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LipiScan Coronary Imaging System

The LipiScan Coronary Imaging System made its debut at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center. The new technology helps detect lipid core-containing plaque in the heart, the type believed to have caused the death of television journalist Tim Russert. 

The system uses an infrared catheter to identify the plaque, which cannot be detected by commonly used tests such as treadmill exams and coronary angiograms. Lipid core-containing plaque is believed to be “vulnerable plaque” or fatty plaque that ruptures to form dangerous blood clots. Such plaque is suspected of causing most sudden cardiac deaths, strokes and non-fatal heart attacks. 

“The ability to detect vulnerable plaque may go a long way in providing information to help prevent heart attacks in the future,” said David Rizik, MD, medical director of Invasive Cardiology at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center. 

The LipiScan Coronary Imaging System is used on heart patients undergoing cardiac catherization. It enables physicians to see inside a blood vessel to assess the fat content of the plaque built up on the wall of the coronary arteries. Knowing the composition of the plaque can help physicians provide appropriate treatment for managing the patient’s coronary artery disease. 

For more information on the Lipiscan Coronary Imaging System and Dr. Rizik, visit