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 - merger, acquisition, money, handshake

Royal Philips will pay $1 billion to acquire the catheter-based imaging company Volcano Corp. The deal is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2015.

 - heart valves

Frequent echocardiography may not be needed for patients with asymptomatic, moderate aortic or mitral regurgitation, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

 - CT Scanner

Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) may be justified in asymptomatic patients with a high risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and might even oust coronary calcium scoring as the best option for screening these patients.

 - plaque

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) may help cardiologists identify at-risk patients with coronary artery disease—one day, that is. In a single-center study, NIRS showed potential as a tool with prognostic value.

 - No radiation

A cabin that shields operators during cardiac device extractions drastically cut radiation to their heads and feet without requiring heavy lead aprons, according to a study published in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.


More Stories

Cardiac PET/CT: Measuring calcification via low-dose CT

Low-dose CT has become a mainstay for PET attenuation correction, but why not take it a step further by quantifying coronary artery calcium without adding any extra dose, according to an Ottawa Heart Institute study published ahead of print Nov. 20 in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.

Cardiac screening of patients with diabetes doesn’t budge outcomes

Routinely screening patients with diabetes for asymptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) failed to improve outcomes, results published online Nov. 17 in JAMA showed.

FDG PET reigns for diagnosing infected prosthetic heart valves

Infections related to heart valve prosthesis are usually diagnosed with echocardiography, but it can miss key areas of infection. It is here that FDG PET or leukocute scintigraphy can step in, but a recent comparison study of the two nuclear medicine procedures published Nov. 13 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that FDG PET may be the best option.

Recommendations spell out optimal use for left ventriculography

Sometimes, as with left ventriculography, old techniques may lose prevalence but not relevance. This was the heart of a consensus statement published online Nov. 4 in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.

Dextran subs for contrast in OCT with similar results

Dextran offers an inexpensive and possibly safe alternative to standard contrast dyes used in coronary optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging, according to a feasibility study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Catheterization and Coronary Interventions.

CT angiography offers best value for detecting brain aneurysms

CT angiography ousted digital subtraction angiography as the most cost-effective modality for diagnosing certain bleeding strokes in an analysis that took into account the prowess of modern scanners. 

Mind boggling: Brain imaging reveals MI, stroke risks

It's not fortune telling, although the signs are clear: Early brain imaging helps identify, prevent and treat patents at increased risk for heart attack or stroke. In a meta-analysis study, early brain imaging scans revealed changes to brain structure and function, acting as warning signs of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events to come.

Delayed CT angiography boosts imaging biomarker’s sensitivity

Adding a delayed CT angiography acquisition to an imaging biomarker in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage increased the ability to predict hematoma expansion and a poor outcome, according to results published online Oct. 9 in Stroke.

Molecular imaging of stroke

While CT and MR are still the mainstays of detecting ischemic stroke, several SPECT and PET imaging techniques have been developed and are on the way to add comprehensive clinical information in the case of cerebrovascular disease. With this in mind, hybrid imaging such as PET/MR could provide a best-possible map of variables involved in stroke, according to a review published Oct. 9 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

FDA OK’s echo microbubble contrast agent

The FDA approved the microbubble contrast agent Lumason to be used for contrast-enhanced echocardiographic imaging.

MR perfusion looks even better for detecting CAD

Myocardial MR perfusion may deserve a place in clinical practice for assessing patients for coronary artery disease (CAD). Using a gold standard as reference, researchers gave MR perfusion’s diagnostic ability high marks.

Echo flags potential heart disease risk in obese kids

Physicians comparing echocardiograms of obese and non-obese children found increased risks for early onset cardiovascular disease. Changes to the shape and function of obese children’s hearts were similar to those seen in obese adults at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Stress tests with imaging spike, with 30% of dubious value

Use of cardiac stress tests with imaging in patients without a diagnosis of coronary heart disease surged in the U.S. over an 18-year span, according to a study published in the Oct. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Almost one in three of those tests was ruled as rarely appropriate.

MPI offers little value in patients with no cardiac biomarkers, low TIMI scores

Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) of patients with negative troponins and low TIMI scores did not detect greater risk of adverse events in a study published online Oct. 1 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. Likewise, the research team found no benefit in early revascularization of patients with low scores and no detectable ischemia on imaging. 

Reported number of fluoro-radiation incidents remains low

Sentinel events reported to the Joint Commission involving prolonged fluoroscopy or radiation to the wrong body region appear to be low and are holding steady, based on a midyear report for 2014.

Flurpiridaz PET MPI data reveal lower dose than conventional SPECT

Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with PET and F-18 flurpiridaz may reduce radiation dose while still providing comparable image quality to SPECT, the current standard, according to a study presented at the recent American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) Annual Scientific Session held in Boston from Sept 18-21.

CMR verified myocarditis leads to lower EF at 12 months

In a small group of patients, cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging provided clues to myocarditis diagnosis and outcomes.  Positive “Lake Louise criteria” (LL) was associated with improved left ventricular function recovery, while patients with a negative LL still had lower ejection fraction (EF) at 12 months.

Education, justification & optimization get to heart of safe imaging

The American Heart Association is promoting three pillars to maximize radiation safety in patients who undergo cardiovascular imaging: education, justification and optimization. Several societies endorsed the recommendations, which were published online Sept. 29 in Circulation.

Handheld ultrasound trounces physical exams for accuracy, cost

Cardiologists who used a handheld ultrasound were more likely to make an accurate diagnosis of patients with common cardiovascular abnormalities than colleagues who relied on a physical exam, for an estimated savings of $63 per patient. Handheld ultrasound’s ability to rule out abnormalities also likely would reduce downstream testing, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

LabCorp pays $85.3M to add LDL testing to its portfolio

LabCorp will pay $85.3 million to buy LipoScience, a company that uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to conduct cardiovascular diagnostic tests.