MGH logoGone are the days, when people used to die as a disease was not detected properly. To aid the doctors in diagnosing diseases are innovative equipments and scans. These latest devices may help in detecting a condition correctly.

Pertaining to the above topic, study experts from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have claimed that a computed-tomography-based protocol developed by them apparently identifies both the tapering of coronary arteries and regions of myocardial ischemia. It limits the blood flow to heart muscle tissue, providing a better sign of clinically important coronary artery disease.

This is claimed to be among the first demonstrations of the use of cardiac CT (computed tomography) to detect both coronary artery stenosis and resulting myocardial ischemia simultaneously in a single examination. This is as per Ricardo C. Cury, MD, a cardiac imaging specialist at the MGH Heart Center and the study’s principal investigator. Conventional X-rays to generate cross-sectional images of anatomic structures are used by CT scanning and could identify plaques in coronary arteries. But the form of plaques on CT images may not point out whether or not they really compromised the heart muscle’s blood supply.

More detailed angiographic images which were acquired by invasive cardiac catheterization could provide a better image of how much of a hindrance a plaque may be. Perfusion studies apparently make use of technologies like MRI scans or the nuclear medicine technologies like SPECT and PET apparently divulges regions where restricted blood flow has supposedly injured the heart muscle. This information may decide whether a patient could be treated with drugs or they may need surgical intervention.

Previous studies have claimed that CT may recognize regions of limited coronary blood supply in sleeping individuals. The intention of MGH-led study was to see whether a complete cardiac CT examination could include myocardial perfusion studies in both inactive and stress conditions along with the anatomic data supplied by CT angiography. Around 34 cardiac patients were enrolled in the study. They lately had undergone SPECT stress tests and were apparently expected to also need angiography using cardiac catheterization.

The subjects first had a cardiac CT taken while getting a blend of adenosine, which supposedly creates physiologic stress symptoms like elevated heart rate and blood pressure. When imperative signs apparently returned to normal several minutes post the adenosine infusion, a resting cardiac CT was supposedly taken. Both of those scans apparently was caught up in the use of contrast material, and to spot regions with slight or no contrast agent, signifying limitations to the myocardial vasculature which is claimed to be a third CT scan that was apparently taken 7 minutes later.

Cury explained, “While nuclear perfusion imaging provides information that can help guide patient treatment, it has limitations that can lead to either false negative or false positive findings. The ability to acquire anatomical visualization of coronary artery stenosis together with physiological assessment of myocardial perfusion in a single study could improve diagnostic accuracy while potentially reducing costs and radiation exposure. Since our study was relatively small, we need to test this approach in a larger multicenter trial and further investigate the additional value of CT perfusion studies over CT angiography.”

The correctness of CT-based perfusion imaging in detecting coronary artery narrowing that considerably affected myocardial perfusion was almost identical as SPECT stress imaging, and the outcome of coronary CT angiography also compared positively to those of cardiac catheterization. As the investigators apparently used new radiation-dose-reduction methods, the radiation dose of the three CT scans apparently did not go beyond the dosage involved in the SPECT stress perfusion study.

This study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.