Strokes and heart attacks often strike without warning. But a unique application of a medical camera developed by a University of Washington mechanical engineer could one day help physicians know who is at risk for a cardiovascular event by providing a better view of potential problem areas.
A new paper from UW and University of Michigan researchers in Nature Biomedical Engineering reports proof-of-concept results for this new imaging platform for atherosclerosis.
“The camera actually goes inside the vessels,” says first author Luis Savastano, a Michigan Medicine resident neurosurgeon. “We can see with very high resolution the surface of the vessels and any lesions, such as a ruptured plaque, that could cause a stroke. This technology could possibly find the ‘smoking gun’ lesion in patients with strokes of unknown cause, and may even be able to show which silent, but at-risk, plaques may cause a cardiovascular event in the future.”
All research is in the pre-clinical phase.