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Breakthrough: Detection Of Heart Diseases Made Faster

Researchers have made a huge breakthrough in diagnostic field of medicine which could potentially save many lives.

Breakthrough: Detection Of Heart Diseases Made Faster

Breakthrough which could make heart diseases easier to tackle

Clots are one of the major reasons which cause stroke, heart-attack and pulmonary embolism by blocking off our blood vessels. In a recent scientific breakthrough, scientists claim to have figured out a way to detect such clots. This discovery could potentially make detection of heart related diseases much more efficient and quick.

The present procedure relies on structural characteristics, such as vascular flow impairment, and does not focus on the critical molecular components. In a German study, researchers show that targeting GPIIb/IIIa receptors, the key receptor involved in platelet clumping, with a fluorine-18 (18F) labelled ligand is a promising approach for diagnostic imaging.

"Currently available diagnostic techniques of thrombus [blood clot] imaging rely on different modalities depending on the vascular territory," explained researcher Andrew W. Stephens. "A single imaging modality that could visualize thrombi from various sources in different anatomic regions would be very valuable," he says. 

In the preliminary stages, the researchers successfully developed the novel small molecule tracer for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The results showed a strong accumulation at the site of thrombus formation, and its binding ability was not affected by anticoagulants such as aspirin and heparin.


The trial on a Cynomolgus monkey showed rapid blood clearance and PET imaging and demonstrated the detection of small venous and arterial clots, endothelial damage and emboli in the brain. After success in the initial stages progress is being made to test the procedure on a human subject.

"Although the current studies are preliminary, 18F-GP1 may provide not only more accurate anatomic localization, but also information of the risk of the clot growth or embolization," Stephens pointed out. "This may lead to changes in clinical intervention to the individual patient." Addressing the use of anticoagulants to treat blood clots, he notes, "These drugs can cause significant and life-threatening bleeding. There is a critical need to balance the risk of bleeding against the risk of clotting in each patient. 18F-GP1 may in the future assist in this important decision."

(With inputs from ANI)



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