Basically they use a method of cancer screening (PET/CT + radioactive dye) to light
up arterial plaques. Non-invasive vs. angiography. Just thinking out loud here, as to
what this would show being utilized on the veins, insofar as the
interior. It doesn't appear to have enough resolution to be of much use.
Thoughts? Keep in mind this is in its infancy.
Link above is the more media version (has sample scans pictured, very interesting), if you want the abstract go here: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61754-7/abstract
Scan that spots you're on the brink of a heart attack: New imaging technique lights up dangerous blockages
By Jenny Hope 00:36 11 Nov 2013, updated 00:37 11 Nov 2013
Researchers found a way to use a cancer scanner to highlight areas at risk
PET-CT machine show blockages in the heart which were previously invisible
University of Edinburgh scientists developed the technique, with funding from the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government
A simple scan could be used to identify patients who are on the brink of having a heart attack, claim scientists.
They have discovered an imaging technique that can be used to light up dangerous blockages in the heart.
About 200 Britons a day die from heart attacks, many of which were triggered by such blockages – a ‘ticking time bomb’ that there is currently no way of diagnosing easily.
Telltale glow: The orange glow, shown here in a heart which has recently suffered a heart attack, could also be used to identify high-risk areas
But findings from a trial show a new test may be able to identify these patients, many of whom suffer from angina, so they could be treated.
Scientists at Edinburgh University used a PET-CT scanner – normally used to diagnose cancer – to track a chemical compound known as a radioactive tracer that is injected into the patient’s body.
The tracer, called F-sodium fluoride, was found to accurately identify high-risk areas in the heart by emitting a glow that could be seen on the scan.
The areas most at risk are fatty deposits, known as plaque, in the arteries, which if they rupture will cause a clot that blocks the blood supply to the heart.
The study, funded by the British Heart Foundation and Chief Scientist Office, part of the Scottish Government, looked at two groups of patients – 40 people who had just had a heart attack and 40 people with angina and at risk of a heart attack.