Edinburgh Imaging

12 Apr 18. Prof David Newby

Professor David Newby, BHF John Wheatley Chair of Cardiology, describes his research into heart attacks & coronary artery disease.


Transcript - Prof David Newby, 2018

"Hello, I’m Dave Newby. I’m the British Heart Foundation John Wheatley Chair of Cardiology here at the University of Edinburgh, and my research interests are in heart attacks, and heart artery disease – sometimes known as coronary artery disease.

So what we’ve done, is we’ve done a lot of studies, looking at how best to diagnose people with this condition because it’s one of the leading causes of death across the world. So we’ve applied imaging technology to try diagnose people better. One of the best techniques for doing that is computed tomography. So we’ve pioneered the use of computed tomography in the diagnoses of patients coming to the heart clinical to see whether they have got coronary heart disease, but what we are showing you in multi-centre trials, is that the addition of a CT scan diagnoses people better, it means they get the right tests, it means they get the right treatment, and ultimately it approximately halves the rate of heart attacks.

Now, we’ve taken that research even further, and we’re now putting that into patients who’ve had a heart attack, and we’re using more sophisticated technology, something called positron emission tomography. And what that uses, believe it or not, is anti-matter. So that uses positive electrons to give us a signal in the body, as to where the next heart attack is going to happen – so we can actually see right into the blood vessels, using a camera that revolves around the body. And we can specifically see, which of the little thickenings in your heart arteries are going to burst and cause a heart attack.

And we’re doing that study now across the UK, and internationally, and we hope in a few years’ time to be able to tell you whether we can really predict when someone’s going to have a heart attack, and if we can do that, again we can hopefully treat them better, and hopefully prevent them having that heart attack in the first place. Thank you."