Cardiac CT for the assessment of coronary artery calcium: two consensus statements from the American Heart Association and other associations

Analysis by V. Matarese

 

Introduction

Two task forces, coordinated by the American Heart Association (AHA), have recently produced scientific statements regarding the clinical utility and technical aspects of cardiac CT in the assessment of coronary artery disease (CAD).
The first report (1) focused on the use of cardiac CT for the diagnosis of CAD on the basis of coronary artery calcification.
This scientific statement from the AHA was published in October 2006 and served to update previous documents from the association published in 1996 and 2000; the latter text was dedicated to electron bean CT (EBCT).
This recent update introduces MDCT as another fast imaging modality for coronary artery calcium quantification, and the two imaging techniques are compared throughout the report, which discusses the technical aspects and clinical utility of calcium plaque detection as well as future technical and clinical directions in the field.
The scientific information presented in the text is scored according to the level of evidence and the class of recommendation, as per evidence-based medicine.

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