British scientists are devising a new eye test which they say could help in the early detection of deadly heart disease.
The test takes high-definition digital images of retinas of patients to check for telltale signs of heart disease such as changes to blood vessel width or unusually branched blood vessels,the ‘Daily Express’ reported.
The 30-second cheap and easy-to-use scan could spare heart patients the ordeal of lengthy and invasive procedures,says a team at the University of Edinburgh.
Imaging expert Dr Tom MacGillivray,who is leading the research team developing the idea,said: “The eyes provide a unique window into the patient’s blood supply and the effect it has on the human system.
“By examining blood vessels closely we are aiming to detect abnormalities,spot signs of heart disease and then act accordingly. It’s about prevention rather than cure but could potentially affect millions.”
In their research,the scientists are currently testing 1,000 patients with suspected heart disease as part of the three-year research,the first of its kind in the world,in collaboration with experts from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London,the University of Dundee and Ninewells Hospital.
They are particularly interested in subtle changes to blood vessels which are not obvious to a human visually inspecting an image.