Navigation Links
Best use for popular CAD assessment procedure is misunderstood

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (April 14, 2008) What is the best way to determine if you are developing the nations most deadly condition, coronary artery disease (CAD)"

An increasing number of doctors are encouraging patients especially those deemed to be at high-risk for developing CAD to undergo a non-invasive imaging procedure called coronary computed tomography angiography, or coronary CTA, to see if plaque deposits are accumulating in their arteries.

According to Dr. Christopher M. Kramer, a professor of Radiology and Medicine at the University of Virginia Health System, widespread use of CTA for screening purposes may be inappropriate. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about CTA. People need to know that it is not intended to be a screening test, he says.

In a recent article in Circulation, Dr. Kramer asserted that doctors should not order coronary CTA to assess every high-risk patient. This procedure exposes people to radiation and contrast dye, both of which can have adverse affects, he notes. When individuals dont have symptoms of CAD, such as chest pain, coronary CTA may pose more risk than benefit.

Nationally, much study and debate surrounds the use and clinical value of coronary CTA as a screening tool. Medicare reimbursement is also under review. Currently, all 50 states provide Medicare coverage when coronary CTA is performed on patients with symptoms, but U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has expressed uncertainty about its benefits. CMS recently postponed implementation of more stringent coverage limits for coronary CTA until further research is completed.

Coronary CTA has been gaining in popularity because it is a fast and relatively inexpensive way to see exactly how much plaque has accumulated in arteries that supply blood to the heart. It is the only noninvasive test that shows what kinds of plaque are building up either the hard, calcified type or soft, fatty deposits and directly reveals if blockages are forming.

From start to finish, the procedure takes about 10 minutes. Preparations begin with an injection of iodine-containing contrast dye into an intravenous (IV) line in the patient's arm. Some patients also receive medication to slow or stabilize their heart rate. During a coronary CTA, doctors use a high-resolution, three-dimensional scanner to take X-rays of a patients beating heart and surrounding blood vessels.

Whether or not patients have symptoms, they are considered to be at high risk for CAD when they have several of the following factors: elevated blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, excess body weight, diabetes, stress, poor diet and/or lack of proper exercise. Being older, male and having a family history of CAD increases risk levels.

As Dr. Kramer sees it, understanding the best use of coronary CTA will require more time and studies. So far, it has proven useful in three groups: patients with low-to-intermediate CAD risk factors who have chest pain; patients with CAD symptoms and left bundle-branch block a blockage that causes the left ventricle of the heart to contract later than the right ventricle; and, patients preparing for cardiac valve surgery.

Current medical guidelines call for doctors to aggressively treat all patients at high risk for CAD without ordering tests like coronary CTA. According to Dr. Kramer, a CT procedure called calcium scoring, which uses no contrast dye and much less radiation, may be appropriate for screening patients who are at risk for CAD and have not developed symptoms.


Contact: Ellen McKenna
University of Virginia Health System

Related medicine news :

1. Popular Colonoscopy Prep Solution May Pose Kidney Risks
2. DyCE(TM) (Dynamic Contrast Enhancement) Technology Now Part of CRis Analysis Software Suite for the Popular Maestro(TM) in vivo Molecular Imaging System
3. PROGNOSIS Extends its Popular IP Telephony Management Software to Support Nortel Environments
4. Hissing cockroaches are popular, but they also host potent mold allergens
5. Liko Introduces New LowBase(TM) Model of Its Popular Golvo Mobile Lift
6. Consumer-Directed Health Plans Continue to Grow as Popular Vehicle to Bring Choice, Flexibility and Access to Consumers
7. Popular alternative therapy for psoriasis performs no better than placebo
8. Despite popularity, researcher finds not everyone can successfully learn through online courses
9. Small-Diameter Dental Implants Increasingly Popular In the US
10. Two Little Hands Productions, Creators of Popular Childrens TV Series Signing Time, Debuts Second Season at This Years Toy Fair 2008
11. Popular Florida Restaurant Leads Hospitality Industry by Converting to Pasteurized Shell Eggs Usage
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, customers will be racing the clock to ... or more to free gifts with purchases, there will be a new sale available on ... skin care and cosmetic needs, customers will save on already discounted prices. , Top brands ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear ... explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... be a safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so ... and effective way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... use in Final Cut Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily ... use ProSidebar as a minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television ... an interesting show that delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting ... benefit from open dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 3D bioprinting market ... according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. ... (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is expected to boost the ... substitute for organ transplantation. --> 3D bioprinting market ... according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds "Global Repaglinide ... "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide Market, ... forecasts data and information to its ... . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: