Visualizing coronary artery disease

2012

Challenge

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for 400,000 deaths each year Who Is at Risk for Coronary Heart Disease?. Currently, no single test can detect CAD How Is Coronary Heart Disease Diagnosed?.

Advance

IRP researchers Khaled Abd-Elmoniem, Ph.D., and Ahmed Gharib, M.D., developed a more sensitive way to obtain images of the coronary vessel wall. The new technique is called “time-resolved acquisition of phase-sensitive dual-inversion recovery” (TRAPD) imaging and produces higher-quality results than conventional single-image methods.

Impact

TRAPD imaging provides better arterial wall visualization and quantitative assessments of coronary arteries, allowing for sensitive vessel wall thickness measurements that can distinguish CAD risk factors. The technique could eventually help identify individuals at risk for CAD and allow earlier access to treatments that relieve symptoms, reduce complications, and save lives.