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Lifelong Health

The power of imaging for better heart health

Plaque build up in the arteries is the main cause of heart attack and stroke, and is detectable through different types of imaging.

What is plaque?

The combination of cholesterol, fat, calcium and other substances in the blood can form plaque. Plaque then slowly builds up and hardens in the arteries, causing them to narrow.

There are different types of plaques – hot plaques and cold plaques, and it’s the hot plaques that cause heart attacks. The cyclotron located at SAHMRI now enables Professor Nicholls and his team to identify the different types, and the activity of these plaques.

Imaging assisting with the advancements of treatment

The imaging tools being utilised by the Heart Health team assist with the risk assessment of heart attack in patients, provide a better understanding of current drugs, and importantly, progress the development of new and improved drugs.


Professor Nicholls is affiliated with The University of Adelaide.

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.