Gated CT coronary angiography was performed on 34 consecutive patients that were admitted with a diagnosis of a heart attack. Each patient also underwent an initial and follow-up echocardiography examination. "We wanted to be able to see the heart muscle at the time of the heart attack and then compare that to the muscle's functional recovery on the follow-up echocardiography examination two to four months later," said Eduard Ghersin, MD, leading radiology researcher of the study.
The multidetector CT data was assessed for the presence, position and size of early myocardial enhancement defects (dark spots) by a radiologist blinded to the clinical diagnosis and to the results of echocardiography. The dark spots indicate regions of the heart muscle that had reduced blood flow because of the heart attack.
"Our main conclusion is that in heart attack patients, early myocardial enhancement defects on cardiac multidetector CT, are valuable predictors of future myocardial viability," said Dr. Ghersin. "In essence, what we found is that dark spots on the early CT predicted those patients who would have reduced myocardial viability on follow-up echocardiography," said Dr. Ghersin. "Consequently, imaging physicians and clinicians should be aware of the potential advantages of systematic assessment of myocardial enhancement on routine CT coronary angiography studies in the clinical context of heart attack patients."
"As many other radiologists, we also primarily focused on imaging of the coronary arterial tree using recent advances in multidetector CT technology," stated Dr. Ghersin. "The fact that the same technology can supply valuable additional information at no or sli
Contact: Necoya Lightsey
American Roentgen Ray Society