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Coronary imaging techniques helps to identify plaques likely to cause heart attacks
Date:9/24/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, CA SEPTEMBER 24, 2009 Late-breaking results from the PROSPECT clinical trial shed new light on the types of vulnerable plaque that are most likely to cause sudden, unexpected adverse cardiac events, and on the ability to identify them through imaging techniques before they occur.

The trial, Providing Regional Observations to Study Predictors of Events in the Coronary Tree (PROSPECT), is the first prospective natural history study of atherosclerosis using multi-modality imaging to characterize the coronary tree. The study findings were reported at the 21st annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF).

"As a result of the PROSPECT trial, we are closer to being able to predictand therefore prevent sudden, unexpected adverse cardiac events," said principal investigator Gregg W. Stone, MD, immediate past chairman of CRF, professor of medicine at Columbia University Hospital and Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

The multi-center trial studied 700 patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) using three-vessel multimodality intra-coronary imaging angiography, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), and virtual histology to quantify the clinical event rate due to atherosclerotic progression and to identify those lesions that place patients at risk for unexpected adverse cardiovascular events (sudden death, cardiac arrest, heart attacks and unstable or progressive angina).

Among the discoveries of the trial are that most untreated plaques that cause unexpected heart attacks are not mild lesions, as previously thought, but actually have a large plaque burden and a small lumen area. These are characteristics that were invisible to the coronary angiogram but easily identifiable by IVUS.

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Contact: Judy Romero
jromero@crf.org
347-407-2774
Cardiovascular Research Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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