SCCT Covers Latest Trends in Cardiac CT

 

A CT myocardial perfusion image set showing perfusion defects in a color-coded iodine map and seen as darker areas of low contrast in the images below.
The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) annual meeting July 10-13 in San Diego covered the latest CT trends, technology and clinical trial data. The key takeaway message was that CT technology is advancing rapidly and there is a strong feeling cardiac CT may be able to become a one-stop-shop imaging test, eliminating the need for diagnostic catheterizations, nuclear perfusion scans, stress tests and others used to diagnose chest pain or disease progression. In this regard, experts at SCCT said CT could become a primary gatekeeper to the cath lab for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures, and help eliminate the high percentage of diagnostic caths performed on patients with normal or non-obstructive disease. 
 
A key component of this transformation is a new super-computing technology called CT-fractional flow reserve (FFR), which may offer a noninvasive alternative to catheter-based FFR, the current gold standard for determining if a stent is required for a particular lesion. Experts at SCCT said this, combined with CT myocardial perfusion imaging, will be more accurate and help eliminate the need for nuclear perfusion imaging.
 
Several recent trials showing value in CT calcium scoring and its ability to track calcium progression to qualify a patient's cardiovascular health risk were discussed in several sessions. This study data was among the late-breaking trials at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2014. In addition, SCCT sessions discussed the use of plaque characterization and the need for additional clinical data to verify its correlation with intravascular imaging techniques currently used. 
 
Other key topics included ways to decrease CT dose, and evaluations of CT cost-effectiveness compared to use of several other tests and length of stay.
 
Watch a recap of these topics in the video “Trends in Cardiovascular CT,” an interview with SCCT Past President Matthew Budoff, M.D.
 
 
Below are some recent articles covering key topics discussed at SCCT and new technology showcased on the expo floor.