Have you ever experienced chest pain due to heart disease or know someone who suffered from a heart attack? If so, you would know that doctors usually offer heart imaging called angiography to diagnose the cause of the pain. However, a recent clinical trial
has explored the effectiveness of CT scanning in diagnosing emergency heart conditions.
Coronary heart disease is a type of heart disease where the arteries of the heart cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It occurs because of a plaque build-up in the wall of the arteries of the heart called coronary arteries. The plaques are made up of cholesterol.
It is the leading cause of death in the United States. About 18.2 million American adults have coronary artery disease, making it the most common type of heart disease in the United States.
Coronary angiography is an invasive test that involves inserting a thin tube into a blood vessel in the arm or groin and threading it up to the heart to inject a dye that allows doctors to see blockages in the arteries. CT scan, on the other hand, uses a non-invasive imaging technique that creates detailed pictures of the heart and blood vessels.
Previously, coronary angiography has been the primary tool used for the diagnosis of heart disease. However, it is invasive and has the risk of heart injury and allergic reactions to the dye. Thus, clinical researchers have been looking for non-invasive ways to diagnose heart diseases.
A new clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine compared two methods for diagnosing chest pain, a common symptom that can indicate heart disease. The clinical study compared two diagnostic methods: invasive coronary angiography and computed tomography (CT) angiography.
The study included over 3,561 patients from 26 hospitals who had chest pain due to suspected heart disease. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either invasive coronary angiography or CT scanning to determine the cause of their chest pain.
The results of the clinical trial showed that major adverse events occurred in 2.1% of patients in the CT scan group compared to 3.0% of patients in the invasive angiography group. This indicated that both diagnostic methods were equally effective in identifying patients with blockages in their coronary arteries, which can lead to a heart attack.
Additionally, the study found that patients who received CT scans were less likely to suffer from complications due to the procedure than those who received invasive angiography.
The results of the study may have significant implications for the diagnosis and treatment of chest pain in the future. The study suggests that CT angiography may be a viable alternative to invasive coronary angiography in certain cases, which could reduce the number of invasive procedures and their associated risks.
In conclusion, the clinical trial compared two methods for diagnosing chest pain, invasive coronary angiography, and CT scanning, and found that both methods were equally effective in diagnosing heart disease. However, patients who received CT angiography were less likely to experience procedure-related complications compared to those who received invasive coronary angiography. The choice between the two diagnostic methods should be based on individual patient factors and the assessment of a qualified healthcare professional.