By using iron in blood as a contrast MRI agent, researchers at Imperial College London imaged bleeding inside hearts in post-MI patients. The use of the new technique opens doors to studying how bleeding affects the heart after a heart attack, and what the clinical strategies in such circumstances might be.
From Imperial College London:
For the new small study, the researchers captured images of bleeding inside the heart in 15 patients from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who had recently suffered a heart attack, using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Analysis of the MRI scans revealed that the amount of bleeding correlated with how much damage the heart muscle had sustained.
Patients who had suffered a large heart attack, where a lot of the heart muscle was damaged, had a lot of bleeding into the heart muscle compared with those whose heart attack was relatively small.
The researchers were able to detect the area of bleeding because of the magnetic effects of iron, which is present in the blood.
Press release: Images that for the first time show bleeding inside the heart after people have suffered a heart attack have been captured by scientists, in a new study published today in the journal Radiology.