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Advanced CT imaging can reduce the risk of stroke complications

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the Western part of the world. In a research project the two professors, Mats Danielsson at KTH and Staffan Holmin at Karolinska Institutet, test how stroke can be prevented by new technology for X-rays and surgery.

Mats Danielsson (Photo: Pernilla Pettersson)

Symptoms appear when plaque, which often develops on the walls of the carotid artery, breaks off and causes a blood clot. KTH researchers have developed a new type of computed tomography detector, a form of X-ray which is one of the standard methods for detecting clots and stopped blood flow. If the detector is able to identify high-risk clots, the possibility of removing and thereby preventing a stroke increases.

“The new detector counts each x-ray image individually and measures energy, which previously was not technically possible,” says Danielsson, Professor of Medical Imaging Physics at KTH. This is a major progress for computed tomography, as it makes it possible to determine tissue composition better than today.

Staffan Holmin, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Karolinska Institutet, is involved in the research project. He researches how microcatheter technology in combination with imaging techniques can be used to diagnose and treat stroke and other diseases. With a thin catheter, it is possible to navigate the body's blood vessels to the most difficult tissues and organs.

“In this project, we are trying to combine the microcatheter technology with new methods that enable very small samples to be analyzed,” Holmin says. “The goal is to develop methods, instruments and a workflow - from sampling to stable analysis of the sample.”

The research project is being conducted with support from Region Stockholm, under the supervision of Mats Danielsson, Professor of Medical Imaging at KTH, and Staffan Holmin, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging, Karolinska Institutet.

Text: Ann-Christin Berg