Cardiac Imaging

While cardiac ultrasound is the widely used imaging modality for heart assessments, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear imaging are also used and are often complimentary, each offering specific details about the heart other modalities cannot. For this reason the clinical question being asked often determines the imaging test that will be used.

coronary CTA

Detecting in-stent restenosis via coronary CTA with hybrid iterative reconstruction has historically been an exercise in avoiding false positives.

Illustration of a left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) procedure using a Watchman device. Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine. #LAA #LAAO

There is not agreement among the top structural heart experts if CT is required for left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO), but a Henry Ford Hospital study shows it can improve outcomes.

Fat attenuation index (FAI) CT imaging of coronary artery fat can show inflammation and can help pin-point vulnerable plaques, or show the reversal of inflammation due to drug therapies. The technology is being developed by the vendor Caristo, which has European CE mark and the company is seeking FDA clearance. #SCCT #SCCT2022

Ron Blankstein, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, explains recent advances in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) technology. 

A cardiac CT scan being performed at Duly Healthcare in suburban Chicago in the spring of 2022. This is one of the first outpatient cardiology clinics in the U.S. to implement a CCTA program for screening non-acute chest pain patients and for structural heart evaluations. This applies to CCTA, CTA, Cardiac CT, and CT angiography and coronary CT angiography.

With the elevation of cardiac CT to a 1A indication in the 2021 Chest Pain Guidelines, there has been a large amount of interest in starting coronary artery CT angiography (CCTA) programs. 

Heartbeat Health Caption Health AI echocardiogram

Steve Cashman, Caption Health’s CEO, described the partnership as “an ideal coupling of patient-centric services.”

Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) President Brian Ghoshhajra, MD, detailed three challenges he is making to SCCT members in the coming year. 

Ron Blankstein, MD, MSCCT, associate director, cardiovascular imaging program, director, cardiac computed tomography, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, was a co-author on the ACC 2021 Chest Pain Guidelines,[1] which now lists coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA or CTA) as a 1A level recommendation for front line imaging. He gave an overview of the guidelines during the 2022 Society of Cardiovascular CT (SCCT) meeting in July.  #SCCT2022

Ron Blankstein, MD, associate director of the cardiovascular imaging program and director of the cardiac computed tomography program for Brigham and Women's Hospital, was a co-author on the ACC 2021 Chest Pain Guidelines, which now lists coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA or CTA) as a 1A level recommendation for frontline imaging. 

CT coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring, also known as the Agatston score, to assess the risk a patient has for future heart attacks and help decide if a patient requires statins.

Mike Shapiro, DO, MD, director of the Center for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at Wake Forest University, discusses the current guidelines for computed tomography (CT) calcium scoring as a screening test to assess heart attack risk.

AI cardiology vendor Cleerly offers an FDA-cleared coronary artery soft plaque assessment.

The company has now raised $248M in total to help develop, commercialize and market its FDA-cleared technology. 

Examples of new cardiac CT technologies at the 2022 SCCT meeting. Top left clockwise, realistic 3D rendering inside the heart, the GE Revolution Apex scanner, Cleerly's AI automated soft plaque assessment, and CT strain imaging from Medis. #SCCT #SCCT2022 #YesCCT #CTA #CCTA, new computed tomography technology

View a variety of images from the 2022 Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) meeting in Las Vegas.

AI-generated coronary tree from a patient's CT scan showing a color code of areas of interest for plaque burden from the Cleerly software shown at SCCT 2022.

Former European Society of Cardiology president Prof. Jeroen Bax explains the difficulty in quantifying these plaques manually and how artificial intelligence may change this to allow rapid, detailed quantitative analysis. 

CMR of a patient showing evidence of myocardial hypertrophy

Nonischemic LGE was revealed to be independently associated with worse outcomes in hypertension patients. 

Around the web

There is not agreement among the top structural heart experts if CT is required for left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO), but a Henry Ford Hospital study shows it can improve outcomes.

Ron Blankstein, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, explains recent advances in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) technology. 

With the elevation of cardiac CT to a 1A indication in the 2021 Chest Pain Guidelines, there has been a large amount of interest in starting coronary artery CT angiography (CCTA) programs. 

   
   
   
   
   
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