Cardiac CT Angiography (CCTA) is growing as it should. As with any new applications in diagnostic medicine there are incidences of inappropriate use. However, the ability for this technology to identify those without significant coronary artery disease (CAD) is significant. The test is less expensive than cardiac catheterization and certainly brings with it much lower risk. CCTA is here to stay for screening those suspected of CAD and possibly needing intervention. With the increasing numbers of cardiology practices joining hospitals the use of this application will grow and its appropriate use will become more apparent to those who order the test.
The radiology community over the past three years has really taken it on the chin for unnecessary patient exposure to ionizing radiation. The report from HealthImaging this morning and linked here is the latest of many showing how to alter the dose to the patient and still get acceptable diagnostic scans. We’re heading in the right direction.
The latest article from Radiology, August 8, 2012, was reported on by HealthImaging. The results seem conclusive that CCTA can now be depended upon for raising the bar for diagnosing CAD in patients with previously abnormal SPECT scans. But do the results tell the whole story? That’s the question to be answered. Clearly the specificity is better with CCTA but the authors admit the SPECT studies were performed at many sites and not standardized by equipment or protocol. The CCTA was done in a standardized manner. PET might have provided a better result than the other two but what are we seeking? It appears we are still technology centric rather than disease centric.
Read the report at HealthImaging and think about where we go from here.
AHRA reports that ICDs and other causes of accidents and personal injury from the use of MRI have improved remarkably. After reading this report your shoulder or back may suddenly improve and no longer require a scan.