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Screening tool may better identify heart disease in African-Americans
Date:11/30/2010

es of Caucasian patients than in the African Americans (45 percent, versus 26 percent). The cCTA revealed that, compared with Caucasians, African American patients had a significantly higher prevalence of non-calcified plaque (64 percent, versus 41 percent), and more of it. The median volume of non-calcified plaque among the African American patients was 2.2 milliliters (mL), compared with 1.4 mL among Caucasians.

"This study confirms that the coronary artery disease pathways that lead to acute cardiovascular events are different for Caucasians and African Americans," explained coauthor U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., professor of radiology and medicine and director of cardiovascular imaging at MUSC. "Coronary CT angiography is an effective and noninvasive tool for studying the pathology of atherosclerosis among different ethnicities."

According to Dr. Nance, further research is warranted to determine whether non-calcified plaque detection can improve cardiovascular risk prediction for African Americans. In the meantime, the value of calcium scoring as a screening tool for this patient group should be reinterpreted.

While cCTA does expose patients to ionizing radiation, according to Dr. Schoepf, the effective dose of this procedure has been considerably reduced over the past few years, making it a viable screening option.

"For African American patients, coronary CT angiography may be a more appropriate screening tool for cardiovascular risk," he said.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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