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Study: 320-Row CT Can Sort Out Heart Patients

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A 320-detector CT scanner can determine with 91 percent accuracy which angina patients require invasive procedures to address coronary blockages, according to a study published online Tuesday in the European Heart Journal.

The study, known as CORE 320, involved 381 patients at 16 hospitals in eight countries. Results were first presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Germany, in August 2012.

Joao A. C. Lima, MD, senior author of the study, summarized the results in a Johns Hopkins Medicine news release:

We found an excellent correlation in results when we compared the 320-detector CT testing with the traditional means of assessment using a stress test with imaging and cardiac catheterization.

Dr. Lima is a professor of medicine and radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The study involved patients who had chest pain but not a heart attack. Participants had SPECT tests and invasive angiography. They then had a CTA (angiography) scan to determine the sites of any blockages and a CTP (perfusion) scan, both with the 320-detector scanner. (Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, the scanner’s maker, sponsored the study but was not involved in the study itself or manuscript preparation.)

The perfusion scan was developed by Dr. Lima and cardiologist Richard George, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins and co–lead author of the study. It involves a medication that dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the heart, mimicking a stress test.

“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,” Dr. George said.

The 320-detector scanner requires just one revolution around the body. The researchers said that, combined, the CTA and CTP scans delivered half the radiation exposure that patients would get from a traditional angiogram and nuclear medicine stress test.

Related CME seminar (up to 20.25 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™): Computed Body Tomography: The Cutting Edge

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