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The future of cardiovascular imaging

ESC Congress News 2018 - Munich, Germany

Professor David Newby (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK) will tomorrow give the ESC Rene Laennec Lecture on Clinical Cardiology (Sunday, 09:30 – 10:00; Moscow – Village 5).


Professor-David-Newby.jpgOver the last ten years, Prof. Newby has focussed his research interests on advanced imaging of the heart. He was Chief Investigator for the SCOT-HEART trial, which showed that the addition of CT coronary angiography (CTCA) to standard clinical care clarifies the diagnosis of angina due to coronary heart disease (CHD).1 “Results from SCOT-HEART and the US-based PROMISE trial have shown us that with CTCA we can see whether a patient actually has CHD, and also that CCTA-guided changes in management can improve clinical outcomes,” he says.

As for other important imaging techniques, Prof. Newby thinks that positron emission tomography (PET) holds promise for the identification of patients at risk for myocardial infarction. “Atherosclerotic lesions at risk of rupture have particular characteristics, including calcification, which is the body’s response to a necrotic, inflammatory stimulus—similar to that seen in the lungs following tuberculosis infection.

When there is a lot of calcification over the plaque it is less likely to rupture, but early microcalcification is not as stable,” he explains. “We have shown that combined PET-CT using 18F-NaF as a marker for calcification activity can identify ruptured and high-risk coronary plaque in patients with myocardial infarction and stable angina.2”

18F-NaF PET-CT is an exciting technique, which could be used to identify vulnerable plaques, potentially informing the future management of patients with stable and unstable coronary artery disease.”

Identifying those that are most at risk for myocardial infarction is a key goal for the future of cardiovascular imaging. “We need to find out which patients require treatment the most and to see where imaging technology can help.”

  1. SCOT-HEART investigators. Lancet 2015;385:2383–2391. 2. Joshi NV, et al. Lancet 2014;383:705–713.


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Notes to editor

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together healthcare professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

About ESC Congress 2018

ESC Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2018 takes place 25 to 29 August at the Messe München in Munich, Germany. Explore the scientific programme