Category Archives: Non-Invasive Testing

Consumer Reports Overstates Cardiac CT Radiation Dose

  Consumer Reports regularly publishes health information to aid the consumer/patient in making decisions. And that’s a good thing. But also important is having the most current information, which their January 27, 2015 article, titled “The surprising dangers of CT scans and X-rays,” does not.

All of the cautions about imaging tests that are listed in the Consumer Reports article are valid: ask why the test is necessary; check the credentials of the imaging specialist; ask for the lowest effective dose; avoid unnecessary repeat scans.

But one important piece of data is almost a decade old and, as a result, is potentially misleading. I’m talking about the radiation dose from a Cardiac CT scan. The article states that a Cardiac CT Angiogram (CTA) exposes the patient to 12 mSv of ionizing radiation, or 120 times that of a chest X-ray. This was true years ago, when CTA was first being used to diagnose coronary artery disease. But it is not true today. Continue reading

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Filed under Cardiac CT, Imaging, Media Coverage, Non-Invasive Testing

George W. Bush Gets Angioplasty and Stent – Was It Necessary?

George W BushFormer President George W. Bush received an angioplasty and stent this morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The stent was recommended by Bush’s doctors to open a blockage in one of his coronary arteries, found yesterday during what was described by Bush spokesman Freddy Ford as his annual physical exam at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. Continue reading

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Filed under Angiograms, Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Cardiac CT, Celebrity Patients, COURAGE, Drug-Eluting Stents, FFR, Imaging, Media Coverage, Non-Invasive Testing, Optimal Medical Therapy, Stent

Fractional Flow (Chart) Reserve

Flow Chart from Ad Hoc PCI Consensus Statement

Click to enlarge flow chart

Best medical practices for angioplasty and stent placement are a moving target because no sooner than a guideline is published it can be changed by the results of a more recent study. And the SCAI Ad Hoc PCI Consensus Statement posted online just three days ago is no exception. Continue reading

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Filed under FAME I / FAME II, FFR, Non-Invasive Testing, Optimal Medical Therapy