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Radiologe. 2008 Jan;48(1):52-62. doi: 10.1007/s00117-007-1607-4.

[Screening in cardiovascular diseases].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Klinische Radiologie, Klinikum Grosshadern der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, München, Deutschland.


Cardiovascular disease still ranks number one in the mortality statistics in the industrialized world. In Germany the five most common causes of death are all associated with arteriosclerotic changes of the arterial vasculature. As the treatment often extends over long periods and it can be impossible for patients to work, peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) constitutes a not inconsiderable economic factor. Thus, screening for arteriosclerotic disease seems to be reasonable, because the potential for influencing arteriosclerotic changes is known to be higher in an early stage of the disease even before symptoms become apparent. Not every case can be cured, but progression can frequently be slowed down. The need for invasive procedures, some of them associated with ionizing radiation, limited the use of imaging of the arterial vasculature for a long time. Noninvasive clinical examinations such as the "ankle brachial index" (ABI) can indicate the presence of PAOD, though exact localization of the pathologic changes is not possible except with imaging methods. In contrast to these, MRI is a noninvasive imaging modality that does not involve ionizing radiation but offers high spatial resolution arterial imaging.

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