News | October 06, 2014

Grant Awarded to See if Echo Can Detect Significant Coronary Lesions in Chest Pain Patients

ASEF Grant Echo Can Dt Coronary Lesions Chest Pain Patients

Dr. Victor Mor-Avi of the University of Chicago accepts the 2014 ASEF Research Award at Summit 2014.

October 6, 2014 — The ASE Education and Research Foundation hosted a one-day event, Value-Based Healthcare: Summit 2014, Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C., which gathered thought leaders from across the healthcare spectrum to discuss cardiac imaging in the new value-based healthcare paradigm. The Summit culminated with the announcement that the ASE Foundation’s largest research grant in its history, a $200,000 multi-year grant, has been awarded to a research team from the University of Chicago led by Victor Mor-Avi, Ph.D., FASE, director of cardiac imaging research. The team also includes Amit R. Patel, M.D., director of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography; Francesco Maffessanti, Ph.D., post-doctoral scholar; and Roberto M. Lang, M.D., FASE, director of cardiac imaging laboratories.

The proposal, titled Echocardiographic Evaluation of Hemodynamic Significance of Coronary Stenosis in Patients with Chest Pain Undergoing CT Angiography, aims to utilize 3-D echocardiography in patients with acute chest pain as a way to assess the functional significance of coronary stenosis detected by computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA). According to Mor-Avi, “in the United States alone every year, more than 8 million people require emergency evaluation for acute chest pain, with the estimated cost of over $10 billion.” While non-invasive CTCA has become widely accepted as an effective first-line diagnostic tool in these patients, abnormal findings on this test often result in downstream stress testing. Specifically, choosing appropriate management for patients with intermediate-grade stenosis is challenging because the impact of the disease is unclear.

Mor-Avi explained that this project “will explore the possibility of ‘fusion’ of CTCA and 3-D echocardiography for combined assessment of coronary stenosis and its functional significance, which may help in identifying patients who need intervention, and may thus have important implications in terms of reducing the number of unnecessary tests and resulting in significant savings.”

Cardiovascular ultrasound, also known as echocardiography, is the most widely used imaging technique to diagnose heart disease, performed on more than 20 million patients in the United States each year. Yet in this era of growing Medicare expenditures and federal budget deficits, increasing emphasis has been placed on demonstrating the value of any given test or procedure. As Summit Chair Benjamin F. Byrd III, M.D, FASE noted in his opening address, one of the primary goals of Summit 2014. was to “bring decision makers together to foster proactive conversation on the ways to demonstrate the ‘value’ of imaging, especially echocardiography, in future U.S.-based healthcare.” Providing funding for this research project tangibly demonstrates the Society’s commitment to fostering innovation in clinical care based on data-driven decisions.

As the largest global organization for cardiovascular ultrasound imaging, the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) is the leader and advocate, setting practice standards and guidelines. Comprised of over 16,000 physicians, sonographers, nurses and scientists, ASE is a strong voice providing guidance, expertise and education to its members with a commitment to improving the practice of ultrasound and imaging of the heart and cardiovascular system for better patient outcomes. 

For more information: www.asecho.org

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