0346 GMT October 24, 2019
The early warning can identify people whose blood vessels contain fatty deposits that are in danger of causing a lethal blockage, according to express.co.uk.
The risk cannot be detected reliably with current scanning technology.
Experts predict the new method — known as fat attenuation index —will radically improve the diagnosis of coronary artery disease.
Developed by researchers at Oxford University the imaging technology tracks the changes in the fat surrounding inflamed arteries.
It also detects plaques that are prone to causing sudden blockages, flagging up those at the highest risk.
Identifying individuals without narrowings but with inflamed heart arteries could allow medics to intervene early enough to prevent heart disease.
Professor Charalambos Antoniades, who led the research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, said: “The new scan offers the potential to find people at an earlier stage of disease and before the damage becomes irreversible.
“By providing an early warning of disease the new imaging technique can be used by doctors as the trigger for more powerful treatments designed to reduce the risk of a future heart attack.”