THI Researchers Introduce Method for Earlier Identification of Patients at High Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke Due to Inflamed Arterial Plaque

Researchers in the Department of Molecular Cardiology at the Texas Heart Institute (THI), in collaboration with investigators at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, have developed a promising non-invasive imaging technique that could help detect inflammation in plaque buildup in coronary arteries long before patients experience symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

Coronary artery disease develops when plaque accumulates in a coronary artery leading to hardening of the artery (atherosclerosis). This accumulation prevents blood flow to the heart, causing coronary artery disease. Inflammatory cells contribute to plaque formation and may be important determinants in acute events like heart attack and stroke.