16-MDCT is showing promise in detecting coronary artery atherosclerosis and could, in the near future, serve as an alternative to electron beam CT, a technique that is effective but not widely available, a new study shows.
The study of 100 patients at Hiroshima University in Japan found that 16-MDCT and electron beam CT were almost equivalent in detecting coronary artery calcifications and coronary artery calcium scoring. Calcium scoring is the "quantification of total calcium burden in the coronary artery," said Jun Horiguchi, MD, of the Hiroshima University School of Medicine. The score is expected to predict the patient’s risk for a heart attack, and can be used to track the progression or regression of coronary atherosclerosis, he said.
All patients in the study underwent both an electron beam CT examination and a 16-MDCT examination. 16-MDCT had a sensitivity of 98.7% and a specificity of 100%, Dr. Horiguchi said. The variability of calcium scores between the electron beam and MDCT scanners was comparable to earlier reports that had compared electron beam scanners to electron beam scanners, he added.
Jason Ocker | EurekAlert!
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