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Advanced CT scans accurately assess coronary blockages
Date:8/28/2012

e the anatomy of vessels to assess whether and where there were blockages. That test is known as CTA, in which the "A" stands for angiography. Then, in a second CT test with the same machine, patients were given a vasodilator, a medicine that dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the heart in ways similar to what happens during a stress test. The second test is called CTP, with the "P" standing for perfusion.

According to lead author Carlos E. Rochitte, M.D., a cardiologist at the Instituto do Coracao in Sao Paulo, Brazil, "We found that the 320-detector CT scanner allowed us to see the anatomy of the blockages as well as determine whether the blockages were causing a lack of perfusion to the heart. We were therefore able to correctly identify the patients who needed revascularization within 30 days of their evaluation."

"Many patients are sent for an angioplasty when they may not need it. Our ultimate goal is to have more certainty about which patients having chest pain without evidence of a heart attack need an invasive procedure to open an arterial blockage," says cardiologist Richard George, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a co-author of the study.

"The CTP test added significant information about the patients' conditions and boosted our ability to identify those whose blockages were severe enough to reduce blood flow to the heart," adds George, who developed the CTP method with Lima.

The 320-detector CT provides a complete picture of the heart by making just one revolution around the body. The researchers say the two tests combined CTA and CTP still produce less radiation than a scan with the 64-detector in widespread use today.

"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 nuc
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Contact: Ellen Beth Levitt
eblevitt@jhmi.edu
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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