04/07/2003 - News

New approach to visualising blood vessel thickening

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Combined imaging techniques give a good view of build up of fatty plaque in the aorta.

Plaque is a fatty deposit that narrows the arteries and sets the scene for heart disease. Visualising it, by imaging, helps determine the risk for an individual patient. But the aorta, the main blood vessel leading from the heart to the rest of the body, lies too deep for conventional imaging to give good pictures of any plaque build up.

Now researchers at Johns Hopkins University report that combining transesophagal magnetic resonance imaging (TE MRI) with standard magnetic resonance gives better pictures of the aorta. In TE MRI, a receiver is actually threaded through the nose and into the esophagus. The patient also has transmitters on the chest and upper back. Using the combined technique, the researchers took 228 images of 30 patients' aortas. They looked for plaque thickness and volume and, in most cases, found far better and more accurate images using the combined technique than standard MRI alone.


American College of Cardiology Meeting 1st April 2003

Created on: 04/07/2003
Reviewed on: 04/07/2003

No votes yet