Cardiovascular Imaging

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American College of Radiology (ACR) released guidelines on Jan. 22 regarding the appropriate use of imaging for patients who come to the emergency department with chest pain.

An analysis of Medicare Part B databases found that the use of radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), stress echocardiography and coronary CT angiography for suspected coronary artery disease declined in recent years. Although studies have shown the value of coronary CT angiography, it is still being used much less frequently than the other two noninvasive imaging techniques.

For patients with chest pain and no known coronary artery disease, an evaluation strategy based on fractional flow reserve estimated using CT (FFRCT) led to reduced costs within 90 days and less resource utilization compared with an invasive coronary angiography evaluation strategy.

Listen to Dr. Mani Vannan of Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta for a discussion on 3D transesophageal echocardiography. It's quick, just 12 minutes, and sure to make you want to take a closer look at 3D TEE.

Echocardiography pioneer Borys Surawicz, MD, who served as president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) from 1979 to 1980, has died, the ACC announced on its blog.

It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that the cost structure for echocardiograms in the U.S. is wacky. The New York Times illustrates that price variability with an anecdote of one retired math professor whose bills for two echo exams differed by $4,100. 

Sven Paulin, MD, PhD, a pioneer in coronary angiography and a founding fellow and past president of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, died Jan. 10. The Boston Globe published this obituary.

The Greater Tucson Firefighters Foundation in Arizona and WellAmerica teamed up to study two methods to detect coronary artery disease in firefighters. Their project, described in Fire Chief, compared a Carotid Intima-Media Thickness test using high-resolution ultrasound with an electron beam CT scan of the chest.

Partho P. Sengupta, MBBS, MD, DM, director of cardiac ultrasound research at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, took high-tech to a new level by using holograms July 1 at the American Society of Echocardiography's 2013 annual scientific sessions in Minneapolis. Dazzle aside, the presentation demonstrated the possibilities of cutting-edge echocardiography.

Surgeons and biomedical engineers at the University of Minnesota collaborated to create an animated 3D model of the human heart based on computational technology and imaging techniques such as contrast CT. A demonstration of an anatomical reconstruction of the cardiac venous system and the process to make the models was published April 18 in the Journal of Visualized Experiments. To view the video, click here.