New Imaging Method Offers Hope for Heart Patients
“Almost a half million Americans aged 65 to 74 suffer from a degenerative cardiovascular disease caused by calcium being deposited in heart tissue, and many will need valve replacement surgery to prevent heart failure. Currently there is no good way to measure the progression of the disease—called calcific aortic-valve disease, or CAVD—and the exact mechanism by which the disease progresses isn’t well understood.
Now researchers at Tufts have developed a way to image the early stages of the disease, allowing them to track how the calcium is deposited and grows in the aortic valve tissue in much greater detail than before. The end result, they said, could be better understanding of CAVD and other diseases, such as breast cancer, and the development of more effective treatments. The research was a collaborative effort between the labs of professors Lauren D. Black III and Irene Georgakoudi, both in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and was published on November 6 in Nature Biomedical Engineering.
Called two-photon excited fluorescence imaging, or TPEF, the imaging technology uses near-infrared light to create the images, and, unlike some methods, does not destroy the tissue in the process…”
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