Feature | June 24, 2014

New Study Develops Cutting-edge Echocardiography Method for Diagnosis of Acute Coronary Syndromes

June 24, 2014 — Researchers have announced the results of a clinical study that used a novel echocardiographic technique to detect and quantify damage to heart muscle even after an episode of mild cardiac injury from ischemia (low blood flow to the heart) has resolved. These findings provide hope for detecting potential heart attack victims before they experience life-threatening symptoms.

“The ability to detect heart damage due to low blood flow that occurs downstream from a coronary blockage is key to the early diagnosis of heart attack or for identifying patients who are at very high risk for heart attack,” said primary investigator Brian H. Mott, M.D. Mott is a cardiology research fellow at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore.; he and his colleagues used myocardial contrast echocardiography with custom-designed microbubble contrast agents, which can be injected through a simple IV and then bind to injured tissue to detect molecular changes that occurred up to six hours after very brief reduction in blood flow. “An issue is that our clinical tools for diagnosing threatened heart attack are far from perfect,” Mott commented. “Our approach using ‘smart’ targeted microbubbles could allow the clinician to detect problems at the bedside in just minutes. Moreover, the technique works to detect injury long after it has resolved and can be used to help judge patient risk according to the size of the area that is jeopardized by low blood flow.”

Researchers on the study, “Myocardial Contrast Echocardiography Molecular Imaging With Phosphatidylserine-enriched Microbubbles for Detection and Spatial Quantification of Myocardial Ischemia,” included Brian H. Mott, William H. Packwood, Brian P. Davidson and Jonathan R. Lindner from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore.

For more information: www.asecho.org

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