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ESC supports 'appropriate' use of nuclear imaging technology
Date:3/23/2010

gy involves an x-ray source and detectors rotating in synchrony on the far side of the patient. The idea is that having multiple rows of detectors operating side by side allows many slices (currently up to 320) to be imaged simultaneously, with the data processed by computer to produce a series of three-dimensional views of the target organ without the patient needing to undergo invasive angiography.

The technology offers many advantages including the elimination of the risk and discomfort associated with invasive coronary artery catheterization. CTTA can provide insights into the extent and nature of coronary plaque formation with or without any narrowing of the coronary arteries.

Studies comparing the accuracy of CCTA with invasive coronary angiography in thousands of patients have documented very high negative predictive values above 95 %. "CTTA scans are commonly used for patients with low to moderate pre-test likelihood of coronary artery disease complaining of chest pain. The idea is to exclude coronary artery disease because if you have a normal CTTA scan the likelihood of having disease is almost zero, allowing patients to avoid unnecessary invasive procedures," said Professor Knuuti, adding that this means patients can be worked up for other causes of their chest symptoms.

A positive result, however, is considered less conclusive and will be confirmed (and possibly treated) with subsequent functional imaging tests or invasive angiography.

Symptomatic patients with higher pre-test likelihood of coronary artery disease are more commonly considered for a functional test, such as nuclear perfusion imaging, which involves injecting a small amount of radioactive contrast agent (often technetium) into the arm vein and then monitoring its progress with a Gamma camera. By comparing the heart's blood flow at rest and during exercise, cardiologists can see if the heart muscle is receiving enough blood during stress.


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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-049-294-8627
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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