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Published on 19 January 2009

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Images record bleeding inside heart


Technology that shows bleeding inside the heart after a myocardial infarction could be used to work out what drug treatments are necessary, a study suggests.

Research published in the journal Radiology, shows that the amount of bleeding can indicate how damaged a person’s heart is after a heart attack.

This could be used to create a fuller picture of a patient’s condition and direct a specific course of drug therapy, scientists say.

Heart attacks are caused when an artery feeding blood to the heart becomes blocked, stopping the supply and depriving the heart muscle of oxygen.

The study from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London, UK, used a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to capture images of bleeding inside the heart in 15 patients who had recently suffered a heart attack.

The significance of this bleeding is currently not understood but analysis of the MRI scans revealed that the amount of bleeding correlated with how much damage the heart muscle had sustained.

Study author Dr Declan O’Regan said: “Our study gives us a new insight into the damage that heart attacks can cause. Using this new scanning technique shows us that patients who develop bleeding inside their damaged heart muscle have a much poorer chance of recovery.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Imperial College London

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