Public Release: 

MDCT angiography for cardiac imaging: Reliable tool, less invasive, fewer complications

American College of Radiology

A new procedure for the imaging of coronary veins proves to be "less invasive, have less complications, and improves the quality of diagnosis and treatment " for individuals undergoing surgical procedures on the heart and particularly the coronary veins, a recent study found.

The study, the first of its kind, compared ECG-gated cardiac MDCT angiography to conventional angiography. "MDCT angiography is a reliable alternative to invasive conventional coronary angiography, and should be used to evaluate the coronary veins prior to pacemaker lead placement, and other procedures... MDCT angiography improves the quality of diagnosis and treatment for the patient by providing better planning of the procedure prior to surgery, such as pacemaker placement," said Georg Mühlenbruch, MD, lead author of the study.

"Conventional angiography is of limited value for some interventional cardiac procedures," said the authors of the study, because it is technically challenging and requires access to the central venous system. Because the coronary veins are variable in number, caliber and course, detailed knowledge of the patient's individual anatomy is essential for optimum planning of the intended procedure. Thus, there is a need for precise imaging the cardiac venous system, Dr. Mühlenbruch said.

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The study was done at RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen 52057, Germany. It appeared in a recent issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

A PDF of the study is available upon request to reporters.

AJR Nov 2005;185:1252-1257

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