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Cardiovascular

 

While the benefits of resistance training on musculoskeletal health are on daily display in any weightlifting room, the question of how much good all those sets and reps do for the heart has been open. Now comes an imaging-based answer from Germany, where researchers using MRI found measurable cardiac changes in a randomized group of novice male “gym rats” after they’d worked out regularly for around half a year.

Acute chest-pain patients imaged with coronary CT angiography (CCTA) are more likely to receive revascularization and invasive coronary interventions that don’t clearly improve outcomes than patients evaluated with standard functional tests such as stress EKG and stress echocardiography, according to a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

Imaging techniques can be beneficial in identifying ischemic heart disease during minimally invasive autopsies, according to a study presented at RSNA 2017 in Chicago.

Former National Football League (NFL) players have significantly larger aortas than similarly aged men in the general population, potentially putting them at higher risk for aortic rupture or dissection, according to research presented Nov. 29 at RSNA 2017 and published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Multidetector computed tomography (CT) could play a pivotal role in improving the outcomes of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures, research presented at the 103rd annual RSNA symposium suggests.

 

Recent Headlines

Trabeculation, myocardial function linked via cardiac MRI

Excess greater left ventricle (LV) trabeculation is associated with decreased average regional myocardial function, measured by myocardial strain. A team of researchers, examining MRIs of 1,123 individuals, found that average regional LV function was worse in those with greater LV trabeculation.

Prenatal 3D ultrasound shows heart defects affect brain development

European researchers have used 3D ultrasound to measure cortical folding, which increases the surface area of the brain and therefore its processing power, in fetuses with congenital heart defects. Their primary interest was in finding out whether prenatal cardiovascular anomalies affect neurodevelopment, although they also wanted to see if measuring the depths of the crevices reliably indicates the extent of folding.

Cardiac MRI feasible throughout slow-to-fast ‘bike rides’

European researchers have shown that heart imagers can have their MRI and their patients on exercise bikes—pedaling harder and harder—too.

Automated analysis of 3D echocardiography shows potential in clinical practice

Automated 3D echocardiography (3DE) analysis using a new, commercially available algorithm has allowed University of Chicago researchers to accurately quantify left-heart size and function in two-thirds of 300 consecutive patients. They conclude the technology can be useful in clinical practice despite its known workflow-interruptive drawbacks—especially when the echocardiographer has the know-how to correct for its shortcomings.

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.

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