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 - right wrong decision

Hospitals that want to reduce inappropriate PCI rates may want to look beyond the cath lab for opportunities. A study published online Aug. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine identified diagnostic coronary angiography in asymptomatic patients as a red flag for PCI overuse.


 - doctors talking

Transthoracic echocardiogram use has been on the rise, but is it always appropriate? Not always, but a physician-centered intervention aimed at improving trainees’ adherence to appropriate use criteria appeared to increase appropriate and decrease inappropriate testing.

 - ecg, heart, electrophysiology

Delayed-enhancement cardiac MR (DE-CMR) one day may be used to guide reablation procedures to treat atrial fibrillation if results from a feasibility and proof-of-concept study pan out. The study showed DE-CMR accurately identified and localized gaps in patients being reablated because of recurrences.

 - radiation dose

Cardiologists at the Cleveland Clinic reduced radiation doses by 22 percent for diagnostic catheterizations and by 32 percent for PCI by leveraging new imaging technology, according to results published online Aug. 5 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions

 - heart

A new protocol nuclear cardiologists could use to improve identification of coronary plaques involves decreasing F-18 FDG myocardial uptake to reveal more coronary detail in cardiac PET/CT. A high-fat meal prior to fasting seems to do the trick, according to a study published July 31 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.


More Stories

21% of newly diagnosed heart failure patients don’t undergo cardiovascular testing

Rates of cardiovascular testing among incident heart failure patients varied widely in a study published June 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging. One-fifth of patients were not tested at all during the four months before and the six months following their hospitalization for heart failure.

Angiogenic gene therapy shows promise in phase III SPECT study

Taxus Cardium Pharmaceuticals Group have announced encouraging interim phase III cardiac SPECT imaging results from the international ASPIRE (Efficacy and Safety of Ad5FGF-4 for Myocardial Ischemia in Patients With Stable Angina Due to Coronary Artery Disease) trial. Generx Ad5FGF-4 is a potential angiogenic gene therapy for the development of new vascularization. The data was presented June 24 during the 2014 BIO International Convention in the company’s home base of San Diego.

Regadenoson safe for perfusion CMR with few adverse events

Perfusion cardiac MR (CMR) using regadenoson as an adenosine receptor was shown to be safe with few adverse events in a clinical trial published in the July issue of the European Heart Journal-Cardiovascular Imaging.

Less radiation, more monitoring

The needle recently moved in a positive direction for patients and cardiologists, or at least it showed the potential to do so, with technical and procedural advancements that may reduce radiation exposure and improve monitoring.

Next-gen scans cut radiation dose by 61% in CT angiography patients

Using advanced scanner technology reduced the radiation dose by 61 percent in patients undergoing cardiovascular CT angiography at no loss in image quality, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.

Statement helps tailor care for women with suspected ischemic heart disease

Clinicians diagnosing and treating coronary heart disease in women have a new set of tools in their arsenal, thanks to gender-specific research. In a consensus statement published online June 16 in Circulation, researchers provided suggestions on how to use diagnostic testing to best review, categorize and assess disease risks in women.

Six-minute MRI may rival CT for evaluating ischemic stroke

Move over CT, MR imaging has just gotten faster. A technique developed by researchers at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the University of California, Los Angeles may help to establish MRIs as the go-to modality for evaluating acute ischemic stroke.

CCTA-guided CAD therapies help reduce LDL levels

Detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) through coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) may affect treatment, particularly the use of statins and aspirin, lowering cholesterol in a sustainable way and possibly improving long-term cardiovascular health.

Kids with complex heart disease at higher risk of imaging-induced cancer

While imaging technologies and medical procedures for treating cardiac conditions have improved, there are risks, particularly to the youngest patients. Researchers found that children with heart disease who have the most difficult treatment paths face the greatest long-term risks for cancer.

MPI finds more CAD five years after treatment

Stress myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS) when conducted five years following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has the potential to pinpoint addition disease in more than half of patients, according to a study published ahead of print May 14 in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

3D CMR comparable to MPS for estimating ischemic burden

3D myocardial perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance MR (CMR) adds depth to looking at ischemic burden in heart patients, according to a recently published study. It one day may serve as an alternative to imaging techniques that rely on ionizing radiation.

Discovering gold in chest CTs: Incidental findings inform risk score

Physicians can use incidental findings on chest CTs to identify patients at risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers reported online May 27 in Radiology that a validated, imaging-based risk predictor had good discriminative ability and calibration for stratifying at-risk patients.

Stress CMR predicts heart disease risk in obese patients

Stress cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging may help physicians risk stratify obese patients for cardiovascular disease, according to a study that found stress CMR to be feasible in this patient population.

ACC to imagers: Here’s a chance to get involved

As one of the largest sections in American College of Cardiology (ACC), the imaging community is expected to play a key role in its ongoing efforts to improve patient care and outcomes while lowering costs, ACC leaders wrote in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Radiotracer acts as marker, predictor in aortic stenosis

The radiotracer 18F-sodium fluoride (18F-NaF) serves as a biomarker of calcification activity in patients with aortic stenosis and may predict disease progression, according to a study published in the March issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Cardiovascular biomarker market could hit $7.2B by 2018

The global market for diagnostic biomarkers detecting cardiovascular disease is expected to soar steadily at a compound annual growth rate of 12.8 percent between 2013 and 2018.

Fragmented care after stroke may contribute to CT overuse

Fragmented care may increase the likelihood of Medicare beneficiaries receiving four or more CT head scans within a year of an ischemic stroke, according to a study that found regional and racial variability in high-intensity CT use.

Stress testing in asymptomatic patients may not be beneficial

Few asymptomatic patients with acute coronary syndrome who undergo PCI followed by stress imaging may actually need revascularization, raising questions about the benefits of stress imaging, a study published online March 31 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging found.


SCAI lists 5 procedures to avoid in heart patients

Patients should not undergo stress testing after PCI unless there is a clinical indication for this procedure, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) recommends. SCAI issued a list of procedures that should be avoided in patients with or at risk for cardiovascular disease.

MPI use drops by 51 percent over 5-year span

The use of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) has declined over the past few years, researchers wrote in a letter published March 26 in JAMA. The decrease, they explained, could be due to changing physician behavior as well as a lower incidence of coronary disease.