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 - radiation sign

Operators performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures reduced radiation dose by 27 percent by modifying imaging settings. Using a lower setting didn’t affect screening time, procedure time, contrast use or procedural outcomes.

 - Solitaire FR Revascularization Device

Several late-breaking clinical trials at the 2015 American Stroke Association conference raised hope that device-based endovascular treatment improved outcomes in patients with ischemic stroke. For imagers, the results also raised questions about their role going forward.

 - wine

Older adults who drank two or more alcoholic beverages each day had changes in cardiac structure and function, according to a large, community-based study. Results were published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging on May 26.

 - ACR Appropriateness Criteria for palpable breast masses released

An assessment of appropriate use criteria (AUC) for stress cardiac MR adds weight to the argument that some shuffling is in order in the “maybe appropriate” category. The findings are timely, given an approaching deadline that could impact reimbursement.

 - MRI Scanner

MRIs and ICDs can mix, at least if MR imaging is with a 1.5 Tesla machine and the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator system is the one tested in a late-breaking clinical trial presented May 14 at the Heart Rhythm Society’s scientific session in Boston.


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3D CMR shines as diagnostic tool for detecting CAD

Whole-heart 3D myocardial perfusion cardiac MR (CMR) accurately detected coronary artery disease (CAD) in a study that used fractional flow reserve as a reference, making CMR a possible contender to techniques that are invasive and expose patients to ionizing radiation.

Cardinal Health settles case over stress test agents for $26.8M

Cardinal Health will pay $26.8 million to settle an antitrust case involving its cardiac perfusion agents and other radiopharmaceuticals, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

High-efficiency SPECT system works, even in morbidly obese

A high-efficiency SPECT system provided high quality and diagnostically accurate images for detecting coronary artery disease in obese patients, even morbidly obese patients, researchers reported in the April issue of the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.

FDA targets GE, Siemens MRIs in Class II recalls

The FDA issued a pair of Class II recalls on MR imaging systems. The unrelated announcements affect some devices made by GE Healthcare and Siemens.

MRI beats echo for accuracy of mitral regurgitation assessment

Echocardiography may be cost-effective and widely available, but a comparison of echo and MRI found only a modest accord in assessing mitral regurgitation. And between them, MRI had greater accuracy in evaluating regurgitation volume.

ACC.15: CTA holds slight edge despite a draw on outcomes

Coronary CT angiography (CTA) and functional testing came out on more or less equal footing for diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD) in symptomatic patients, according to results from the PROMISE trial presented March 14 at the American College of Cardiology scientific session. But CTA pulled ahead in other ways.

ACC.15: Get to know GE Healthcare

On the eve of ACC.15, GE Healthcare’s Al Lojewski, general manager of cardiovascular ultrasound, answered some questions for Cardiovascular Business.

In isolation, AUCs for diagnostic caths may miss mark

Appropriate use criteria (AUC) can be useful for decision-making, but is it a hard and fast answer? A prospective study found approximately one-third of patients diagnosed with blocked arteries would have been deemed inappropriate for angiography with 2012 AUCs.

Coronary CT angiography may outperform functional imaging

Noninvasive anatomic imaging appears to be superior in detecting significant coronary artery disease over functional testing, maybe. A study suggests that CT angiography is more accurate, but it may have been missing key data.

HEART tool reduces cardiac testing in patients with acute chest pain

HEART might offer a way to discharge low-risk chest pain patients early and reduce objective cardiac testing, according to findings published March 3. While early discharge with no increase in major adverse events would be a coup, some are not convinced that reducing cardiac testing rates overall is feasible.

AUC may influence some, not all, forms of cardiac imaging

Imaging appropriate use criteria (AUC) should reduce the number of less-appropriate tests, however, researchers have found that in some cases, the gray area may hold greater sway in how frequently rarely appropriate tests are performed.

Building awareness about radiation, one message at a time

“It has to be hit home on a regular basis.” “It” is the need to be aware of radiation exposure in the cath lab, and the message bearer in this case was Charles E. Chambers, MD, an interventional cardiologist who devotes time and energy promoting radiation safety.

FDA issues Class 1 recall for 13,000 MRI systems

The FDA placed a Class 1 recall on some MRI systems from GE Healthcare. The recall, which was spurred by employee errors rather than equipment failures, affects almost 13,000 devices.

CT-based calcium score may provide long-term outlook on CAD risk

Researchers evaluating the relative value of long-term forecasts for risk among low-risk patients without coronary artery disease (CAD) found that coronary artery calcium scores derived from CT scans may hold the biggest prediction bang.

Deferred revascularization safe with FFR guidance

On the fence about deferring revascularization? A meta-analysis found similar rates of clinical outcomes when decisions for deferred revascularization in unprotected left main coronary artery stenosis were guided by fractional flow reserve (FFR).

FEVAR pitch: 3D CT cuts radiation exposure

The complexity of fenestrated endovascular aortic repair (FEVAR) makes it a radiation hog, but it may not have to be that way. Using advanced imaging technology, one facility reduced FEVAR’s radiation exposure, contrast usage and procedure time significantly.

Connecting the dots: Brain lesions after CAS may show stroke risk

Brain lesions that appear on diffusion-weighted imaging after carotid artery stenting (CAS) may be a sign of stroke to come. A study in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found patients with lesions on post-intervention magnetic resonance imaging were more than twice as likely to have a stroke or transit ischemic attack in the five years that followed.

ACC examines impact of Medicare changes on imaging

Medicare’s push to link payment for advanced diagnostic imaging to appropriate use criteria and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s site-neutral payment recommendation topped the agenda at the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) most recent legislative conference.

Demo takes CMR’s pulse as sleuth for microvascular disease

Quantitative cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging can assess variations in myocardial blood flow throughout the cardiac cycle, making it a potential tool for spotting microvascular diseases.

Acute care echocardiography guidelines offer clarifying insights

Echocardiography recommendations from two professional associations offered a better picture on how cardiologists in the emergency department should and shouldn’t use the technique. The guidelines were published in the February issue of the European Heart Journal.