We all have our arteries age. Known, these vessels may be, at the age of twenty, atherosclerosis-prone fats coming to settle within their walls. British scientists come to open a new avenue to explore. Thanks to their work, you can now get an image in three dimensions of the large arteries without trauma no, what could better monitor patients with a cardiovascular risk.
Currently, doctors can look at arteries and arterial flow in two dimensions through the Arteriography or, increasingly, the ultrasound and the Doppler, these last two methods with the interest to be dangerous and non-aggressive to the patients. At Imperial College London, the team of Dr. x. Xu Yun goes however already further. By coupling the magnetic resonance (MRI), ultrasound imaging, these researchers were able to images in three dimensions of large vessels.
A simple review of the anatomy of the arteries
These scientists have initially focuses their efforts on major arteries like aorta or carotid bifurcations, because we know for a long time that the turbulence in the bloodstream foster, at this level, deposition of lipids. It is not uncommon that atherosclerosis develops in the neck at the level of the division of the elderly carotid arteries, and it was at the origin of a stroke and sometimes a hemiplegia. By combining MRI and ultrasound, and with the help of a computer, the anatomy of these arteries could be rebuilt.
A vision of the characteristics of blood flow
With this new method of imaging, British researchers were able to analyze three-dimensional structure of the carotid arteries and the aorta, including their wall and better study how they give training to other ships. Without penetrating inside them, capacity flexibility and elasticity of these vessels were evaluated, their mechanical properties determined. Finally, they were able to appreciate how fast blood flows through the artery, that this fluid undergoes (vortices flow…), forces exerted on the walls of the artery. As much valuable information to better understand the function of the arteries to the normal state and, above all, to better appreciate the impact of atherosclerosis in patients.
Indeed, it is essential to be able to estimate the probability that an artery is obstructed by atherosclerosis lesions. This phenomenon might then cause a stroke, depending on body areas, vascular disease or heart disease.
For now, it is still only a method used for the purpose of research. But, of course, the next step should be to analyse the performance of patients. Fruitful results that would help save lives.