Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and its Role in Coronary Artery Disease.
The treatment of common ailments such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and hypertension influences all aspects of life. Virtually no possibility exists that someone in a person’s culture has not had experience or contact with one of these disease processes be it a friend, family member, teacher, or work associate. Cultural patterns and paradigms change with the advent of new tools, perspectives, and understanding of disease. For example, the innovation of antibiotics shifted both the quality and quantity of life for everyone.
The explosion of scientific knowledge and subsequent new technologies that allow health care practitioners to diagnose and treat disease amazes the mind and overwhelms even the most sarcastic naysayer. The blossoming seeds of a novel technology that will permit healthcare practitioners to diagnose and treat hyperlipidemia are cultivated in the awareness of healthcare practitioners. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) quantifies the particles of cholesterol in plasma. How this new technology will improve patient outcomes remains unknown. The opinions of scientific minds that pilot the application, course, and direction of medical knowledge differ regarding its relevance.
However, health care practitioners agree that the current standards for treating high cholesterol fall short of goal especially when considering the following grim statistics. “Greater than 13 million Americans have advanced coronary artery disease (CAD) (Clark, 2007).” CAD is the leading cause of mortality in the United States, causing one in every five mortalities (Clark, 2007, p. 13).” “ The cost of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in the United States in 2009 is estimated to be $475.3 billion (American Heart Association, 2010).”
The disease responsible for CAD is atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by a dysfunction in the endothelium (blood vessels). Cholesterol deposits lodge in the lining of the blood vessel. Inflammation and calcification occur narrowing and hardening the blood vessel. The lay term “hardening of the arteries” occurs in all the major blood vessels of the body including the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood, the internal carotid arteries that supply the brain, the aorta that supply the abdominal organs, and the peripheral arteries that supply the arms and legs. This process occurs insidiously and silently over the patient’s lifetime. Cholesterol deposits build up and eventually mature as a plaque or clot in the lining of the blood vessel. These plaques rupture and occlude blood flow to major organs causing stroke or myocardial infarction and too often, sudden death.
Standard lipid profiles that health professional currently use often fail to diagnose this disease in its early stages to allow effective intervention. Due to the insidious nature of this disease, symptoms are...