OAK BROOK, Ill. Whole-body MRI may serve as a valuable noninvasive tool for assessing the risk of heart attack and stroke in diabetic patients, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by an increased concentration of glucose in the blood. There are 347 million diabetic patients worldwide, and the World Health Organization projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
Patients with diabetes are known to develop atherosclerosis, or thickening of the arterial walls, at an accelerated rate, resulting in a higher incidence of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE), such as a heart attack or stroke. However, there are wide variations in the degree of risk for adverse events among diabetic patients.
In recent years, whole-body MRI has emerged as a promising means to assess the cardiovascular systems of people with diabetes.
"One of the major advantages of whole-body MRI in this population is that the technique itself is not associated with radiation exposure, and larger body areas can be covered without increased risk, especially in younger patients," said Fabian Bamberg, M.D., M.P.H., from the Department of Radiology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. "As such, MRI can be used to evaluate the whole-body degree of disease burden that is not clinically apparent yet."
Dr. Bamberg and colleagues studied the predictive value of whole-body MRI for the occurrence of MACCE in 65 patients with diabetes. The patients underwent a contrast-enhanced whole-body MRI protocol, including brain, cardiac and vascular sequences. The researchers then conducted follow-up inquiries to assess the rate of MACCE in the study group.
Follow-up information was available for 61 patients. After a median of 5.8 years, 14 patients had experienced MACCE. Patients who had detectable vascular change
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Radiological Society of North America