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Professor John Beltrame

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Professor John Beltrame

Insights into the mechanisms of coronary microvascular spasm

Professor John Beltrame, University of Adelaide

2022 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2023-2023

Reduced blood flow in the heart, or ischaemia, can lead to chest pain which is often caused by cholesterol blockages in the arteries diagnosed on coronary angiography. However, around 1 in 3 patients with chest pain undergoing angiography do not have cholesterol blockages. These patients have Ischaemia with Non-Obstructive Coronary Arteries (INOCA). In INOCA, the chest pain may be due to spasm in the heart’s arteries which can be diagnosed during angiography using specialised testing. The spasm can involve the large arteries or the microscopic vessels that cannot be seen on angiography, and so the diagnosis of small vessel spasm can be difficult. It can also co-exist with large vessel spasm but currently there are no methods to confirm this. By collaborating with mechanical engineers, we will develop methods to calculate resistance in the small vessels of the heart which will confirm the presence of small vessel spasm. It will also identify the presence of co-existing large and small vessel spasm, leading to the diagnosis of a new entity.

Last updated17 January 2023