Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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MRC CSC's Hearts and Minds Week Contouring the Heart
21 June 2016

Contouring the Heart

Scientists have shown that 3D scans can spot the earliest signs of heart disease. The study shows that people with high blood pressure develop changes in their hearts even before symptoms appear. These changes are known to put people at risk of dying early, and the study suggests it’s possible for doctors to recognise such signs earlier than they can today – by examining detailed images of the heart. Researchers at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre used specialised MRI scans to create a 3D map of the hearts of 1500 healthy adults with normal blood pressure. They then used the latest computer technology to explore each person’s heart to establish the precise changes in its shape and function – the effects of increasing blood pressure. This revealed that even in healthy people a small increase in pressure led to thickening of the heart muscle (contours in red), a risk factor for premature death.

Find out more about heart research at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre here

The MRC CSC's 'Hearts and Minds' theme week, part of the MRC's Festival of Medical Research

Written by Deborah Oakley

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