Researchers from Lleida create the first automatic program to measure the small blood vessels that supply the arteries

The 'software' allows to assess inflammation early and prevent future cardiovascular events

Vasa vasorum are small blood vessels that supply large blood vessels, such as arteries. These small vessels are increased when the artery has a load of atheroma (fat plate). The collaboration between the Group of Biology of Systems and Statistical Methods for Research and the Distributed Computing Group, both of the University of Lleida (UdL), and the Scientific-Technical Service UDETMA of the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida (IRBLleida) has allowed to create the first automatic program to measure the vessels of the vessels. This tool opens the door to implant a very early diagnosis system of the atheromatous disease (that is, the presence of fat in the arteries) and future cardiovascular events.

Determine the density of these small blood vessels is the previous step to assess the inflammation and subsequent formation of fatty plaques (atheroma plaques) in the arteries. So far, this technique is done manually, but it means depending on the professionals trained in a specialized way and their subjectivity.

The new method has been published in Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.

Reference: Pereira, T. et al. Automatic Methods for Carotid Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging Quantification of Adventitial Vasa Vasorum (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2018.07.027

This system avoids the variability of manual reading made by professionals with specialized training