Heart Catheterization Alternative Proposed

PHILADELPHIA, April 22 (UPI) — U.S. medical scientists say they’ve determined non-invasive coronary computed tomography angiography may be an alternative to cardiac catheterization.

Thomas Jefferson University researchers said they found computed tomography angiography imaging is a cost-effective alternative to invasive catheterization for patients who have positive stress test results, but a less than 50 percent chance of actually having significant coronary artery disease — a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. If left untreated, the condition can lead to a heart attack.

“Patients with positive stress test results but no heart-related symptoms, as well as patients with a positive stress test with atypical chest pain, often receive referrals for cardiac catheterization for the evaluation of CAD,” Dr. Ethan Halpern, the study’s lead author, said. “Coronary CTA is an alternative, non-invasive diagnostic imaging test that can be used to effectively triage these patients.”

The study that included Professor David Levin and Associate Professors Michael Savage and David Fischman is to be published in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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