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CT More Accurate than MRI in Ruling Out Coronary Disease

February 4, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Cardiac Imaging
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“For ruling out coronary artery disease, CT is more accurate than MRI,” say German researchers in a report published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Both CT and MRI have been considered reliable ways to rule out coronary disease  in low- to moderate-risk patients, thus making invasive and potentially risky tests unneeded.

Searching through data on Medline and other sources, researchers in Berlin, Germany reviewed studies that compared CT scans  and MRIs with conventional coronary angiography, most all of which were done in European university hospitals.  Significant coronary disease was defined as a 50 percent reduction or more in the coronary artery for all three procedures.

Results showed a CT sensitivity of 97.2 percent and a specificity of 87.4 percent. MRI sensitivity was 87.1 percent and specificity was 70.3 percent.

The findings are nothing new, according to some US doctors, who say radiologists have known for years that CT is better at checking heart arteries than MRI, which is mainly used to show tissue configuration. Still, the meta-analysis may be helpful in that it summarizes the benefits of CT.

Related seminar: Coronary CTA: Pitfalls and Remedies

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