In the Nov. 27, 2008, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, cardiologists debate the effectiveness of high-resolution computer images of the heart (CT angiography) in place of the standard cardiac angiogram. Although the study’s authors conclude that CT scans are effective in spotting heart disease, other cardiologists disagree, pointing to the exact same data.
UCSF’s Rita Redberg, MD, cardiologist and director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services, said the study failed to address the most important question about CT scans – whether they improve patient outcomes.
“What I’m wondering is, if I use it for my patients, will my patients do better?” Redberg said. “We need evidence of benefit before we start using expensive technologies in widespread ways.”
Pay Now, Benefits May Follow – The Case of Cardiac Computed Tomographic Angiography
Rita F. Redberg and Judith Walsh
New England Journal of Medicine, (Nov. 27, 2008) 359(22):2309-2311
Diagnostic Performance of Coronary Angiography by 64-Row CT
Julie M. Miller, Carlos E. Rochitte, Marc Dewey, Armin Arbab-Zadeh, Hiroyuki Niinuma, Ilan Gottlieb, Narinder Paul, Melvin E. Clouse, Edward P. Shapiro, John Hoe, Albert C. Lardo, David E. Bush, Albert de Roos, Christopher Cox, Jeffery Brinker and João A.C. Lima
New England Journal of Medicine, (Nov. 27, 2008) 359(22):2324-2336