(NEW YORK) — A new study has some doctors thinking that some cases of coronary heart disease may be able to be reversed.
A study conducted by researchers at Duke University took MRI images of 1,055 patients with known heart disease. Of those patients, approximately 20% suffered from thinning of the heart wall. The study also found that approximately one-fifth of those patients with heart wall thinning also had limited or no scarring of the heart muscle.
In those patients with thinned heart walls but limited or no scarring, cardiologists were able to located the major blood vessel that supplies the thinned area of the heart and perform a surgical procedure meant to improve blood flow.
After the surgery, a common procedure known as revascularization, the patients’ hearts were found to flow better and eventually the thinned area of the heart wall reversed itself.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has researchers believing that an MRI of the heart could help doctors decide if their patients could see a reversal of coronary heart disease with revascularization.
According to the CDC, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Tal Kopan and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Emily Fonnesbeck, KSL.com
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com