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Caristo Diagnostics, an Oxford University spinout company, has been launched to commercialise a new coronary CT image analysis technology that can flag patients at risk of deadly heart attacks years before they occur.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Every year, over 100,000 people die from a heart attack or related stroke in the UK alone, and heart disease and stroke remain the two biggest overall causes of death worldwide. Heart attacks are often caused by inflamed plaques dislodging from the coronary artery and blocking blood getting to the heart. Yet there is no method that allows for early detection of a potentially fatal build-up of plaque that could trigger a heart attack. Caristo’s technology, which has been developed as part of a research collaboration led by Oxford University academics, is based on the novel scientific discovery that the fat tissue surrounding the coronary arteries senses the presence of inflammation in the coronary artery. This change can be detected by analysis of routine coronary CT angiograms (CCTA) using Caristo’s proprietary technology, producing a new measure called the Fat Attenuation Index (FAI) which accurately quantifies the extent of inflammation in the coronary arteries supplying the heart. 

Read more (University of Oxford website)

Read more (Radcliffe Department of Medicine)

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