Cardiovascular Imaging

Cardiac MRI (CMR) is rarely performed in conjunction with stress testing of heart patients—nuclear perfusion and echocardiography are far more common imaging aids—but a large new study may begin to turn the tide toward magnets as an eventual first-line diagnostic option.

A new, noninvasive technique for imaging the carotid artery can offer insight into plaque characteristics in real time, leading one researcher to suggest the modality could become as popular as ultrasound.

“Rather than bringing in many additional statin candidates, this testing should serve as a decision aid to ‘de-risk’ certain patients and distinguish those who may benefit from preventive pharmacologic therapies," Johns Hopkins researchers wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

A four-stage system that quantifies the extent of cardiac changes associated with aortic stenosis was linked to the odds of death and readmission following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a finding that may aid cardiologists in making prognoses and engaging in shared decision-making with patients.

Biologic treatment favorably modifies coronary plaque characteristics for patients with severe psoriasis, suggests a study published Feb. 5 in Cardiovascular Research. The findings raise the possibility that the anti-inflammatory drugs can both treat psoriasis and reduce cardiovascular risk.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is rare during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE), a routine exam for assessing coronary ischemia, but elderly patients and those with a history of paroxysmal AF are at an increased risk for arrhythmia during the test, a team of researchers from Boulogne, France, reported.

Instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) can safely guide revascularization decisions in left anterior descending (LAD) arteries with moderate stenosis, according to an analysis of the DEFINE-FLAIR study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

An analysis of more than 5,000 heavy smokers who underwent CT scans revealed that male smokers experienced a greater burden of coronary artery calcium (CAC) while women tended to have higher volumes of thoracic aorta calcium (TAC). Both measures were associated with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, researchers reported in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Patients with severe aortic regurgitation (AR) may be better off receiving valve operations before symptoms appear that “trigger” guideline recommendations for these surgeries, according to a new study in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

The American Society of Echocardiography has released new guidelines for performing a comprehensive transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) examination. The recommendations, which were endorsed by 22 other cardiology/echocardiography societies from around the world, were published in the January edition of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

A CT angiography (CTA)-derived score that also incorporated the extent, location and composition of coronary plaque outperformed a model that focused only on the severity of stenosis, researchers reported Jan. 16 in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Sleeping less than six hours a night or experiencing poor-quality rest has been independently linked to an increased risk of subclinical multiterritory atherosclerosis, a team of Spanish researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Jan. 14.