Diabetes, Heart, and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.      Article 239

A CT Scan Can Detect The Coronary Inflammation And Can Help In Assessing The Risk Of Heart Attack

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The CT fat attenuation index (FAI) can help in preventing inflammation and plaque formation in the arteries.

The CT scan can only tell us whether the arteries in the heart are narrowing or not. A CT scan may not tell us which artery is vulnerable to narrowing with the plaque formation or which plaque may rupture. The plaque formation is an irreversible condition. The artery narrowing and the rupturing of arterial plaque causes a heart attack.


The researchers say that the rupture of the smaller plaques in the arteries of the heart can cause about 50 percent of the heart attacks. Currently, there are no tests or procedures which can identify this condition. The scientists say that a cardiologist can prevent a heart attack if the inflammation was diagnosed before the formation of a plaque.


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A study has discovered that the fat surrounding the arteries of the heart may feel the inflammation in the nearby arteries and can cause a change in the fat cells. A computerized tomography (CT) scan analysis (or a diagnostic tool) is based on the new discovery has been developed by the researchers. They named the new imaging metrics as CT fat attenuation index (FAI). The FAI is calculated on the basis of the changes in the size of the fat cells.

The CT fat attenuation index (FAI) can identify the inflammation in the arteries of the heart of an individual before the heart complications may arise. It can also identify the unstable plaques formed in the arteries. The healthcare professionals can provide an aggressive measure to prevent the future heart attack to those people. The scientists have tested the new procedure on more than 450 cardiac surgery patients. The scientists say that a further study is required before moving the innovative technology into clinical practice.



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This procedure is different from the procedure that measures the buildup of calcium in the blood vessels (coronary artery calcification. CAC score). The CAC score is used to measure the hardened arteries caused due to the buildup of plaque, which is irreversible. A plaque may rupture in the future.

The lead researcher of the study was Dr. Charalambos Antoniades, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. The study was published on July 12, 2017, in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Title of the article was "Detecting human coronary inflammation by imaging perivascular fat."
DOI: doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aal2658



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A Natural Protein, DKK3 Can Protect Us From The Plaque Formation, Atherosclerosis, Stroke And Heart Attack

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A study at the King's College, London, the United Kingdom shows the build-up of fatty material in the arteries of an individual (called as plaque) can be prevented by boosting the dickkopf-related protein 3 (DKK3) levels. The build-up of fatty material in the arteries is a risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Blood DKK3 levels were measured with a simple blood test.



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A natural protein, DKK3 can protect us from the plaque formation, atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack.

The researchers have conducted a study on 574 individuals for over a five-year period. They measured the DKK3 levels from the collected blood samples. The study has found that a less likely risk of the development of atherosclerosis and less likely risk of death from stroke or heart attack over a five-year period for those individuals who are with the high levels of DKK3 protein. The association between the DKK3 levels and atherosclerosis is independent of other risk factors for heart diseases such as cholesterol, high blood sugar (glucose) levels (type 2 diabetes) and blood pressure levels.

The authors of the study say that this study can help in the development of new drugs or therapies to lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.


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This study was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The co-author of the study was Prof. Qingbo Xu, Cardiovascular Division, King's College London, United Kingdom. The study was published on July 3, 2017, in the journal Circulation. Title of the article was "A Cytokine-like Protein DKK3 Is Atheroprotective."
DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.027690



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Published on September 6, 2017

 


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