Calcium scoring and epicardial fat evaluation with CT may improve cardiac risk stratification

Analysis by JF. Paul

 

Introduction

There is a growing trend in modern medicine to offer “preventive imaging” through large-scale screening programs aimed to detect, for example, early stage breast or lung cancer.
Recently, the detection of early lung cancer in smokers was shown to reduce mortality in these patients. In cardiovascular imaging, calcium scoring has been developed to detect early atherosclerosis, in the attempt to prevent major cardiac events such as sudden death.
New data suggest that epicardial fat volume measured using non-contrast CT could also be a marker of coronary disease. Thus, it is possible that epicardial fat evaluation with CT may help stratify patients according to individual cardiac risk.

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