Novel research uses ultrasound to improve understanding of MI and stroke risk

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Swedish researchers have found a way to use ultrasound to recognize plaque in the blood vessels and determine the risk of MI and stroke.

Tobias Erlöv, of Lund University in Sweden, discovered a mathematical formula six years ago that could interpret ultrasound signals and figure out if plaque in the carotid artery was harmful, according to a news release. The researchers mentioned they needed to understand the type of cell to know if the plaque is unstable and harmful.

“We have shown that there is a strong correlation between changes in the center frequency and the size of the reflecting particles,” Erlöv said. “The more harmful substances, the greater the so-called center frequency shift.”

The researchers noted that ultrasound could help identify patients at risk for developing acute cardiovascular disease and follow up with patients after surgery. They also predicted that ultrasound scans of the carotid artery would help surgeons perform operations earlier or avoid operations altogether.

As of now, there are a few studies underway to test ultrasounds for this use. However, more studies are needed before ultrasound manufacturers make this available for use in healthcare facilities.

For more on this research, take a look at the video from Lund University below: