Revelations about the actual cause of myocardial infarction have led researchers to seek out new ways to diagnose, evaluate, treat and prevent coronary artery disease, specifically through imaging vulnerable plaque.
CT coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening for low- or intermediate-risk individuals remains a topic of great debate among providers, with strong, varied opinions about when and if to introduce the test into the patient care continuum. Despite the critics of the screening technology, new clinical data and society initiatives have resulted in steady gains of acceptance.
Small studies assessing the efficacy of coronary CT angiography (CCTA) to diagnose or rule out coronary artery disease (CAD) have been the staple reference standard for its adoption. But a new era of comparative-effectiveness research is unfolding as CCTA will be tested against other validated cardiac imaging modalities, in particular, SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI).
When a SPECT myocardial perfusion study of a patient with persistent angina produced a normal result, the attending cardiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston suspected the study had missed something more serious.