New MRI Technique Detects Early Onset of Coronary Artery Disease

A recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding magnetic resonance imaging suggests that researchers are close to finding a new imaging technique that can identify the thickening of the coronary artery wall, or the early stages of coronary heart disease. The study is published online in the journal Radiology. "Imaging the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood is extremely difficult because they are very small and constantly in motion," said lead researcher Khaled Z. Abd-Elmoniem, Ph.D., staff scientist in the Biomedical and Metabolic Imaging branch of NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Obtaining a reliable and accurate image of these vessels is very important because thickening of the vessel wall is an early indicator of atherosclerosis." Coronary Heart Disease starts when fat and cholesterol deposits (called "plaques") collect and build up inside of coronary arteries (a condition called atherosclerosis). This increases the ri...

Read More

ECG Training for EMS, Lowers Heart Attack Fatalities

(EMS), to read electrocardiograms so that they can thoroughly evaluate patients with chest pain. Furthermore, they can expedite the treatment for patients with severe heart conditions, specifically ST-segment elevation myocardial infractions (STEMI). According to two studies in the current issue of The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, the process has positive results. "It's well established that morbidity and mortality in myocardial infarctions is directly related to the duration of ischemia, and delays in restoring the flow of blood to the heart of even 30 minutes have been associated with an increase in mortality," says lead investigator Robin A. Ducas, MD, of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. "By training EMS to administer and interpret ECGs at the scene, with oversight from an on-call physician, we demonstrated that we could achieve benchmark times from first medical contact to treatment." A study of Manitoban hospitals, conducted in 2005, revealed that only 14% of patients were give...

Read More