Researchers have a revealed a method, which could someday detect blood clots anywhere in the body with a single scan.
Peter Caravan at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital said that if a person suffered a stroke that stems from a blood clot, the risk for a second stroke skyrockets.
The initial blood clot can break apart and cause more strokes if it is not quickly found and treated.
Depending on where the blood clot is located, the treatment varies, some of them respond well to drugs, while others are better addressed with surgery.
Caravan said patients could end up being scanned multiple times by multiple techniques in order to locate a clot, adding that they sought a method that could detect blood clots anywhere in the body with a single whole-body scan.
In the study, Caravan’s team at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital developed a blood clot probe by attaching a radionuclide to the peptide.
The researchers first analysed how well each probe bound to fibrin in a test tube and then, they studied how well the probe detected blood clots in rats.
Caravan said that the probes all had a similar affinity to fibrin in vitro, but, in rats, their performances were quite different.
He explained that the group is hoping to start testing the probe in human patients in the fall, but it could take an additional five years of research before the probe is approved for routine use in a clinical setting.