October 3, 2007 - Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center announced that they have developed a technique to use coronary CTA in asymptomatic patients at just only 1/10th of the radiation dose.
The center’s ‘Mini-dose CCTA’ uses x-rays produced during only 1/10th of the cardiac cycle and results in 1/10th of the radiation of a full coronary CT angiogram. The cost is often less than the standard coronary CTA, because it is simpler, quicker and less complex to interpret.
“The standard coronary calcium scan cannot visualize non-calcified plaques-plaques more prone to rupture than calcified plaques,” said Daniel S. Berman, M.D., FACC, chief of Cardiac Imaging and Nuclear Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center. “The Mini-dose CCTA assesses the amount of non-calcified plaque, potentially providing better risk assessment and an opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of therapy. Non-calcified plaques may even shrink with effective treatment.”
For patients with symptoms, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center physicians have developed another low radiation approach they call ‘low-dose coronary CTA’ as their routine; this results in a 3⁄4 rather than a 9/10 reduction in radiation.
Berman noted, “In symptomatic patients, a calcium score of even zero does not sufficiently rule out the possibility of having an obstructed coronary artery.”
Berman suggests that the coronary CTA may become the test of choice in symptomatic patients when the diagnosis is unclear.
For more information: www.cedars-sinai.edu