New hope in predicting heart attacks

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CITY scientists have developed a new scanning technique that could save thousands of lives by predicting heart attacks before they happen.

The revolutionary method combines CT (computed tomography) and PET (positron emission tomography) X-ray images to pick up dangerous levels of calcium that block arteries.

Tests on more than a hundred patients found the state-of-the-art pictures successfully identified those most at risk of cardiovascular disease.

It is the first time the processes that cause heart attacks have been captured directly in the coronary arteries.

Dr Marc Dweck, of Edinburgh University, which pioneered the research, said: “If we can identify patients at high risk of a heart attack earlier we can then use intensive drug treatments and perhaps procedures such as stents to reduce the chances of them having a heart attack.”