The ongoing evolution of coronary CT

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In a little over a decade, multidetector CT has evolved from 4-slice state-of-art prototypes to 320-slice production models. Cardiac imaging, with its need for exquisite temporal resolution, has driven much of the development of these more robust modalities.

In a recent conversation, Patrick M. Colletti, MD, assistant editor of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) as well as professor of radiology, medicine, biokinesiology, pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, remarked that although the reliable differentiation of the composition of individual noncalcified plaques by CT is limited, it may be used to help stratify risk and monitor patients with suspected or known coronary atherosclerotic disease.

A retrospective, three-year study conducted by the departments of radiology and cardiology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, published in the December issue of AJR, bears out Colletti’s contention and further advances the prognostic power of cardiac CT.

A multidisciplinary team at the institution provided compelling evidence that coronary CT angiography can be used to accurately predict the presence of obstructive disease in more than 90 percent of small- and moderate-size calcified coronary artery plaques. However, calcified plaques in large coronary arteries present their own set of interpretative challenges. To find out more about how the clinical researchers addressed this issue, click here.

In other news of interest to cardiac imaging, our complete set of RSNA 360 technology previews are now available. We’ve showcased the latest offerings in 18 product categories of diagnostic imaging and information technology, including Cardiac Imaging, which are being displayed and demonstrated at the 2008 RSNA conference held this week in Chicago.

For more about the latest trends, techniques and issues in the cardiovascular marketplace be sure to check out our sister publication, Cardiovascular Business. The website, weekly newsletter and bi-monthly print magazine offer comprehensive insight and information about cardiovascular practice, patient and technology management.

Also, if you’re looking for information about CT technology, or any other cardiac imaging modality, be sure to stop by our Tech Guide. Company and product listings, whitepapers and upcoming events are just a mouse click away.

Lastly, if you have a comment or report to share about any aspect of cardiac imaging, please contact me at the address below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Batchelor, Web Editor