Tags: ct | scan | heart | surgery

CT Scans Quickly Diagnose Heart Blockages

Thursday, 30 August 2012 12:32 PM

It’s not always clear to doctors which patients who report to hospitals with chest pain need immediate life-saving invasive procedures, such as bypass surgery or angioplasty. But new research out of Johns Hopkins University has found an ultra-fast CT scan can help identify coronary blockages that require urgent surgical attention.
The study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, found the use of computed tomography scans on 381 patients at 16 hospitals in eight countries was a better tool for identifying patients requiring invasive procedures than conventional stress tests and other methods now used by doctors.
"[This] study is the first prospective, multicenter study to examine the diagnostic accuracy of CT for assessing blockages in blood vessels and determining which of those blockages may be preventing the heart from getting adequate blood flow," said lead researcher Dr. Joao A. C. Lima, a professor of medicine and radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We found an excellent correlation in results when we compared … CT testing with the traditional means of assessment using a stress test with imaging and cardiac catheterization."
The study findings, he said, would apply to people who have chest pain but are not having a heart attack. Many people with such symptoms are sent to a cardiac catheterization laboratory for further evaluation with angiography, an invasive test to look for blockages in the coronary arteries using dye and special X-rays. Nearly 30 percent of people who have such catheterization are found to have minimal disease or no blockage requiring heart bypass surgery.
The CT scan provides a complete picture of the heart by making just one revolution around the body, which results in less radiation exposure to the patient than other methods.
"In our study, the amount of radiation exposure to patients from the two 320-detector CT scanner tests was half the amount they received as a result of the traditional evaluation methods – the angiogram and nuclear medicine stress test combined," said Lima.
Johns Hopkins researchers collaborated with Toshiba on the development of a new CT technology used in the study – the 320-detector CT scanner.

© HealthDay

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Ultra-fast CT scans can help doctors identify patients with chest pain who need immediate heart surgery.
Thursday, 30 August 2012 12:32 PM
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