Study: Noninvasive CT angio growing

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Expect the use of noninvasive computed tomography (CT) angiography to increase rapidly over the next five years, as the technique complements or replaces current conventional cardiac examinations.

That prognostication is contained in a new report from ECRI's Health Technology Forecast. The study sees multislice CT angiography being used more frequently by healthcare providers than diagnostic cardiac catheterization, MRI and nuclear medicine.

The ECRI report also expects the number of diagnostic cardiac catheterization procedures to decrease over the next few years, particularly for assessing plaque, stenoses and myocardial viability, and for ruling out atherosclerosis.

The trend would be good news for CT vendors. Cardiology departments would need to purchase dedicated cardiac CT scanners, if such non-invasive procedures increase for cardiovascular and angiographic applications.

ECRI also opines that more advanced CT technologies, such as the 32- and 40-slice scanners, "may dramatically increase the range of cardiac imaging applications that can be performed."