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Multislice CT Noninvasive Way to Detect Coronary Stenoses

Exposure to radiation similar to that from cardiac catheterization

THURSDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Multislice computed tomography (CT) is a sensitive, noninvasive diagnostic tool for suspected coronary artery disease, according to a study in the Sept. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine comparing the technique to magnetic resonance imaging and conventional coronary angiography.

Marc Dewey, M.D., of Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin in Berlin, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study involving 129 patients who underwent testing for suspected coronary artery disease, of which 108 had both multislice CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within a median of one day prior to conventional coronary angiography.

The sensitivity of multislice CT was 92 percent, compared with 74 percent for MRI, and it also had 82 percent sensitivity for detecting clinically significant stenoses, compared with 54 percent for MRI. While MRI does not expose patients to radiation, multislice CT does, but the dose exposure in 73 patients was similar to that received during diagnostic cardiac catheterization.

"The best use of multislice CT (which most would prefer over MRI because of its higher sensitivity, despite its higher risks) would be in a patient whose post-test probability after a negative study would be so low that invasive coronary angiography would be unnecessary," according to an editorial by Philip Greenland, M.D. While this would rule out most angiography candidates, "I believe that it can be useful in an important, albeit small, subset of patients with chest pain," he writes.

Some study authors have received grants and compensation from Toshiba Medical Systems, sponsor of multislice CT coronary angiography.

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