Doctors in America may have found a technique to reverse heart disease. Up until now it has only been possible to slow the progress of heart disease, but not to actually turn it around.

The new research was announced at a meeting of the American Association of Cardiology in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday.

The study was carried out over two years on 349 patients already suffering from heart disease.

The technique used by the researchers involves treating patients with very high doses of an existing anti-cholesterol drug.

The discoveries of the study have been described by experts in the field as 'dramatically exciting'.

Tests found that almost four out of five of the patients showed a reduction in the build up of fatty deposits, which cause heart disease, within the arteries.

The reduction was most pronounced in those patients whose arteries were in the worst condition.

The next step will be to establish whether treatment with this drug regime will actually result in fewer heart attacks.