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Cardiovascular

 

Forgoing fluoroscopy in favor of intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) to guide catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AFib) is not only feasible but highly desirable, as the ultrasound-based choice can squash radiation exposure for patients and care workers alike. Yet ICE has failed to catch on with electrophysiologists even after several years of ready availability. Why is that?

Parents and doctors of children with heart disease have a new resource as they seek the best diagnostics with the least radiation. Called the “Have-a-Heart” campaign, it’s a collaborative effort led by the Image Gently Alliance together with the American Academy of Pediatrics and a coalition of pediatric medicine and cardiology organizations.

Compared side-by-side with standard cardiac CT for calcium scoring, ultralow-dose CT shows good sensitivity, specificity and overall accuracy despite its markedly lower radiation dose. In fact, it’s unlikely to miss coronary calcification in patients with at least moderate calcium load and could offer a sensible alternative for some patients sent for coronary CT angiography.

Using CT coronary angiography, researchers concluded that gray hair has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease in men. The findings were presented at EuroPrevent 2017. 

Thanks to advances in MRI-compatible cardiac device technology, pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are no longer absolute contraindications for MRI exams. The devices remain relative contraindications for MRI, however, and their presence in MRI patients calls for radiologists and cardiologists to work closely together in order to both ensure patient safety and minimize legal risk.  

 

Recent Headlines

MRI helps avoid unneeded right-heart catheterization

European researchers have confirmed that MRI isn’t precise enough at assessing pulmonary hypertension to outright preclude right-heart catheterization. However, they’ve also shown that the advanced imaging pathway can appropriately supplement echocardiography to avoid such catheterization for patients who may not need the intervention.

Cardio experts urge peers to choose ICE imaging, take AFib ablation ‘fluoroless’

Forgoing fluoroscopy in favor of intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) to guide catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AFib) is not only feasible but highly desirable, as the ultrasound-based choice can squash radiation exposure for patients and care workers alike. Yet ICE has failed to catch on with electrophysiologists even after several years of ready availability. Why is that?

Pediatric heart care gets help imaging children gently, informing parents fully

Parents and doctors of children with heart disease have a new resource as they seek the best diagnostics with the least radiation. Called the “Have-a-Heart” campaign, it’s a collaborative effort led by the Image Gently Alliance together with the American Academy of Pediatrics and a coalition of pediatric medicine and cardiology organizations.

Ultralow-dose CT shows potential to substitute for standard coronary calcium imaging

Compared side-by-side with standard cardiac CT for calcium scoring, ultralow-dose CT shows good sensitivity, specificity and overall accuracy despite its markedly lower radiation dose. In fact, it’s unlikely to miss coronary calcification in patients with at least moderate calcium load and could offer a sensible alternative for some patients sent for coronary CT angiography.

CT coronary angiography links gray hair, increased heart disease risk in men

Using CT coronary angiography, researchers concluded that gray hair has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease in men. The findings were presented at EuroPrevent 2017. 

Carotid ultrasound usefully predictive in post-stroke care

Rapid stenting of the carotid artery can significantly reduce the risk of secondary stroke, and a new Taiwanese study shows that carotid ultrasound imaging can help predict likely functional outcomes following such stenting in ischemic stroke patients with carotid artery stenosis.

MRI of pacemaker patients requires close radiology+cardiology collaboration

Thanks to advances in MRI-compatible cardiac device technology, pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are no longer absolute contraindications for MRI exams. The devices remain relative contraindications for MRI, however, and their presence in MRI patients calls for radiologists and cardiologists to work closely together in order to both ensure patient safety and minimize legal risk.  

Research explores laser-based imaging platform for atherosclerosis

A new laser-based camera could one day become the tool that will help physicians know who is at risk of atheroscerlosis, by providing better views of potential problem areas.

MRI provides new insight into different forms of heart failure

MRI was used to measure oxygen consumption in the legs of heart failure patients by researchers at the University of Texas, who from this noninvasive technique gained extra insight into different forms of heart failure.

PET/CT shows how stress in the brain today manifests as cardiovascular problems tomorrow

The connection between chronic emotional stress and subsequent cardiovascular disease has long been substantiated on mostly circumstantial evidence. Now it’s been empirically established with imaging: A new study has put pictures to the heretofore unseen brain mechanism behind the mind/body double trouble.  

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