Researchers from the British Heart Foundation have developed an imaging technique that could reduce the need for amputation in people with critical limb ischemia.
Data recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology show the technique maps blood delivered to the leg muscle immediately after operation in people with severely reduced blood flow to their limbs.
“The strength of this study is that it shows that this new imaging technique could be used widely to accurately show whether blood flow to the small vessels in the leg is improved sufficiently by stenting or bypass surgery,” Jeremy Pearson, PhD, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said in a press release from the foundation. “By using this technique, surgeons will quickly gain a clear indication of whether treatment has been successful.”
According to the release, surgeons used the MRI-based mapping technique to determine how much blood reached the muscles in the legs of 34 people with critical limb ischemia, before and after treatment, and also evaluated the findings in 22 health people. The investigators biopsied a small amount of leg muscle to confirm the results provided by the new technique.
Researchers hope the new technique could be used to immediately to determine how much blood flow to the limb has improved.