Stress tests are a thing of the past. Make way for coronary CT angiography. Wide-eyed medical students might gather around a treadmill in 20 years to observe a patient doing a traditional stress test as a “rarity” — to identify valvular disease, detect arrhythmias and gauge functional capacity, but not as a means to diagnose occlusive coronary disease.
On the heels of SCOT-HEART, this study begs the question: should anatomy be considered at least on par with stress testing for risk stratification?
Coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) was associated with a lower 5-year mortality rate from coronary heart disease (CHD) or nonfatal myocardial infarction in patients with stable chest pain compared with standard care alone...
Selective referral for invasive angiography based on CTA results did not increase 1-year MACE and offered better diagnostic yield.
When compared to previous, exercise-based tests, this newer screening method turns out to be leading to many more surgeries—and subsequently higher medical costs—without the data to show that it's actually helping people live longer or stay healthier, according to an analysis published online Tuesday in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Certain tests involve small amounts of radiation. Here's some perspective on the benefits and risks.
The worst kind of assurance is false assurance. And that's been one of the problems with conventional cardiac stress tests, including the venerable EKG treadmill test, where you get all wired up and walk for your life.
Dr. Karlsberg and other cardiologists who support widespread use of CT heart scans argue that they can reduce the need for other tests — like conventional angiograms, which can find plaque but require a catheter to be threaded through the arteries. Conventional angiograms are more expensive than CT scans and carry their own risks. If a CT heart scan finds plaque that a doctor intends to treat with a stent, a conventional angiogram will still be necessary to determine where and how to implant the stent. So a CT scan does not always eliminate the need for a conventional angiogram.
You have probably heard of a stress test to determine any issues with your heart. However, here's another test that doctors say can give patients more ease of mind, and still know what is happening in their heart.
Whether it's called multislice CT (MSCT), multidetector CT (MDCT), cardiac CT or cardiovascular CT, the CT stands for "Computed Tomography", a way of measuring parts of the anatomy by sections (originally known as "Computed Axial Tomography" or CAT scans).
Patients undergoing a CCTA scan receive an iodine-containing contrast material as an intravenous (IV) injection to ensure the best possible images of the heart blood vessels.