor here: it is still a mystery when arteries change from a stable state to acute cardiovascular disease. But a new imaging process is supposed to change that: Researchers at Heinrich Heine University (HHU) Düsseldorf developed a technology that detects the risk pattern as development progresses coronary diseases makes visible. In the specialist magazine “Nature Communications“They recently presented their findings on the targeted and multicolored Nanotracer platform technology.
Early visualization of hazard patterns
Cardiovascular diseases typically develop insidiously and unnoticed. When symptoms occur, it is often too late to intervene. The new technology from the Düsseldorf scientists is therefore very promising: Thanks to a new type of MRT imaging, it should soon be possible to identify the areas of the heart that have a high Heart Attack Risk – and that long before laboratory values or an ECG would recognize this. In a study, the research team led by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Flögel of the Institute for Molecular Cardiology show that, thanks to the “multi-color multi-targeted ‘1H / 19F-MRT” method, relevant hazard patterns could be visualized reliably and at an early stage. Only a single MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging) is necessary for this.
The vicious circle becomes visible
In further investigations, the research group was also able to demonstrate that their technology makes “the entire vicious circle of platelet adhesion, infiltration of immune cells and the formation of thrombi that lead to coronary atherothrombosis, myocardial infarction and severe deterioration in ventricular function” clearly visible in a message the HHU. The novel process works with three molecules (ligands) that are coupled to different types of perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions. These are aimed at foci of inflammation, acute and chronic thrombi, where they are deposited. Using certain MRI imaging, they then become visible and can be differentiated.
Adaptation for other diseases possible
In the mouse model, the researchers were able to show that hazard patterns in the development of a progressive coronary disease could be identified in this way. In this way, doctors can assess the risk of, for example, inflammation of the blood vessels, thrombosis with detachment of the vascular plaque or vascular occlusions. In addition, the principle of the procedure “can easily be adapted to the monitoring of a wide variety of other diseases and represents a technology with high potential for the Prediction of diseases dar “, write the study authors in conclusion.