Whole Body MRI Useful In Predicting Strokes, Heart Attacks In Diabetics

  • June 23, 2016
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As given in a new study published in Radiology by German researchers on 10th September, in diabetic patients, whole-body MRI can be used to detect vascular modifications, signal of escalated stroke and heart-attack risk.

According to an email from Dr. Fabian Bamberg, patients whose whole-body MRI had no pathologic findings didn’t experience any difficulties over the next six years. What made this even more interesting was the fact that on average the population had had diabetes for a decade.

The doctor added that patients whose whole-body MRI yielded good results may be comforted about having the optimal therapeutic regimen. On the other hand, diabetics who had pathologic findings had high risk of encountering adverse events, signaling the requirement of more intensified treatment.

Complications of diabetes

The authors noted that patients with diabetes are prone to develop atherosclerosis, resulting in higher risk of stroke and heart attack. Lately, MR has been found useful in cardiac imaging of patients with diabetes. Dr Bamberg suggests that the reason for the possible success of whole-body MRI is the systematic character of diabetes.

According to Bamberg, MR would be the perfect imaging modality for performing whole-body acquirements because of its non-ionizing character. This is unlike other imaging techniques which are more focused, like myocardial perfusion imaging or coronary calcium scanning, long-standing modalities for assessing risk in diabetics.

For the present study, 65 patients who had been suffering from type 1 or 2 diabetes for at least a decade were enrolled by the researchers. The patients were made to undergo whole-body MRI examinations that were contrast-enhanced. A 1.5- or 3-tesla system (Magnetom Avanto or Magnetom Tim Trio) was used for imaging.

During follow-up, four patients were lost, which left 61 for the final analysis. These included 30 women and 31 men with an average age of 67.5 years. 43 patients suffered from type 2 diabetes and 18 suffered from type 1. The average length of disease was 19 years and average follow-up period was of 70 months.

The rate of MACCE

The authors considered the frequency of whole-body MRI findings to be high (about 66%). The frequency was similar among cerebrovascular, peripheral vessel and cardiovascular imaging.

Going deeper into the results, the frequency of positive late gadolinium enhancement in any myocardial segment was the highest in cardiac findings and that of unusual quantity of white-matter lesions was the highest in cerebrovascular findings.

In the duration of the follow-up, 14 of the subjects went through a MACCE. Among these, 6 died: one due to a stroke and the rest through heart-attacks. Other than that, there were 4 deaths due to noncardiac-cerebrovascular reasons.

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