A new study published in JAMA found that a multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) scan, a “fifteen-seconds” heart imaging modality, can accurately identify those patients who are at the greatest risk for acute coronary syndrome.
A 15-second emergency room test can determine which patients with chest pain have heart problems and which do not, potentially saving lives by allowing doctors to focus on those in urgent need, according to a study published on Monday by the American Heart Association.
In the study, 103 people with chest pain were given routine tests as well as a 15-second scan called a multidetector computed tomography, or MDCT, which enables doctors to see where plaque has built up in coronary arteries, making them narrower and harder.
Detecting plaque is key since its buildup is a telltale sign of acute coronary syndrome, or ACS, an umbrella term for the chest pain associated with heart attacks and angina.
Of these 103 patients, 14 were diagnosed with ACS during hospitalization and all had significant plaque levels according to the MDCT scan.
And of the 41 patients without significant levels of plaque according to the MDCT, none had ACS diagnosed during their hospitalization or subsequent five months.
The study also found that 73 of the patients had no significant narrowing of the coronary arteries and not one of them had ACS.
Hoffmann said only a “tiny minority” of emergency rooms in the United States currently had the equipment and expertise to administer the tests but he expected the procedure to become widespread in coming years.
Ex-squeeze me? Only a “tiny majority of ERs have a “multidetector CT” handy? I’d like to nominate Dr. Hoffmann for the biggest understatement of the year award. Vote early and vote often, Medgadget fans.
Read more at Reuters . . .
Picture courtesy of University of Arkansas College of Medicine, Dept of Radiology
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