News | July 13, 2009

Cardiac CT for Low-Risk Chest Pain More Cost-Effective than SOC

July 13, 2009 - In a study performed at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, researchers found that the use of cardiac CT for low-risk chest pain patients in the emergency department, instead of the traditional standard of care (SOC) workup, may reduce a patient's length of stay and hospital charges.

The study, which appears in the July issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, involved 50 patients with low-risk chest pain, found that cardiac CT based workups in low-risk chest pain patients decreased the length of hospital stay up to 20 hours and was 44 percent less costly than using the standard of care workup. This is compared to the SOC mean length of stay – 25.4 hours – and the mean length of stay for cardiac CT with observation – 14.3 hours. According to the study, the average cost for SOC was $7,597; the average cost for cardiac CT with observation was $6,153; and for cardiac CT without observation was $4,251.

The researchers concluded that cardiac CT has the potential to significantly reduce cost and length of stay in the emergency department by rapidly identifying those patients who can safely be discharged quickly.

For more information: www.ajronline.org

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